NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

October 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.

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


Amazing Kids Submitted by Staff


10th Annual Pumpkins & Prizes Party

Process Art and the ECC Submitted by Hitty Chiott

NEW...CVI Support Team

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Staff Birthdays for October

Photo/Video Credits

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Families with children that have a visual impairment...We are having our 10th Annual Pumpkins & Prizes Party! The event will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 5-7pm at Gymcarolina Gymnastics Academy (9321 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613).

Activities Include:
*Pumpkin Decorating
*Sweet Treats
*Technology Demos
*Community Groups to Explore
*Door Prizes


Process Art and the ECC

Process art for young children with visual impairments offers a perfectly fun way to foster creativity, encourage independence, and address many areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum. I came across the term “process art” while searching for some art activities that would easy and fun for toddlers. My thought originally was that the process of doing the art project would provide a motivating opportunity to practice some good fine motor skills and talk about colors. I realized that when the focus of the art is on the process and not the product, process art does so much more than I even imagined. As a teacher, the first step for me was to let go of any preconceived ideas I had about how the final product would look (easy peasy for me, as I am not super-crafty). The next step was to gather some simple supplies, and the options are almost endless. The final step is to just be present and interactive, while also taking a step back as a grown-up in order to let the child dig in, experiment, and get creative. For our first art experience, Owen and I used some liquid watercolor paints, plastic pipettes, and paper towels. For our second art experience, Owen mixed some water into a mixture of equal parts self-rising flour and salt, then added food coloring to make a homemade puff-paint. The puff-paint puffs up and hardens instantly after going in the microwave for 30 seconds. Owen had such a great time with the process art and it gave him a fun way to practice so many skills. Here are some of the Expanded Core Curriculum areas that were easily addressed in this activity:

Compensatory Skills- which includes concept development, communication and literacy modes, and spatial understanding. We got to do lots of talking about about concepts while Owen had the hands-on experience associated with the various concepts. For example, we talked about colors including mixing and changing colors; wet and dry; hard and soft; clean and messy; and named the body parts that got paint on them. Owen also pinched his fingers together to pull paint into the pipettes, squeezed bottles for paint or water, stirred the mixtures, and poured ingredients. He also found the numbers (with some help) on the microwave, and counted backwards from 30 as our puff paint “cooked.”

Independent Living Skills- these include daily living skills like eating, food preparation, dressing, hygiene, cleaning/chores. The puff-paint activity was especially great for addressing these skills. The steps in the process of making the puff-paint are so simple, that Owen needed very little assistance with this so he got to be involved in every step. He poured and mixed the ingredients, pressed the buttons on the microwave, and opened and closed the microwave door. He had to practice washing his hands several times (especially with the paper towel activity, which was messier!).

Recreation and Leisure: Children with visual impairments need to be provided with lots of opportunities to experience different activities so they can chose physical and leisure activities to enjoy throughout their lives. By letting him experiment, make choices, and do things with minimal assistance, Owen thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating his art.

Orientation and Mobility - refers to the ability of understanding where one in is space and moving about safely and as independently as possible. Owen safely went up and down his steps to the back yard, navigated to the bathroom sink to wash his hands, and helped to find and carry some of our supplies.

Self Determination - involves making choices for oneself, asking for help or declining assistance, problem-solving, and goal-setting. With the focus on the process instead of a product, Owen got to make all decisions about the colors to use or mix, when his creation was finished, and what tools to use. He is very good about saying “no, no” when he does not want assistance. : )

Sensory Efficiency - involves instruction in the use of all senses. In addition to feeling all the different textures involved in these, or any art projects, Owen got hands-on-experience using the microwave so that he knows what makes the different beeping sounds and what the long beep sound at the end means. He relied on many visual skills, including scanning on the microwave to find the numbered buttons, and practicing depth perception and eye-hand coordination as he dipped his tools into the paint and then dripped onto the paper. Once the puff-paint was hardened, it provided a great tactile picture (which also supports pre-braille skills in the compensatory skills area). Some other time, we may experiment with adding scents to our puff paint, or otherwise incorporate the sense of smell into a process art activity.

Social Interaction:Since I could take a step back from trying to overly-direct the activity, we had much more fun laughing and talking about our creations. We took turns in the conversation, and I asked simple questions to provide choices throughout.

Thank you Owen for helping me learn about how awesome Process Art is! You are a wonderful artist!

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Professional Development Opportunities

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Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement Webinar Series

Summary: This series is organized as a set of four resources: an overview and three resources designed for specific roles—family services professionals, teachers and child care providers, and home visitors. Each role-specific resource also describes related competencies for supervisors and leaders. The Relationship-based Competencies (RBCs) are based on research and recommended practice across many fields working with families from pregnancy through the early childhood years.

The RBCs are consistent with specific state core knowledge and competencies for early childhood professionals and other preparation resources for the early childhood workforce. They can reinforce and extend efforts across states to increase family engagement in early childhood programs. The RBCs are aligned with the Head Start Program Performance Standards and the 2016 Child Care and Development Fund Final Rule.

Fee: none

Register now for the upcoming webinar series, Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement:

· Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, 3–4:15 p.m. ET: Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement for All Early Childhood Professionals: An Overview

· Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018: Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work with Children in Group Settings

· Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, 3–4:15 p.m. ET: Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Work with Families

· Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, 3–4:15 p.m. ET: Exploring the Relationship-Based Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals Who Make Home Visits

Select the link to access complimentary resources at Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC): Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies

Writing Functional Outcomes as an IFSP Team Webinar

Summary: Participants who attend the webinar will increase their knowledge of writing functional outcomes based on family priorities, increase their skills in writing functional outcomes based on family priorities, and increase their knowledge of available resources to support teams in writing functional outcomes. Read More

Date: Thursday, November 29th, 2018,

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Fee: $25 for DEC Members/$35 for Non-Members

Register Here

Received from Sheri Logan

QA/QI Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Children’s Developmental Services Agency of the Cape Fear

NC Department of Health and Human Services


Reducing the Risk of Child Incidents Webinar

Summary: Explore how to support teachers, home visitors, and family child care providers to establish and maintain a positive climate in their settings. Learn to offer appropriate responses to challenging behavior.

Date/Time: Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 3–4 p.m. ET

Fee: free

Register: Visit the ECLKC calendar to register.

Responsive Learning Environments for Infants and Toddlers Webinar

Summary: Learning environments are everywhere! Together, we will explore how engaging and responsive learning environments help infants and toddlers achieve school readiness.

Date and Time: Thursday, Nov.8 from 3–4 p.m. ET

Fee: free

Register: Visit the ECLKC calendar to register.

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.


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



Exceptional Children's Conference (NC Dept. of Public Instruction)

November 14th-16th, 2018

Greensboro, NC

October Birthdays

Paula Roten October 6th

Deidre Dorsey October 12th

Photo/Video Credits