NC-APVI Update

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February 1, 2017

NC News and Interests

GMS is in the news !! Congratulations Cheerleaders!…/josh-sh…/article129774899.html

From our friends at GMS. Our condolences are extended. Please help if you can.

The purpose of special education is to prepare students with disabilities for further education, employment, and independent living.

Accommodations are intended to help your child work around the disability and demonstrate what he has learned.

With accommodations, your child should be able to complete the same assignment or test as other students, without altering what the assignment or test measures. Your child is expected to learn the same information.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn about accommodations in the classroom, on tests, in advance placement courses, and in after school programs.

We hope you will forward this issue to other friends, families, or colleagues.

This latest email had really good information! Check it out!

Wow - About the Surf Camp for Visually Impaired kids, the owner of Indo Jax, Jack Viorel, will be highlighted in August for The Hero Effect show! Way to go Jack!

Clay by Touch: For People with Visual Impairments
A Ceramic Arts Class for adults who are blind or have low vision.

Thanks to NC DPI for sharing this resource!

Many elementary schools have subscriptions to Reading A-Z, a resource that provides access to a wide variety of leveled books for students. Students can access the books on the Raz Kids website from school or home when given a login and password from their teacher.

One way for students who are blind or visually impaired to access this resource is using the Kids A-Z app on the iPad, which is free of charge to download.

Training Materials on the IEP | Webinar & Resources

Other News & Interests

A first-ever braille edition of “National Geographic for Kids" is rolling off the press thanks to a company in Boston.

Have you wondered how glaucoma causes vision loss? Pressure builds inside the eye until it damages the optic nerve. Watch this video to learn more about glaucoma:

This article is a great overview of literary braille, and advice for readers wanting to learn braille.

These tactile stickers are awesome! They make great gifts too!

Highly recommend SCIVIS (Space Camp for the Visually Impaired! But make sure your child is able to be away from you for a week or has been to another away-camp. Great experience!

Fully Accessible Waterpark to Open in 2017

Braille diplomas? Yes! Great job Kayla and great job Dalton State for this awesome accommodation. Share away and maybe more colleges and universities will take note! #BrailleRocks

For those who want to learn how the oral argument unfolded.... regarding Special Education services in the U.S. and the future of level of services provided

Washington set to swear in first blind Lt. Governor

January 1, 2017

NC News and Interests

NCCVIB: Strongle Encourage Parents to Attend! NC-APVI will be there!
Check out the Schedule at a Glance to see all the great topics and professionals who will be presenting at NCCVIB 2017! Registration is now open! Early bird registration is open until Tuesday, January 24, 2017. A block of hotel rooms is available until February 8, 2017 or while space is available.…/0B6KIh0hSZoorME93ZUZmV1l1NjQ/view

Congratulations to Judy Newsome for being named Cary's Employee of the Year!…

Attention all teens and parents! Please complete our survey for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Organizing an IEP binder - Great to have all your information available at your fingertips during an IEP meeting.

Other News & Interests

New updates and Guidance on the Laws for Disabled Students:

Tips to Teach Young Children Braille

Your district says... "it does not do 504 Plans"? The person who said this is misinformed.

This young engineer's story really inspires me as does Apple's mantra "inclusion inspires innovation." So powerful.

People who are blind and deaf-blind are excelling in a wide variety of careers, including law and advocacy. We love hearing about these individuals’ professional journeys and successes.

Wonderbaby has great articles!

December 1, 2016

NC News and Interests

Raleigh Local Specialized Recreational Programs, but be sure to check out programming in your area too!

*** FREE CAMP Opportunity for VI ***

Kids Needed and Counselors Needed!

The Eno River Association has been gifted funding to help visually impaired (VI) children enjoy nature and the outdoors. One way we will be doing that is by inviting VI children ages 8-12 to participate, at no cost, in the Association’s iWalk the Eno summer science and nature day camps.
iWalk the Eno Science & Nature Summer Camps help children learn & grow in nature’s classroom. The camp is located in Orange and Durham counties and has its activities at Eno River State Park and West Point on the Eno City Park. The parks offer many opportunities to learn, hike & splash in a natural wonderland. Our program offers a fun, discovery-focused experiential learning program. We place an emphasis on helping kids develop skills in science, respect for each other and the natural environment, and confidence in getting out & asking their own questions. 2017 is the 10th year of camp which will operated for two weeks June 19-23 and 26-30.
The camp curriculum may need adaptation to meet the needs of VI campers and the Eno River Association is seeking qualified persons to contract or volunteer to advise us on our camp program. Additionally the Association is looking for qualified camp staff to assist VI campers on a 1:2 ratio during the camp sessions. Anyone interested in serving as a program resource and/or camp staff may contact:
Dave Cook
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Eno River Association
4404 Guess Rd
Durham, NC 27712
(919)620-9099 x 204

Other News and Interests

A blitz sale of our "Keep Calm It's Just a Cane" and "Keep Calm and Braille On" T-shirts and Hoodies

Both are available in youth and adult sizes. We are only taking orders until December 8th to allow for delivery before Christmas & Hanukkah. International shipping available to select areas.

