Professional Development

Remote Learning Series

NYDBC hosts an extensive Remote Learning Series and various online conferences.  All sessions are free to attend and have live sign language interpreting and automated captioning on the screen. If you cannot attend the sessions live, we invite you to view archived recordings.

Join us at the time of a Live Webinar (see below for the dates/times of the upcoming sessions) or access through Zoom Meeting ID: 9645837505

See more information about earning CEUs.

  Upcoming Events

Upcoming Sessions

Join us via Zoom
Join us via Zoom

 

 

Upcoming Topics…

Understanding Services & Agencies for Young Adults who are DeafBlind

Customized Employment Opportunities for Individuals who are DeafBlind

 

  Archived Recordings

Assessment

Understanding Your Child’s Psychosocial Educational Assessment

Understanding Your Child’s Psychosocial Educational Assessment 1 hour 30 minutes
Presentation slides 452 Kb

Tomina SchwenkeTomina J. Schwenke, Ph.D, ABPP, CI, CT, QMHI
Psychologist and Sign Language Interpreter

Tomina is a licensed and board-certified psychologist and nationally certified sign language interpreter, residing in Atlanta, GA. She is an Assistant Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, program director of Emory’s jail-based Competency Restoration program and provides treatment at the Emory Clinic. She previously provided psychological services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people at the Foundling Hospital, Lexington School, and Lexington Center for the Deaf.

Tomina has held a private practice for mental health services for individuals who are hearing, Deaf and DeafBlind. Additionally, she presents and publishes on topics related to advocacy, interpreter burnout, psychological testing, and forensic psychology. She was awarded the Richard Morrel Community Commitment Award (Emory), the Martin Seligman Student Research in Psychology and Deafness Award and Outstanding Journal Article Award (ADARA), and the Dennis Brady Service Award (CUNY).

In her spare time, she is also interpreting for top-level musical and theatrical performances and running marathons. Tomina has presented for NYDBC several times and at different venues, including DeafBlind Awareness Day and the first Northeast Regional CHARGE Syndrome Conference, hosted by NYDBC.

Understanding Visual ‘Red Flags’ for Learners who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing

Understanding Visual ‘Red Flags’ for Learners who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing 1 hour 29 minutes
Presentation slides 272 Kb
NYDBC Tipsheet 324 Kb

Susanne Morgan Morrow

Image Description: A white female with pulled up hair in a low bun, smiling at the camera. She is wearing dangling circular earrings and is wearing a tan shirt. She is in front of a grey background.

Susanne Morgan Morrow, MA, CI, CT
NYDBC Project Director and Sign Language Interpreter

Susanne Morgan Morrow, MA, CI, CT is the Project Director of the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative and is also a nationally certified Sign Language Interpreter. Susie’s career started within the DeafBlind adult community at Helen Keller National Center, over 25 years ago. From those direct experiences she then went on to work on the national deaf-blind project where she addressed topics such as self-determination, advocacy, and transition planning for young adults who are deaf-blind. Throughout her career Susie has had the opportunity to present, interpret and provide coordinate services in a wide array of venues for Deaf and DeafBlind people, at regional, national and international conferences, in higher academia, as well as music and theatrical performances.

Susie has also been an adjunct instructor at Hunter College and a mentor and trainer in various interpreter education programs and has acted as the chairperson to various national organizations and committees. Additionally, she is also the lead developer of the Introduction to Sign Language and Braille module, part of the Open Hands, Open Access intervener module series developed by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness. Susie is a national trainer on a multitude of topics related to access and education of individuals who are DeafBlind and interpreting.

Her entire career has focused on creating linkages between the interpreting, Deaf and DeafBlind communities through her various roles, constantly learning the myriad ways to best act as an ally across communities.

CHARGE Syndrome

Behaviors vs. Tendencies in Children & Young Adults with CHARGE Syndrome

Behaviors vs. Tendencies in Children & Young Adults with CHARGE Syndrome 1 hour 37 minutes
Presentation slides 722 Kb

Image Description: Kasee is facing the camera, smiling with long, curly, blonde shoulder-length hair. She is wearing a long sleeve black shirt and is sitting in front of a grey background.

