POSTPONED – Meeting Announcement

March 11, 2020 meeting will be rescheduled.

 

The Board of Visitors of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind will NOT hold a meeting on
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:30 am – 2:30 pm. The Board will meet in the boardroom
of Main Hall on the VSDB campus. A closed session may be called at the beginning of the
meeting. The meeting is open to the public and comments will be accepted at the end of the
meeting.

Please contact The Superintendent’s Office at 540-332-9000 for more information.

Board of Visitors Meeting March 11, 2020 Agenda

Read more
Photo of VSDB Superintendent Pat Trice

Superintendent’s Corner

Welcome to the second semester of this school year and to the new year, 2020!

With the start of the new year, VSDB welcomed students and staff back to campus from the holiday break and the campus has been buzzing ever since!

The start of the 2019-2020 school year highlighted the 180th birthday of VSDB.  As the oldest school in the nation to serve both the Deaf and the Blind and as the second oldest school in the nation to serve the Deaf, VSDB is proud of its heritage and beautiful historic campus! This year, the campus has been busy with long awaited renovations of several of these treasured buildings.  The Infirmary will soon return to its home in the newly renovated Bradford Hall.  This historic mansion has been redesigned to better meet the needs of the students and the infirmary staff.  Everyone is excited for the grand rededication later this school year of one of VSDB’s iconic historical features.

In addition to renovations occurring in Bradford Hall, Battle Hall, one of the older residential halls, is also experiencing renovations.  Historic Battle Hall, is best remembered as one of the residential halls that served the Blind Department. It holds fond memories for many of the alumni and now will glisten with new flooring and other updated features.

As VSDB strives to increase awareness of its unique programs and services throughout the Commonwealth, marketing efforts continue with the development of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that will air close to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  These PSAs will feature small video clips highlighting many of the wonderful programs and services offered at VSDB. at no cost to students, within Virginia, who are blind/vision impaired, deaf/hard of hearing, deafblind, or deaf or blind with other disabilities.  Information packets will be posted on the website or mailed to individuals upon request.

Aligned with the Governor’s Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) initiatives, VSDB will be working with VDOE and other resources to support an enhanced preschool and kindergarten readiness program. VSDB’s Outreach program will be an integral part of this initiative.

The VSDB sports programs continues to provide students with opportunities to be a part of a team and to develop confidence and skills beyond expectations.  VSDB is proud to be a leader in the effort to develop a national Blind Soccer league.  The VSDB Blind Soccer team is one of two in the nation and has partnered with Maryland School for the Blind in an effort to expand the sport nationwide. Thanks to funding from the VSDB Foundation Board, the VSDB Blind Soccer team will have the equipment they need to take Blind Soccer to the next level!  Go VSDB!

VSDB Family Engagement Specialist, Julie Saum in collaboration with several other departments at VSDB, continue to bring families together in an effort to support students at VSDB. Family ASL classes, held on campus have grown in popularity and are expanding for this semester!  The first ever, ASL Family Dinner Night was recently held on campus and was a huge success! The goal of the event was to provide families an opportunity to practice what they have learned in the ASL classes in a safe ASL setting.  The evening started with a spaghetti dinner and included a family ASL workshop for all.  Approximately 75 people were in attendance!  Look for more Family Engagement activities in the future!

VSDB is proud of its unique programs and services that it offers.  VSDB is the place where students are not the only one, but one of many. As students of VSDB, they benefit from the expertise, accessibility, and the community that makes VSDB a leader in the field of education for those students who are deaf and/or blind.  This semester promises to be a busy one but one full of learning opportunities and successes!

As always, thank you for your support and interest in VSDB, where students DO….GROW…and BECOME the best they can be!

 

Pat Trice

Superintendent

 

Read more
Illustration of Goalball being played

Goalball team will travel to Austin, TX to participate in the USABA High School National Tournament.

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the Host School and games will begin Thursday evening at 5 PM.

