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Conference




2023 TEXAS SYMPOSIUM ON DEAFBLIND EDUCATION: INSPIRATION TO IMPLEMENTATION

The theme for the 2023 Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education is "Inspiration to Implementation." Join us as we explore innovations within deafblind education, such as developing tactile learning strategies, evaluating students, and increasing recognition for qualified personnel. Together, we will discuss practical strategies, including identifying infants and children who are deafblind and elevating the family voice in individual services and systems change. Take advantage of this experience by attending the optional, full-day Pre-symposium, which features a track for attendees who are new to deafblind education and another for advanced practitioners.

The symposium will be held in person at the Austin Marriott North. Book your hotel by Feb 11th!!

For more information on this year's symposium, including a full agenda when it becomes available, please visit our Texas Deafblind Project Website!

Registration Fees:

Pre-Symposium: February 23, 2023
• In State & Out of State Professionals - $50 (Whole Day) & $25 (Half Day)
• Paraprofessionals, Univ. Students & Family Members - $20 (Whole Day) & $10 (Half Day)

Symposium: February 24 & 25, 2023
• In State Professionals - $250 (Early) & $300 (Late)
• Out of State Professionals - $270 (Early) & $320 (Late)
• Paraprofessionals & Univ. Students - $125 (Early) & $175 (Late)
• Family Members - $200 (Early) & $250 (Late)

Late registration will begin on February 11th. Last day to register: February 16th.


Housekeeping & Welcome (Required)
(Thursday, February 23, 2023 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM)
Session ID: 40636
Housekeeping & Welcome!
Seats Filled: 264 / 325
Fee: $250.00
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Atrium Terrace

Important Breakout Information:

You have the option of paying by check, purchase order, or credit card. Cash will not be accepted. Credit card payments will only be accepted online at the time of registration.

Your invoice will be sent via email immediately after registration to the primary email address listed in your user account. If your fee is being paid for by your school district or supporting agency, either with a check or a PO, then please be sure to forward your email to the appropriate person immediately so that payment may be processed. Payment may be made in advance or received within 30 days of the event date. Instructions regarding where to send payment will be provided in your invoice/confirmation. If you are unable to supply a check or a PO number at the time of your registration, then you may simply enter "0000" and provide the number to us at a later time.


Pre-Symposium General Session (Optional)
(Thursday, February 23, 2023 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM)
Session ID: 40637
How Children Grow Language: Lessons from Global and Domestic Communities
Seats Filled: 167 / 190
Fee: $25.00
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Hayley Broadway, M.Ed., Deafblind Educator; Deanna Gagne, Ph.D., Child Psychologist

This session covers three topics: the history of invented languages, examples of recent, naturally-occurring languages (Nicaraguan Sign Language in Central America and protactile in the U.S.), and a discussion of the (likely) trilingual experience of DeafBlind individuals in the U.S., comparing and contrasting structures across American Sign Language, English, and protactile. Discussions about reciprocity in language, navigating modalities and linguistic foundations of cognitive development will be included.

Objectives:
1. Identify and describe the differences between naturally-occurring and invented language.
2. Describe the conditions under which languages have emerged naturally both overseas and here in the United States.
3. Compare and contrast American Sign Language, protactile and English as the three most likely languages for DeafBlind people in the United States.


Pre-Symposium Breakout (Optional)
(Thursday, February 23, 2023 1:00 PM - 4:15 PM)
Session ID: 40638
Deafblind 101: Exploring Interaction in Instruction
Seats Filled: 117 / 125
Fee: $25.00
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 1

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Adam Graves, Edgenie Bellah, Rachel Collins; TX Deafblind Project

In this session for Deafblind 101 participants, consultants from the Texas Deafblind Project will discuss the basic components of quality interactions between individuals ranging from infancy to adulthood. We will then discuss how to apply our understanding of quality human interaction when developing routines and goals for students who are deafblind.