Kasee K. Stratton-Gadke, Ph.D., NCSP
Psychologist & Associate Professor

Dr. Stratton-Gadke is an associate professor in the School Psychology Program in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Foundations at Mississippi State University (MSU) and Director of the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, also housed at MSU. She earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Central Michigan University. Dr. Stratton-Gadke completed her doctoral and post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Department of Behavioral Psychology. Dr. Stratton-Gadke is a licensed psychologist, a nationally certified school psychologist, and a AAAA licensed school psychologist for the state of Mississippi.

Dr. Stratton-Gadke has spent the greater part of 15 years researching the behavioral phenotype for CHARGE Syndrome and has presented throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark on CHARGE. Dr. Stratton-Gadke directs the Bulldog CHARGE Syndrome Research Lab at MSU where she is training the next generation of professionals to serve individuals with CHARGE.

Dr. Stratton-Gadke has been a presenter at several NYDBC conferences and webinars to bring critical research and understanding of children and young adults with CHARGE Syndrome. NYDBC is thrilled to welcome Kasee back to speak with the families and providers!

Communication

Communication Development of a Multi-Modal Communicator: A Case Study

Communication Development of a Multi-Modal Communicator: A Case Study
        Part 1
1 hour 33 minutes
Presentation slides 833 Kb

Communication Development of a Multi-Modal Communicator: A Case Study
        Part 2
 1 hour 35 minutes
Presentation slides 572 Kb

Sarah Keyes, Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Sarah Keyes has been a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TOD) for the past 25 years and is currently employed as an itinerant TOD with Childhood Educational Associates, Inc. She has worked all over the Capital Region of New York with children of all ages, all types of hearing loss and with varying communication styles.

Sarah graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Linguistics (with a focus on American Sign Language) and from Boston University with an M.Ed. in Education of the Deaf. Through her work with students with both hearing and vision loss, she became affiliated with the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative (NYDBC) for guidance and support. She was then invited to be a Deaf-Blind Advisor with NYDBC. Sarah possesses fluency in American Sign Language and an ingenuity for supporting students with varying communication needs.

Sarah was recently recognized in a Teacher Profile by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness for her commitment and extraordinary work in the field.

Kaitlyn Ahl, Speech-Language Pathologist

Kaitlin Ahl is a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in upstate New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Ithaca College and her Master of Science in Teaching Students with Speech and Language Disabilities also from Ithaca College.

Kaitlin has spent the last nine years working with students ages 5-21 with varying communication abilities. She has experience working with students with multiple disabilities and also those with dual sensory loss (hearing and vision loss). In addition to her work as a speech-language pathologist, Kaitlin also serves as a Deaf-Blind Advisor with the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative (NYDBC) for the past 5 years. She also is an active participant and facilitator in the NYDBC-led Community of Practice (CoP), Network of Teachers working with Deaf-Blind (NTDB) students, in her region.

Kaitlin’s creative and supportive nature allows for new, emerging skills to develop and flourish in all learners!

Using the Tactile Threshold Model to Develop Communication Skills

Using the Tactile Threshold Model to Develop Communication Skills 1 hour 11 minutes
Presentation slides 879 Kb

L. Beth Brady, Ph.D., Hunter College
Coordinator of the Blind/Visual Impairments and Severe/Multiple Disabilities Programs and Assistant Professor

Dr. L. Beth Brady is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Blind/Visual Impairments and Severe/Multiple Disabilities Programs at Hunter College, City University of New York. Dr. Brady started as an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College in 2016, teaching foundation classes on severe and multiple disabilities, in addition to hosting numerous Hunter student teachers in her middle school classroom over the years. Previously, she worked as an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments in the New York City Department of Education, after beginning her career as a classroom special education teacher of learners with severe/multiple disabilities in New York City’s District 75 and at the Boston College Campus School.

Beth completed her Ph.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University in Special Education, with a focus in Intellectual Disability and Autism. Dr. Brady received both her B.A. in Elementary Education and American Heritages and a M.Ed. in Severe Special Education, with a concentration in deafblindness, from Boston College. Her particular research interests are in the areas of communication, alternate assessment, deafblindness, inclusion and urban teacher preparation.

Beth is a strong partner of NYDBC and participates in the Cortical Visual Impairment Cohort hosted by NYDBC.

Implementing Alternative & Augmentative Communication at Home

Implementing Alternative & Augmentative Communication at Home 1 hour 15 minutes
Presentation slides 608 Kb

Stacy StosicStacy Stosic, SLP-CCC, Speech-Language Pathologist
Manhattan Star Academy

Stacy is a speech-language pathologist with almost a decade of experience in supporting students with complex communication needs. She specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and is the senior speech-language pathologist and AAC Specialist at the Manhattan Star Academy, a private school for students with developmental disabilities located in New York City.

