NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

March 2017

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

March's Quote

Your life as a teacher begins the day you realize that you are always a learner.

-Robert John Meehan


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

NCCVIB Conference Submittedy by Pam Bye and Paula Roten

Teacher Talk 101 Submitted by Kim Sawyer

Early Learning Progressions Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Student of the Month Submitted by Joy Fleming

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Staff Birthdays for March

Photo/Video Credits

Professional Development Opportunities

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North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness (NCCVIB)

Looking Forward to New Opportunities

March 9 - 10, 2017

Embassy Suites Winston Salem

NC-AER - North Carolina Association for Education and ...

NCAER is the North Carolina Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired


FREE training opportunity sponsored by NCDPI and ECU Teacher Support Program, and the NC Deaf-Blind Project. This event will be held on March 10, 2017 in Chapel Hill.

The morning session will consist of a presentation of a case study by Becky Clem and her work in describing how a team worked together in developing a child's communication skills.

The afternoon session presenters will be Monica Faherty and Andrea Blackwood.

Please see the attached flyer for more information regarding the target audience, presentation information, and registration information.

If you have any questions, please contact Sandra Warren at

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NCCVIB Conference

We are looking forward to our annual North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness (NCCVIB) which will be held on March 9th and 10th at the Embassy Suites hotel in Winston-Salem, NC. We are delighted that so many of our staff will be attending this year’s conference and are looking forward to hearing from our presenter, Mindy Ely. Mindy Ely is the Early Learning Visual Impairment Services Training and Advancement (EL VISTA) Project Coordinator at Illinois State University. She will be presenting to us on a variety of topics such as family centered practice, learning through daily routines, play skills, social skills, CVI, fine motor skills, working with children with visual and multiple impairments, etc. Her sessions will be interactive and full of useful information you can take back and use for your students. We look forward to seeing everyone in Winston-Salem soon.

Pam Bye and Paula Roten

Teacher Talk 101

Recently I discovered TED talks on the Internet. Many of you probably know what I am referring to. If you don’t, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading worthwhile ideas on almost all topics. This global community supports conferences, projects and educational lessons. A clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers in the form of short, powerful talks can be found at Talks can be searched by topic, language, duration, events and speaker. They can be sorted by newest oldest, most viewed, jaw-dropping, funny, persuasive, courageous, ingenious, fascinating, inspiring, beautiful and informative. The agenda of TED stated on their website is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.

One such talk is by Ed Boyden, a professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences. In 2011 he gave a fascinating talk about the brain and developing research being done. He explained in understandable terms how the brain functions and explained that if researchers could figure out how to turn off and on specific cells in the brain, it could lead to controlling and eliminating many diseases and conditions. The research Boyden showed is in the beginning stages to do just that. Proteins from an alga that converts light into electricity were inserted into neurons in the brains of mice, via a virus. The neurons then fabricated the light-sensitive proteins and installed them all over the cell. This made the cell able to be activated by light. These specific neurons were turned on and off with fiber-optic implants. These mice had been cured of analogs of PTSD and certain forms of blindness in which the photoreceptors in the eyes were damaged or atrophied. This research is very exciting.

Take the time to visit and learn more about things that interest you!

Early Learning Progressions

The North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five are an expansion of the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013). Learning progressions were developed for each identified goal in four developmental domains, and show the steps through which children develop skills from birth to five years. During the first year of life, progressions are provided for skills achieved at two-month intervals; during the second year, three-month intervals; and from thirty-six to sixty months, skills are noted at six-month intervals. The comprehensive observation guidelines include age level, skill being observed, situation for observation of skills, strategies for eliciting the skill, if needed, what observed behavior indicates achievement of the skill, and routines-based intervention or embedded instruction. Instructions for navigating the NC Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five can be found here.

March's Marvelous Student...Camilla

Camilla lives in Charlotte with her family. She has been diagnosed with micocephaly and the visual diagnoses of micropthalmia, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreosis and cateracts. She has no light perception. Camilla is 2 years old and loves to be outdoors . Today was her first time ever on a playground. She was frightened at first but is beginning to warm up to it. Joy Fleming is her vision teacher and Annette Zaiontz is her mobility teacher. She also has a physical therapist and a speech therapist. Camilla loves her family - especially mom. Camilla can stand up hanging onto support and is beginning to walk with gait trainer. Her favorite toys are her musical toys.

Director's Spotlight

By: Bethany Mayo, Director ELSSP/VI

Paula Roten

Paula Roten will have been with our program for 20 years in August of this year. Before coming to the program, she worked for two years at a developmental day school as the Infant Toddler Specialist. In addition to being a TVI, Paula has worked as an adjunct instructor for Wilkes Community College and Appalachian State University in their Early Childhood Education departments.

Paula received her undergraduate and masters degrees from Appalachian State University in Birth to Kindergarten Education, and received her K-12 teacher of the visually impaired certification from North Carolina Central University. In 2005, Paula received her National Board Teaching Certification in Exceptional Needs Early Childhood through Young Adulthood-VI, and achieved renewal status in 2014. Paula is also a certified NC Early Intervention Infant Toddler and Family Specialist.

Paula lives in Ashe county with her husband and two sons, 17-year-old David and 13-year-old Joshua. Her boys keep her busy with basketball games, track, cross country, and other school related activities but in her free time, she loves to read biographies, watch her favorite television programs, walk for exercise, and pin on Pinterest.

Paula has a passion for helping others. This is seen in her work with children and families but also with her fellow teachers. This year Paula has dedicated herself to helping other teachers who would like to go through the National Board Process. She is meeting with them individually to share her experience and coach them along through this very involved process. Paula is such a wonderful representation of a selfless leader who strives to support others in lifelong learning. Thank you Paula for all that you do and for being our Director’s Spotlight.

March Staff Birthdays

March 18th Karen Beijer

March 30th Jennifer Simmons

Photo/Video Credits