NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

January 2016

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

January Quote

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

-Nelson Mandela


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Resources/Ideas You May Find Useful Submitted by Elizabeth Wilde & Dee Martin

Take A Look...Or A Second Look Submitted by Dee Martin

Welcome New Staff

Staff Birthdays

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Professional Development Opportunities

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Register Today

NC Conference on Visual Impairments and Blindness (NCCVIB) scheduled for March 3rd and 4th, 2016 in Chapel Hill, NC.

Please register (BEFORE JANUARY 15th) for the NC Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness (NCCVIB) scheduled for March 3rd and 4th, 2016 at the Sheraton in Chapel Hill, NC. We have exciting news…Millie Smith, a nationally known presenter; will be speaking at our conference.

Millie Smith is a consultant for students with visual and multiple impairments. She is the co-author of the AER Warren Bledsoe Award winning book, Visual and Multiple Impairments: A Resource Guide. After nearly thirty years of teaching and outreach consulting at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Millie became a consultant with the American Printing House for the Blind. In that capacity, she wrote the Sensory Learning Kit (SLK) Guidebook and Routines book. Her new APH product, SAM: Symbols and Meaning is a program designed to address the needs of students with visual and multiple impairments that have mastered SLK level skills.

Bethany has secured funding to reimburse us $100 for the registration fee. The cost of the conference is $100 but only through January 15th. You will need to complete the registration form and mail it along with your check to Gina Powell at the address noted on the form. Here is the link for the registration form for the conference:

Sheraton Chapel Hill - 1 Europa Drive - Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Theme: Bridging All of Life’s Stages

Hotel Reservations: Hotel rate of $119 valid through January 31, 2016 only. Limited block of rooms available. Reserve your room online at:

Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities

The NC Infant-Toddler Program (ITP) encourages staff and providers to stay abreast of evidence based practices in early childhood intervention. To that end, the ITP maintains a list of credible organizations and businesses that provide evidence based trainings that are relevant to infants and toddlers with or without disabilities, and their families. The Continuing Professional Development List is in the process of being updated. The deadline for recommending a professional development organization/business has been extended to December 15, 2015. Recommendations are to be submitted to . The form is available.

Free National Board Teaching Certification workshop to prepare for or Renew Your National Board Certification

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. DEC is an international membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children (0-8) with disabilities and other special needs and their families.

Learning Decks are professional development webinars for those who work with, or on behalf of, young children with special needs.

General Information: All webinars are hosted on GotoWebinar. A week prior to each Learning Deck, registrants will receive a link for the webinar and handouts from presenters. Each webinar is $25. Participants can register online. If your institution does not permit online registration, please send a purchase order to or fax it to 855-678-1989. To review a full description of each webinar and bios of the presenters, please click on the title of each Learning Deck session. All Learning Deck sessions will be archived and available for download in case participants miss a session or want to sign up for a session in which they cannot attend on the date offered.

CEU Information: DEC is an approved BCBA continuing education provider. ACE #: OP-10-2037. If you participate in a Learning Deck that is eligible for BCBA continuing education units, you will receive a credit certificate via e-mail within five days of the session attended and a hard copy of the certificate in the mail within 10 days of the session attended.

Group Training: Does your institution or organization want to utilize DEC's Learning Decks for professional development for your employees? Please contact to discuss group discount rates or specific topics of interest.

DEC member price per Learning Deck: $25 (please e-mail for member code)
Nonmember price per Learning Deck: $35

Systematic Monitoring of Young Children's Social-Emotional Competence and Challenging Behaviors

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016, at 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST

Home Visiting in Early Childhood Special Education: Effective Strategies and Practices

Date: February 10, 2016, at 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST

News & Resources from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

FPG's Autism Experts Post New Free Online Learning Module on "Social Narratives"

Social narratives describe situations for learners with autism by providing relevant social cues, explanations of the feelings and thoughts of others, and descriptions of appropriate behavior expectations.

Resources/Ideas You May Find Useful

Snowman Finger Play

I built a little snowman, (Use both hands to build a three part snowman)

He had a carrot nose. (Touch your nose.)

Along came a bunny, (Make a two finger bunny hopping across in front of you.)

And what do you suppose? (Raise one hand, palm up, as if questioning, the other index finger touches your cheek)

That hungry little bunny (Rub your stomach with one hand, make the bunny hop with the other—if you can!)

Looking for some lunch, (Hands to brow to search for lunch)

Ate the snowman’s carrot nose! (Hold one hand with index finger out as the carrot; make bunny hop toward the index finger of your other hand)

Nibble, nibble, crunch! (Use the three fingers of the other hand to “nibble” the index finger)

Resources/Ideas You May Find Useful Contd.

