Additional Presentations
from 2021 Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education

Judy Cameron The Impact of Stress on Brain DevelopmentMany of our speakers submitted proposals to present at the Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education. This is a first for this event and the presentations were terrific. These presentations are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Receiving Continuing Education Units (CEU)

If you would like to receive credit for viewing any of these presentations, you need to complete the online form and submit it after viewing each presentation. If you have any questions, please contact Brian Sobeck at or 512-206-9225.

Dr. Eugene Bourquin, DHA, COMS, Manhattan, NY 

Deafblind Travelers: Street Crossing and Communicating with the Uninitiated Public

This session will review the history and research in the area of communication between deafblind travelers and the uninitiated public, exploring the basic general principles that underlie effective interactions that allow the traveler to get the information and assistance necessary, efficiently and consistently. The focus will be on low-tech solutions, and feature the task of street crossing as an archetypal tool. Learning will happen through lecture, PowerPoint presentation, and videos.

Bibliography Bourquin

Audio: Audio Portugues Audio en Español

Gene Bourquin Portuguese transcript

Gene Bourquin English transcript

Flavia Daniela dos Santos Moreira , Professor at the Benjamin Constant Institute, PhD in Education at the State University of Rio de Janeiro

Alternative tactile communication program for children with visual and multiple disabilities

 Describe the results of a doctoral research carried out at an institution in Rio de Janeiro, whose data are based on empirical evidence to validate the benefits of alternative tactile communication resources for children with visual and multiple disabilities and to investigate whether: Alternative Communication – through the association of gestures, objects and tactile symbols – can it favor communicative actions and communicative acts of these children?  

Downloads: Audio portugues Audio en español

Flavia Moreiras English transcript 

Flavia Moreira Portuguese transcript

Mike Fagbemi, Transition Initiative Lead, National Center for Deaf-Blindness, HKNC, Sandspoint, NY

Pre-employment Strategies that Work for Individuals who are Deafblind

Description: Poor post-school outcomes for students who are deaf-blind has been a serious problem for many years. Most youth are unemployed, living at home with parents, and socially isolated. Gaining employment is one of the most important early milestones of adulthood for all youth, but is often difficult for those with significant disabilities, including individuals who are deaf-blind. Because studies have found that paid work experiences are consistently associated with employment after exiting the school system, they are a key goal for students, their families, and transition teams. Customized employment, a process that personalizes the relationship between an employee and employer in a way that meets the needs of both, is a useful strategy for making this happen. Join Mike Fagbemi to learn more about the National Center for Deaf-Blindness Transition Initiative and strategies that are proving successful in leading to positive employment outcomes for individuals who are deafblind.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Mike Fagbemi Portuguese transcript

Mike Fagbemi English transcript 

Sue Gawne, Deafblind Consultant at Canadian Deafblind Association – BC Chapter

Early Intervention Services in British Columbia, Canada for Children who are Deafblind and their Families

Before the Pandemic our Early Intervention Program provided an introduction to deafblind communication and Intervenors/Intervention support. We provide deafblind Intervention education and hands-on consultation to children with deafblindness (birth to five years), their families and their professional team (such as Vision Specialists, Hearing Specialists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Music Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Nursing Supports, Intervenors, Infant/Toddler Consultants, Daycare/Preschool staff, School Districts). Together we will share how this successful model works and the shift to virtual service delivery.

Audio: Audio Portugues Audio en Español

Sue Gawne Portuguese transcript

Sue Gawne English transcript 

Carolina Gonzales, COMS, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Strategies when Working with Students with Deafblindness

In this session Carolina will show through videos several case studies of students who are deafblind ages 6 –  18 and their progression in learning orientation and mobility skills. Special emphasis is given to communication, basic skills, adaptive mobility devices, street crossing, and night lessons.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Carolina Gonzalez Portuguese transcript

Carolina Gonzalez English transcript 

DB Symposium O&M Strategies when Working with Students with Deafblindness – Powerpoint

Handout – O&M Strategies when working with students with deafblindness

Julie Lemman, TVI /TDB and Sarah Steele TVI / TDB, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Breathing Through Remote Learning: For Families with Students who are DeafBlind and/or have Multiple Disabilities

Julie and Sarah will discuss strategies based on previous experiences in remote instruction for students who are DeafBlind and/or have multiple disabilities. Their session will include reflections of supporting the families of their students through remote learning, strategies for supporting social-emotional needs for students during the novelty and uncertainty of the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will provide examples of low and high assistive technologies that may be used to support students that are accessible in a home setting.