Objectives:
1. Identify the elements of quality interactions between individuals of all ages and abilities.
2. Describe how to develop quality interactions with students who are deafblind.
3. Describe how the principles of quality interactions can be applied to educational routines and instruction for students who are deafblind.


Session ID: 40639
Advanced Practitioner: Tactile Working Memory Scale
Seats Filled: 65 / 65
Fee: $25.00
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 2

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Kaycee Bennett and Robbie Blaha, TX Deafblind Project

In this session for advanced practitioners, consultants from the Texas Deafblind Project will provide an overview of the Tactile Working Memory Scale (TWMS) manual from the Nordic Network on Cognition in Relation to Deafblindness. The TWMS manual gives a theoretical overview and a scale that can be used by professionals to identify and assess tactile working memory in persons who are congenitally deafblind. It contains strategies to ensure that these persons can develop and make use of all their potentials, both cognitively and linguistically.

Objectives:
1. Participants will develop an understanding of tactile working memory.
2. Participants will review a selection of items on the assessment.
3. Participants will review 3 strategies to improve the students bodily tactile skills.


This session is full.
General Session I (Required)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 8:45 AM - 9:15 AM)
Session ID: 40658
State of the State, Nation, & the World
Seats Filled: 264 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
State of the State: Kate Borg, Director, TSBVI Outreach; Nicholas Trotter, Visual Impairment Program Administrator, Division of Special Education, Texas Education Agency

Kate and Nicholas will share updates on issues and services in Deafblind education in Texas.

State of the Nation: National Center on Deaf-Blindness(NCDB) & National Family Association for Deaf-Blind. (NFADB)

NCDB and NFADB will share updates on national issues and resources in Deafblind education.


General Session II (Required)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM)
Session ID: 40641
Individual & Family Perspectives
Seats Filled: 264 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
Friendship and Adventures at Camp
Presenters: Patsy Izaguirre and Amanda Huston, Campers from DBCTX

Come listen to two close friends share their experiences at DeafBlind Camp of Texas. Hear their story of friendship, independence, self-determination, and adventure!

Objectives:
1. Hear the story of two friends.
2. Experience independent adventure.
3. Demonstrate successful self-determination!

At the Heart of it All: Family Life with Our Children
Presenters: Diana Kareny Martinez Oviedo & Jorge Reyes

Join us as the Reyes family give us a glimpse of life with three children, including Oliver who is deafblind.

Objectives:
1. Gain perspective from a family’s lived experiences
2. Appreciate the value of family engagement in students' learning
3. Learn how to incorporate the family's experience into our equitable approach to service delivery.


General Session III (Required)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
Session ID: 40642
Inspiración: Rompiendo barreras y mitos, lo logró: Me comunico con mi familia, amigos y la sociedad
Seats Filled: 263 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Natalie Janeth Avila Mireles, Jose Avila & Sandra Veronica Mireles Ramirez, educators from Mexico, and other family and friends

Join our panel conversation about Natalie, a young lady who is DeafBlind, inspiring our family to bridge distances and communication differences. Our journey began with her learning Spanish so she could talk with other Deaf people from Mexico. Her interest soon became the catalyst for connecting with her grandparents and relatives. Through her journey and our family taking Lenguaje de Señas Mexicana together, we discover others in the community who benefit from learning alongside us.

Objectives:
1: Gain perspective from a family’s lived experiences
2: Inspire other families to form deep connections by learning communication strategies that work for both the members who are deafblind and hearing/sighted members in their preferred language
3: Learn how to incorporate the family's experience into our equitable approach to service delivery


General Session IV (Required)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM)
Session ID: 40643
Addressing Mental Health Among Deafblind Children, Adolescents, and Teens
Seats Filled: 264 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
Presenter: Rebecca Alexander, Psychotherapist, LCSW-R, MPH

This mental health session will cover the basic overview of important developmental milestones for children and specifically children who are DB. Cognitive, behavioral, adult education will be provided to better identify and address mental health issues that may arise among DB children, adolescents, and teens.

