News from the MN DeafBlind Project
Wow, we've already made it through this fall and have jumped into our lovely Minnesota winter weather.
In this month's newsletter, I look forward to getting your input through our Family Needs Survey. There is also information about our exciting new Family Learning Community virtual meetings, and even a sneak peek at an upcoming event! Enjoy a recorded interview with an incredible young man with Usher syndrome.
Wishing you and your families a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season filled with love and joy!
📃We Need Your Help!
Family Needs Survey
The Minnesota DeafBlind Project is collecting information from families through this Family Needs Survey. It is our goal to continually ensure we are meeting the needs of Minnesota families, meeting you where you are and providing resources and supports based on your own unique family needs.
Please complete this Family Needs Survey or use the QR Code. It will take approximately 5 minutes of your time and will make a huge impact on the work we do!
Thank you in advance for your help!
*NEW* Family Learning Community
Beginning in January of 2023, the Minnesota DeafBlind Project will host a monthly Family Learning Community virtual meeting. This time is designed for families in Minnesota to come together to meet and connect with other families who have children who are DeafBlind. Additionally, we will have interactive information and learning based on input from you!
Meetings will be held virtually on the 3rd Friday of each month from 11:30-12:30.
Family Learning Community
Dates & Topics:
January 20th: Creating a network of support and resources
February 17th: HomeTalk: A Family Assessment of Children who are DeafBlind
March 17th: Developing a one-page profile
To ensure all accessibility needs are met and that you always receive the most up-to-date meeting information, please register in advance.
We are so excited to let you know that the Minnesota DeafBlind Project and DeafBlind Services Minnesota will be hosting a Winter Party on January 22nd! There will be fun activities for all and the whole family is invited!
This is a great opportunity to connect with other families and attend an event with your child's needs in mind.
Sun, Jan 22, 2023, 01:00 PM
Bethel University, Anderson Center, 2 Pine Tree Drive, Arden Hills, MN, 55112 USA
Interview about Tactile Communications Experience in Oregon
We had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Leitzke this fall. He shared about his experience at Tactile Communications and how that experience impacted him as a DeafBlind young adult with Usher syndrome. Enjoy!
Future Family Spotlights
I will help you share your story in the way that works best for you; you can write or type the story up yourself, or we can do a phone call or video call, where I take notes and write it up. If you are open to sharing your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
State Services for the Blind
State Service for the Blind (SSB) is Minnesota’s vocational rehabilitation agency for individuals who are low vision, blind, or DeafBlind. Counselors serve students ages 14 and older to assist in preparing for employment by helping students build valuable skills that are needed for success in the workplace. SSB helps students explore their strengths and interests to help plan for a smooth transition from secondary education into higher education and/or employment. SSB is required to deliver Pre-Employment Transition Services to students ages 14-21 that include services in five areas: (1) job exploration counseling, (2) work-based learning experiences, (3) counseling on postsecondary education options, (4) workplace readiness training, and (5) instruction in self-advocacy.
SSB counselors work with individuals to determine which services they need to reach their job goal and write a plan together to help them reach that goal. Counselors who know about vision loss and understand workplace demands will help individuals choose which options are the best for them and an employment goal that is consistent with an individual’s strengths, priorities, resources, and informed choice.
Feel free to reach out to Shane DeSantis at email@example.com or 651-358-5205 with any questions.
Anne Barlow, MNH&V Director
Greetings from across Minnesota! I am the director of MN Hands and Voices, 34 years into my journey of parenting a child who is deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing (DHH). In my case, my son is Deaf. Those first few years were difficult. Information came from very few sources, and we felt very alone. When we did gather information, there was nobody around with similar experiences that we could compare notes with or share our innermost concerns with reflected empathy.
Hands & Voices celebrated 25 years of parent-to-parent support last year and are on the leading edge of sharing information that helps parents make informed decisions regarding the many facets of raising a child who is DHH. We can share information on better technology (both hearing and assistive), more and better ways to connect with each other, stronger case law to help parents advocate for free and appropriate public education (FAPE), and a better scientific understanding of how infants and children acquire language. Parenting any child is a challenge; parenting a child through unfamiliar territory can be daunting, but we are here to walk with you on this journey. Nothing compares to connecting with others who share lived experience. I am honored to be able to work with a compassionate and knowledgeable team who are here to give you the kind of support that would have been so nurturing to me at the beginning. Whether you want just the occasional check in, or more consistent connection, we will meet you where you are, and help you to realize the potential in your child.
- Anne Barlow, Director of MNHV
Minnesota Hands and Voices
MN Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.
For families with a child newly identified as deaf or hard of hearing, you may have many unanswered questions. And as you continue your journey, learning what works best for your family, you will continue to have questions.
Minnesota Hands & Voices provides information and resources that will address your questions and assist as you make important decisions.
“Funding for this grant activity is made possible with a grant from MN Department of Education. The source of the funds is from federal award – CFDA 84.326T, Special Education - Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children who are DeafBlind.” The contents of this publication (film, workshop, conference, activity, etc.) do not necessarily represent the policy of the federal Department of Education or the state Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the federal or state government.