NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

February 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

February's Quote

The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.

-Robert John Meehan


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

VI Conference Submitted by Pam Bye

Teacher Talk 101 Submitted by Kim Sawyer

Fill Your Cup Submitted by Karen Beijer

Easter Egg Hunt Submitted by Sandy Bryant

Regional Meetings Submitted by Heather Lister

Welcome New Staff

Staff Birthdays for February

Photo/Video Credits

Professional Development Opportunities

Big image


Shared by Krystal Davis, Public Health Consultant with the NC EI Branch

Feeding Challenges in Young Children: An Overview

Wednesday, February 15th, 1:00 to 2:00 PM EST

Facilitator: Deborah A. Bruns, PhD Read More

Many young children with disabilities and developmental delays experience feeding challenges. While their cause and treatment vary, there are a number of common approaches to assessment and intervention. This session will provide ways to collect information about feeding development and an overview of effective strategies and specialized interventions to facilitate feeding development. An emphasis on collaboration across professions will be shared. Resources will also be offered.

Register Here

Webinar title: A Framework for Engaging Families in Early Intervention: Current and Best Practice

Summary: Family engagement leads to improved outcomes for children. Some families are harder to engage than others. Explore recent research conducted by Indiana University and learn about a family engagement framework that incorporates practical strategies for getting all families engaged during early intervention and the benefits for children, families and providers.

Date and time: Ongoing

Fee: $35.00

Registration Here


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


For over 15 years, the Inclusion Institute has been the premier event for people from all early childhood sectors to come together to learn, share, and problem-solve about inclusion for young children. Now you can register for this year's Institute:

The 2017 Institute will include dozens of groundbreaking sessions and workshops on many hot topics. Janice Fialka—parent, poet, storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for people with disabilities—delivers the keynote address. Our popular federal plenary panel returns, and the award-winning filmmaker Jenna Kanell and her brother Vance lead this year's special family plenary session.

May 9, 2017 through May 11, 2017 at the Friday Center for Continuing Education Chapel Hill, NC


Classroom Management Supports for ADHD Behaviors in Early Childhood Education Settings from the National Resource Center on ADHD's "Ask the Expert" free webinar series

Desiree Murray 2016

This webinar is archived, and you can watch it here.

About the webinar: Hyperactive, non-compliant, and disruptive behaviors in the classroom are often challenges for early childhood educators, regardless of whether a young child is diagnosed with ADHD or not. Understanding the rationale for and principles of behavior management and self-regulation approaches can help you support positive development for young children with challenging behaviors using evidence-based strategies.

More about the National Resource Center on ADHD's "Ask the Expert" series


VI CONFERENCE March 9th & 10th

We are delighted that so many of you have registered to attend the North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness (NCCVIB). It will be held on March 9th and 10th at Embassy Suites hotel in Winston-Salem, NC. Below is more information about our presenter for the preschool strand, Mindy Ely. Mindy will offer interactive sessions and encourage audience participation.

Mindy is the EL VISTA Project Coordinator at Illinois State University. EL VISTA stands for Early Learning Visual Impairment Services Training and Advancement. This program was implemented in 2015 and is funded by the US Department of Education for five years. The purpose is to train and recruit TVIs and O&Ms in working with infants and toddlers. The website is part of this program. Mindy is a TVI and a Developmental Vision Therapist. Mindy spent 10 years with Hearing and Vision Connections where she planned and provided training and technical assistance to families and professionals. She has been part of the International Blind Preschool Summit Group since 2006. Mindy was president of the Illinois chapter of AER. She has served on the National AER board. In 2012 she received the IAER’s Distinguish Service Award for the impact she has made to the field of education of the blind and visually impaired. Mindy has written several articles for AFB and JVIB. For example in May 2016 for JVIB she authored "Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment: The Responsibility of Practitioners in the Field of Visual Impairment in a Changing Landscape”.

Teacher Talk 101

Nurturing Exceptional Communication

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

-Dale Carnegie

Exceptional communication skills are essential for a master teacher. Three key qualities that nurture exceptional communication are genuiness, non-possessive love, and empathy. The genuine or authentic person is able to experience and express feelings in appropriate and considerate ways. We must recognize and understand the thoughts and perspectives of others as well as our own. We should ask ourselves what outcome do we want to achieve and what impression do we want to leave. Self-acceptance or being honest with ourselves is needed in order to communicate genuinely. Knowing how to say something without judgment is paramount.