Audio: Audio Portugues Audio en Español

Julianne Lemman and Sarah Steele Portuguese transcript

Julianne Lemman and Sarah Steele English transcript

Julie Maier, Education Specialist, and Kayla Coburn, Education Specialist, California Deaf-Blind Services, San Francisco, CA

Building Positive and Supportive Peer Relationships

This session will address the importance of positive peer relationships in everyone’s lives and the impact these relationships have on the quality of one’s life. Many youth and adults with deafblindness and families of children who are deafblind share that developing and sustaining positive relationships and friendships is highly desired yet also elusive. Without appropriate intervention, learners who are deafblind often find it difficult to naturally form positive peer relationships with other children and youth. Several factors affect the development of these peer relationships including the impact of limited vision and hearing, use of different modes of communication, limited opportunities for interactions with sighted and hearing peers, peers’ lack of knowledge and understanding about sensory differences and the support needs of some learners, and insufficient use intervention strategies that facilitate reciprocal interactions and joint engagement in shared activities.

Audio: Audio en Español – Julie Maier Audio Portugues- Julie Maier

Julie Maier Portuguese transcript

Julie Maier English transcript

Marina McCormick, Ed.D., Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf Coordinator, Houston, TX

Speed Coaching: A Method for Effective Collaborative Consultation

Coaching is an essential skill for administrators, teachers, specialists, and related service providers. How do you coach, though, if you have never coached before? How do you coach if you find yourself limited on time? It can be difficult to provide meaningful, instructional support for your educational team members in such circumstances. The good news, though, is if you have 10 minutes, you have all the time you need to provide impactful coaching! View this session to learn how to make the most out of your time by using a speed coaching protocol with your educational team members.

Speed Coaching Protocol

Creating Connections Articles from Julie Maier

Maier and Coburn Outline Notes

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Marina McCormick Portuguese transcript 

Marina McCormick English transcript

Pamela Lattapiat Navarro, Teacher of Special Education with mention in Hearing and Language Disorders, and Oriana Donoso Araya, Teacher of Differential Education with a major in Visual Impairments,  Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences, Ñuñoa, Chile

Reality of Deafblind Students Studying in Regular Schools With or Without in Inclusion Programs, in Four Regions of Chile

In Chile, deafblindness is not recognized as a unique disability, which results in scarce information about this population. There are only three institutions specialized in the care of deaf-blind students in the region. Although education policies provide for equal opportunities and allow for the integration of students with disabilities into regular schools, not all of them have the specialized equipment required, particularly in the area of deaf-blindness. This presentation will show what is happening with these students and how teachers and related professionals provide educational responses to these students.

2021 Presentación – Pamela Lattapiat Navarro

Audio: Audio portugues English Audio

Pamela Navarro Portuguese transcript

Pamela Navarro English transcript

Gloria Rodriguez-Gil, Director for Latin American and the Caribbean for Perkins International, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA

Project Pixan. A 10 Year Strategy to Increase Access to Quality Education of Children with Multiple Disabilities and Deafblindness