We love these shirts and they make great gifts!

Though I am not visually impaired, I am thankful this law may finally happen. It is so unnerving to be riding a bike down the road and have a Prius closely pass me and I NEVER hear it!…/electric-hybrid-cars-make-no…

Blind Children's Resource Center

Undergraduates, graduates and PhD students in technical fields are eligible for this Lime Connect scholarship supported by Google. Apply by December 4th!

5 Other Federal Guidances on Special Education to Know About. (which writes in family-friendly language in both English and Spanish) offers tidy summaries of 5 additional letters from the Department of Education in the last year. Share with families as appropriate—or just read them for yourself. What subjects do they cover? Charter Schools, Behavioral Supports in the IEP (August 2016), Evaluating Children with AD/HD (July 2016), Standards-Based IEPs (November 2015), and Using the Terms Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia in IEPs (October 2015).

These can be very helpful when you need extra support to fight for your children's rights at school!

Off for a Saturday morning run? So is Richard with the nations first running guide dog. #BlindNewWorld

Lets talk sign language. Tommy Edison explains how the blind navigate braille signage in public. #BlindNewWorld

Nov 15. 2016

NC-APVI News and Interest

NC News and Interest

Current newsletter from our friends at TRRS!*

The STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities is an annual educational event where attendees meet role models with disabilities who have thriving careers in STEM fields. This year, students will hear from world-famous scientist Temple Grandin, who is a highly regarded expert in the field of animal behavior and celebrated speaker on her experiences with autism.

Register to reserve your seat at…/event/stem-career-showcase/

Event Details

STEM Career Showcase for Students With Disabilities
Wednesday, Nov. 9
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

For 6th-12th grade students with any disability (performing near or at grade level). Pre-registration is required, but the event is free.

Dr. Grandin is a proponent of developing young people’s minds by introducing interesting concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which is where we’ll find the great jobs of tomorrow. People with disabilities are currently underrepresented in these fields despite recent advances in the accessibility of information technology and other tools used by working professionals.

Students will leave the event with a better understanding of the many professional possibilities available and the inspiration to pursue STEM careers. This is an intimate event with space limited to 350 people, and we’ll take registrants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other News and Interest

Educating Students With Visual Impairments for Inclusion in Society
A Paper On The Inclusion Of Students With Visual Impairments…/prof…/teachers/inclusive-education/1235

Do Students with Visual Impairments Need a Computer at Home?

Consider this alarming statistic. A recent survey found that 99% of sighted youth use the internet to complete homework assignments and research compared to 47% of youth with visual impairments. How can that be? According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students who are blind should be able to use accessible computers. Well, perhaps they do for a few hours at school, but the vast majority...

Continue Reading

Here's a great post on why blind and visually impaired children still need to learn braille, even with today's technology:

Design with the blind in mind

What would a city designed for the blind be like? Chris Downey is an architect who went suddenly blind in 2008; he contrasts life in his beloved San Francisco before and after — and shows how the thoughtful designs that enhance his life now might actually make everyone's life better, sighted or not.

Wake County debates promotion policy for special-needs students

The Wake County school system is trying to play it safe by not mandating that school staff do more than what’s required by law to serve and promote special-education students. Read more here:

What Is It Like To Dream If You're Blind?

Interesting read... Dream study finds that blind participants reported a far richer and wider variety of senses in their dreams compared to non-blind participants. By a considerable margin, they experienced far more vivid sensations of sound, touch, taste, and smell.

USA Men's Goalball is bringing home a hard-earned silver medal from Rio! Team USA fought to the very end for what has been a very impressive finish. Read the recap here: -

Supporting Learning and Development -
FamilyConnect: for parents of children with visual impairments

Always good reminders!

USA Women's Goalball wins BRONZE in Rio! Team USA's patience paid off and led them to the Paralympic podium. Recap here:

Opening The Door To Blind Board Gamers | Geek and Sundry

Sept 15, 2016

NC News and Interest

FIRST medal of #Rio2016!!