Stacy is an adjunct lecturer for the speech-language pathology program at Hunter College, CUNY and is also a Learning Consultant for Tobii Dynavox.

Stacy conducts training on AAC, including intervention (inclusive of system programming adaptations and modifications), assessment, and practical approaches for professionals and families. She is passionate about life-long learning and providing everyone with a voice. Stacy is an active member with NYDBC and various Communities of Practice revolving around students with hearing & vision loss.

Implementing a Successful AAC Program for a Student with Combined Vision & Hearing Loss: A Case Study

Implementing a Successful AAC Program for a Student with Combined Vision & Hearing Loss: A Case Study 1 hour 33 minutes
Presentation slides 2 MB

Stacy Stosic
Stacy Stosic, SLP-CCC, Speech-Language Pathologist
Manhattan Star Academy

Stacy is a speech-language pathologist with almost a decade of experience in supporting students with complex communication needs. She specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and is the senior speech-language pathologist and AAC Specialist at the Manhattan Star Academy, a private school for students with developmental disabilities located in New York City.

Stacy is an adjunct lecturer for the speech-language pathology program at Hunter College, CUNY and is also a Learning Consultant for Tobii Dynavox.

Stacy conducts training on AAC, including intervention (inclusive of system programming adaptations and modifications), assessment, and practical approaches for professionals and families. She is passionate about life-long learning and providing everyone with a voice. Stacy is an active member with NYDBC and various Communities of Practice revolving around students with hearing & vision loss.

Fingerspelling & the Link to Literacy

Fingerspelling & the Link to Literacy 1 hour 27 minutes
Sue Ann Houser, Educational Consultant, Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network

Curriculum & Instruction

The Importance of Braille Literacy

The Importance of Braille Literacy 1 hour 33 minutes

Image Description: Photo of Rhonda Voight-Campbell, a white middle-aged female with short, wavy brown hair, smiling at the camera. She is layered with a dark plaid shirt and a navy blue vest and is seated indoors in a restaurant.

Rhonda Voight-Campbell, DeafBlind Community Member & Educator

Rhonda is adjunct faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf in the ASL and Interpreting Education Department. Specifically, she teaches undergraduate students the necessary skills to work effectively with DeafBlind people. Rhonda also has extensive training in Protactile communication strategies and provides consultation on the topic throughout the DeafBlind community and other parties. Rhonda believes in the full inclusion of DeafBlind people by fostering fuller access to information through the sense of touch. Rhonda has a bachelor degree in Packaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Rhonda is the mother of two Deaf children, is an avid biker, having completed over 100 miles on a tandem bike, has been the keynote speaker at the Jr. National Association of the Deaf Conference, has received the Deaf Woman of the Year award from Deaf Women of Rochester, has coordinated DeafBlind Awareness Day in Rochester, NY and was a guest curator for “Please Touch,” a tactile art exhibit at the National Technical Institute of Technology for the Deaf (NTID).

NYDBC is thrilled to have a continued partnership with Rhonda as she has acted in various advisory and consultative capacities over the years. Rhonda has also contributed to the NYDBC e-newsletter circulation on critical topics of access and inclusion for DeafBlind people.

Tips & Techniques for Remote Learning

Students with Low Vision  (Part 1 – 1 hour 36 minutes)
Presentation slides 6 MB

Students with Cortical Visual Impairment  (Part 2 – 1 hour 40 minutes)
Presentation slides 4 MB

Students who are Tactile Learners  (Part 3 – 1 hour 28 minutes)
Presentation slides 4 MB

Jonathan Hooper, TVI, NYCDOE Teacher of the Blind/Visually Impaired

Jonathan Hooper is a Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) who works in the New York City Department of Education Educational Vision Services (NYCDOE EVS). Prior to his eight years with the NYCDOE EVS team, he taught at the Tennessee School for the Blind. Jonathan holds a Master degree in working with students with visual impairments from Vanderbilt University and has published his graduate research in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.

Jonathan currently teaches the Braille course in the graduate program for TVIs at Hunter College in New York City. He routinely leads professional development in a variety of areas, including curriculum adaptations for students with visual impairments, making distance learning accessible, creating materials for students with cortical visual impairment, and braille literacy programs for students with visual impairments.