Over the next 10 years Perkins, in partnership with state Secretaries of Education, educators and parents, will increase access to quality education for children with multiple disabilities in Mexico. Aligned with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, by 2030, our goal is to increase enrollment of children with multiple disabilities in 11 states. In Mexico, the public education system includes special schools with a mandate to serve children with disabilities. With Perkins support, a network of local, regional and national partners in Mexico will help 31 public schools enhance their programs, reaching 2,120 children, 620 teachers and 620 mothers. We expect to reach even more, because as education quality improves and children thrive, enrollment and retention increase- so that children who today are out of school, by 2030 will be learning. Our strategy to achieve this transformation has four parts: 1. Build adult capacity to support children’s learning. 2. Establish a state-of-the-art adaptive design center in Yucatán State to serve children with low- cost, custom-designed learning equipment. 3. Partner nationally to reach more children locally. 4. Fill the data gap on effective education for children with disabilities.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Gloria Rodriguez-Gil Portuguese transcript

Erin Shadwick, TVI/TDB, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Charging Ahead: Adapting the Classroom for Students with CHARGE

Presentation of successful strategies used to support students with CHARGE Syndrome in the classroom. This includes seating to meet proprioceptive needs and allow the student to focus on instruction being taught, facilitating social interactions, pairing various learning media during instruction (including the use of interveners), and providing access to information to support positive behavior.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Erin Shadwick Portuguese transcript

Erin Shadwick English transcript

Theresa Tancock, Family Services Coordinator, Canadian Deafblind Association – British Columbia Chapter, New Westminster, B.C. and Linda Mamer, Deafblind Teacher-Consultant, Provincial Outreach Program for Students with Deafblindness, Richmond, British Columbia

Supporting Children and Youth with Deafblindness Using Virtual Platforms: The Silver Lining

In past years we have offered a Summer Recreation Program, which allowed children and youth with deafblindness and their families to network and share experiences in different venues and settings. With Covid-19, we pivoted to a virtual experience. We entered into this without any preconceptions, as this was new for all. We have been pleasantly surprised with the Silver Linings that have resulted from what we have been able to offer children and youth with deafblindness and their families virtually. We have also renewed our appreciation for Intervenors and all that they have to offer, with many taking on leadership roles through our newly formed Intervenor Resource Group. We want to share the exciting outcomes of all that we have learned and also what we hope to continue to offer our families moving forward. Our method of support will forever be changed for the better as a result of this pandemic.

Fine Motor Activity Package 1

Life Skills Activity Package 2

Social-Emotional Activity Package 3

Sensory Activity Package 4

Movement-Gross Motor Activity Package 5

Audio: Audio Portugues Audio en Español

Theresa Tancock Portuguese transcript

Theresa Tancock English transcript

Maria Antonia Vazquez, Consultant for Perkins International Latin America, Córdoba, Argentina

Research as a Work Strategy and Follow-up in the Development of Educational Projects in Latin America

Perkins International has been working systematically in Latin America to strengthen access and quality of education for people with deafblindness and visual/multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. Currently, the focus of our research is being carried out in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico through 2 projects: “Bringing the Education of Children with Visual Impairment and Multiple Disability to Scale in Latin America.” and “Project Pixan”. Its focus is on strengthening the capacity of public school systems to address the needs of children with multiple disabilities and deafblindness and on documenting and disseminating evidence of successful practices that impact on children’s learning outcomes based on the training received by Perkins International Academy. The research is participatory as it supports joint reflection and proposes more inclusive ways of generating knowledge. The stories and experiences in each country where the monitoring is done reveal individualities that show the particularity of change in real contexts.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Maria Vazquez Portuguese transcript

Maria Vazquez English transcript

Heather Withrow, Parent / COMS, Austin, TX

Versatility Through Touch

Heather shares her experiences and lessons learned using the sense of touch for communication and information from my different roles during blindfold exercises and an O&M internship. As a deaf woman, friend of autonomous deafblind people, mother of a deafblind boy, and a university O&M student she has a unique perspective to share. Among the topics covered are an introduction to ProTactile when my son was 2 years old; O&M terms in either or both ASL and ProTactile; considerations for comfort with touch; and examples of using touch for sharing simple to complex information, such as prompts, modeling, emotions, directions and maps.

Audio: Audio portugues Audio en español

Heather Withrow Portuguese transcript

Heather Withrow English Transcript