Objectives:
1. Provide psychoeducation about mental health based on developmental stages of childhood.
2. Address specific mental health concerns specific to the DB community.
3. Provide behavioral techniques and information on how to identify mental health disorders among DB children and adolescents.


Breakout Session I - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM)
Session ID: 40644
Identification and Support: Strategies for the Young Children with Deaf-Blindness
Seats Filled: 104 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 1

Important Breakout Information:
Presenter: Tanni Anthony, Consultant

Early identification of deaf-blindness results in early supports for children and their families. The session will address key strategies for identification of early onset hearing and vision loss, as well as broad impact of deaf-blindness on the developing child, and overarching support strategies.

Objectives:
1. The participants will identify risk factors for early onset deaf-blindness.
2. The participants will understand key impacts of pediatric deaf-blindness.
3. The participants will understand 2 key support strategies for young children with deaf-blindness.


Session ID: 40645
DeafBlind Camp of Texas: A DeafBlind Adventure
Seats Filled: 48 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 2

Important Breakout Information:
Presenter: Jacqueline Izaguirre, President, DBCTX

DeafBlind Camp of Texas will share methods used to offer a barrier free camp experience for teenagers who are DeafBlind. We will share camp experiences from past campers. We will share some of the methods used to train our new CoNavigators. We hope you join us so you too can see the potential in all teens who are DeafBlind when they are given the proper supports!

Objectives:
1. Learn about camping the DeafBlind way.
2. Hear about camp experiences from past campers.
Objective.
3. Learn about CoNavigators and other supports.


Session ID: 40646
Real-World Application of the Tactile Working Memory Scale
Seats Filled: 106 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 3

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Sarah Mossberger, TSVI & TDB; Kaycee Bennett, DB Education Consultant, Robbie Blaha, DB Consultant

This session will examine one district's implementation of strategies based on the results of the Tactile Working Memory Scale for a student who is deafblind. We will look at the implications of using the scale, and the associated strategies, along with changes to the student's programming.

Objectives:
1. The participants will understand the impact that the TWMS can have on a team.
2. The participants will be able to explain some benefits of using the TWMS for students who are deafblind.
3. The participants will understand how to use the interventions associated with the TWMS and implement them based on results of the TWMS.


Session ID: 40647
Implementación: Rompiendo barreras y mitos lo logro: Me comunico con mi familia, amigos y la sociedad
Seats Filled: 4 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 4

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Natalie Janeth Avila Mireles, Jose Avila & Sandra Veronica Mireles Ramirez, educators from Mexico, and other family and friends

Continue following the Avila family’s journey to learn how Natalie’s spark of interest to learn Spanish and Spanish sign language turned into a community-wide effort. During this session, we will share the implantation tools used to teach Spanish sign language on a larger scale.

Objectives:
1: Gain perspective from a family’s lived experiences
2: Inspire other families to form deep connections by learning communication strategies that work for both the members who are deafblind and hearing/sighted members in their preferred language
3: Learn how to incorporate the family's experience into our equitable approach to service delivery


Family Social (Optional for Family Only)
(Friday, February 24, 2023 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM)
Session ID: 40648
Family Social
Seats Filled: 44 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Atrium Terrace

Important Breakout Information:
Family members are welcome to join us for an optional social in the atrium. Beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Come socialize and meet other families at the symposium!

Note: This a families only event. We kindly ask that all other participants respect this space that has been set aside.


Breakout Session II - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Saturday, February 25, 2023 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM)
Session ID: 40649
Promising Practices: Considerations for the Accessibility of Sign Language for Individuals with CVI
Seats Filled: 80 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 1

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Marguerite Tibaudo, Assistant Director of CVI Assessment and Interventions; Mary Zatta, Director of Professional Development; Perkins School for the Blind

CVI results in a diverse presentation of visual behaviors consistent with ventral and dorsal stream dysfunction, causing difficulty with object recognition and impaired visuospatial processing respectively. The presenters will review these implications and share considerations and discussion points for the visual accessibility of sign language alongside methodologies to support ongoing evaluation.