Lex Gillette is taking home #Silver in the long jump T-11 final!

In this Raising an Olympian story, see what it took to raise Lex Gillette, U.S. Paralympic Athlete. This video is brought to you by P&G, Proud Sponsor of Moms.

North Carolina Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness - March 9-10, 2017 - Embassy Suites Winston Salem (This is a great opportunity for parents to learn ALOT on how to help your own child and mingle with other TVI's and leaders in the field - I highly recommend attending!)

Theme: Looking Forward to New Opportunities


Welcome back to Winston-Salem! The NCCVIB returns to the City of the Arts and Innovation, also known as Winston-Salem. Some locals refer to the city as "The Dash," which refers to the hyphen in its name. Whether you work with infants/toddlers, preschoolers, students Kindergarten through high school, or adults, we all are seeking innovative ways to support them and are always dashing quickly to stay informed of the latest best practices in the field. Do you have an innovative idea to share? Do are you have strategies or updates to share with others? Then, dash on over to NCCVIB 2017. See you in Winston-Salem.

You are invited to share your experiences and knowledge by submitting a proposal to present at NCCVIB 2017. Conference program strands include: Orientation and Mobility, K-12, Infant-Toddler/Preschool, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Independent Living Rehabilitation.

If you have any further questions or comments, please, contact Dr. Judy Schmidt, NCCVIB Proposal Chair, at

If you have general questions about NCCVIB, please, contact Alan Chase, Ed.S., NCCVIB Planning Committee Chair,

Electronically submit your proposal on or before October 10th.

The Governor Morehead School is currently recruiting for an art teacher
. Additional information about the position and how to apply can be found by going to this link:

Sensory Support & Assistive Technology
Exceptional Children Division

The Sensory Support and Assistive Technology Section would like to welcome back Amy Campbell to the Exceptional Children Division. Amy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in vision impairment that will serve our state well. Amy is assigned to support the northeast, southeast, north central and sandhills regions; however, until additional VI staff are on board, she is available to all regions of the state.

More news at:

Other News and Interest

IEPs for School-Aged Children
In the second installment of our series on IEPs for school-aged children, Melissa Riccobono gives us an overview of the types of assessments and things to consider when blind or low vision students are being evaluated.

Park designed for blind to easily navigate New playground in South Africa includes special features like a scented garden and acoustic way-finding to assist children with limited or no vision to orientate themselves.

Aug 30, 2016

NC News and Events

From our Friends at Eye Shine Foundation:
Hi! This is Kim Hudson from Eye Shine Foundation. Eye Shine is the non-profit benefiary of the Excelerate Experience (it's a business empowerment seminar) in Raleigh on October 14th and I'd like to feature a couple of talented people with vision loss. I have a blind dancer and would love a musician who is blind to play at the evening reception. Do you have a child who is a talented musician who would like to play (5-6pm)? Email to start the conversation. I heard that there would be a State Fair ticket package available for the musician.

The Triangle VI Rec Club is for visually impaired youth from 3rd-12th grades, in and around the Triangle, to participate in recreational adventures! Next event: CAR WASH FUNDRAISER WITH DELTA GAMMA SORORITY at NC State postponed to September 24th 1-4. They are sponsored by Eye Shine Foundation, a new non-profit organization. Get your kids involved in a group that builds community, social skills and confidence through recreation! For more information including event dates, email

Equal Eyes Vision Services is hosting a full-day training for VI and O&M Professionals on September 30th. It's the first Equal Eyes Visionary Day in Raleigh and will be chock-full of great information. Parents are welcome to attend or to share with their TVI/O&M (the day is directed to VI professionals). For more information, visit

Other News and Events

Swimming taught Tucker Dupree perseverance through becoming great at something that, at first, felt unnatural. Read on:

The USA Women's Goalball Team begins their journey to Rio de Janeiro for the Paralympic Games today!

Sign the petition and pass it along to get Goalball broadcasted live from the Paralympics.…

Is your child anxious about school starting Monday? Here are some great tips for parents of an anxious child (will work even if their anxiety is not school related).…/9-things-every-parent-with…/

Usain Bolt runs as guide for blind Paralympic champion Guilhermina in Rio

Healthy Eyes Facts

Information like this can be useful in helping to explain your child's eye conditions to teachers and others. As a suggestion, start with how a "normal" eye functions and then describe what's different with your child's functioning.

Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?

