NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

June 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

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning

June's Quote

Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud.

-Maya Angelou


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Early Childhood Development Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Surf Camp Submitted by Lin Causey

Parent Perspective Submitted by Lydia

Convocation Information Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Welcome New Staff

Staff Birthdays

Student Spotlight Submitted by Juliet Mauldin and parent (Beki)

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Professional Development Opportunities

Big image

OEL's Summer Institutes titled "Effective Teaching Practices Supporting the NC Foundations of Early Learning and Development- Emotional-Social Standards"

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Williamston, NC)

June 13, 2016 - June 16, 2016

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Sylva, NC)

June 13, 2016 - June 16, 2016

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Greensboro, NC)

July 11, 2016 - July 14, 2016


Event Name: Webinar (Live): Croghan Foundation Early Childhood Webinar Series - Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-based Practices, June 14, 2016: This webinar will provide a review of evidence-based early intervention for young children suspected of having ASD. An examination of foundational evidence-based practices for early intervention will be presented, with an emphasis on general developmental progress across a variety of domains. This will include specific criteria providers may use to select and implement evidence-based practices. Register Now


Event Name: Engaging Families to Focus on Intervention Strategies

Date and Time: Thursday, June 23 at 11:00 am EDT

Contact hours: 90 minutes

Fee: free

Summary: Young children with disabilities have better outcomes when their families are actively involved in supporting their child’s learning. This session will help Early Interventionists, private therapy providers, and other professionals working with young children with disabilities think about their interactions with the child's family and how those interactions strengthen a family’s ability to support their child’s learning.



Free Continuing Professional Development Opportunities (revised April 2016)


EC Summer Institute: Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment -2 (TPBA-2) Training (Introductory)

Dates: July 25, 2016 - July 27, 2016

Location: UNC-Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

This three-day session provides a complete overview of the Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment System; designed for teams who are new to the TPBA process, interested in forming an assessment team or new team members joining existing TPBA teams. The registration information can be found here:

Early Childhood Development

Research is increasingly demonstrating that investments in education provide significant benefits to children, families, and society as a whole, accelerating economic growth and promoting opportunity over time. This study describes and analyzes the benefits and costs of investing in a public, voluntary, high-quality universal prekindergarten program made available to all 3- and 4-year-olds across the United States. By breaking down these benefits and costs at the state and national levels, we show how such a program would strengthen the U.S. economy’s competitiveness while simultaneously easing a host of fiscal, social, and health problems. Over time, the program would more than pay for itself: By 2050, a universal prekindergarten program would yield $8.90 in benefits for every dollar invested and $304.7 billion in total benefits. If the ultimate aim of public policy is to promote the well-being of individuals, families, communities, and nations, then investment in early childhood education is clearly an effective strategy.

-The Benefits and Costs of Investing in Early Childhood Education by Robert Lynch and Kavya Vaghul retrieved from

Surf Camp

July 11-14 Surf Camp for Individuals with Visual Impairments

Indo Jax ® Surf School, Wilmington, NC | 910.274.3565

Indo Jax Surf School Provides Surf Clinics, Private and Group Surfing Lessons for children, teens and adults in Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Topsail Island.

Parent's Perspective

I had the privilege of attending the NCCVIB conference this year. It

was very valuable to get to hear Millie Smith speak for both days. She

had a lot of good information about how children learn and how to

optimize the process for children with vision impairments. It was also

helpful to interact with others there. Although there were very few

parents there, meeting and speaking with others in the VI field was

worthwhile - some of whom were vision impaired themselves. I would

encourage other parents to consider future NCCVIB conferences, if the

topics in a given year are relevant to you, and also to look up

information from Millie Smith online, as she has a lot of helpful

information you can access and use with your children.

One of the most helpful things she mentioned was the need for

visually-impaired children to explore items with their senses,

especially the sense of touch, and not just by hearing the item. She

said that they could learn a lot by mouthing things if they do not have

good use of their hands. This was new to me, but it made sense, as the

mouth (and lips and tongue) do have a lot of nerve endings and can be

used to learn about an item. Millie also stressed the fact that it is

counter-productive to do "hand over hand" motions with children, as they

are mostly passive and "having things done to them" when you do that.

She said that their brain is not really engaged in learning how to do

the motions on their own when you do that, and that also they may resist

having their limbs manipulated by others. The better way is "hand under

hand", where the child is on your lap, and your right hand/arm is under

their right hand/arm, so that they can feel the motions you are doing

with your arm/hands/fingers, and hopefully they will get the idea of

those motions in time. You are thereby inviting them to feel the

motions and to join in what you are doing, rather than imposing the

motions on them whether or not they like it.

