2017 Deaf-Blind Summit in Texas
DB Summit 2017 will be held on March 5 and 6 at the Texas School for the Blind in Austin. It is exciting to again have two days for our annual meeting. Topics for this year’s Summit will focus on technical assistance and state collaborations with ample opportunity for states to meet in conversation. If you have not yet made your reservations, information can be found in the State Project Portal.
DB Summit will immediate follow the Texas Symposium on Deafblindness, scheduled for March 2 - 4. This was done to make it convenient for state project staff to take advantage of this biennial event devoted to practice within the field. This year’s symposium includes national and international speakers. If you are planning to do both, the sooner that you can register for the Texas Symposium, the better it will be for our Texas hosts, who are encouraging all of us across the network to “come early and stay late. Austin is beautiful in March”!
DB Network Vision Statement
Vision statements are often described as the North Star of an organization, the words that point the way to a common understanding of purpose. Over the last year, NCDB, in partnership with state projects, has worked to refine a vision statement for our national collaborative work. The following statements message our values as a network and offer a public expression to our collective aspiration.
Children and youth who are deaf-blind receive supports and services that allow them to experience full integration and participation in society including education, employment, community, and social relationships.
Our Mission is to provide families, professionals, and the community with:
- Opportunities for shared leadership and collaboration
- A national network of supports and services across the age range
- Personnel who are qualified and knowledgeable
- Systems with improved capacity
In October, NCDB, in collaboration with the Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center (PAR2A Center) with support from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), released NICE, a national certification process for interveners. The National Intervener Certification E-portfolio (NICE) System offers an assessment process for use by interveners to show evidence of their knowledge and skills in serving children who are deaf-blind. For this first year, interveners interested in going through the certification process will be charged only a single administrative fee of $40.00.
Tools for TA
The Family Engagement Initiative continues with a new family story featuring six-year-old Liam Kenrick from South Dakota. Liam became deaf-blind at age 2 ½ due to meningitis. He communicates using tactile ASL and is in a general education classroom at school with support from an intervener. Watch the story to learn about Liam’s communication and literacy development, how he gets around and participates in community activities, and how his amazing team works together to make it all happen.
Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count
On December 7, NCDB hosted a drop-in webinar providing updates on the National DB Child Count. Participants received a quick tour of the Child Count Initiative Group home page, including the new online version of the 2015 Annual Report which celebrates the 30th Annual National Deaf-Blind Child Count. Updates related to submission dates, critical data, and revisions to the "Participation in State Assessment" variable for this year’s child count were shared. If you were unable to attend the presentation or would like to share it with others, you can access the presentation slides, captioning transcript, and a link to the recorded webinar in the 2016 National Webinar: National Deaf-Blind Child Count Update library page.
Mark Your Calendars
Series of National Webinars to Continue in New Year
In January we will again pick up with our national webinar series. Future presentations and updates can be found in the events section of the NCDB website.
January 25, 2017 - Usher Syndrome Coalition
Coalition Chairman Mark Dunning will share information about the mission and national efforts of the organization.
February 4, 2017 - Spanish Webinars for Families
The 3rd webinar in this series held in collaboration with NFADB and California Deafblind Services will cover partnerships and teamwork.
February 15, 2017 - Summit 2017 Planning and TA Guide Discussion
DB Summit 2017 will focus on technical assistance and state collaborations. Save the date and join Linda McDowell, Sam Morgan and Peggy Malloy in planning and preparing for our network meeting in early March. More info to come.
National DB TA Needs Assessment
If you are a state project staff, don’t miss the opportunity to take the National DB TA Needs Assessment before you leave for the holidays. You will find information in the State Project Portal.