ELSSP-VI Newsletter

August 2015

August Quote

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

-Helen Keller


Student Pictures Submitted by Joy Fleming

Training/Meeting Updates


New Resource Submitted by Sandy Bryant

Spotlight on Resources Submitted by Dee Martin

Student Spotlight Submitted by Joy Fleming

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Training/Meeting Updates

*New Teacher Orientation was held on July 23rd

*Instruction in UEB (Unified English Braille) will begin with the 2015-2016 school year for all PreK-1st grade students in North Carolina. For questions or information about the recent UEB workshop at the Summer Institute, contact Heather Lister or Paula Roten.

Hadley is offering a UEB course that is FREE for professionals for the year 2015.

Opening Convocation

Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 9am-5pm

301 North Wilmington Street

Raleigh, NC

Opening Convocation Day 2

Thursday, Aug. 20th, 8:30am-5pm

301 North Wilmington Street

Raleigh, NC


*Purchase your ELSSP/VI shirts ASAP. (Last day to order is August 3rd)

*Send in pictures of your students along with a release form.

*Bring all of your "Dead Folders" (folders of children you are no longer serving) with you to Raleigh on August 19th, they will need to be delivered to the Cathy Building. Starla will ask you to sign up for a time.

New Resource: Vision Program

Vision Program: Vision Skills in the Natural Environment-An Intervention Guide for use with Children Birth to Three with Blindness or Vision Impairment by Barbara Peterson/Judi Nielson

When Jane Barabash left our program she shared this resource with me. Because I have so much respect for Jane and her knowledge of current resources and research in the field, I decided to take a look. I hope you will too! I think every site has a copy and it comes with a DVD with printable handouts/lesson plans/parent lessons/checklists/scenarios. We shared this resource with our new teachers at a training in July and they are going to help us field test the resource. We would love your input as well.

In our work we have a wide range of children at many different levels to work with and it can be overwhelming. For new teachers this easy to read resource helps them make decisions about what areas to work on with each child. For experienced teachers it consolidates and organizes vision skill development.

This Vision Program provides a helpful guide with VI specific lessons for parents/teachers that coincide with daily routines and natural environments. For me, the best part was having a beautiful handout with ideas to share with the parents/professionals following the lesson.

Be sure to check out the DVD and laminated pages in the book!

I am so excited about this resource!!!!


Sandy Bryant

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Spotlight on Resources

AccessWorld is a free downloadable publication offered through the American Foundation for the Blind.

I know you are thinking, technology for older students, young adults and older adults is not an early intervention appropriate topic! Well, although it appears that technology is far in the future for many of the children we provide services for we do need to recognize the importance of keeping both ourselves and the families we serve informed.

AccessWorld provides a variety of topics. This month the issue is dedicated to “back to school”.

A short excerpt from the editor’s page follows.

“New classes, new instructors, class projects, presentations, tests, new people, and maybe even a new school or moving away to college bring about uncertainty and new challenges. Uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing. This time of year can be exciting, too, especially if you prepare in advance.

Pursuing an education can be difficult under the best of circumstances, and doing so as a person with vision loss can increase the challenge.

For the students in our readership: you must take personal responsibility for your education, and you must be your own advocate. It is very important to prepare in advance, speak to instructors, and tell those you'll be working with exactly what types of accommodations will best meet your needs. Your education will have a tremendous impact on every aspect of the rest of your life, so it's crucial that you do everything you can to get the most out of your studies………”

Lee Huffman
AccessWorld Editor-in-Chief
American Foundation for the Blind

On this webpage you can also access back issues of AccessWorld; search AccessWorld and sign up for AccessWorld alerts.

Follow “additional links” to explore “Using Assistive Technology” and accessing a “Product Database for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired”


Enjoy exploring the future!

Student Spotlight

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Janie is our first student to be recognized in the new Student Spotlight section of the ELSSP/VI newsletter. Janie is 3 1/2 years old, easy-going and photogenic (as you can see). According to Joy Fleming, her TVI, Janie is also cooperative, sweet and a pleasure to work with. Janie is doing a great job of walking with her cane. She is also doing really well eating with a spoon (a task that was very difficult for her at one time). Prior to turning 3, Janie received services from Nancy Kirby-Sauls and Shonda Page. Janie is diagnosed with Leber's Congential Amaurosis (LCA). She has a loving and supportive family. Janie's mother is enrolled in Hadley and is in the process of learning Braille. The very first picture at the top of the newsletter shows a precious little boy sitting in his mother's lap. This is Luke, Janie's little brother, and their mom. Luke is also diagnosed with LCA and receives services from Joy Fleming.
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Director's Spotlight Sandy Bryant

Sandy Bryant began as a teacher of the visually impaired at the Gov. Morehead School in 1979 following a summer job as waterfront counselor at Camp Simmons for the blind located in Swansboro. After graduating from ASU in Special Education/Learning Disabilities she became certified in ED, B-K, VI, and Mentoring. She was the first teacher hired for the statewide preschool program started in 1987 and organized the second inclusion preschool classroom for the program. Later she became a Lead teacher partnering with her good friend Camille Lancaster to provide orientation for new teachers and assist with teacher observations and planning trainings. She received her NB certification in 2007.

Married for 35 years, Ralph and Sandy have 2 children, Sam and Jordan, one granddaughter Isabel Grace and a son-in-law Josh.

They all love to travel, play games and putt-putt, entertain, and spend time together. Sandy and Ralph wholeheartedly support ZOE.helps.org an empowerment program for orphans in Africa. Whenever given the opportunity you will find Sandy at the beach, sunbathing, reading a book, planning a shower for a friend, or decorating.

Sandy resides in Holly Springs North Carolina only a few miles from her children and granddaughter. Her grandmother name is Bunny!

Sandy was chosen to be this month's Director's Spotlight because of her dedication to the preschool program for more than 28 years and her dedication to the field of visual impairment for over 36 years. Sandy by nature is a helper to all and is always willing to go over and beyond the call of duty to help her fellow colleagues, students, and families. Sandy has been a huge support to me as a new Director. I could not have made it through my first year without her. She continues to have a full caseload, and is still able to carry out the duties of a Lead Teacher. Thank you Sandy for being the Director's Spotlight.

Photo Credits

Joy Fleming

Bethany Mayo

Google Images (www.thenextweb.com)

Google Images (www.redditt.com)