Agenda! Spring Conference 2017

PNW AER Spring Conference Agenda and Descriptions

March 23, 24, and 25

Location: Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, WA


Thursday, March 23

Pre-Conference 8:30 – 4:30

Breakfast 7:30 – 8:30

Lunch 12:00


Strand #1 – Presenter: Scott Crawford

All-Day Session: O&M Pre-Conference

Description: Session 1 Wheelchairs: Proven strategies for teaching visually impaired students how to utilize manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters. Strategies will be discussed for navigating tight spaces, navigating doorways, guiding, navigating sidewalks, and using the cane with the chair.
Session 2 Walkers, Crutches and Support Canes: Proven strategies for teaching visually impaired students how to utilize Support Canes, Walkers and Crutches. Not just for the Elderly! Session covers strategies utilized with students of all ages.


Strand #2 – Presenter: Karen Blankenship

All-Day Session: Essential Assessments

Description: This presentation will be an interactive session that will first provide the legal underpinnings of the effective instructional continuum for students with visual impairments. As we explore assessment (FVALMA, LMA, Jerry Johns, & ECC), developing measureable IEP goals, quality instruction, and evaluative data participants will have access to resources for each area of the continuum. Participants will critique sample assessment reports, IEP goals, and analyze sample data. We will go into depth in each area exploring the latest research on teaching and learning.


Friday, March 24

Breakfast 7:30 – 8:30

Opening/Keynote Presentation 8:30 – 9:30

Keynote: Craig Meador, American Printing House for the Blind


Exhibit Hall: 9:30 – 10:00


Session 1: 10:00 – 11:10


  1. Title: Writing CAN Be Child’s Play: Co-Creating Stories with Students who have Visual Impairment and Atypical Social Development (Part 1 of 2)

Presenter: Linda Hagood

Description: A play-based model will be presented for teaching social communication skills through collaborative story writing and drama activities. The program is appropriate for students of all ages who have autism or social-communicative challenges, with language skills from the single word to the connected speech/ conversational levels.


  1. Title: Multisensory magic: Bridging the Storytime Gap

Presenter: Marian mays

Description: Early exposure to rich emergent literacy experiences ensures children reach important early literacy milestones. Learn how to develop and perform sensory storytime programs that incorporate engaging materials, the Five Early Literacy Practices, and the Six Early Literacy Skills.


  1. Title: A Day with the new Braillenote Touch; A Students Accessible Means to Teacher Resources and Classroom Curriculum using the BrailleNote Touch

Presenter: Kevin Hughes

Description: Presenters will demonstrate how a blind student, using the BrailleNote Touch, can generate math assignments (using Nemeth Code), access print material using the KNFB Reader application, access Google doc content and obtain their own reading material from BookShare.


Session 2: 11:20-12:30

  1. Title: Writing CAN Be Child’s Play: Co-Creating Stories with Students who have Visual Impairment and Atypical Social Development (Part 2 or 2)

Presenter: Linda Hagood

Description: See previous session.


  1. Title: Northwest Association for Blind Athletes Sports Adaptations

Presenter: Stacey Gibbins, Kirsten French

Description: This interactive and informative session will give an in-depth overview of sports adaptations available to visually impaired individuals and their families, including Camp Abilities, a developmental sports camp promoting life skills through physical activity for visually impaired youth, ages 8-15.


  1. Title: Blocks4All: Making Block Programming Languages Accessible for Blind Children

Presenter: Lauren Milne, Richard Ladner

Description: Block programming languages are popular educational tools to teach children how to program. However, they are very visual, which makes them inaccessible to blind children. We will talk about new techniques we are exploring to make these languages accessible.


PNW AER Business Meeting/ Luncheon 12:45 – 2:00


Exhibit Hall 2:00 – 2:30


Session 3: 2:30 – 3:40


  1. Title: WTBBL Wizardry: Navigating BARD Express and the Online Catalog

Presenter: Marian Mays, Tyler Kaye

Description: Learn to confidently navigate BARD Express and the updated online catalog, two of the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s newest tools. Bring your questions, concerns, and laptops!

2. Title: Student Voices: Reflections on public education experiences and interventions

  1. Presenter: Michael MunroDescription: This presentation details a phenomenological study of the narratives of students with visual impairments. The research explores the essence and meaning of the experience of being a student with a visual impairment in public school. Feedback for professionals is provided.


  1. Title: The Syndrome of Optic Nerve Hypoplasia: It’s More than Just the Eyes…

Presenter: DeEtte Snyder

Description: This presentation will explore the ocular, neurological, and hormonal complexities of children with optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH). Presentation will focus on a multidisciplinary approach as students with ONH who often have additional learning challenges beyond being visually impaired or blind.