Additionally, he serves as a Deaf-Blind Advisor for the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative and is a board member for the New York State Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

He is the NYS lead coordinator for the Braille Challenge, a national competition for students who are Braille users and, most recently, he was named 2020 Teacher of the Year by the Braille Institute!

For more information about Jonathan and how to contact him, his website is www.jonathantvi.com

Daily Home Routines

Deaf-Blind Culture & Touch

Touch & Positive Access for Learners who are Deaf-Blind

Touch & Positive Access for Learners who are Deaf-Blind Part 1 — 1 hour 38 minutes
Presentation slides 760 Kb

Touch & Positive Access for Learners who are Deaf-Blind Part 2 — 1 hour 31 minutes

Image Description: Heather is standing facing the camera, smiling, with a light green background. Her hair is long and curly and she is wearing a dark green short-sleeved shirt.

Heather Withrow, Mother & DeafBlind Advocate
Certified Orientation & Mobility Instructor

Heather Withrow, also known as Hex, is a mother of three children, one of who is DeafBlind, one of who is Deaf, and one of who is a KODA (KODA: Hearing Kid of Deaf Adults). In addition to serving as an advocate for Deaf and DeafBlind Texans, she has received a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Gallaudet University and a Master of Education in Special Education from Texas Tech University. With a concentration in Orientation and Mobility and receiving a graduate certificate in Deafblindness, Hex is now a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). She has also taught art and has coached volleyball and track and field.

Heather has served on various committees and boards that are to increase better learning and communication access for people who are DeafBlind. In one of her roles she serves on the development team for one of the modules in the Open Hands, Open Access modules on intervener training. Heather is also a member of the Texas Association for the Deaf (TAD), a lifetime member of National Family Association of Deaf-Blind (NFADB), a lifetime member of Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT) and a member of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). As a mother who is Deaf and a native signer, Hex brings a very unique perspective to the learning and world of access to her son and to others who are DeafBlind.

Image Description: Orion “chillin'” on the swing. Young white boy with short white hair laying on his back on a turquoise colored mesh swing with a smile on his face.

Hearing & Vision Loss

Vision 101: Understanding the Eye & Vision Related Terms

Vision 101: Understanding the Eye & Vision Related Terms 1 hour 30 minutes
Presentation slides 10 MB

Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell, M.S., Ed.
NYDBC Project Coordinator, Teacher for the Blind/Visually Impaired

Chris Russell is the Project Coordinator for the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative. He has extensive experience as a classroom teacher and a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) working with children who have visual impairments and additional disabilities, including deafblindness. Chris was the first person to be CVI Range endorsed in the state of New York and has presented widely on various topics, such as educational best practices, curriculum adaptations, and early/emergent communication development for students with visual impairments, multiple disabilities and deafblindness.

He is past-President of the New York Association for Education and Rehabilitation of Blind/Visually Impaired (NYSAER) and teaches graduate courses at Hunter College in two teacher training programs; Blindness/Visual Impairment and Severe/Multiple Disabilities.

Chris is currently pursuing a post-master’s degree in Educational Leadership, receiving certification in School Building Leader (SBL) and School District Leader (SDL).

Individualized Education Programs and Family Advocacy

The Art of ‘Soft Skills’ in Advocacy Work

The Art of ‘Soft Skills’ in Advocacy Work 1 hour 36 minutes
Presentation slides 4 MB

Thomas Dieter, NYDBC & Educational Consultant

Thomas Dieter, MA has been working in the field of adult education for more than ten years as an educator, program director, and professional developer. He has dedicated his entire career to improving educational access and success for underrepresented and marginalized populations. Over the years, Thomas has worked with hundreds of leaders, instructors, parents, and workforce professionals across the United States to strengthen their classroom practices and program designs to better serve our nation’s students.

Thomas proudly served as a leading member of LaGuardia Community College’s (LGCC) department of Pre-College Academic Programming, developing reading and writing curricula, modeled effective best-practices in the classroom for new faculty and provided ongoing coaching and feedback to the program’s team of teachers, advisors and support staff. He also acted as the director of the Career Pathways Institute at LGCC.

