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NCDB Professional Development Series: Deaf-Blind Strategies

Calendar When
July 29-December 16, 2020
Two Buildings Organization Agency
National Center on Deaf-Blindness

The National Center on Deaf-Blindness will hold six webinars on instructional strategies for children and youth who are deaf-blind. These should be of interest to families, educators, state deaf-blind project personnel, and any other individuals interested in deaf-blindness in children and youth. 

All sessions begin at 3 pm ET and last 90 minutes. 

All sessions will be captioned.

All webinars will take place via AdobeConnect. You will use your computer for video and connect by phone to a toll-free number. To join the call on the day of the webinar, connect your browser to


Deaf-Blind Strategies

July 29 - Establishing Routines at Home

Presenters: Susan Bruce and Tracy Evans Luiselli 

Description: This session will provide a framework for working with families to support the development and implementation of home-based routines for children who are deaf-blind. It will also address how to use individualized daily schedules to represent activities and routines in the home setting and capture those activities in experience stories and books.

See the NCDB Professional Development Webinar: Establishing Routines page for the recording and associated materials. 


[Rescheduled] September 30 - Meeting the Needs of Proficient Communicators

This webinar has been rescheduled from September 16 to September 30.

Presenters: Nancy O'Donnell, Robbie Blaha, and Deanna Peterson

Description: While the majority of the children and youth served by state deaf-blind projects are emerging communicators, there is a growing number who are “proficient communicators” being served in general education classrooms. Part 1 of this session will address the identification of proficient communicators and resources and strategies for proficient communicators who are congenitally deaf-blind. Part II will address proficient communicators with Usher syndrome.

October 21 - Academic Standards for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Presenters: Sheryl Lazarus and Martha Thurlow, National Center on Education Outcomes/TIES

Description: Academic standards for students with significant cognitive disabilities are aligned to the same academic content standards that apply to all other students in each state, but may be based on alternate academic achievement standards. This requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act is confusing too many people. This session will clarify the distinction between academic content standards and alternate academic achievement standards for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

November 4 - Accessing Grade Level General Education Curriculum

Presenters: Gail Ghere, Jessica Bowman, Terri Vandercook, Martha Thurlow and Sheryl Lazarus, National Center on Education Outcomes/TIES

Description: In this session, the presenters will discuss key components for providing access and progress in the grade-level general education curriculum, with specific application for students who are deaf-blind. In addition, information about planning and implementing effective academic instruction in the current environment of hybrid distance learning will be shared.

November 18 - Early Literacy and Numeracy for Students who are Deaf-Blind

Presenters: Jessica Bowman, Terri Vandercook, Martha Thurlow and Sheryl Lazarus, National Center on Education Outcomes/TIES

Description: In this session, the presenters will discuss the basic components of early literacy and numeracy and how they apply to students who are deaf-blind. Content will include research-based teaching strategies and how early literacy and numeracy instruction can be embedded into everyday routines and activities.

December 16 - IEP Development

Presenters: Melanie Reese and Lanya McKittrick 

Description: This session will provide families and professionals with an overview of the IEP development process. Topics include common challenges that parents of children who are deaf-blind face when working with IEP teams, strategies that families and other IEP team members can utilize during IEP meetings (virtual and in person) to build family-professional partnerships, and strategies for managing conflict as it arises.