Our Chiefs first match will be against the Washington Lions at 5:45 PM CST then at 7:15 PM CST we play Florida. Our third match will be at 1:30 PM CST , Friday against Arizona. The schedule after that will depend on the outcome of those 3 games.
Friday and Saturday games will be live-streamed at http://www.tsbvi.edu/live
Texas is 1 hour behind us so our match at 3:45 PM Friday will be 4:45 PM here in Staunton.
Read more

Register now for Courses 1, 2, &/or 3 Fall, 2019

NEW! Online Self-Paced Tutorials from Perkins for Individuals  

Working with Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

VSDB Outreach Services has purchased access to six more online, self-paced tutorials (90 minutes to 10 weeks), and is making four of them available this semester free of charge to professionals in Virginia who want to learn more about working with children who are blind or visually impaired. * These courses were developed at the Perkins School for the Blind.  Those who register before the given deadline for each will be sent a code that will allow access for varying periods of time, depending on length of tutorial (dates are specified) to complete that tutorial at their convenience, 24/7.  At the end of that tutorial, each participant will choose from “ACVREP” (includes their logo), “Continuing Education,” or “Professional Development.” People may take one course, or as many as they want. Registration is now open for courses 1, 2, and 3!                                               

We hope you can join us!   Debbie

REGISTER NOW for Course #1, Fall, 2019

Accessible Literacy for Early Readers (20 Credits, ACVREP or CEU)

https://forms.gle/mYAPmMR39mkuhwiT6

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm Oct. 7, 2019. Course access is Oct. 8 – Dec. 3, 2019.

Course DescriptionThere are 6 sessions included in Accessible Literacy for Early Readers training module that demonstrate theories and best practices for teaching students with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Plan to spend 1 week working through each module. Participants will earn 20 ACVREP credits or 20 PDP/CE credits by viewing the video presentations and lectures, and completing the assignments. An audit (no-credit) version is also available.  In addition to the credits, one can also earn the Early Literacy micro-credential (any questions should be directed to Perkins.) Required readings are provided through the learning platform. Additional suggested reading is optional.
Download Accessible Literacy self-paced syllabus »

Target Audience:  Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) Orientation & Mobility Specialists, teachers of students with moderate/severe disabilities, teachers of deafblind students, families & related service personnel.

REGISTER NOW for Course #2, Fall, 2019

Building Strategies Around CVI Phases (1.5 Credits)

https://forms.gle/45yxVZuefmww9MqJ7

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm Oct. 7, 2019. Course access is Oct. 8 – Nov. 4, 2019.

Course Description:  Presenter: Ellen Mazel.  This tutorial presents careful assessment around the 10 characteristics of CVI to help staff and parents understand the unique learning needs for each CVI Phase. They can then build strategies, modifications to the environment, modifications to materials, and modifications to literacy that match the visual strengths and visual areas of need. Understanding the child’s CVI Phase can assist in the creation of learning methodologies to benefit children’s expected visual improvement. Additional research and resources about CVI will be identified and discussed. Participants will earn 1.5 ACVREP, CTLE credits, or Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz. By registering for ACVREP, CTLE credits, or Continuing Education credits, you will be provided with a self-paced tutorial using video clips and other resources related to this topic, as well as an online test to assess your knowledge.

Target Audience: TVIs, VRTs, O&Ms, Parents, Teachers of the Deafblind or Severely Impaired, and Rehabilitation Specialists.

REGISTER NOW for Course #3, Fall, 2019

Speech Pathologists and Cortical Visual Impairment: 

An Overview of the SLP’s Role in Working with Children with CVI (1.5 Credits)

https://forms.gle/9neqNjwiimVXCQZRA

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm Oct. 7, 2019. Course access is Oct. 8 – Dec. 3, 2019.

Course Description:  This tutorial addresses Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) through the experience of a Speech and Language Pathologist by examining the characteristics of CVI that affect speech, language, and feeding. The tutorial also identifies modifications and supports for therapies and assessments when working with children who have CVI.

Participants will earn 1.5 ACVREP, CTLE credits, or Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz. (ASHA credits are not available for this online tutorial.)  You will be provided with a self-paced tutorial using video clips and other resources related to this topic.

Target Audience:  SLPs, TVIs, O&Ms, Parents, Teachers of Students with Deaf-Blindness or with additional disabilities, and Rehabilitation Specialists.

