Outreach Annual Fall Professional Development Week


Practical Strategies for Communication Development:

Facilitating Growth in the Direction of Conventional Communication and Emergent Literacy

October 22-23, 2020



This session is premised on the belief that ALL individuals with deaf-blindness DO communicatenot that they all can learn to communicate.  The workshop will focus on practical strategies that families and educational teams can implement to facilitate growth in the direction of conventional communication, including the incorporation of comprehension and expression with gestures.  The presenter will provide communication partners with specific strategies to help enable a learner’s more active engagement in family and school activities and begin to focus instruction on emergent literacy skills.



Susan M. Bashinski is a Professor of Special Education, Director of graduate programs in Education, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Missouri. She has more than 40 years’ experience working with learners who experience multiple disabilities, including deaf-blindness.


The body of Susan’s work is grounded in educational practice.  She not only has a passion, but believes also a professional responsibility, to conduct pragmatic research and to work diligently to try and translate research findings into effective everyday practice—and then share those through the classes she teaches and workshops she presents for families.  Date: OCTOBER 22 – 23, 2020 (limited seating)


OCTOBER 19: Welcoming Students Who Are Visually Impaired/Blind

OCTOBER 20: Topic:  Braille

OCTOBER 21: iOS Accessibility

OCTOBER 22-23: Practical Strategies for Communication Development

Registration soon!


Intervener Training

Interveners—specially trained paraprofessionals who work one-on-one with students who are deaf-blind—are greatly needed in Missouri. Interveners help schools meet the challenge of providing students with deafblindness the access to information they are unable to gather via vision or hearing. An intervener works one-on-one with a student, facilitating communication and supporting concept development.

If you are interested in becoming an intervener, Missouri Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project (MoDBTAP) offers distance learning training and coaching opportunities. MoDBTAP utilizes the Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Modules, combined with monthly online coaching, to help prepare paraprofessionals to become interveners. These Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules are a national resource designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students (ages 3 through 21) with deafblindness who are being served in educational settings. Topics covered include building a trusted relationship, concept development and active learning, self-determination, communication principles, and developing social skills. A $50/module stipend is available for paraprofessionals currently working with a student registered with the MoDBTAP Student Census.


For more information, please contact Mandy Clayton at Mandy.Clayton@msb.dese.mo.gov or 314-633-1553.


OHOA Registration 2020 fillable PDF




Mandy Clayton

Deaf-Blind School Support Specialist

Missouri School for the Blind




VIISA Course I:  Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers (0-2) with Vision Impairments and Their Families

Registration Closed


Applications are now being accepted for the course: Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Vision Impairments and Their Families. Please note application deadline of 10/2/2019. The purpose of this course is for participants to gain and develop skills in understanding the unique needs of infants and toddlers who are blind or visually impaired. The focus will be on working with these children in the home setting as well as in collaboration with the family and other members of the service delivery team. Transitioning from home to the preschool setting will also be addressed. The students will gain knowledge and skills in observation, assessment, the IEP process, intervention techniques, use of appropriate methods, curricula and materials in teaching skills in all developmental domains, developing the use of all senses, meeting the child's needs in the group setting, socialization, school readiness, early literacy and orientation and mobility.


Dates: July 29-31, 2020 (afternoons only)

Location: Missouri School for the Blind, 3815 Magnolia Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110


Hotel Info:

Drury Inn and Suites at Forest Park

2111 Sulphur Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63139

P: 314-646-0770


Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis Forest Park

If you will be staying at the hotel, please mention you are part of the VIISA I training to receive the group rate of $119/night.

VIISA I training is provided at no cost to the individual or school district.


VIISA Application 19-20

VIISA Course I Announcement



Mandy Clayton

Deaf-Blind School Support Specialist

Missouri School for the Blind




Hand In Hand: Understanding Deafblindness for Education Teams

Registration Closed


This course, totaling seven days throughout the academic year, provides instructional strategies and practice specific to educational teams of students with deafblindness.


Dates: November 5-6, 2020

Location: Missouri School for the Blind, 3815 Magnolia Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110


HIH Course Information 2019-2020

HIH Team Registration Form 2019-2020

HIH Release Form  2019-2020



Megan Burgess

Deaf-Blind Project Coordinator
Missouri Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project, Missouri School for the Blind


INSITE: In-Home Sensory Intervention Training and Education

Registration Closed


A curriculum model of home intervention for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children who have a visual impairment and may have other multiple disabilities, including deafblind.  The INSITE model and training is for Parent Advisors for home visits.  This curriculum includes the following areas: communication, hearing, vision, cognition, motor impairments, and developmental resources.


Dates: July 27-31, 2020

Location: Missouri School for the Blind, 3815 Magnolia Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110


2020 Instructions for Becoming a Parent Adviser
2020 IFB MSB Parent Advisors
2020 IFB MSB Parent Advisors (highlighted)
Registering for Missouri BUYS (MoBUYS)



Melissa Moore

Lead Parent Advisor/Family Engagement Coordinator

Missouri School for the Blind




Unified English Braille Code

To find more information on Unified English Braille Code, please visit http://www.brailleauthority.org/ueb.html


Coursework Leading to Certification as Teacher of the Visually Impaired

TVI and OM programs breakdown

Training and Certification (undergraduate and graduate)

AER is proud to announce a new scholarship for grad student applicants studying for a career in the field of Orientation & Mobility or Teachers of the Visually Impaired. The three $2,000 scholarship winners will be announced in the Fall of 2020.


Deadline for submitting applications is August 31, 2020, and scholarship recipients will be notified on or around October 2020.


Refer to the application for eligibility criteria. The deadline for consideration of the 2020 Scholarship is August 31, 2020. All application materials must be submitted to the AER office no later than August 31. Download the application by clicking here.


  • Boston College - deafblindness
  • California State University, Los Angeles - VI, O&M
  • Dominican College - VI
  • Eastern Michigan University - VI
  • Florida State University - VI, O&M
  • Hunter College of the City University of New York - deafblindness, VI, O&M
  • Illinois State University - VI
  • Missouri State University - VI
  • North Carolina Central University - VI, O&M
  • Northern Illinois University - VI, O&M
  • Ohio State University - VI
  • Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University - VI
  • Portland State University - VI
  • San Diego State University - deafblindness
  • San Francisco State University - deafblindness, VI, O&M
  • South Carolina State University - O&M
  • Stephen F. Austin State University - VI, O&M
  • Texas Tech University - deafblindness, VI, O&M
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham - VI
  • University of Arizona - deafblindness, VI
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock - O&M
  • University of Massachusetts at Boston - VI
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln - VI
  • University of Northern Colorado - VI
  • University of Northern Iowa - VI
  • University of Pittsburgh - VI, O&M
  • University of South Carolina Upstate - VI
  • Western Michigan University - VI, O&M