TX SenseAbilities – Spring 2024 Issue

Featured Article

An adolescent in a lab coat holds a pipette to a test tube while an adult in safety goggles stands beside her in a chemistry lab.

In Your Element: Access to Chemistry

A student in TSBVI’s Short Term Programs describes her experiences while participating in the “In Your Element: Access to Chemistry” class. This class is an ongoing partnership between Short Term Programs of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) and Baylor University's chemistry department to provide accessible instruction for students who are blind or visually impaired. Image: EmmaGrace and Levi, a Doctoral student, in the chemistry lab at Baylor University, using a pipette to do an experiment.

Family Wisdom

Bringing Home the Family Engagement Priorities: Part 2

Building upon the TX SenseAbilities' series focused on the Family Engagement Report, this article highlights Direct Services Priorities 4-6. All of the priorities are intended to drive systems change with families recognized as vital leaders in the efforts. For more details on the Family Engagement Report, please see the entire 2023 Special Issue of TX SenseAbilities on Family Engagement: Lessons Learned From Our Families published in August 2023.

BOLD: Blindness Outdoor Learning and Development

BOLD: Blindness Outdoor Learning and Development event, is a program organized by the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and supported by a 2022 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant. The program organizes outdoor experiences for individuals who are blind and have low vision. Their inaugural event was held at Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, Texas. Reprinted with permission from Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, November 2023.

DBMAT: 50 Years and Counting as a Gold Standard Family Organization

In September 2023 the Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT) celebrated its 50th year as a family organization. The Texas Deafblind Project invited the community to share their reasons for being grateful for this vibrant and impactful family organization. Enjoy the compiled submissions that capture DBMAT’s contributions and accomplishments over the past 5 decades.

Celebrating 30 years of of the National Family Association for DeafBlind (NFADB)

The Power of Family Support, Connection, and Resources

Learn about Texas Hands and Voices, the state chapter of Hands and Voices, a parent-led nonprofit organization that provides resources, peer support and advocacy in an unbiased manner to families with children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind.

Effective Practices

Creating Meaningful O&M Lessons through Collaboration

The author presents an interview with an experienced Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) demonstrating how collaboration can help create meaningful orientation and mobility (O&M) lessons that support all areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments (ECC).

5-a-side Blind Soccer Has Arrived!

Mark Slavin, a coach and athlete who is visually impaired, is the Director of Texas Blind Soccer. In this article, he describes 5-a-side blind soccer, tells how it started, and looks toward the future.

New Tech Feature Review: Envision Glasses

The author provides a comprehensive review of Envision Glasses, a product from Envision. She describes her personal trial of the glasses, from unboxing of the device to in-depth information on specific features such as the use of AI and capturing visual information in real time. She also offers advice on using the device to access both print and environmental information and provides tips for avoiding fatigue.

SCIVIS: Reaching for the Stars at Space Camp

The authors describe how students who are blind, have low vision, or are deafblind have the times of their lives at Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students, or SCIVIS. Learn about the amazing ways that all the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) are addressed at SCIVIS, and find out how the internationally famous NASA Space Camp and VI professionals provide access to the camp curriculum.

News & Views

Bring On More Recreation!

TSBVI’s Superintendent discusses the importance of recreation, sports, and the performing arts for students with visual impairments and describes campus improvements that can address those needs for students on campus and throughout Texas.

The Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development Program—Braille PenPal Skill Training

PenPal Direct Skills Training is a unique training program to foster braille learning provided by the Blind Children’s Program with the Health and Human Services Commission in Texas.

Building Opportunities for Success: Criss Cole Builds Confidences with Summer Transition Programming

The author describes summer programs for legally blind transition students that are offered by the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center with the Texas Workforce Commission. She also announces exciting changes for the Summer 2024 program at Criss Cole!

From the TSBVI Archive to the Media Minute

Learn about the Media Minute, a new campus resource on the TSBVI website which uses current and historical media to create posts that highlight programming in various TSBVI departments - Comprehensive (Instructional and Residential), Short-Term, Outreach, and Curriculum.

Seedlings Early Childhood Braille Books for Children’s Braille 4 Beginners (B4B) Program

BANA Announces New Nemeth Publication

The author and the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) are excited to announce that The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation 2022 has been officially posted on the BANA website. Check it out and spread the word far and wide!

TSBVI Outreach Debuts the Transition LiveBinder

The TSBVI Outreach Program is excited to announce the debut of a new resource, the Transition LiveBinder. The author shares examples of some of the tools that both professionals and families can access in the new LiveBinder.


2024 TSBVI Low Vision Conference