Today, as a professional developer and educational consultant, he continues to lend his expertise to professionals and has delivered workshops, facilitated learning sessions, hosted conference presentations and provided technical assistance to a variety of organizations across the country. Thomas has facilitated several sessions for NYDBC, specifically on advocacy skill development to parents of children who are deaf-blind. NYDBC is thrilled to have him back!

Interveners & Interpreters

Interveners & Intervention for Students who are Deaf-Blind

Interveners & Intervention for Students who are Deaf-Blind 1 hour 35 minutes
Presentation slides 929 Kb

Beth Kennedy, Project Director, DeafBlind Central of Michigan
Adjunct Faculty, Central Michigan University

Beth Kennedy, M.Ed., is the Director of DeafBlind Central: Michigan’s Training & Resource Project (the federally funded state deaf-blind project). She is also the director and adjunct instructor for the online Deafblind Intervener Training Program that she developed at Central Michigan University. Beth has worked in the field of deafblindness for almost 30 years, also having held positions at Perkins School for the Blind and the Florida DeafBlind project. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and her Master degree in Special Education, with a specialization in deafblindness, from Boston College. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership PhD Program at Central Michigan University.

Beth is also fluent in American Sign Language, has presented at national and international conferences on the topic of intervention for students who are deaf-blind and is one of the designers of the acclaimed, Open Hands, Open Access training modules for interveners.

Beth has presented for NYDBC several times, including previous Remote Learning Series webinars and the first Northeast Regional CHARGE Syndrome Conference, hosted by NYDBC. She has also co-presented with Susanne Morrow, NYDBC director, multiple times, which is always a wonderful experience for Susanne.

Intervener vs. Interpreter: Identifying the Support Needs for Students who are Deaf-Blind

Intervener vs. Interpreter: Identifying the Support Needs for Students who are Deaf-Blind 1 hour 31 minutes
Presentation slides 900 Kb

Beth Kennedy, Project Director
DeafBlind Central of Michigan

Beth Kennedy, M.Ed., is the Director of DeafBlind Central: Michigan’s Training & Resource Project (the federally funded state deaf-blind project). She is also the director and adjunct instructor for the online Deafblind Intervener Training Program that she developed at Central Michigan University. Beth has worked in the field of deafblindness for almost 30 years, also having held positions at Perkins School for the Blind and the Florida DeafBlind project. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and her Master degree in Special Education, with a specialization in deafblindness, from Boston College. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership PhD Program at Central Michigan University.

Beth is also fluent in American Sign Language, has presented at national and international conferences on the topic of intervention for students who are deaf-blind and is one of the designers of the acclaimed, Open Hands, Open Access training modules for interveners.

Beth has presented for NYDBC several times, including previous Remote Learning Series webinars and the first Northeast Regional CHARGE Syndrome Conference, hosted by NYDBC. She has also co-presented with Susanne Morrow, NYDBC director, multiple times, which is always a wonderful experience for Susanne.

Presentation slides 417 Kb
Susanne Morrow, Project Director
, New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative

Orientation & Mobility

Safety Travel Techniques for Young Learners who are DeafBlind

Safety Travel Techniques for Young Learners who are DeafBlind 1 hour 33 minutes
Presentation slides 1 MB

Carolina Gonzalez, M.Ed., COMS
Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

Carolina Gonzalez obtained her Bachelor degree in Special Education with an emphasis in visual disorders from the University of Chile, Santiago in 1979. She also received a master degree in Perinatology from Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981. She is currently residing in the Austin, TX area where she works as a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 1990. Also, since 2007, Carolina works part-time as a COMS at the Texas School for the Deaf.
Carolina has an extremely passionate dedication to her work with students, in particular, between the ages of 6 to 22 with a wide range of abilities, needs and communication styles. Over the past 13 years, she has developed a special interest working with students who are DeafBlind and their families. Through this work, she continues to learn each day from her students and through the other professionals that she works with on the various educational teams.

Recreation & Leisure

Marking Art Accessible at Home & School

Marking Art Accessible at Home & School 1 hour 30 minutes
Art Materials 4 MB

Photograph of Sarah SonnenbergSarah Sonnenberg, MA, CPRP
Art Educator/Therapist & Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor

Sarah Field Sonnenberg is an artist and art educator in Buffalo, New York. She received a dual undergraduate degree from SUNY Buffalo State in Social Work and Art and is a certified art educator as well as a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor. She recently earned her graduate degree at the University of Buffalo in Disability Studies and Fine Arts. Sarah is currently the art teacher at Aspire Center for Learning, a specialty school for children with developmental disabilities.

