Family Engagement and Services

Meet Our Family Engagement Coordinator

Edgenie Bellah
Edgenie Bellah, Family Engagement Coordinator for the Texas Deafblind Project

Meet our Family Engagement Coordinator, Edgenie Bellah. Edgenie has been with our Project since 2002 and uses her various  experiences as a parent of sons with disabilities and years of experience working in rehabilitation to help support families of children who are deafblind. Edgenie is passionate about family engagement and has been very active with family organizations at a state and national level for many years.  

Want to connect with Edgenie? You may email her at bellahe@tsbvi.edu or phone her at 512-206-9423.

Consultation

Edgenie is available to work with individual families on family life as well as matters related to education, accessing medical and state agency services. This includes connecting with other families with children who are deafblind. Edgenie frequently partners with our education consultants when they meet to develop programming at a local level. 

Training

Our program believes that parents are the experts on their child. Participating in relevant training -including learning more about deafblind matters- and gathering information from various sources helps families build their confidence and advocacy skills. Edgenie helps family members access training on a variety of topics and provides training to groups on family engagement. She was instrumental in the development of our successful Family Engagement and Leadership trainings that have created new and enthusiastic leaders advocating for deafblind services in schools and in the community.

Collaboration

Edgenie collaborates with a variety of family organizations at the state and national levels. At the state-level her collaboration includes such organizations as the Deaf-Blind Multi-handicappped Association of Texas, Texas Chargers, Texas Hands and Voices, Deaf-Blind Camp of Texas, and Texas Parent to Parent. She contributes to the Outreach Programs newsletter, Texas SenseAbilities, especially on articles about and for family members.

At the national level Edgenie is on the board of the National Family Association for Deafblind serving on the Affiliate Network Committee and Policy, Information, and Education Committee. She had the pleasure of being the local host for the 2012 and 2016 NFADB Family Leadership Symposium.  Edgenie was Product Manager for the video on deafblind awareness, Moments of Joy.  She has also worked with the National Center on Deaf-Blindness on such projects and their Family Engagement Initiatives, Open Hands, Open Access Intervener Learning Modules. 

Family Resources

To check out family resources and organizations, visit our topical resources page

Current Family Engagement Initiatives

The Value of Family Engagement: Definition and Priorities

This report emerged in response to a growing need to elevate the family voice as a driving force in the decision-making and collaborative efforts of the deaf-blind technical assistance network. This report summarizes a five-month visioning process facilitated by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) to illuminate state-level priorities and national-level supports for families of children who are deaf-blind. Contributors to this work included state deaf-blind projects, deaf-blind specific family-based organizations, and other national partner organizations who support families with children who have unique needs. To read more and visit the microsite, visit https://www.nationaldb.org/products/families-engagement-priorities/

Families are the guiding force behind all life decisions for a family member who is deafblind. Their unique lived experiences drive our shared responsibility to the goals that they choose for themselves and their loved one.

Family-to-Family Communities Project (F2FC)

Family to Family Connections Logo
Family to Family Connections Logo

“I love knowing that there are others like me!  It’s wonderful to not to feel so isolated” (parent)

F2FC Registration is now open until August 31, 2022!

https://tinyurl.com/F2FC2022

contact cdarrah@uga.edu or  

or Edgenie Bellah at bellahe@tsbvi.edu with questions.

Family Recharge Zone

Texas Families Together is starting again in September, 2022! Taking families’ lead, we have a new name – Family Recharge Zone – and a new format. 
 
Join us each month for 90 minutes of learning, connection, and encouragement. This is YOUR time so settle your kiddos in an activity where they can be safely entertained, grab a snack and drink, and give yourself this time!
 
Session Dates & Times: First Thursday of every month 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM or 6:30 PM -8:00 PM (Central Time)

Find more information at https://www.tsbvi.edu/statewide-resources/engagement/family/recharge Family Recharge Zone from TSBVI Outreach logo - cartoon of a row of three smiling batteries above an opened-palm hand with two lightning bolts shooting outward from the batteries

Texas Mental Health Symposium for Deaf/Deafblind Youth

Texas Mental Health Initiative for Deaf Youth Logo
Texas Mental Health Initiative for Deaf Youth Logo

Stay tuned for registration and more information on the 2023 Texas Mental Health Symposium for Deaf/Deafblind Youth! To learn more about this initiative, visit the website

 

Are you a family member of a child or adult who is blind, visually impaired, or deafblind? Sign up and stay connected! You will receive emails about events and training just for families!