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

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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

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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.

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

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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

 

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Register Now online tutorials VSDB Outreach & Perkins Spring, 2020

Register now for Courses 1, 2, &/or 3 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 six online, self-paced tutorials (90 minutes to 10 weeks), and made four of them available Fall, 2019.  We are now offering 4 more for Spring, 2020, 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, Spring, 2020 (some may need to copy & paste links)

Effective and Accurate FVEs and LMAs for All Students with Visual Impairments that Help Drive Instruction Programming (3 Credits, ACVREP or CEU)

https://forms.gle/oBogb6uGPdBwcbuz5

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm, Jan 24, 2020. Course access is Jan. 25 – Mar. 25, 2020

Learning Objectives    Participants will be able to:

  • describe the purpose of Functional Vision Assessment and Learning Media Assessment;
  • identify the components of FVA and LMA;
  • design a rubric that ensures a quality assessment and report;
  • explain the differences between FVA for ocular and neurological visual impairment;
  • compare visual function and functional vision;
  • explain the relationship between FVAs and LMAs;
  • explain impact of additional disabilities on the ed development of children with VI;
  • identify key components of a LMA for children who have CVI; and
  • describe some cautions in using LMAs with children who have CVI.

Participants will earn 3.0 ACVREP, CTLE, Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz. By registering for ACVREP, CTLE, 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:  This workshop will be beneficial for both veteran and new Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) O & M Specialists, Teachers of students with Deaf-Blindness or blindness and additional disabilities, & related service providers.   (cont’d.


REGISTER NOW for Course #2, Spring, 2020

Recognizing and Building Abstract Thinking

in the Child with Visual Impairment (1.5 Credits)

https://forms.gle/wbh9nazNqpcB6v5P6

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm on Jan. 24, 2020. Course access is Jan. 25 – Feb. 26, 2020

Learning Objectives   Participants will be able to:

  • distinguish between concrete and abstract thinking;
  • describe the value of abstract thinking in a child’s educational development; and
  • design learning activities that develop abstract thinking.

Participants will earn 1.5 ACVREP, CTLE credits, or Continuing Education credits by completing an online quiz. You will be provided with a self-paced tutorial using video clips and other resources related to this topic.

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


REGISTER NOW for Course #3, Spring, 2020 (Back by popular demand! TVI, please share this with SLPs who work with your students with CVI!)

 

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/Fm1CNKYecsG65xWc7  

Registration for this course ends at 4:00 pm Jan. 24, 2020. Course access is Jan. 25 – Mar. 25, 2020.

 

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, 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 a specified time period, as detailed above.

Information regarding registration for and access to the next course being offered by VSDB Outreach Services Spring, 2020 follows. Registration info for course #4 will be sent later.

Name of Tutorial Period for Registration Period for Course Completion Number of Credits 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.
Functional Curriculum Feb. 18 – 26, 2020 Feb 27 – Ap. 10, 2020 1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

 

A brief description of the next course being offered follows:

Functional Curriculum -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 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.

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VSDB Student Wins 1st in HOSA Competition

HOSA Certificate

One of VSDB’s students, Danyeal Davis, attends Valley Career and Technical Center (VCTC) for half of her school day. Recently, she participated in the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Challenge for Veterinary Assistants and won 1st place! This could lead to Danyeal attending the state competition. Congratulations Danyeal!

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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:

https://forms.gle/KkgGEtEH9N2AzTkf9

(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 debbie.pfeiffer@vsdb.k12.va.us  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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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.
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NEW! Online Self-Paced Tutorial from Perkins for Individuals Working with Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Register now for Courses #4, 2019-2020

VSDB Outreach Services purchased access to six online, self-paced tutorials (90 minutes to 10 weeks) and we are making them available this school year, 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 3 of the courses; below is registration for the final course for 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, with the fee waived.  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:   Dual Media Learners:  Instructional Strategies and Assessment (1.5 Cr.) 

https://forms.gle/YdcSNuSCi4syqERM9

Registration for this course with VSDB Outreach ends Nov. 4, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Course access is Nov. 5 – Dec. 3, 2019.

 

Course Description:  Dual Media Learners: Instructional Strategies and Assessment, presented by Anne Spitz.  Teaching children with visual impairments 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.

Target Audience: This is a web-based, self-guided professional development activity for TVIs, VRTs, O&Ms, Parents, Teachers of the Deafblind or Severely Impaired, 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.

Proposed courses to be offered by VSDB Outreach through Perkins’ School, Spring, 2020 follow:

Name of Tutorial Period for Registration Period for Course Completion Number of Credits 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.
Alternate Routes:  Adapting O&M Techniques  

Jan. 14-24, 2:00 pm, 2020

 

 

Jan. 25- Ap.10, 2020

 

10 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

Recognizing and Building Abstract Thinking  

Jan. 14-24, 2:00 pm, 2020

 

Jan. 25 – Feb. 26, 2020

 

1.5 credits

ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

Functional Curriculum Feb. 18 – 26, 2:00 pm, 2020

 

 

Feb 27 – Ap. 10, 2020

 

1.5 credits ACVREP, CTLE, or CEU

 

We hope you can join us!   Debbie

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