She is an advocate for art for all and accessibility in the arts. Although her previous work focused on surreal and realistic paintings and sculpture, her most recent work consists of large-scale sensory installations that engage with the viewer and dare them to participate.

Her work has been displayed in galleries and non-traditional settings throughout Western New York, however, her passion is facilitating and assisting persons with developmental disabilities in creating exhibitions as a means to identify as artists, and convey personal content and self-expression to the general public.

Sarah has worked with NYDBC in the past, assisting families of children who are deaf-blind experience art in fun and accessible ways.

Putting the ACT into Recreation Activities for Learners who are DeafBlind

Putting the ACT into Recreation Activities for Learners who are DeafBlind 1 hour 33 minutes
Presentation slides 6 MB
Resources

Beth Foster

Image Description: Photo of Beth, a white female with very short, brown hair, smiling at the camera. She is wearing a dark suit jacket and is standing outside with trees behind her.

Elizabeth (Beth) Foster, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Adapted Physical Education

Beth is an associate professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in adapted physical education (APE). She is the APE program coordinator and Motor Development Clinic Director at Cal Poly Pomona. She is currently the assistant director for Camp Abilities in Pennsylvania. Dr. Foster has presented research and various application-based presentations on vision loss and deafblindness across the US within the field of adapted sports and APE. She completed intervener training at the Minnesota Deafblind Project. Dr. Foster was named the 2012 Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Adapted Physical Education teacher of the year. In addition, Dr. Foster has been involved with various adapted sport organizations and disability organizations promoting physical activities, fitness, and adapted sports for all individuals with disabilities.

She has presented internationally and at national conferences on deafblindness and has conducted research projects regarding individuals with CHARGE syndrome. She is currently a co-principal investigator overseeing a federally funded personnel preparation grant for training special educators and adapted physical educators.

Beth has presented for NYDBC on several occasions, bringing critical perspective and detailed research findings to this exact population of students.

Technology and Accessibility

Making and Teaching with PVC! Adaptive Mobility Devices

Making and Teaching with PVC! Adaptive Mobility Devices 1 hour 28 minutes
Presentation slides 580 Kb
Handouts 2 MB

Image Description: Photo of Carolina Gonzalez, a white female with very short, brown hair, smiling at the camera. She has dangling earrings and is wearing a lavender colored shirt with a pastel-colored flower pattern.

Carolina Gonzalez, M.Ed., COMS
Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

Carolina Gonzalez obtained her Bachelor degree in Special Education with an emphasis in visual disorders from the University of Chile, Santiago in 1979. She also received a master degree in Perinatology from Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981. She is currently residing in the Austin, TX area where she works as a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 1990. Also, since 2007, Carolina works part-time as a COMS at the Texas School for the Deaf.

Carolina has an extremely passionate dedication to her work with students, in particular, between the ages of 6 to 22 with a wide range of abilities, needs and communication styles. Over the past 13 years, she has developed a special interest working with students who are DeafBlind and their families. Through this work, she continues to learn each day from her students and through the other professionals that she works with on the various educational teams.

Transition Planning & Pre-Vocational Skills

Transition from Committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) to Kindergarten

Transition from Committee on Preschool Education to Kindergarten 1 hour 27 minutes
Presentation slides 730 Kb
Preparing for Your Child’s IEP Meeting 330 Kb
Understanding Your Child’s IEP: Keep it Simple 278 Kb
All About Me Handout 285 Kb

Image Description: White woman smiling towards the camera, wearing brown colored glasses and long, straight brown hair with bangs. She is standing in front of a white wall.

Beth Grier-Leva
Professional Development Specialist
Monroe BOCES #1

Beth Grier-Leva is a Professional Development Specialist for the New York State Mid-West Region Early Childhood Family and Community Engagement Center located at Monroe BOCES #1. She has been at Monroe #1 BOCES for the past eleven years providing support to families, early intervention, preschool providers through training and technical assistance on the New York State special education process. Before coming to Monroe #1 BOCES, she worked for over 20 years in the field of Early Intervention and Preschool as a social worker, service coordinator, evaluation team member and then as a program administrator for a Monroe County 4410 preschool program.

 

Image Description: White woman smiling towards the camera, wearing dark-colored glasses and long, wavy grey hair. She is standing outside with a brick wall behind her.