Objectives:
1. Identify 3 visual behaviors commonly associated with CVI.
2. Identify 3 elements of sign language that may be impacted by CVI.
3. Identify 3 components of a CVI Assessment.


Session ID: 40650
Touch Base Center for the Deafblind: Tips on How to Create a Day Program for People Who Are Deafblind in Your Area
Seats Filled: 33 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 2

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Vivecca Hartman, Rubina Khan, and MiiLeah Morrison, Co-Founders and Program Director

Join us in learning about Touch Base Center for the Deafblind, an innovative day activity center for deafblind people in the Houston area. Together, we'll explore how to replicate this model in other communities.

Objectives:
1. Share about a successful alternative for after the school years.
2. Share tips on how to start a Day Activity Center for people who are deafblind.
3. Collaborate as a group on how to make this possible in more places.


Session ID: 40651
Essential Tools of the Trade for Teachers of Students who are Deafblind: A How-To Guide for Completing Evaluations
Seats Filled: 84 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 3

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Kaycee Bennett, DB Education Consultant, TSBVI Outreach; Shanna Hamilton, Curriculum Lead Teacher, TSBVI Curriculum and Publications

This session will provide an overview of the recent TSBVI publication of Essential Tools of the Trade: A How-To Guide for Completing Functional Vision, Communication, Functional Tactile-Bodily Language, and Learning Media Evaluations for Students who are Deafblind.

Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to identify their role in the teaming process of evaluating a student who is deafblind.
2. Participants will be able to explain how to use this publication resource as a tool to aid in the evaluation of a student who is deafblind.
3. Participants will be able to locate digital resources that correspond with the printed book and use them to support their own learning in order to thoroughly evaluate a student who is deafblind.


Session ID: 40652
How Does Touch Make You Feel?
Seats Filled: 65 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 4

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Adam Graves, DB Education Consultant, Texas DB Project; Sara Kitchen, VI Education Consultant, TSBVI Outreach

In this session, we will describe how different types of touch receptors on the skin activate different regions of the brain and how this can affect students' emotional reactions to touch as well as their focus for learning. We will also discuss how forms of controlling touch can perpetuate negative stigmas and stereotypes and lead to learned helplessness and inhibit self-determination in students who are blind, visually impaired and deafblind.

Objectives
1. Participants will identify the neural pathways associated with different forms of touch.
2. Participants will describe how activation of different tactile receptors can elicit positive or negative physical and emotional responses and the implications of these responses for learning.
3. Participants will discuss the social implications of the use of controlling touch in the classroom.


This session is full.
Breakout Session III - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Saturday, February 25, 2023 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM)
Session ID: 40653
Stronger Together: One Family Voice
Seats Filled: 36 / 65
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 1

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Jacqueline Izaguirre and Melanie Knapp, Board Members of NFADB and Co-chairs of PIE Committee (Policy, Information, and Education)

Learn all about the exciting advocacy training for families with individuals who are Deaf-Blind being led by NFADB. Hear about the National Advocacy Agenda developed by the 11 family organizations during the pilot year (2021). We will share information about the newly formed Coalition, FACE for Deaf-Blind, and the plans for the first "Day on the Hill for Deaf-Blind". Join us, we are stronger together!

Objectives:
1. We will explain the Family Advocacy Training and Education (FATE).
2. Learn about Face For Deaf-Blind (FACE): Family Advocates Coalition Educating For Deaf-Blind.
3. Discuss the National Advocacy Agenda.