After the registration period ends, you will receive a voucher (coupon) code, and can then take the course at your convenience from any location, within the time period allotted (see below).

Information regarding registration for and access to courses being offered by VSDB Outreach Fall, 2019 follows. Registration info for course #4 will be sent later.

Perkins’ tutorials can be taken on your own, free of charge if you don’t need credits; Outreach has purchased state viewing for those who want credits for continuing education and/or ACVREP for each  of these titles.

Name of Tutorial Period for Registration Period for Course Completion Number of Credits
Accessible Literacy for Early Readers Sept. 26–Oct. 7, 2019 Oct. 8 – Dec. 3, 2019 20 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU
Building Strategies Around CVI Phases Sept. 26–Oct. 7, 2019   Oct. 8 – Nov. 4, 2019 1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU
Dual Media Learners:  Instructional Strategies and Assessment Oct. 21 – Nov. 1, 2019   Nov 5 – Dec. 3, 2019 1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU
Speech Pathologists and Cortical Visual Impairment: An Overview of the SLP’s Role in Working with Children with CVI   Sept. 26 – Oct. 7, 2019 Oct. 8 – Dec. 3, 2019 (may offer it again in the Spring if few take it in the Fall) 1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

A brief description of the next self-paced tutorial being offered Fall, 2018 semester by VSDB Outreach Services follows:

Dual Media Learners: Instructional Strategies and Assessment Presented by Anne Spitz.  Access dates Nov 5 – Dec. 3, 2019 Teaching children who are dual media learners presents challenges, but offers incredible rewards as they develop the literacy tools needed for success. This tutorial provides an overview of the characteristics of dual media learners, considerations in programming, as well as strategies for instruction and assessment. Participants will earn 1.5 ACVREP, CTLE credits, or Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz.

*If you do not need credit or certificates of completion toward licensure, these courses can be accessed for free through Perkins without going through VSDB Outreach Services.

Proposed courses for VSDB Outreach to offer through Perkins’ School, Spring, 2020

Perkins’ tutorials can be taken on your own, free of charge if you don’t need credits; Outreach has purchased state viewing for those who want credits for continuing education and/or ACVREP for each of these titles.  

Name of Tutorial Period for Registration Period for Course Completion Number of Credits
Alternate Routes:  Adapting O&M Techniques Jan. 14-24, 2020 Jan. 25- Ap.10, 2020 10 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU
Recognizing and Building Abstract Thinking Jan. 14-24, 2020 Jan. 25 – Feb. 26, 2020 1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU
Functional Curriculum Feb. 18 – 26, 2020     Feb 27 – Ap. 10, 2020   1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

Read more

Resources for Educators Working Toward Continuity of Learning: Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

April 29, 2020

1:00 – 2:30

Supported by the VA Department of Education, the VA Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness, and VSDB Outreach Services

Please Register for this Webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2471477145755374091

(if needed, copy and paste in browser)  Deadline for registration is 10 am, Tuesday, Ap. 27, 2020.

PRESENTERS:        Wanda Council, Virginia Department of Education,

Ira Padhye, VA Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness, and

Debbie Pfeiffer, VSDB Outreach Services

OBJECTIVES:         To share information and resources that may be useful during this extraordinary time when educators are working from home and serving children and families who are in their homes.  1.5 contact hours of participation

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Educators and related service providers working with children, ages birth through grade 12, who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Registrants will see a confirmation as soon as they submit their registration, and will later receive an email from Global Gotowebinar with connection information.

VSDB Outreach Services are funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Education.  Questions regarding this webinar should be directed to Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer at Debbie.Pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us

We hope you can join us! 

Read more

Working Toward Continuity of Learning: Children with Blindness or Visual Impairment

Join us for a webinar!

