NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter


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


Amazing Kids

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

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning


Amazing Kids -Staff

Professional Development -Lin Causey

Resources -Staff

Kidz Say the Darndest Things - Becky Lowrey

Neuroplasticity and Embedding CVI Strategies in Daily Activities - Hitty Chiott

Thank You Note - Andrea FinneyRatliff

Regional Meeting Photos -staff

Staff Birthdays for November

Photo/Video Credits

Professional Development Opportunities

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LL Cool Tech Tips

Extension activity is worth .2 CEUs Click HERE for instructions.

Register now for the upcoming webinar series, Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement:

Select the link to access complimentary resources at Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC): Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies

Writing Functional Outcomes as an IFSP Team Webinar

Summary: Participants who attend the webinar will increase their knowledge of writing functional outcomes based on family priorities, increase their skills in writing functional outcomes based on family priorities, and increase their knowledge of available resources to support teams in writing functional outcomes. Read More

Date: Thursday, November 29th, 2018,

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Fee: $25 for DEC Members/$35 for Non-Members

Register Here

Received from Sheri Logan

QA/QI Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Children’s Developmental Services Agency of the Cape Fear

NC Department of Health and Human Services


Responsive Learning Environments for Infants and Toddlers Webinar

Summary: Learning environments are everywhere! Together, we will explore how engaging and responsive learning environments help infants and toddlers achieve school readiness.

Date and Time: Thursday, Nov.8 from 3–4 p.m. ET

Fee: free

Register: Visit the ECLKC calendar to register.

Ordinary People Design and Build Extraordinary Assistive Tools for Children with Disabilities Webinar

Participant Outcomes: Participants will gain knowledge about working with family and other adults to modify and adapt the physical environment to promote each child’s access to and participation in learning experiences, explore real-life stories about how a community-oriented maker movement is identifying and meeting children's needs for assistive technology, and leave the session with a plan to create a low-tech assistive tool to promote a child's access to and participation in learning experiences.

Date and time: Wednesday, December 5th, 2018, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST

Fee: $35 for non-members | $25 for DEC members

Email for the member discount code or to register via purchase order.


Attachment Vitamins: Interactive Course on Early Childhood Attachment, Stress, and Trauma (9 online lessons)

· Summary: Early childhood mental health is the capacity to grow and to love well. In other words, it means helping children engage in social and emotional behaviors that are appropriate to their age. Good mental health means being able to experience, express, and regulate emotions as well as recover from dysregulation. It also means establishing trusting relationships and repairing conflicts with others when they occur. This helps children learn how to love and be loved while feeling safe. The Attachment Vitamins lessons help learners support children and families through the early years of a child’s life. It will help create a trauma lens through which providers and parents can view and better support young children as they grow and learn. In these 9 interactive lessons, learners will walk through concepts such as understanding a child’s context, what attachment is, temperament and parenting style, trauma exposure in young children, mental health concerns, cultural considerations, and self-care tips.

· Date and time: Ongoing

· Fee: Free

· Register: (You will need to create an account to take the course.)

Received from Krystal Davis

Human Services Program Consultant II

Division of Public Health, []Early Intervention Branch

NC Department of Health and Human Services



CVI for the TVI & other Professionals

A monthly webinar open to CVI professionals.

Everyday CVI

Embedding CVI Strategies into Everyday Family Living

Blog - HighHopes

High Hopes aims at bringing the best in the world to Dubai whether through collaborated therapy intensives, parent workshops, therapists trainings or guest speakers. We currently have connections with various reputable centers and therapists from all around the world.

Kidz Say the Darndest Things (with apologies to Art Linkletter)

Over the many years I’ve been a TVI for wee ones, I’ve collected a lot of words of wisdom from my students. Things my students say and do help to keep me “in my place”.

On Becoming a Little too Excited

Several years ago, I agreed to help a preK teacher with circle time. I brought my guitar and some rhythm instruments to share with all the students. I played a very upbeat, jazzy “Hello” song and everyone except my student joined in enthusiastically. My student kept her arms folded and glared the entire time. Upon the song’s conclusion, she said, “Mz. Becky, YOU needs to calm down!”

The Little Gentleman

A little one I had with OCA, very bright and talkative, was getting ready to transition to preschool. The private preschool he was at moved him up early into the three-year-old class due to his advanced developmental level. When I came to see him during his first week in his new classroom, he pulled me over to his new teacher.

“Mz. Becky, this is Mz. Amy. Mz. Amy, this is Mz. Becky. She teaches my eyes.”

The Need to be More Fashion Conscious

Upon seeing me in my dull, drab black pants and sweater (again). One of my four-year-old preschoolers took me aside so her friends couldn’t hear her reprimand of me.

“Ms. Becky, you really need more bling in your life!”


Neuroplasticity and Embedding CVI Strategies in Daily Activities

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt. Specifically, the brain is able to form new neural connections given the right conditions. Neuroplasticity is an amazing aspect of the brain which is at the heart of early intervention for these reasons:

1) Neuroplasticity is greatest during early childhood.

2) Neuroplasticity occurs in the immature brain as children explore with their senses. New experiences lead to new synaptic connections in the brain that are strengthened the more they are used, while connections not used are pruned away.

3) Neuroplasticity also occurs as a way to compensate for lost function and/or to maximize remaining functions in the event of brain injury.

4) A child’s daily environment plays a key role in influencing neuroplasticity.

(Brain Plasticity: What is it? By Erin Hoiland )

Research indicates that children with CVI have the potential for increased visual capabilities. To make the most of this potential, it is important that children have repeated opportunities to experience using vision in meaningful ways throughout their day. (Sheline, 2016. Strategy to See, 4th edition). This potential for improvement fuels me to be on the lookout for ideas and strategies to support a child with CVI. But sometimes I feel like starting an internet search is like going down the rabbit hole. I know I can start a search and then realize hours have gone by without realizing it. I love finding resources that have inspiring stories, practical strategies, and clear information. Here are two resources that do those things:

Spotlight on two new, and not overwhelming, online resources to check out

1. Everyday CVI: Embedding CVI strategies into everyday living. This is a new webpage created just about a month ago by a mother of a little girl with hydrocephalus and CVI. She shares her journey so far in learning about CVI

and how she has been making her everyday surroundings more visually accessible.

2. High Hopes Blog On this blog post, Jonathon Graves writes, “don’t change what you do, just how you do it” and I think this is great advice. His post outlines practical ways to incorporate CVI strategies into everyday routines.


Thank You!

Andrea (Andi) Ratliff and the ELSSP-VI program would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Tank Pro Inc. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for their generous donation. The donation enabled Andi to purchase pumpkins for each student as well as other supplies and items that are needed to make learning fun and enjoyable for each child. Andi's families and students were very grateful for the experiences that Tank Pro has helped provide. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

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Pictures from Regional Meetings


November Birthdays

November 1st- Maureen Walsh

November 21st- Hitty Chiott

November 26th- Karen Huffman

November 27th- Carrie Ledford

Photo/Video Credits