This isn't necessarily vision related but does appear to be a good parenting handout. As kids are heading back to school, a common question arises. Is your child old enough to stay home alone. Check out this awesome handout with tons of great information.

9 Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try

Is your child anxious about school starting Monday? Here are some great tips for parents of an anxious child (will work even if their anxiety is not school related).

Why Person First Language Doesn't Put the Person First

"It was news to me that calling myself a “disabled person” was an insult."

USA Women's Goalball

The USA Women's Goalball Team begins their journey to Rio de Janeiro for the Paralympic Games today! Here's a feature on Asya, Jen, and Eliana, who train together in Portland, Ore.

August 15, 2016

NC News and Events

eSight Eyewear to be on the Governor Morehead Campus!

Dr. Sarah McManus has arranged for eSight Eyewear to be on the Governor Morehead Campus. eSight Eyewear representatives will be on the Governor Morehead Campus from August 21 - August 23. eSight will offer one-hour Try-It Sessions for persons with low vision who quality and interested in trying out the eyewear. The qualifications are as follows:

•Visual Acuity: 20/60 - 20/400 (flexibilty up to 20/600)
•Age 10 - 75
•Eye Conditions: AMD, Stargardts, Ocular Albinism, Cone-Rod Dystrophy, Diabetic

Retinopathy (less successful with RP, Glaucoma, and Optic Neuropathy)

There will also be an informational session on August 21 in Lineberry Hall, Room 105. To sign up for the informational session or a one-hour Try-It Session, go to:…/1FAIpQLScanhcm4yiv80WTp…/viewform….

Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, August 10.

Sarah McManus, Ph.D.
Director | Digital Learning

Education Services for the Deaf and Blind
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Raleigh, NC Phone: 919-715-1476

EYE Retreat Recap - Audio Described Video

"I retreat from no challenge" was the slogan last week at the 2016 EYE Retreat, in which 49 participants from two countries and six states attended right here in Raleigh. Despite the hot weather, they attended classes, rode public transit, went on off campus trips, and played sports. Check out a recap of the week!

3 Things Failure Can Teach You About Success, According To These Athletes
“Failing at something is essential, in my eyes,” Gillette said at a recent event sponsored by 24 Hour Fitness gyms, for which he helped design a “Team USA Bootcamp” program. “You go through some sort of hardship or something, and it helps catapult you to a higher level.”

Proud to announce that Duke Ophthalmology ranks #6 in the US News and World Report Hospital Rankings released today!

Other News and Interests

EDA Play applications (apps) are designed to help train visual and motor skills in children. All apps run on a regular size iPad, but not an iPad-mini, nor iPhone, nor iPod Touch. The black background and bold contrasting colors may appeal to children with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment).

Seedlings Braille Books for Children has six more books for independent readers available in UEB, bringing the total to 26l Recently added titles including greats like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Shiloh" and "Judy Moody." For the complete selection, go to:

Blind Paralympic Swimmer Tucker Dupree Is the Embodiment of Perseverance

Have you ever wondered how a baby’s sight develops?

Find out from Prevent Blindness at

A is for Accessibility

The prime time Olympic events will be the first major sporting events to be audio described via XFINITY. Learn more.

July 30

NC News and Interest

NC State Engineering Camp for Visually Impaired: Kahmile's Perspective

By Diane Brauner, July 11, 2016

Each summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) camps for high school students are held all over the country. Kahmile, one of the campers who participated in this event, writes about his experience at a STEM camp held in Raleigh, North Carolina this summer.

STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities at the Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh November 8, 2016

The STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities is an annual educational event where attendees meet role models with disabilities who have thriving careers in STEM fields. This year, students will hear from world-famous scientist Temple Grandin, who is a highly regarded expert in the field of animal behavior and celebrated speaker on her experiences with autism. This event is for 6th-12th grade students with any disability (performing near or at grade level). Pre-registration is required, but the event is free. Space is limited.

Scroll down and click the “video” link or watch a YouTube clip here

Visually Impaired Surf Camp Impacts Lives

About 30 kids and teens who are visually impaired are getting the opportunity of a lifetime, learning to surf.

Wake County Public Schools has job openings for 3 Teachers of the Visually Impaired and 1 Orientation and Mobility Specialist. If you are interested in learning more about these positions or applying, please contact Andrea Rutherford, Lead Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, at You may also go to the Wake County Public Schools website,

Raleigh's Own Lex Gillette in Sports Illustrated
Blind since age eight, Gillette has won long jump silvers at the last three Paralympics and is the only totally blind athlete to jump more than 22 feet.

