NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

August 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

August's Quote

Playtime is precious. Play builds brain pathways for thinking, creativity, flexibility, empathy and many other lifelong skills.

-Heather Shumaker


Save the Date

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Opening Convocation Presenter

CVI Specialist...Paula Roten Submitted by Heather Lister

CDSA Presentations Submitted by Heather Lister

Monthly Playgroup Submitted by Sandy Bryant

Early Learning Progressions Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Parent Point of View Submitted by Sandy Bryant

Staff Birthdays for August

Photo/Video Credits

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Professional Development Opportunities

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Webinar Title: Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns

This 1-hour, 4-module course focuses on:

  • Why monitoring children’s development is important
  • Why you have a unique and important role in developmental monitoring
  • How to easily monitor each child’s developmental milestones
  • How to talk with parents about their child’s development

Date: Ongoing

Sponsor: Center for Disease Control, US DHHS

Fee: Free

Title: The 37th UNC TEACCH Autism Conference

is specifically designed to educate professionals about targeted interventions to improve quality of life for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their caregivers.

Date: Thursday & Friday, October 12 and 13, 2017

Time: 9:00am - 4:15pm both days (check-in 8:00am)

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Sponsor: TEACCH


  • $270 Early Bird: On or before 9/12/2017
  • $300 Standard: After 9/12/2017
  • $200 Rate: for Persons with ASD/Parents, Students and UNC Staff
  • TEACCH Certified Professionals will receive a 10% discount. Do not use the AHEC link listed below to register for the conference. Please email to receive registration link for TEACCH Certified Professionals.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION/Payment must accompany registration.

Contact hours: 10 contact hours

Shared by Krystal Davis


Collaboration with Families and Other Partners: Essential Features of High Quality Inclusion

Webinar #3, ECDTL Series on High Quality Inclusion

National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning; The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center


Watch it now.

Webinar #1 Partnerships for Inclusion: Ensuring Access to High Quality Evaluations and Services is available here.

Webinar #2 Supporting Participation for All Children: Essential Features of High Quality Inclusion is available here.

About webinar #3: FPG's Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center and the National Center on Early Development, Teaching, and Learning partnered to host "Collaboration with Families and Other Partners: Essential Features of High Quality Inclusion." This webinar is the third in a series focusing on questions that frequently arise when local early childhood programs collaborate to increase opportunities for high-quality inclusion.

Related Project(s):

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning


August 24-25, 2017

Annual Children's Services State of the Art Conference

Don't miss this opportunity to learn evidence-based practices in serving children, adolescents, and families. You can obtain your required ethics hours plus attend cutting edge breakout sessions on grief and loss, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, substance use disorders in adolescents, brief cognitive behavioral strategies, trauma and maltreatment, gender dysphoria, and much more! View Details


Opening Convocation Presenter...Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Christine Roman was raised in Michigan and received degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education/Visual Impairment at Michigan State University. She worked as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for 17 years prior to becoming a Research Assistant in the Vision Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she completed studies in Orientation & Mobility and received a Master’s Degree in Medically Fragile/High Risk Infants.

Her doctoral studies were also completed at Pitt where she completed a Ph.D. in 1996; her dissertation, Validation of an Interview Instrument to Identify Behaviors Characteristic of Cortical Visual Impairment in Infants revealed that caregivers of infants can reliably report regarding the presence or absence of the characteristics of CVI.

Dr. Roman is the Director of The Pediatric View Program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and a former Project Leader of the CVI Project at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY.

She has lectured extensively regarding the CVI educational materials she has developed. These materials include: The CVI Range an assessment of functional vision, and The CVI Resolution Chart & CVI/O&M Resolution Chart used to plot and monitor progress both of which will be available in a book in press (working title, CVI: Identification, Assessment & Intervention) with The American Foundation for the Blind.

*Biography information obtained from Perkins eLearning.

Congratulations Paula Roten!!!!!

ELSSP/VI's very own, Paula Roten, recently completed the Perkins-Roman CVI Endorsement through Perkins School for the Blind. Not only is Paula the first of the ELSSP/VI staff to complete this endorsement and become a CVI Specialist, she is the first in the state!!!! Way to go Paula! We are so proud of you!

"Cortical visual impairment, or CVI, has become the leading cause of visual impairment in children in the United States and many developed countires. Practitioners in the field, including teachers of the visually impaired and other vison specialists, typically receive very little, if any formal training in CVI at the pre-service level. Perkins School for the Blind and Dr. Christine Roman recognize a need to acknowledge the training and expertise of professions who have acquired skills in working with children with CVI."

"In order to qualify for the Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement, professionals need to have education and certification in an educational or health related field and significant expertise working with children with cortical visual impairment. Successful applicants must also demonstrate proficiency administering The CVI Range in all phases."

Check out this link to see Paula (as well as all other CVI Specialists) and to find out more about the endorsement.

Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement

In this special edition of Perkins E-learning's webinar series, you will hear Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, talk about the Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement.

CDSA Presentations

The Early Learning Sensory Support Leadership (ELSSP) Team and other staff have been busy developing and sharing professional development about the Early Learning Sensory Support Program. The team is planning to present this information to all seventeen Children’s Developmental Service Agencies (CDSA) across the state. Presentations have already been made to the following CDSA’s: Cape Fear, Charlotte, Durham, Western North Carolina (Franklin), Western North Carolina (Asheville) and Elizabeth City. Greenville and Wilmington are next on the list. These presentations include a brief history of the Early Learning Sensory Support Program, what services they offer, some general information about hearing and visual impairments in young children, red flags to watch for, and how to make a referral to the program. The ELSSP leadership team hopes that these efforts will increase awareness of visual and hearing diagnosis’ and impairments to others and increase the number of children identified and referred for early intervention services. The pictures below are from the most recent presentation in Elizabeth City. They show the staff attempting simple tasks (e.g. assembling a puzzle, lacing beads, shape matching) while wearing glasses that simulate various types of visual impairments.

Raleigh Monthly Playgroup

14 families, 5 teachers and 1 interpreter from ELSSP/VI attended our monthly playgroup this July at KinderVillage Music Studio in Cary NC.

Susan Eriksson, Social Worker and Music Teacher, at KinderVillage volunteered to teach a KinderMusik class for our families. She incorporated concept development, multi-sensory activities, positioning recommendations and age appropriate skills into her session that as you can see from the pictures was just PURE FUN!!!

Susan believes music improves the overall development of your child and is effective in the areas of cognition, communication, behavior, motor and emotional skills. She personalized music in such a fine way for our children with VI! A very special thank you to Susan.

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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.

Parent Point of View...

Recently some of our parents were asked a couple of questions about their experience with Early Intervention and Preschool Services. Here are the questions and our parent responses.

1. What went well with the services you and your child received during the infant and toddler years?

· Parents appreciated home visits and not having to travel

· They valued receiving support and resources from their TVI but especially appreciated the way TVI’s valued parent input

· They felt the foundation provided from TVI’s during the early years prepared their children well for school

2. What went well with the services your child received during the preschool years?

· Field trips in the community were especially valuable learning experiences

· Parents exited the program with a sense of empowerment, knowing how to advocate for their child

· It was important to have a TVI when students began classrooms in the school system

· They also appreciated being told about parent groups, community playgroups/activities and being connected by their teachers to other parents. This enabled them to talk with other parents of children with VI of all ages.

August Staff Birthdays

August 11th Marcia Rollings

August 14th Kathy Russell

August 16th Marigail Matthijs

August 17th Rhonda Coley

August 19th Andi Finney-Ratliff

Photo/Video Credits


Perkins e-learning retrieved from