Barb Wischnowski
Resource and Referral Specialist
Monroe #1 BOCES

Barb Wischnowski joined Monroe #1 BOCES and the Early Childhood support contracts in July 2016. My title is Resource and Referral Specialist. Prior to joining Beth in 2016, she worked for more than 20 years in an Early Childhood Agency where she was the coordinator of the Preschool Evaluation Center and the preschool counseling services provided by our agency as well as Head Start Family Support services. She assisted parents and children through the preschool evaluation process, helping them gain access to preschool special education services from their school districts. Her background is school counseling and she helped families understand New York State Special Education services as well as helping them access supports from other community resources.

Self-Directed Services: What Families of Transition-Age Students Need to Know

Self-Directed Services: What Families of Transition-Age Students Need to Know 1 hour 30 minutes
Presentation slides 483 Kb

Ibraheem Fakir

Image Description: Ibraheem is facing the camera, smiling with shoulder length, dark brown hair and a dark beard. He is wearing a blue suit and a button up white shirt under it. He is standing outside in front of a white, slatted fence.

Ibraheem Fakir, MS
Teacher for the Blind/Visually Impaired
Self-Directed Services Support Broker

Known amongst his friends as a food and travel adventurer, Ibraheem is often seeking out his next learning and teaching opportunity. Earning his BA in physics and his MS in special education, he is credentialed with New York State teaching licenses in physics, mathematics, and teaching students with visual impairments. Building meaningful curriculums and implementing functional service models are but a few of the things he is passionate about. He also serves as a New York State authorized self-direction broker and he uses his company Brooklyn Access to raise awareness in his community about services available to children with developmental disabilities.

Ibraheem is a friend to NYDBC and participates in various NYDBC-hosted events, such as the Community of Practice, Network of Teachers Working with Deaf-Blind Students (NTDB).

Wellness

Wellness Strategies for Remote Working

Wellness Strategies for Remote Working 1 hour 4 minutes

Jennifer Wilkinson, Conscious Contact Healing Arts
Owner of Conscious Contact Healing Arts & Sign Language Instructor

Jennifer Wilkinson, MA, is the Founder of Conscious Contact Healing Arts in Long Island, New York. She is a registered Yoga Teacher, a JourneyDance Facilitator, Reiki Master and ASL/English Instructor. She also has specialty certifications in Partner Yoga and Restorative Yoga.

Jennifer has a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Education and Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language.

She has presented and worked alongside NYDBC on many different occasions, bringing yoga and healing techniques to families of children who are deafblind.

Her passion is to gather diverse, like-minded people in the community with the goal of making yoga and other healing arts accessible to all.

Paired Caregiver & Child Bonding Activities

Paired Caregiver & Child Bonding Activities 1 hour 24 minutes
Article of Dr. Jan van Dijk on Child-Guided Assessment

Jennifer Wilkinson, Conscious Contact Healing Arts
Owner of Conscious Contact Healing Arts & Sign Language Instructor

Jennifer Wilkinson, MA, is the Founder of Conscious Contact Healing Arts in Long Island, New York. She is a registered Yoga Teacher, a JourneyDance Facilitator, Reiki Master and ASL/English Instructor. She also has specialty certifications in Partner Yoga and Restorative Yoga.

Jennifer has a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Education and Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language.

She has presented and worked alongside NYDBC on many different occasions, bringing yoga and healing techniques to families of children who are deafblind.

Her passion is to gather diverse, like-minded people in the community with the goal of making yoga and other healing arts accessible to all.

consciouscontacthealingarts.com

Bringing Mindfulness & Wellness into Your Home

Bringing Mindfulness & Wellness into Your Home 1 hour 29 minutes

Jennifer Wilkinson, Conscious Contact Healing Arts
Owner of Conscious Contact Healing Arts & Sign Language Instructor

Jennifer Wilkinson, MA, is the Founder of Conscious Contact Healing Arts in Long Island, New York. She is a registered Yoga Teacher, a JourneyDance Facilitator, Reiki Master and ASL/English Instructor. She also has specialty certifications in Partner Yoga and Restorative Yoga.

Jennifer has a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Education and Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language.

She has presented and worked alongside NYDBC on many different occasions, bringing yoga and healing techniques to families of children who are deafblind.

Her passion is to gather diverse, like-minded people in the community with the goal of making yoga and other healing arts accessible to all.

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