Session ID: 40654
Guidance for Planning Behavior Intervention for Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind or have Visual and Multiple Impairments
Seats Filled: 76 / 76
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 2

Important Breakout Information:
Presenters: Lynne McAlister, VI Education Consultant, TSBVI Outreach; Deanna Peterson, DB Education Consultant; Texas DB Project

During this training, we will explore ways to foster safety, success, independence, and connectedness by using proactive and responsive strategies. We will also address how meeting these needs can impact behavior and lay the foundation for all development and learning. TSBVI’s Guidance for Planning Behavior Intervention for Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind or have Visual and Multiple Impairments will provide the framework for this training.

Objectives
1. Participants will learn and understand how sensory differences affect social-emotional development.
2. Participants will learn and understand how to use the behavior guidance document.
3. Participants will increase their understanding of proactive and positive strategies designed to reduce distress.


This session is full.
Session ID: 40655
Maximizing Orientation & Mobility for Students who are Deafblind
Seats Filled: 67 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 3

Important Breakout Information:
Panel Facilitators: Chris Tabb, Statewide O&M Specialist, TSBVI Outreach; Edgenie Bellah: Family Engagement Coordinator, Texas DB Project

This session will explore various teaching strategies and styles when working with students who are deafblind or who have dual sensory loss of vision and hearing. The panel is made up of COMS who have been working with students who are deafblind for multiple years. There are some prepared questions that panelists will be responding to, as well as being open to questions from participants at the session.

Objectives:
1. Explore learning options for Orientation & Mobility Specialists to improve their practice of teaching students who are deafblind.
2. Introduce participants to professionals who can be used as resources for information in delivering services to students who are deafblind.
3. Discover different philosophies of developing independence for travelers who are deafblind.


Session ID: 40656
Working to Improve Balance Through Quality Movement Skills
Seats Filled: 83 / 125
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Ballroom 4

Important Breakout Information:
Presenter: Dr. Beth Foster, CAPE

The combined impact of visual and hearing loss coupled with impact to their vestibular and proprioception systems, students with deafblindness may exhibit difficulties with balance and motor skills. As educators, gathering information about student’s preferences are essential to implementing quality movement opportunities. Increasing balance and motor confidence through meaningful movement activities can have positive outcomes on balance, movement skills, and independence. Attend and be prepared for movement and strategies you can implement tomorrow.

Objectives
1. Examine the impact of deafblindness on elements of balance and motor skill performance.
2. Identify strategies to implement to provide quality opportunities to practice balance and motor skills.
3. Analyze student’s strengths to implement into making adaptations and build movement activities.


Luncheon (Optional)
(Saturday, February 25, 2023 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM)
Session ID: 40659
Luncheon & Awards Ceremony
Seats Filled: 228 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:

Come join your colleagues at the Symposium Luncheon & Awards Ceremony! The meal is optional and is included in your registration fee so all you need to do is register for the lunch if you would like to attend.

NOTE: TSBVI Outreach gladly offers vegetarian options with our meals. Please be certain to select this accommodation in your user profile, if needed. Participants with food allergies, intolerances, and other dietary restrictions may wish to consider bringing or purchasing their own lunch.


General Session V (Required)
(Saturday, February 25, 2023 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM)
Session ID: 40657
Ambiguity and Its Impact on Well-Being: What It Is, What It Does, and Why It Matters
Seats Filled: 262 / 325
Location:Austin Marriott North at La Frontera, Grand Ballroom

Important Breakout Information:
Presenter: Maurice Belote, Adjunct Faculty, California Deafblind Services

Ambiguity is a key component in understanding the basic human need for closure. Ambiguity makes achieving closure difficult and it also plays a significant role in our ability to make choices, predict the future, and plan accordingly. What is the current brain science specific to ambiguity and how might it inform us as we teach and/or raise children and young adults who are deafblind? This session will cover the basic human need for closure, the ways in which ambiguity interferes with closure, how ambiguity contributes to stress and anxiety, and what we can do to combat the negative effects of ambiguity.

Objectives
1. Participants will review the basic need for closure and how achieving satisfactory closure is essential to general well-being.
2. Participants will understand the relationship between ambiguity and anxiety/stress and the ways in which ambiguity can interfere with the ability to predict future.




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