Resources for Educators Working Toward Continuity of Learning:

Children with Blindness or Visual Impairment

 April 16th, 2020

3:00 – 4:30

 hosted by the VI Consortium, GMU

PRESENTERS:        Wanda Council, Virginia Department of Education;

Kim Avila, VI Consortium, GMU;

Caren Phipps, Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired; and

Debbie Pfeiffer, VSDB Outreach Services

Please Register for this Webinar at: https://forms.gle/eKUR2gQWXjAeVWFZ6

(if needed, copy and paste in browser)

OBJECTIVES:         To share information and resources that may be useful during this extraordinary time when teachers are working from home and serving children and families who are in their homes.  1.5 hours of participation CEUs

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Educators and related service providers working with children, ages birth through grade 12, with blindness or visual impairment.

Registrants will receive an email confirmation on April 16 with connection information for joining the webinar.

 This Webinar is sponsored by the VI Consortium at GMU; the VA Department of Education, the VA Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and VSDB Outreach Services.  Questions should be directed to Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer at Debbie.Pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us

We hope you can join us! 

Read more

Passing of VSDB’s Former Superintendent

It is with great sadness that we share of the passing of VSDB former Superintendent, Sheldon Melton (1978-1991). Superintendent Melton was instrumental in VSDB’s 175th Anniversary, assisting in the opening of the time capsule that had been buried in front of Main Hall. He spoke at that time of his goal of trying to get the students home more often and shared a story of putting a toy “ET” doll in the time capsule to represent his efforts for the students to “go home” more often.

Superintendent Melton was a leader who is remembered fondly by VSDB for his dedication and commitment to the students, families, staff, and to the mission of VSDB. Please see the link below for visitation and funeral information. The visitation will be this Sunday from 2-4:00pm at Henry Funeral Home and the funeral will be Monday at 1:00pm.

https://www.henryfuneralhome.net/m/…/Sheldon-Melton/Memories

Read more

Serve and Return Interactions: Serving Children with Hearing Loss

VSDB Outreach Services’ Wednesday Webinar Series presents

 Serve and Return Interactions: Serving Children with Hearing Loss

 March 18th, 2020

4:00 – 5:00

Please Register for this Webinar at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6667315770668017922  (if needed, copy and paste in browser)

 

BACKGROUND: Serve and Return interactions shape the development of a child’s brain. This session examines the research base underlying “serve and return” interactions, and is aimed at improving participants’ understanding of the impact of environment on development. Participants will learn strategies for “serve and return” to coach parents, help teachers, and use themselves in making interactions more meaningful and engaging for children with hearing loss.

 TARGET AUDIENCE:  Teachers of children who are deaf/hard of hearing, early intervention providers, early childhood educators, speech-language pathologists, regular education teachers serving, and others working to encourage language development in children with hearing loss.

PRESENTERS:

Judy Alonzi, MEd, is a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (TDHH) and Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention. She has worked at a school for the Deaf in Mississippi, and has extensive experience working in preschool – high school as a self-contained and itinerant teacher for children who use ASL as well as oral communication. She has also worked as an educational interpreter in the elementary and middle schools. Mrs. Alonzi currently serves on the Virginia EHDI Advisory Board, and is very active in legislative efforts in Virginia to help families of children with hearing loss.

Alison R. King, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Director of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at Longwood University. Dr. King has worked in early intervention and the public schools as both an SLP and TDHH. She worked for 6 years on the cochlear implant team at VCU. Dr. King currently serves on the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and the Board of Health Professions.

This Webinar is sponsored by Outreach Services, Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, through grant funding from the Virginia Department of Education.  Questions should be directed to Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer at Debbie.Pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us

After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with connection information for joining the webinar.

We hope you can join us!  Debbie

Read more

NEW! Online Self-Paced Tutorials from Perkins for Individuals

       Register now for Course 4, Spring, 2020

NEW! Online Self-Paced Tutorials from Perkins for Individuals  

Working with Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

VSDB Outreach Services purchased access to seven online, self-paced tutorials (90 minutes to 10 weeks) and we are making them available this semester free of charge to professionals in Virginia who want to learn more about working with children who are blind or visually impaired.* Registration has ended for 7 of the courses; registration below is for the 4th (and last) course offered this semester. These courses were developed at the Perkins School for the Blind.  Those registering before the given deadline will be sent a code that will allow access for the specified period of time, to complete that tutorial at their convenience, 24/7.  At the end of that tutorial, each participant will choose from “ACVREP” (includes their logo), “Continuing Education,” or “Professional Development.” Registration is now open for course #4 !