Millie writes more about these things online, so I would encourage you

to look up her materials. She also said that the APH CVI website is

soon going to include a lot of videos of children that she has worked

with. She showed a lot of videos at the conference, and it was very

helpful to see those also.

*This article was submitted by a parent of one of Andi Finney-Ratliff's students (Peter). Peter's mother Lydia attended the VI Conference in March. This is her reaction/opinion of the conference presenter, Millie Smith (world renowned expert in the field of Visual Impairments). Thank you so much to Lydia for attending the conference, submitting an article and for the fabulous pictures of her and Peter!

Convocation Information

Time is drawing near! It will soon be time to join together once again for our annual Opening Convocation. This year we are offering an optional Pre Conference Session for anyone who would like to attend. Please see the agenda below.

August 9th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Pre Conference for ELSSP-VI (Optional) at the Governor Morehead School. 301 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, NC. More information to be shared at a later date. Please contact Bethany Mayo for additional information.

August 10th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Day 1 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Department of Public Instruction, 301 N. Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC. Room 150.

August 11th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Day 2 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Department of Public Instruction, 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC.

ELSSP-VI: Room 150

ELSSP-HI State Board Room 7th Floor

Welcome New Staff Member, William Tubilleja!

Big image

William Tubilleja

William went to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he earned his Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Psychology, and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Special Education. He earned his certification as a Teacher for the Visually Impaired at the University of Arizona, a certification in Assistive Technology at ECU, and his COMS at NCCU. Prior to coming over to the Office of Early Learning, he worked for the EC Division since 2010, and the GMS Outreach Program between 2004 and 2010. He is married to Mary, who goes by 'Maggie', and they have two teenagers, Patrick and Caitlin and a cat, Bella. William spends many Saturdays 'volunteering' at his wife's Community Garden in Garner. He enjoys hiking and running. Although he ran the Chicago Marathon in 2014, he says he has been a little slack with his running routine as of late, but hopes to get back to making it part of his life style again. William says, "I am excited to join Early Learning and working with this great group of VI professionals". Welcome William!!!!

June Staff Birthdays

June 29th Maria Cobeo

June's Joyful Student...Reece

Big image

June's Joyful Student of the Month

Reece is a very compassionate 4 ½ year old girl who never ceases to touch the hearts of everyone she meets. Reece was born 7 weeks premature and had a very tough start but has never let any obstacles keep her from doing and learning anything she puts her mind to. At 6 months of age she began working with an Occupational Therapist (Shonda), Physical Therapist (Linda) and Vision Therapist (Becky Lowrey) who did their best to help Reece with her struggles. At 1 ½ years old Reece was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When Reece turned 3, she began Pre-K at North Brook Elementary School and she is now finishing up her second year there. She continues to have an amazing support group of teachers and therapists who continue to help Reece overcome everyday tasks as normally and independently as possible. She has even begun to walk with no assistance. We are so thankful for all who have worked so hard to help Reece be the bright, knowledgeable, compassionate child she is today and can’t wait to see what more she will accomplish in the years to come. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You All!

*This was submitted by Reece’s mother, Beki. Reece is a student of Juliet Mauldin’s (and a previous student of Becky Lowery). When asked why she was nominating Reece for student of the month, Juliet said, “Reece has been such an inspiration to me”. Juliet went on to say that Reece has a sweet smile, an eagerness to learn and is a ray of sunshine. Juliet said that Reece loves to share stories and has the best sense of humor (far beyond her years). During one session with Reece Juliet presented a book to Reece, asked her to look at the cover and then asked what she thought the book was about. Reece turned and faced Juliet with a serious look on her face and replied, “Why don’t we read it and find out”.

Director's Spotlight

Big image


This month the Director’s Spotlight is the entire ELSSP-VI Team. Let’s face it, we have an awesome team! Together we have hundreds of years of experience and unmeasurable amount of talent. Each of us bring something unique and special to the program but we all share a love of children and families.

This team stands out from so many other teams because of its perseverance. How many other programs have gone through administration changes, name changes, and countless other changes and still at the end of the day keep what is really important first and foremost, children and families. Each day you walk into those homes and preschools with a smile on your face and give them your best. You provide interventions for the children but you also provide hope and empowerment to the families. You provide children and families with the tools they need and will use for the rest of their lives. What an amazing accomplishment!

Thank you for all that you do everyday to get the job done. I know the job is not always easy, and I know the paperwork can be daunting, but I also know how great you all are and you know it’s worth it!

Photo/Video Credits