Afternoon Break 3:40 – 4:00


Session 4: 4:00 – 5:10


  1. Title: Braille sessions

Presenter: Cay Holbrook, Elizabeth Umphress, Michael Dickneite, and Sara Zachariah

Description: This session will highlight a new mobile app based on The Braille Challenge. The app contains activities that allow teachers to assess a student’s oral reading fluency and comprehension and prescribe reading and writing activities that meet the student’s needs.


  1. Title: Service Dogs in Schools: The Benefits and Challenges

Presenters: Leslie Weilbacher, Melissa Mitchell


Description: My student wants to get a guide dog? Learn why it is not an easy decision and where to find the answers. Hear from a TVI who worked a guide dog when in high school and a service dog advocate.


  1. Title: Adaptations and Modifications for Braillist and Para-Pros

Presenters: Jade Jones, Sarah Clarke, Pat Nord

Description: We hear it every day – the IDEA – Equal Access to Education for all students. How do we ensure our students with visual impairments are afforded this right? Join a group of fellow Braillist and Para-Pros as we dive into different strategies we use every day in order to meet this promise.


Saturday, March 25


Breakfast 7:30 – 8:00


Session 1: 8:00-9:10


  1. Title: Reflective Supervision for B-3 Providers: Attending to our own mental health needs

Presenter: DeEtte Snyder

Description: This presentation will explore the concepts and benefits of “Reflective Supervision”, which is a strategy to support the mental health of service providers when working with young children with disabilities and their families.


  1. Title: To Curriculum or Not to Curriculum: Comparing available Braille reading programs and alternative instructional methods

Presenter: Linda McFall

Description: Let’s come together and share our thoughts on the current options for Braille instructional materials. Results from a survey of colleagues will help shed light on the most popular methods in our region.


  1. Title: Defining the role of the DSB/ WSSB Youth Services Specialists: Connecting our Youth to Pre-Employment Services

Presenter: Laura Ozios-Townsend, Marcie Ebarb, Debbie Brown, Janet George

Description: Meet the Youth Services Specialists from Washington State Services for the Blind (DSB) and Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB). Learn about the pre-employment training opportunities available for blind and visually impaired youth and opportunities to participate


Session 2: 9:20-10:30


  1. Title: ChromeVox Next, the New Screenreader in the Chromebook

Presenters: Bruce McClanahan

Description: Setting up the Chromebook for low vision access. Tips and techniques for using ChromeVox Next on the Chromebook in the classroom setting.

  1. Title: Neuro-Optometric Considerations for Visual Rehabilitation

Presenters: Dr. Curtis Baxstrom

Description: This course will overview visual sequelae from traumatic brain injury and stroke. The effects of these upon school and work will be emphasized as well as case presentations to demonstrate the process of recovery.


  1. Title: Behind the Scenes of the Ogden Resource Center

Presenter: Jennifer Fenton

Description: What can the Ogden Resource Center (ORC) do for you? Take a peek behind the scenes of the ORC. Look at materials available from the ORC and ask questions about instructional and braille materials.


Morning Break: 10:30-10:50


Session 3: 10:50-12:00


  1. Title: Is that a Frisbee on your cane? The Dakota Disk, an open discussion of a cane tip used for uneven terrain

Presenter: Pam Parker and Sara Zachariah

Description: This presentation allows for an open discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of the Dakota Disk Cane Tip, facilitated by two COMS who have used the tip with students in a variety of settings.


  1. Title: The Neuroimaging an Visual Improvement Project (NIVI): An exploratory study in brain-based visual impairment and educational programming

Presenter: Melody Furze

Description: The Neuroimaging and Visual Improvement (NIVI) Project at the New Mexico School for the Blind, in a joint partnership with the M.I.N.D. Research Network at the University of New Mexico, is using brain imaging technology and educational programming to better serve a group of our students with CVI.


  1. Title: Bridget and Featherfrost: Strategies and Perspective for working with students with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

Presenters: Carrie Tanner

Description: Students with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia are very unique learners who can pose quite the challenge to teachers. We will discuss why children with ONH act they way they do, as well as successful practices for teaching these students.


Session 4: 12:10-1:20

Title: Using visual maps with low vision students

Presenters: Joe Dlugo

Description: I have developed and implemented a variety of graphics-based maps for iPad as a teaching tool for students with low vision. These maps are aimed at teaching route travel and street crossing skills and through the use of various apps can be used in a fashion where the instructor can interactively annotate them during the lesson. This session takes the participant through loading the maps, interacting with them, and how to develop their own maps.

Title: The 3d Printer: Is this a tool for your toolbox?

Presenter: Holly Lawson

Description: This presentation is designed to provide practical considerations for using 3d printed models in the classroom. Current research related to the use of 3d printers for those with visual impairment will be shared. Attendees will have access to a wealth of resources related to 3d printers and materials.


Lunch for the Road!!! (Or to stay…your choice!)