REGISTER NOW for Course #4:   Functional Assessment        (1.5 Credits)

https://forms.gle/iYCG18nPRmL281Az5  (if clicking does not bring you to the registration, cut and paste the URL address into your browser)

Registration for this course with VSDB Outreach ends at noon, Feb. 26, 2020. Course access is Feb. 27 – Ap. 10, 2020.

 

Course Description:  Functional Assessment. This tutorial addresses functional skills for independent living, through developmentally appropriate goals and activities that offer opportunities to practice such skills within the learning environment. Participants will earn 1.5 Professional Development Points, ACVREP, CTLE, or Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz.

Target Audience: This is a web-based, self-guided professional development activity for TVIs, O&Ms, Parents, Teachers of Students with Deaf-Blindness or with visual impairment and additional challenges, and Rehabilitation Specialists.

After the registration period ends, you will receive a voucher (coupon) code, and can then take the course at your convenience from any location, within the time period allotted.

*If you do not need credit or certificates of completion toward licensure, these courses can be accessed for free through Perkins without going through VSDB Outreach Services.

 

We hope you can join us!   Debbie

Read more

Where the Wild Things Are!

March 14, 2020, 10:00 – 1:30

Sponsored by VSDB Outreach Services and the Wildlife Center of Virginia in collaboration with VA Department of the Blind and Vision Impaired, VA Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness, VA Hands & Voices, and the Center for Family Involvement

 

Join us as the Wildlife Center of Virginia showcases some of their rescued animals, while teaching us about mammals, birds, and reptiles!  Related fun, educational activities will precede the show, and lunch for all will follow.  This activity is open to students ages 4 through 18 who are deaf, hard of hearing,  vision impaired, blind, or deaf-blind and their immediate family members.

Please complete the registration form (linked) and submit it to register your child and family for “Where the Wild Things Are”, March 14, 2020.   The deadline for registration is Monday, Mar. 2, 2020.  All attendees must register in advance.

To REGISTER, go to:

https://forms.gle/PafNXRCM9qJ9P44d9

This event will be held in Staunton, VA, at VSDB and limited to the first 20 students and their family members who are registered (maximum of 4 total family members, including student). Emails will be sent on or before Mar. 5 to let those who register know if they have been confirmed for the event, or if they will be on a waiting list. The deadline for receiving registrations is Monday, Mar.2, 2020. 

Questions should be sent to Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer, Director of Outreach Services at debbie.pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us or call 540-414-5249.  Thanks!  We hope you can join us!

Debbie

 

Read more

Life Beyond High School, Early Planning = Successful Transitioning

VSDB Outreach Services presents:

Life Beyond High School

Early Planning = Successful Transitioning

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

 

Join us as representatives from the Virginia Division of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) provide an overview of services they can offer to students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind.  DRS collaborates with high school students with disabilities, their families, schools and community service providers to support transition beginning at age 14.

REGISTER NOW:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5509520130329510145

  • After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with connection information for joining the webinar.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Teachers, related service providers, job coaches, transition specialists and all currently or preparing to work with students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind, and family members of students with hearing loss or dual sensory impairment.

CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE:  Participants who complete the follow-up survey will receive a Certificate of Attendance for 1 hour.

PRESENTERS:   Mary Nunnally is the Statewide Program Manager for DRS’ Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services.  Mary is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and received her B.S.W. in Social Work and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed the Virginia Collaborative Leaders Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership.

Traci Branch
is the Statewide Pre-Employment and Transition Counselor/Consultant for DRS’ Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services.  Traci is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and received her B. A. in Social Work from Gallaudet University, M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Graduate Certificate in Traumatic Brain Injury/Special Education from George Washington University.

Note:  You may also be aware of DRS being referred to as “DARS”, which is a division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.  DARS is a statewide agency that has various divisions, with its mission to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.  www.vadars.org

This Webinar is sponsored by Outreach Services, Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, through grant funding from the Virginia Department of Education.  Questions should be directed to Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer at Debbie.Pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us

We hope you can join us!      Debbie

Read more