NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter


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

Office of Early Learning

Amazing Kids

Big picture

Adylinn with her dad


Amazing Kids -Staff

Professional Development -Lin Causey

LL Cool Tips - Lori Bartram & Lori Persinger

Professional Development Opportunities -Staff

Save the Date - Eye Shine Foundation

Kidz Say the Darndest Things - Becky Lowrey

O & M Quick Checklist

Jake Olson: The Journey to My First Snap

Pictures from the 68th Conference on Exceptional Children

Staff Birthdays for December

Photo/Video Credits

Professional Development Opportunities

Big picture

LL Cool Tech Tips

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

Professional Development Opportunities

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



Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina - 2019 Learning & Leadership Summit

The theme for this event is, “Connections Matter for Prevention.” The Summit will enhance the practice and leadership skills of participants by providing educational workshops designed to help professionals develop the essential skills necessary to support and strengthen families in their communities, activate support for effective prevention practice, and engage all members of society in promoting what works in effective child maltreatment prevention.

Dates: March 5-6, 2019

Location: The McKimmon Center on the NC State Campus; it is located at 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh, NC.


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.



Early Intervention: A Coaching Mindset - Considerations for Family Sessions

Description: This course, designed for early intervention providers serving families of infants and young children with hearing loss, provides strategies and a framework to focus your planning and preparation for family sessions. Experienced early interventionists provide a coaching model to accomplish the all-important goal of parent engagement.

Location: Webinar

Date: Ongoing

Contact hours: 30 minutes

Sponsor: Central Institute for The Deaf/Washington University School of Medicine

Fee: free


Early Intervention: Foundational Strategies for Coaching Families

Description: This course was designed for early intervention providers serving families of infants and young children with hearing loss. Experienced early interventionists provide field-tested strategies, examples and tips to guide you toward cultivating mutual respect and common purpose through coaching, to attain the goal of parent empowerment.

Location: Webinar

Date: Ongoing

Contact hours: 30 minutes

Sponsor: Central Institute for The Deaf/Washington University School of Medicine

Fee: free



CCSA's 2019 ASK Conference scheduled for February 23, 2019. Our special guest speaker is, Micheal Bonner!

Please feel free to share with your colleagues and your network! Attached is the entire conference schedule and registration form. Or you can use this link for an online version:

Save the Date

Eye Shine Foundation is pleased to announce the 2019 Eastern NC Braille Challenge, to be held in Raleigh, on Thursday, February 28th, 2019! Save the Date… registration coming soon!

All braille readers from the Central and Eastern areas of NC are encouraged to attend and participate in a fun day, in which children compete in 3-4 braille challenges. There’s fun, games, food, prizes and camaraderie!

We have 4 competition categories and 1 non-competition category for children from Kindergarten through 12th grades!




Junior Varsity


Arrival begins at 8am and the contests and activities conclude by 2:30.

The Braille Challenge is a great way to motivate and encourage your students to increase and improve their braille skills! Practice tests are available online, through the iBraille app, and we can also send copies of tests from last year.

We hope that you will encourage your braille readers to attend this year! It is a special event and children always enjoy it so much- it is most definitely worth missing a day of school! Many of our participants are competitive and some are there to compete with themselves and to see old friends or make new friends!

There will be informative parent sessions, while children are in competition. We will serve breakfast, lunch and have games, prizes and t-shirts!

Registration forms will be coming in a future email, when we receive them from the Braille Institute. To make the day fabulous, we do need many volunteers… you can register here at the Sign Up Genius: We appreciate your help so much!

Please let us know if you have any questions by sending an email to

Kidz Say the Darndest Things (With Apologies to Art Linkletter)

For a few years, I had a set of little girls, all very bright and all very low vision. I dubbed them the “4 going on 14 club”. Here’s a series of jabs from my favorite fab trio.

On being Schooled at the Park

I had gone to a favorite park in our city with S and her grandmother. She had oculocutaneous albinism and needed dark sunglasses while outside, but still had many issues with shadows, glare, steps and drop-offs. We had climbed up one of the large playscapes that had a short swinging bridge. I asked her, “Do we go RIGHT or do we go LEFT to cross the bridge, S.” She folded her arms, rolled her eyes and said, “Ms. Becky…if you not know, I not tell you.” I don’t think her grandmother will ever let me forget this.

The Hierarchy of Princesses

We were practicing finding landmarks in a school hallway. I often use the child’s favorite Disney characters to help peek interest in locating the landmarks by placing a “surprise collectible” picture on or very near the landmark. For this landmark activity, we were hunting princesses. The lovely Miss M, gleefully gathered up princesses and named the landmarks on our way to the library. However, she kept missing one princess in particular. I wondered about the size, the contrast of the picture, any shadow that might be concealing it…all important to help a good TVI know their student better. After checking out a library book, I asked M if she could look extra carefully on the way back to the classroom, as there were still some princesses to find. And…again, folded arms and eye roll: “Ms. Becky…I know! That’s A-war-wa (Aurora – Sleeping Beauty). No one likes her. All she ever does is sleep.”

Knowing my Place

In our last year with a preschooler who will be moving up to kindergarten, we try to update the functional vision assessment for that child. I like to use the Lea symbols if the preschooler can match and visually identify the cards to help give a better idea of font size for the coming school years. While working with Miss A on distance vision, I started out at the typical 10 feet, honestly uncertain if she would be able to see the largest symbol at this distance. And…folded arms, eye roll, and an extra shake of her finger: “Ms. Becky…seriously! I can’t see that AND YOU know I can’t see that.” Chagrinned, I moved to 5 feet. M: “There! Now isn’t that better?!”

O & M Quick Checklist

Children who can benefit from Orientation & Mobility Referrals

* moderate to severe visual impairment – no vision or functions as a blind child

* limited midrange and distance vision (less than three to five feet viewing distance)

* dual sensory loss (vision and hearing)

* depth perception (misses surface level changes in familiar and unfamiliar environments) steps, curbs, changes in terrain, playground borders, etc.

* anticipated to be a future cane user

* bumps into furniture, objects, people

* needs assistance with movement

* safety concerns

* hesitation or insecurity in movement

* dependent on visual models or prefers to have hand held to move

* dependent of others to locate objects, landmarks, or plays in one certain area

* difficulty with contrast changes (cement to grass, playground surface to sidewalk, etc.

* vision reduced in either bright light or dim light

* need a protective device when moving (push toys)

* difference in movement in a familiar environment versus an unfamiliar environment

* parent concerns with child’s movement skills

Please call your O&M to discuss children that exhibit any or all of the above checklist indicators. Your O&M is happy to discuss children on a case-by-case basis with you and to coordinate and collaborate with you for an evaluation or if you need suggestions for movement activities for individual children. Your Lead Teacher could also assist with determining if child is an appropriate O&M referral.

68th Conference on Exceptional Children

December Birthdays

Pam Bye - December 14

Heather Lister - December 24

Karen Huffman - December 29

Nancy Kirby Sauls- December 29

Photo/Video Credits