NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

September 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

Opening Convocation - Staff

LL Cool Tech Tool Tips - Lori Bartram, Lori Persinger

ECC Corner - Hitty Chiott

Professional Development Opportunities - Lin Causey

Items of Interest - Bethany Mayo, Becky Lowrey

Welcome New Staff

Staff Birthdays for September

Photo/Video Credits

2019 Opening Convocation

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The Early Learning Sensory Support Program Opening Convocation was held in Raleigh, NC on August 13 &14. The two days were filled with meaningful learning experiences, inspiring us all in the work that we do with young children and their families in NC. We are looking forward to another great year!

LL Cool Tech Tool Tips

LL Cool Tech Tools: Joy Player Segment
Joy Player
Make sure to watch these links!
The Joy Player with Dad
The Joy Player
Quick Tip: The JOY Player and File Uploads

ECC Corner

Welcome to ECC Corner!

Here’s a space in which we hope to highlight the importance of the Expanded Core Curriculum (the ECC) for our little ones who have visual impairments. The ECC includes knowledge and skills typically learned incidentally through observation and imitation by sighted children; it includes 9 areas that must be intentionally taught so that children with visual impairments can access their education and make their own choices throughout life. The good news is that so many activities address at least a few of the 9 areas at one time; that it isn’t just up to TVIs or parents alone to address the ECC; and that for young children the ECC is meant to provide hands-on learning through play and experiences in everyday routines. The ECC is for children with visual impairments and additional challenges and it should be a part of their education program from birth through 21. We hope to help parents and caregivers become familiar with, and confident in, addressing each area of the ECC within daily routines by considering what adaptations are needed for a child to be an active participant. We would love to hear your ideas and how you are addressing the ECC with your child too!

Here are some great resources to find out more about the ECC:

Finger Painting on a Lightbox and the ECC

While there are a million possible activities and ways to address an area of the ECC, let’s start by looking at this fun play activity which was adapted for Madelyn to enjoy.

Madelyn had a great time finger painting on her lightbox. And even though she didn’t know it, we addressed at least 3 areas of the ECC during that one activity.

She has Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and additional challenges with mobility. She is enjoying things with more than one color now and finds light and shiny toys extra interesting. Madelyn loves her own hands (and feet!) best of all and her grandmother and I want to find ways to encourage her to play with other toys/objects using her hands. We sealed finger paint inside plastic bags and taped the bags to a lightbox using yellow tape. The lightbox added visual accessibility. The tape helped to secure the paint bags and provided a visual border between the two paint colors. We found the idea on the A Different Kind of Vision blog referenced above – here's the link for the activity

At first Madelyn laid next to the lightbox with the paint and just looked at it for a bit; then she stretched her arm to reach and rolled closer to touch the red paint bag. Once Madelyn was interested in this finger painting idea, we sat up together. Madelyn’s grandmother asked her to “find red” or “find blue” and I helped Madelyn make lines, circles, and the letter M while we played. We put the lightbox and paint further away and sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat while stretching to reach the paint. Madelyn initiated the rocking back and forth motion again each time we came to a stop. She was very vocal and smiley throughout so this will be an activity that she and her grandmother will continue.

As part of my goal this year to be more effective about communicating how to address the ECC, here’s a chart I left for Madelyn’s parents and her grandmother to show how this activity touches on some different areas of the ECC:

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Professional Development Opportunities

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September 3, 2019, Foundations of Social Emotional Development-Part I Webinar, FREE

You will automatically be registered for PART II - Foundations of Social Emotional Development - TEMPERAMENT on November 5, 2019 when registering for September.

September 14, 2019, Introduction to the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, Raleigh

September 20, 2019, Connections Matter, Morrisville NC

September 25, 2019, Coaching in Early Childhood FREE Webinar

October 3-4, 2019, UNC TEACCH Autism Program Conference-Understanding & Supporting Autism in the Early Years, The Friday Center - Chapel Hill, NC

The learner must choose sessions that are related to infants and toddlers and their families to receive Infant-Toddler Program (ITP) credit.

October 19, 2019, Introduction to the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, Durham

November 12, 2019 - November 14, 2019, 2019, 2019 Infant & Young Child Mental Health & Home Visiting Summit, Greensboro

November 20–23, 2019 2019 NAEYC Annual Conference, Nashville, TN

Early Head Start (FREE Ongoing Webinars)

· Home Visiting Series:

o Partnering with Parents to Create Physically and Emotionally Safe Learning Environments (webinar)

o Relationship-Based Competencies for Home Visitors (webinar)

· Using PBC to Support Positive Interactions

Items of Interest

See this link provided for a free subscription to the Calm app.

Please see below regarding VI Webinars

Season 3: Visual Impairment Webinars, Featuring the Expanded Core Curriculum

September 12, 2019 (3:30pm)

Sensory Efficiency: Life After the Dome Magnifier

*Featuring Dr. Cindy Bachofer from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired


October 17, 2019 (3:30pm)

Assistive Technology: AT 4 VI


December 12, 2019 (3:30pm)

Career Education: Working for a Career


January 16, 2020 (3:30pm)

Self-determination: Going Beyond "will advocate for self”

*Featuring Dr. Karen Blankenship from Tennessee School for the Blind


February 6, 2019 (3:30pm)

Recreation & Leisure: For the Fun of it


March 19, 2020 (3:30pm)

Independent Living: Tough Conversations with Families

*Featuring Robbin Keating Clark from Utah School for the Deaf and Blind


April 9, 2020 (3:30pm)

Social Skills: You are not social without skills


May 7, 2020 (3:30pm)

Orientation & Mobility: Much More Than a Cane

*Featuring Jennifer Thurman from North Carolina Central University


Welcome Stacey Sloane

We are excited to welcome Stacey Sloane as an Administrative Associate for ELSSP.
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Ambra Spry September 20

Heather Bradford September 22

Photo/Video Credits