The second quality that nurtures exceptional communication is non-possessive love. This encompasses being patient, fair, consistent and kind. We must choose to seek what is best for another, no matter how we feel. We can choose to wish others well and behave accordingly without losing authenticity. A willingness to allow others to be who they are is an expression of non-possessive love. We need to realize that none of us are totally accepting; however, a person may be accepted even when their behavior is not.

Empathy is the third quality necessary for nurturing communication. Empathy is the ability to listen and understand another person’s perspective. An empathic person is able to see the world from another’s eyes.

The “Master Teacher” knows that being an effective educator requires exceptional communication skills. We need to develop these skills in order to benefit others and ourselves. These quality traits reflect our state of mind and condition of our heart.

DeBruyn, Robert L. (1995). The Master Teacher. Three Qualities That Nurture Exceptional Communication, 27(4). Manhattan, Kansas. The MASTER Teacher, Inc.

Fill Your Cup

As teachers that go into other people's homes, we see a lot of the genuine reality of what a crisis looks like. We do not go into houses and just look at the child's eyes, play with the child, give some suggestions and leave. We become an advocate, a listener, a social worker, a friend, a confidant, an adviser, a counselor, a guide, a support, and a shoulder to cry on. We are also there to cheer on the successes, praise the accomplishments, motivate the child and parents, and give them that extra push to make progress.

What do you do to take care of yourself though when you get into a situation when a family is in crisis and there's great deal of emotions and heaviness to the visit? When you leave the visit, do you sit in their angst? Do you shake it off? Do you call a friend to unload? Do you turn up the music to drown it out?

Sometimes we can handle these certain situations like a champ and feel good about helping. Other times we may feel like we accomplished nothing and we feel defeated.

Most of the time, I believe that our parents that we work with just need to be heard. They appreciate our insight. They look forward to talking to another adult. They respect our knowledge and what we have to offer, even if it's outside the scope of being a teacher for the visually impaired.

It's super important that you as an itinerant teacher, don't carry their load. This is one of the hardest things for me. I take on other people's anxiety or sadness. When I do that though, it makes the other person feel better and it makes me feel worse.

Be a good listener. Offer a shoulder to cry on if needed. Give them resources to help out. Call the service coordinator to intervene. Then be grateful that you were in the right place at the right time and pray that all shall be well.

Easter Egg Hunt

SEVENTH Annual Spring EGGSplosion

A beeping egg hunt for the visually impaired

Join us

Saturday March 25, 2017


Reynolda Village

2210 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC

Presented by Winston-Salem Police Dept.

Bomb Squad in partnership with Early

Learning Sensory Support Program

for Children with Visual Impairments (ELSSP/VI)


SEVENTH Annual Spring EGGSplosion

A beeping egg hunt for the visually impaired

Join us

Saturday April 01, 2017

10:00-12:00 (Egg Hunt)

Governor Morehead School

301 Ashe Avenue, Raleigh, NC

Presented by Winston-Salem Police Dept

Bomb Squad in partnership with

Governor Morehead School (a state

school for blind and visually impaired

children), ELSSP/VI & SENC (District 42)

Regional Meetings

Regional Meetings for ELSSP/VI were held on Friday, January 13th. Each region discussed different topics. The Eastern Region focused on technology, including a review/question answer session on Easy Tracs and how to navigate One Drive and Yammer. The Central region’s topic was “how to plan VI specific activities that address goals”. They also did a fun ice breaker (notice the balloons and panty hose in their pictures). The West had an “in service” about working with non English speaking families (presented by Maria Cabeo), did a Make and Take snowman book and learned some basic yoga! Please see the pictures below from our regional meetings!!!

Welcome Carrie Ledford

Carrie's home is in Western North Carolina where she has been an elementary school teacher for four years. Carrie finished up the program to become a TVI from North Carolina Central University and was the TVI for her county. She is currently working on finishing up her O&M training through NCCU as well.

Carrie is married to a teacher and coach named BJ and they have two foster children, ages 3 and 4. The whole family is pretty excited for this new job opportunity! Welcome Carrie!!!

February Staff Birthdays

February 8th Debra Graham

February 17th Lori Blaney

February 27th Angel Wallace

Photo/Video Credits