NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

March 2020

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Exceptional Children Division


Amazing Kids - Staff

Opportunities for Free Resources - Annette Zaiontz

50 Ways to Use a Light Box - Lin Causey

Maze Day - Bethany Mayo

Professional Development Opportunities - Lin Causey

Congratulations - Bethany Mayo

Staff Birthdays for March

Photo/Video Credits

Opportunities for Free Resources

FREE! I don’t know about anyone else but I love getting stuff, especially when it is free. Well, we’ve all heard about multiple online resources, articles, and ways to get free books but there are also opportunities to obtain and utilize items for free right in our own communities. Yes, it does take a tiny bit of effort and time to get them but it is definitely worth it if has the potential to benefit the children and families we work with. Below are just three ways I have begun utilizing these free resources since learning about them this year:

1. I learned through talking to a service coordinator that in one of the counties I work in there is an NCATP office filled with equipment, switches, switch toys, and knowledgeable staff to help with picking out the right items. All I have to do is call to arrange a visit and they let me skim through their closet of awesome toys, test them out, and help with the process of filling out a simple form to check them out for 30 days. They even provide the batteries! NO CHARGE, just an hour that I block out when I am in that area. *Note: There are offices at other locations throughout the state. Click on the link to see if one is close to you.

2. This next one is something other TVIs may already be aware of but it was new to me this year so I started using it as well. Each CDSA office either has an ‘AT closet’ or one that they can get switch toys and such from to use with students receiving services from them. If an item you have in mind is not in the closet then there is an online catalog or list that you can look through to see what may be available at nearby locations. The process is slightly different in that you just let the service coordinator know which items you are interested in, they fill out a request form to get the items requested, and either let you know when it is available to pick up or will drop it off at the family home. Of course, It is preferable to arrange drop off when you will be there so you can demonstrate the item to the family.

3. After speaking with a co-teacher, I learned of another resource called Partnership for Children. Keep in mind it may be called something different in each county but if you just google it with that title, one will come up in every county. This particular teacher uses her local office for the lending library and other equipment such as a di-cut machine and laminator.

I encourage and challenge each TVI to check into at least one of these fabulous and free resources. It would be a shame to let these items sit in the closet never being used when money has already been spent on them. So, for the sake of new ideas, go check out your local AT closet and/or talk to your service coordinators about free resources they may know about in the areas you serve. Yes, it will take a little extra time but count it as lesson planning and prep time for a child you will be working with. I have come across some very unique switch toys throughout this process that have gained wonderful responses from some of the students I work with.

50 Ways to Use a Light Box

Maze Day 2020

Maze Day 2020 registration is now open!

What: Maze Day is an annual FREE event with tech-related educational games and activities for students with visual impairments hosted by the University of North Carolina’s computer science department.

Date: Weds., April 29, 2020

Time: 9 am - 2 pm

Lunch is provided!

Where: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Sitterson Hall (computer science building)

For details, registration link and photo permission forms here.

Professional Development Opportunities

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Contact hours obtained from completing the trainings below may be used towards the maintenance of the ITF certificate. Click on the links to find out more information about these professional development opportunities.

March 19, 2020: “BabyTalks Series: Addressing Infant and Toddler Behaviors That Challenge Adults" Webinar, FREE

March 24, 2020: Behavior Basics: Laying the Groundwork for Positive Change Webinar, FREE

April 7, 2020: “Teacher Time: Little Scientists – Exploring MATH with Infants and Toddlers" Webinar, FREE

April 9, 2020: “Home Visiting Series: Behavior Has Meaning" Webinar, FREE

April 28, 2020: “Decreasing Infant Mortality: A Look into FASD, ACEs and Resiliency", Lenoir

May 4-7, 2020: “2020 National Smart Start Conference", Greensboro

May 5-7, 2020: "20th National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute”, Chapel Hill

Ongoing: “BabyTalks Webinar Series", FREE

To obtain credit for the webinar(s), the learner needs to attach the following to their “NC ITP Documentation of Continuing Professional Development” form to obtain ITP credit: available slides, handouts, documents, and other training materials associated with the training; a statement about how the training supports evidence-based practices for infants and toddlers; and a write-up of how the learner will apply the information learned from the training in your work.

Congratulations Carrie!

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Please join me in congratulating our very own Carrie Ledford in her marriage to Brad Kirkland. In the picture is Carrie and Brad on their wedding day with Baby David, and Brad's two children, Kaysen and Braylee. What a beautiful family they make.


Vanessa Bishop - March 7

Karen Beijer - March 18

Jennifer Simmons - March 30

Photo/Video Credits