Home Made Snow

Have some winter sensory play with your homemade snow, whether the weather outside cooperates or not! Mix equal parts baking soda and shaving cream. (Some recipes call for silvery glitter to make it sparkle, but you may want to eliminate this in case it gets into a child’s eyes.) Put snow in a darker container, such as a darker plastic box or dishpan. Hide toys in the snow so your child has to search and scoop with their fingers!

*If you are using this in a daycare/preschool or school setting, please make sure shaving cream is allowed.

If shaving cream is not allowed, an alternative recipe would be baking soda and water. To make the snow slowly add water to the desired amount of baking soda until is is mold-able and damp but not too wet. If you accidentally add too much water just add more baking soda. Then pop in the freezer for half an hour or longer before it's time to play.

Resources Continued


American Printing House for the Blind & Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Partnership

APH and the Dollywood Foundation have a partnership that expands Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) program to provide young children who are blind and visually impaired with accessible books in print/braille.

Selected Imagination Library books are available free-of-charge in print/braille format to families with children that are visually impaired or blind. By enrolling in the Braille Tales Print/Braille Book Program, participating families receive six free print/braille books each year until the child reaches his/her 6th birthday. To be eligible for the program, a parent or child must meet the definition of blindness.

Books are limited and enrollment is on a first come/first serve basis.

To apply online go to:

Take a Look...or a Second Look

Spotlight on Resources

Please share this valuable FREE opportunity with families. Although this session is offered in the Raleigh area it is open to families located anywhere in the state. In addition to the informative sessions listed below families will have an opportunity to meet and connect with other families of children with visual impairments.

Save the Date! NC-APVI is hosting a FREE parent education day with 3 concurrent sessions for parents to learn about services and interventions for their children with visual impairments, as well as a vendor fair and goal ball demonstration.


Parent Education Session

Saturday, January 30 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Governor Morehead School for the Blind, Raleigh

Sessions planned include:

• Braille Bootcamp 2016

• Adaptive Technology Toolbox

• Adapted Arts

• Adapted Physical Education

• Division of Services for the Blind

• Do you need an IEP to understand your child's IEP?

• Older Students’ Panel

• Orientation & Mobility

More information and registration to come…

Welcome Heather Bradford!!!

Heather Bradford officially joined our program this month (January 2016). Heather began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist in Columbus, Ohio. She moved with her husband, Todd, son, Mac (19) and daughter Hadley (18) to North Carolina in 2000. Heather taught elementary grades 1-3 and grade 5 as well as special education resource and inclusion grades K-5 in NC. For the past two years she has served as the TVI in Iredell Statesville Schools. Heather completed the TVI program at North Carolina Central in December and is "thrilled to join the ELSSP/VI team". Welcome Heather!

January Staff Birthdays

January 6th Starla Wilson

January 10th Sandy Bryant

January 20th Kim Sawyer

January 24th Lin Causey

January 28th Karen Decker

Director's Spotlight

By: Bethany Mayo, Director ELSSP-VI

Lori Bartram

Lori Bartram was born in Minnesota and moved at the age of 14 to Snellville, Georgia (GA). She met her husband James in Ga. and they now have 2 girls, Emma (12) and Kaylee (9).

Lori loves to travel and has been many places! She also loves to scrapbook and gets together with friends each month to keep up with all of the many pictures she takes. Lori mostly loves hanging out with her girls and husband talking to them about life.

Lori taught elementary school for 11 years. During that time she taught 1st, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade as a homeroom teacher. Lori was given the opportunity to become the Early Intervention teacher mid-way through her career. This entailed working with kids struggling in reading and math in grades K-5. This is where she found her passion in working one on one with children. Lori thrived in the position that allowed her the opportunity to truly get to know the kids on a much more personal level. She loved watching a child who was struggling suddenly “get it” and thrive in their classrooms.

Lori’s husband had a job opportunity present itself in Raleigh, North Carolina (NC). Her family made the decision to move to the state and she was able to stay home with their 2 girls. After living in Raleigh, Lori’s family made it’s way to Fletcher, NC where they now call home.

Fletcher, NC is where Lori discovered a career path she did not even know existed. She became a Community Based Rehabilitation Specialist with a private company and learned many things about providing Early Intervention services to babies and toddlers. Lori did this for 2 years before discovering yet another position that interested her greatly. Lori wishes she had begun her journey as a teacher of the visually impaired many years ago. She has a true passion for families and children with visual impairments. Lori has only worked with our team for a few months but has taken the initiative to enroll herself in online Braille classes, reach out to other teachers for support in creating appropriate lesson plans, and has offered her technology expertise to peers. She has dedicated herself to leaning all that she can about the field of vision and is looking forward to starting classes at North Carolina Central University this January, 2016. Thank you Lori for being the Director’s Spotlight.

Photo Credits