NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

December 2019

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

ECC Corner - Karen Beijer

What's Been Going on with ELSSP-VI - Nancy Kirby-Sauls, Vanessa Bishop, Heather Lister,

Bethany Mayo

Professional Development Opportunities - Lin Causey

Items of Interest - Marigail Matthijs

Staff Birthdays for December

Photo/Video Credits

ECC Corner

This is Michelle and her mom Fannie. We met at a local park to give Michelle the opportunity to play outside. I hadn’t observed her outdoors yet, and with her photophobia and her new mobility skills I wanted to get outdoors before it turned too cold. Getting outside the home for visits is crucial to see what the child’s vision looks like in unfamiliar settings and different lighting situations. It can give us the chance to assess if there are depth perception issues, how they navigate different changes on the ground i.e. from the grass to the pathway, and if shade is an important necessity. Sometimes we get stuck with our old ideas of needing to be in the home for our visits, but thinking outside the box sometimes can give us even more information into the child and family’s world. When focusing on the Extended Core Curriculum and the 9 standards we deal with, going to a park could fall under several areas including social interaction, orientation and mobility, recreation and leisure, sensory efficiency, as well as self-determination. I encourage you all to find a little park nearby and allow for some exploration of leaves and acorns, some tactile play in the sandbox, or some vestibular activities on the swing set. Happy fall y’all!

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What's Been Going on with ELSSP-VI

Field Trips in the East

The horse and barrel train were at our pumpkin patch trip! We would like to give a shout out to Naylor Farms of Fuquay Varina for allowing our group to attend FREE!! They all loved the barrel

train, touching the animals, hayride and picking out pumpkins!! We will probably attend this pumpkin patch trip next year so please let us know if you are interested! All teachers and children are welcome to join us!

We went to the Aquarium at Emerald Isle and they got to see the turtles up close.

They graciously allowed our group to come FREE! So we are planning a trip for

the spring and would also like to take the children on the beach. This field trip is

open to all teachers and children across the state. Please share your interest with

Vanessa or Nancy so we may start working on planning for this Spring Event.

Vanessa Bishop Representing ELSSP-VI

In November, Vanessa Bishop represented the Early Learning Sensory Support Program at University of NC at Wilmington and at the 69th Conference on Exceptional Children.

First, she was invited to be a guest speaker by Dr. Amelia Moody, Associate Professor at UNCW. Vanessa spoke to a class of pre-service early childhood teachers in a class called “Adapting the curriculum for young children with disabilities.” She explained what the teachers of the ELSSP do, how we can support families at home, and how we can support teachers in class. She provided a number of hearing and visual impairment simulations to better help the students understand what it is like to have a sensory impairment.

Next, Vanessa was invited by Ann Hughes, an Adapted PE teacher (New Hanover County Schools) to be a part of a panel on collaboration at the 69th Conference on Exceptional Children held in Greensboro, NC. Vanessa served in the role of teacher for the visually impaired and former special educator. This panel was made up of EC professionals of all levels, including: Administrator, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Vision Specialist and former Special Educator, General High/Middle School Physical Educator, a STEM teacher, Adapted Physical Educator, University professor, Para Educator, and a student representative.

As a part of this panel, Vanessa shared how she collaborates with Adapted Physical Educators/Physical Educators and classroom teachers within the school districts she serves. She took this opportunity to educate the audience on the importance of including an Orientation and Mobility Specialist when appropriate for early learners. Members of the panel shared a little about themselves then answered questions from the audience.

We are proud of Vanessa for representing ELSSP-VI at UNCW and the Conference on Exceptional Children!

69th Conference on Exceptional Children

The 69th Conference on Exceptional Children was held on Nov 20-22 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. In addition to wonderful informational sessions, the conference featured Reid Davenport as the keynote speaker. Several ELSSP staff were able to attend the conference. Pictured below: Debra, Heather, Karen, Vanessa, Bethany, Becky, and Ruth Anne.
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Professional Development Opportunities

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Early Intervention Training Program-College of Education at Illinois 2019 Winter Webinar Series

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Session 1: Getting to the Bottom Line of Family Engagement

Session 2: Enhancing Trusting Partnerships at the Systems and Practice Levels: Reciprocal Opportunities for Professionals and Families

Session 3: Infusing Partnership Principles and Practices

Session 4: More on Infusing Partnership Principles and Practices into Family Engagement Activities

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

2019 Talks on Tuesdays Recordings -

Foundations of Social Emotional Development: Attachment - Part I & 2

Neurotypical Brain Development: "How Different Is It from Autism, ADHD, Language Delay, etc.?"

University of Maryland: School of Social Work

Maryland's Online Family Engagement Provider Module

Pyramid Model for EI Providers

Pyramid Model Training for Infant & Toddler Classrooms

Trauma Informed Pyramid Model Training

Pyramid Model Training for Leadership - The Leadership module supports administrators and members of Pyramid Model leadership teams working to implement the program.

Items of Interest

Please see the link below for information on how to receive braille letters from Santa.

The link below has some great suggestions for holiday gifts for children with CVI.


Pam Bye - Dec 14

Heather Lister - Dec 24

Nancy Kirby-Sauls - Dec 29

Photo/Video Credits