Other News and Interest

36 Fun Summer Activities for Kids Who are Blind or Multiply Disabled from

WonderBaby is a great resource for families, educators, and anyone interested in children with vision impairments and multiple disabilities. During these dog days of summer, check out some lovely, simple ideas for water play for the whole family.

National Braille Press Programs Promoting Braille Literacy

National Braille Press offers a myriad of great literacy opportunities that are financially accessible, fun, and family-oriented. Check this page out for some braille programs to delight you and you child.

Pinterest • The world’s catalog of ideas-PreBraille Activities

Pinterest is a fun and addictive site…once you get started it’s hard to stop. But did you know that there is a wealth of ideas, strategies, and projects to support your efforts in providing early literacy experiences for children with visual impairment? This is just one of them. Try entering “early literacy for children with visual impairment” or “multiple disabilities and visual impairment” and delight in all the ideas and pictures that pop up.

Blind Apple Engineer Instrumental on Making Coding Accessible for Blind Students

By Diane Brauner, July 11, 2016

Jordy Castor is worth reading about and listening to on the YouTube clip at the bottom of this article. Successful young people are always an inspiration and Jordy is no exception.

Visually impaired group takes on new challenge – learning to row

As featured on, the 'Traverse City Visually Impaired Persons Group' takes on a new endeavor. Using a heightened sense of awareness originating from their senses of sound and touch, they are able to succeed in completing a task that is deemed difficult for any team-based organization.

How to live blind and bold — a Braille teacher's lesson plan for life

Functional Vision Assessment
You're told a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) will conduct your child's Functional Vision Assessment (FVA), but what even is a FVA? What information might it reveal about your child? Learn here:

"School Says No Advanced Classes for Kids with IEPs" The Wrightslaw Way
Does your child qualify for advanced classes but the school refuses to enroll her because she has an IEP? This sounds like discrimination under Section 504. You may need to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. This is not as hard as it sounds.

July 15, 2016

NC News and Interest

The City of Raleigh announced a festival will be held at the new Dorothea Dix Destination Park as an open house to the public. The EYE Retreat is planning a field trip to the festival on Saturday, July 23 from 4pm to 7pm to show the importance of ensuring the new park is accessible to all citizens, including those with visual impairments. As you know, part of the Governor Morehead School campus will be used to connect this property with Pullen Park and this a great opportunity to collaborate with the broader community and City of Raleigh to improve the GMS campus. Please join us.

We plan to walk over from GMS. We will meet in the basement of Crockett Peeler and leave promptly at 4pm. The EYE Retreat has 49 participants registered this year from 3 counties and 6 states. We hope you will join us in increasing this number at the festival.

The festival will include a Ferris Wheel, food trucks, tours of the histroic property, and much more!

Alan A. Chase, Ed.S.
Exceptional Children Program Facilitator, Durham Public Schools
President & Director, Envisioning Youth Empowerment Retreat

Parent and Student needed for Panel at NCDPI Exceptional Children Conference

Amy Campbell and I are facilitating a panel in November at the NCDPI Exceptional Children Conference. We are organizing panel members that a (UEB). I am reaching out to you because we are trying find a student that is reading braille in UEB and a parent that are willing to participate on the panel for teachers of students with visual impairments.

The panel will present on Wednesday, November 9th from 8:15-9:30.

If you are interested, please contact Julie Bardin at or
(919) 539-3869.

Surf school helps visually and hearing impaired kids learn to ride waves

Other News and Interest

Free Print and Braille book from Seedlings Braille Books for Children

Why local blind students still need to learn Braille in 2016

“Unfortunately, teachers would rather have students use more modern technology, converting speech to text. At this time, 85 percent of this nation’s blind children are not getting any Braille education...."

“Independence, that’s what it’s all about...That is our way to be able to get the information that we need.”

Braille is literacy.

Re-posted from National Braille Press

Trevor Thomas and his guide dog are hiking Colorado by the feel of the breeze

Hiker Trevor Thomas, aka Zero/Zero, and his seeing eye-dog, Tennille, returned to Colorado yesterday to take care of some unfinished business.

About us

NC-APVI is a 501(c)3 non-profit, independent organization that includes families and professionals. NC-APVI enables families to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. We provide leadership, support, and training to assist families in helping children reach their full potential.

NC-APVI is dedicated to:
- Giving emotional support
- Parent education
- Initiating outreach programs
- Networking
- Advocating for the educational needs and welfare of families of children who are blind or visually impaired

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