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A collaborative effort of

By Mildred West,2014-06-15 16:32
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    SEE/HEAR

A QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER ABOUT VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

    AND DEAFBLINDNESS FOR FAMILIES AND PROFESSIONALS

    A collaborative effort of The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

    and Texas Commission for the Blind

Spring 2005 Volume 10, No. 2

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

FAMILY

    Turning ―Me‖ to ―We‖…………………………………………2

    How I Learned What O&M Means………………………….8

    Time to Think

     Preparing for Your Child‘s Hospital Stay……………12

    Supporting Friends During Hospital Stays……………….17

    Oh Yes You Can:

     How Creativity and Assistive Technology

     Helped My Child to Do Class Reports………………21

    Sharing My Story With Those Who Need to Hear………27

    Not Alone…………………………………………………….30

PROGRAMMING

    Including Braille and Literacy in the Home: Don‘t Let

     Your Summer Be a Vast Wasteland…………………31

Some Things to Learn from

     Learning Through Touch ………………………… 43

    Accommodations for Visually Impaired Students on

    Statewide Assessments…………………………….. 55

NEWS & VIEWS

    Of Alan Koenig………………………………………………60

    Of Sally Mangold……………………………………………63

    Want to Help Blind Children Succeed?

     Get High!…………………………………………….….68

    2005 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness: Awards, Learning Opportunities, and Community Building…………73

    A Special Report: The National SSP Pilot Project……...78

CLASSIFIED

    Regional, State and National Training

    Listings and Events………………………….………...85

    Turning “Me” to “We”

    By Edgenie Bellah, Family Support,

    Texas Deafblind Project

    Abstract: Find out about the first class of the Deafblind

    Family Leadership Series and how they are putting their learning into practice by being top-notch leaders within their communities.

    FAMILY 2

    Keywords: Family, blind, deafblind, leadership, training

    Turning ―Me‖ to ―We.‖ Although Dee Dee Elberle, Grant

    Project Coordinator with The Arc of Texas, originally shared this phrase as a definition for advocacy, twelve parents from around Texas have adopted it as their unofficial motto for the yearlong adventure they are taking together as members of the first Deafblind Family Leadership Series. Sponsored by the Texas Deafblind Project, the new series assists family members to hone their leadership and mentoring skills so that they can have a strong voice in the decisions being made about services and supports for their children with deafblindness.

    From the moment the Class of 2005 roster was finalized, they began setting themselves apart from traditional training participants. The small class of twelve represents the diversity of Texas and the parents have already demonstrated an interest in making an impact on services and supports for children with deafblindness in their local communities as well as statewide. Nominated for the class by professionals in the fields of education and rehabilitation, and officers from DBMAT and TAPVI, each participant made a wholehearted commitment to

    participate in three trainings in Austin, complete Project SPARKLE, participate in a variety of distant education activities, and do three follow-up projects.

    FAMILY 3

    Front Row (left to right): Denise Sewell (Gilmer), BJ Bond (Wylie), Michelle Goodwin (Ft. Worth). 2nd row: Wayne Thompson (Sweetwater), Alicia Porras (El Paso). 3rd row: Teresa Dafft (The Woodlands), Mira Lopez (Copperas Cove), LaChandra Noel (Houston), Alaine Hinds (La Porte), Yolanda Scarlett (Coppell), Edgenie Bellah (TSBVI). Back Row: Jennifer Holweger (Pflugerville), Lisa Wick (Burkburnett).

    The class came together for the first time in October. The weekend was spent studying the basics of

    deafblindness. Building on what they learned through Project SPARKLE, participants received training from the Texas Deafblind Project staff to broaden their

    FAMILY 4

    understanding of deafblind issues beyond what they already knew about their own child. After the training, each of the parents completed a small follow-up assignment that demonstrated their understanding of deafblindness. Follow-up projects for the class included giving presentations to parents and teachers, writing articles, working with the media to increase awareness, and parent mentoring. Although the intent of the projects was to illustrate their knowledge, the actual outcome was a powerful demonstration of the talents of these parents!

    Everyone came back together the first weekend of December to focus on understanding the community, educational, legislative, state agency and medical systems, and how to provide advocacy and leadership within each system. The follow-up assignments were designed to demonstrate the participant‘s leadership skills. Again, the high caliber of the class came through clearly. Emerging from the class were projects such as serving on state level workgroups, serving as editor for a special education booklet for a local school district and presenting at a family conference.

    Becoming effective mentors will be the focus of the training session in late April. The best support a family receives sometimes comes from other families who have also ―been there,‖ and as leaders in their communities, class participants have already stepped up to the plate and offered this invaluable support to other families. Because this is the last training in the Deafblind Family Leadership Series, the follow-up assignment will combine all the training into a systems-change project. Again,

    FAMILY 5

    showing their dedication to the deafblind community, several participants have already started their proj