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:  (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.


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

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

We hope you can join us!  Debbie

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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:

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 or call 540-414-5249.  Thanks!  We hope you can join us!



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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.


  • 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.

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

We hope you can join us!      Debbie

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VSDB Music Group to Honor Martin Luther King

VSDB’s music group, The Jammers, will be performing at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Celebration at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton on Monday, January 20th from 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

The program will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King. Our blind and visually impaired middle and high school students will be participating as part of the Community Gospel Choir.

We’d love to see you there!

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“’Twas the Night Before Christmas” Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA

Register nowVA Dept. for the Blind and Vision Impaired, VA Hands & Voices,  VA Association of Parents of Students with Visual Impairments, VA Hands & Voices and VSDB Outreach Services co-host a theater event!

When?       Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Who?         For students grades 1 through 12 who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired from any school in Virginia. Students must be accompanied by at least one parent from 9:30 – 1:30, and are welcome to bring up to three family members (for a maximum of 4 people total attending per family). Limit: 45 people.

What?        View the play, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (not like the poem) with pre- and post-show sessions, and meet students from other school divisions.  Special features:  Audio description provided by Access Virginia and ASL interpreters will make the play accessible to all; students will have the opportunity to explore the stage before the play, and ask actors questions after; time to network and learn about state services and resources during lunch; career awareness session after, “Careers in Theater:  A Lot More Than Acting!”, designed for students 12 years and older and their families (younger students who are interested and their families may attend!)

Cost?            Event and lunch provided free for all registrants confirmed to attend.

Where?     Barter Theatre, Gilliam Stage, 127 West Main St, Abingdon, VA   24210 (free parking behind Stage II – more details will be sent to registrants later.)

How Do We Register? Complete registration form at:

(click on the link above, or you may need to cut and paste this into your browser line).  Deadline for registering is noon, Nov. 21, 2019.  Attendance is limited to the first 45 family members registered.  Registration does not guarantee attendance; emails will be sent letting you know if you are confirmed or on wait list.


For more information, please contact Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer, Director of Outreach Services at  or (540) 414-5249.   More specific details will be sent to registrants as the date of the event approaches. We hope to see you there!


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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
Texas is 1 hour behind us so our match at 3:45 PM Friday will be 4:45 PM here in Staunton.
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VSDB Remembers 9/11

On 9/11, All VSDB students and staff honored the fallen and those who served: emergency personnel, military personnel, and the community. We also raised a new flag, The Freedom Flag, to honor our military who continue to fight for our freedom and serve our country. We took a moment of silence to remember and honor all of those who risked their lives on that fateful day, and all of those who continue to risk their lives for us everyday. 

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VSDB Hosts State VIPs

Last week, the Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and the VDOE Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services Dr. Sam Hollins visited VSDB along with members of VSDB’s Board of Visitors. They toured the school buildings, and visited several classrooms across campus. At the end of the day, students and staff gathered in the chapel for a brief word from the Secretary and Assistant Superintendent, followed by time for the students to talk with them. We enjoyed our time with them and feel honored to have hosted them on our beautiful campus.

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VSDB Honors Fallen Military Personnel

Superintendent, Pat Trice was honored to represent VSDB with the Staunton-Augusta Lions Club in the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va on August 23, 2019.

The Lions Club is a service organization and although they help others in the community, they are mandated by their charter to serve the Deaf and the Blind.

Their mission is reflected in their motto,  “We Serve”.  The Staunton-Augusta Lions Club sponsors the VSDB Leo Club which provides students an opportunity to serve others.   The attached video, shows the laying of the wreath ceremony.  There is absolute quiet during the ceremony. The only words spoken are at the beginning are when the guard announces the start of the ceremony and instructs people that total silence is expected during  the ceremony and that at the appropriate time, people are to place their hand over their heart while the bugle plays taps.

Please enjoy this wonderful event!


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