NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

May 2018

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

Touching Lives Through ELSSP

The Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments and Hearing Impairments is a division of the Office of Early Learning through the Department of Public Instruction. Our team is unique to The Department of Public Instruction because it includes over 70 staff members that provide direct instruction to children and families. We have licensed teachers of the visually impaired and hearing impaired/deaf, occupational therapists, interpreters and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists all with one goal; to make sure each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

The paths that we take to meet that goal may look very different for each life we touch. Sometimes it means that a teacher is asked to meet a family at the ophthalmologist or audiologist’s office, just in case they need a little support. A teacher adapts a book so a child can experience a story through touch. An ELSSP teacher supports a classroom teacher with specific adaptations for a student or give strategies to help their child with mealtimes, dressing, or a family outing. We provide a multitude of resources for parents and caregivers whether it’s articles and support groups about their child’s diagnosis, an online course to explore braille for the parent of a future braille reader, or being able to engage with other families in a beeping Easter egg hunt. Our teachers travel all over the state to wherever there are children with vision and hearing impairments. We visit with families in their homes. We serve the children in daycares, homes and preschool classrooms. We work closely with other professionals who also serve our students, this collaboration allows everyone to have a better understanding as to how children with sensory impairments learn. The North Carolina Early Learning Support Program provides support in so many ways, but there is always one common outcome… the impact lasts a lifetime.

If you would like more information about our program, please visit our website at


Amazing Kids Submitted by Staff Members

Kindermusik and KinderVillage Music Station Donation Submitted by Sandy Bryant

8th Annual SPRING EGGSPLOSION Submitted by Jennifer Simmons

4th Annual Kids Helping Kids Festival Submitted by Lin Causey

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Staff Birthdays for May

Photo/Video Credits

Lollipop Drum Fun!!!

Kindermusik at KinderVillage Music Studio in Cary NC Continues to support ELSSP/VI

For many years now, Susan Eriksson, Social Worker and Music Teacher, at KinderVillage has volunteered to teach some KinderMusik classes for our families of young children birth to five years old with visual impairments. It truly is one of our favorite playgroups!

This past Christmas Kindermusik at KinderVillage in Cary staff and families found yet another way to support ELSSP/VI buy purchasing lollipop drums to be donated to each of our 30 teachers. These drums are so brightly colored and extremely motivational for our students with low vision and they make beautiful music for our students with no vision. Many of our teachers use music to encourage “learning through play” and all of our students love this drum. While singing and using this brightly colored drum and its sounds, students can develop visual and auditory motor skills, visual and auditory tracking skills and concept development.

With the help of Kindermusiks at KinderVillages’ generous donation of lollipop drums all of our teachers have received a music kit to use with their students with visual impairments. Over 500 young children with visual impairments across the state of NC will benefit from this gift.

Thanks so much to Susan Eriksson and her staff and families!

8th Annual Spring EGGSplosion

Despite the cold and a little snow, this year’s Spring EGGSplosion held at the Reynolda Village in Winston-Salem, had an amazing turn out. The Spring EGGSplosion is a beeping egg hunt for the blind and visually impaired organized by the Winston –Salem Police Department Bomb Squad and ELSSP/VI. Many do not realize that it is more than just an egg hunt. Lots of the children enjoyed petting a therapy dog and a pony. Families had an opportunity to learn about and explore the Bomb Squad Robot. There was also a sensory station, face painting, crafts, and games. Special appearances were made by McGruff the Crime Dog and the Wake Forest Demon Deacon. Everyone had a great time and looking forward to attending this awesome event again next year!

Big picture

On May 6, 2018 the Bryce Martin Foundation is putting on their fourth annual Kids Helping Kids Festival. It will be a fun packed day at the Laurel Hills Park in Raleigh with lots of outdoor activities and performances, including bands, gymnastics teams, carnival activities and an exhibition by the local Goal Ball Team. This year, we are expecting over 1000 families and thought this would be a great opportunity for exposure for your organization and you would also be contributing to an amazing and important cause that impacts local families.

The purpose of the festival is to bring together sighted and visually impaired children to interact and to educate sighted children about the world of the visually impaired. All proceeds go to funding glasses, therapy equipment, Braille learning tools as well as helping support The Exploration Learning Center, which offers preschool, camps and classes for visually impaired children in the Triangle.

The Bryce Martin Foundation

9321 Leesville Road

Raleigh, NC 27613

Big picture

Professional Development Opportunities

Big picture


Supporting Interactions for Children with Disabilities and Suspected Delays Webinar

Summary: Learn how to better support peer and adult-child interactions for children with identified disabilities or suspected delays. Explore how social and emotional competence is key to early learning outcomes for all young children.

Topics include:

· Evidence-based practices that support inclusion

· Strategies and practices that facilitate children’s interactions with adults and peers

· Resources on sensitive and responsive interactions with children who have identified disabilities or suspected delays

Date and Time: Ongoing

Contact hour: 1.0

Sponsor: EHS

Fee: none

Watch the archived recording.

*This webinar does not offer a certificate. To receive credit, the learner should attach the following to their “N.C. ITP Documentation of Continuing Professional Development” form:

• 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 you will apply the information learned from the training in your work.



The Leo M. Croghan Foundation, in collaboration with the Carolina Institute of Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) and Wake AHEC, has the webinar series, Autism Spectrum Disorder: From Identification to Evidence Based Intervention, available for another year. Participants may access the series at

There are four courses available in the series:

· Autism Spectrum Disorder: Signs, Symptoms and Early Identification - Elizabeth R. Crais, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Professor and Coordinator, Doctoral Studies of Speech & Hearing Services, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. and Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel, Ph.D., Associate Director, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C.

· Screening Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorder - Elizabeth R. Crais, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Professor and Coordinator, Doctoral Studies of Speech & Hearing Services, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. and Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel, Ph.D., Associate Director, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C.

· Diagnostic Assessment Strategies for Autism Spectrum Disorder - Lauren Turner-Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Director, UNC TEACCH Autism Program, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C.

· Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Practices - Ann Sam, Ph.D., Investigator and Evelyn Shaw, M.Ed., Educational Consultant.

Each webinar is $20, which covers Wake AHEC’s costs.

The Leo M. Croghan Foundation aims to present information that is evidence-based or informed and that recognizes the importance of early intervention, family-centered service delivery, and collaboration between parents and professionals.



Big picture


Opening Convocation

August 14-15, 2018

Raleigh, NC

Monthly Webinars: Partnering with YOU through Visual Impairment information sharing

From the North Carolina Department of Publlc Instruction

Monthly Webinars 3:30-4:30 PM

May 3rd

Transitioning Students From One Level to the Next:

Preschool through High School

Webinar Registration Link

May Staff Birthdays

May 9th Sue Caruso

May 26th Annette Zaiontz

Photo/Video Credits