Hand In Hand: Understanding Deafblindness

Registration Closed. See you in 2024!

Hand In Hand Agenda

This course provides instructional strategies and practices specific to the education of students with combined vision and hearing loss with or without additional disabilities. The course is taught by specialists in the field of DeafBlindness and contains two sessions. Session one, is held virtually and includes information on such topics as common causes of DeafBlindness, assessments specific to students with DeafBlindness, and instructional strategies shown to be most impactful for this population of learners. Session two, dives deep into the communication needs of learners with DeafBlindness and the specific application of materials from part one for the individual students being served by participants. Follow-up coaching and mentoring is available from training faculty to deepen comfort levels with real-world application.

The target audience for this course includes any members of the educational team serving a student with combined vision and hearing loss inclusive of those with multiple disabilities. We welcome all teachers (general or special ed.), the learner’s caregivers/parents, paraprofessionals, related service providers, or post-secondary students intending to work with learners with combined vision and hearing loss.

2023 Fall Professional Development Week!

Register HERE.

When: October 23-27, 2023

Monday October 23-Perkins Presents CVI Protocol: Let's Put This Into Action!

This digital tool offers more than just a functional vision assessment—it will create a series of reports to help parents, TVIs, school systems, and medical professionals understand and meet the unique needs of each individual child with CVI.

Tuesday October 24-Routines, Anticipations, Communication and Calendars for All Students!

Many students struggle to understand the organization of their lives. They often do not know what their day is going to entail nor can anticipate when changes are going to occur throughout their day and hence engagement is reduced and transitions are difficult. Calendar systems can provide advocacy, choice making, increase communication and increase our student’s quality of life.  Based on the work of Robbie Blaha, calendar systems are designed to communicate activities and events in a systematic way. Can you imagine going throughout your day without YOUR calendar?

Wednesday October 25-Comprehensive Literacy Strategies for Emerging Readers and Writers: Project Core to Tar Heel Reader

Based on the works of Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver,  a different curriculum is not required for children with disabilities to succeed in learning to read and write. This day will provide information, research-based instructional approaches, and effective instructional and learning strategies to support all who are working to better meet the literacy and communication needs of students with significant disabilities, including students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities, complex communication needs and multiple disabilities including deaf/blindness and/or physical access challenges.

Thursday October 26-APH presents All Things AT- Assessment and Devices!

Stephanie Walker, your APH Outreach Specialist for the Southcentral Region, will be here to guide you into the world of assistive technology. Together, let's dive into the fascinating realm of evaluating and utilizing assistive technology for students with visual impairments in a day filled with exciting discoveries and hands on learning.
Through this engaging experience, you will become skilled at identifying the specific assistive technology a student with a visual impairment will need based on thorough evaluation. We will demystify the process of using service intensity scales (VISSIT) to identify the appropriate type and amount of support for each student. In the end, we will examine the data to build outcomes that will enable students to seamlessly integrate assistive technology into their educational day.
Get ready for a day that promises to be both enlightening and empowering!

Friday October 27-Welcoming Students who are Visually Impaired/Blind to your School!

This day is for ALL educators at a school who has a student(s) who have a student who is visually impaired/blind. This is the “everything you need to know about your student” training! You will be given everything you need to know, resources, adaptations, and techniques for giving students with Low Vision access to the curriculum at sc hool.

VIISA Course II: Infants and Toddlers with Vision Impairments/Blindness

Dates: Session 1: November 1-November 3, 2023 - Session 2: April 10-12, 2024

Location: Missouri School for the Blind
3815 Magnolia Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63110

Register: VIISA Course II or Scan the QR Code

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 in a home-based setting.  The focus will be on working with these children, as well as in collaboration with the family and other members of the service delivery team.  Transitioning from a home setting to preschool will also be addressed.  Participants will gain knowledge and skills in observation, assessment, 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, early literacy and orientation and mobility.

For specifics see: VIISA 23-24 Course Information

For more information contact:

Mary Morrell
314 633 3930


Open Hands Open Access Training

The program, Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) is an online, work at your own pace training program that offers modules designed to increase knowledge and encourage the use of best practices for supporting children with combined vision and hearing loss. OHOA/ DeafBlind Intervener Learning Modules are a national resource designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students (ages 3 through 21) who are deafblind and being served in educational settings. If you are currently working with a student with dual sensory loss, you may be eligible for a stipend for every successful completion of modules and monthly consultation from our DeafBlind Project staff.
For more information, see https://www.nationaldb.org/products/modules/ohoa/


For more information, contact:
Dena Molen
School Support Specialist
314 633 1553



INSITE: In-Home Sensory Intervention Training and Education

When: July 2024- More information coming soon!

Location: Missouri School for the Blind
3815 Magnolia Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63110

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 MoSPIN (Statewide Parent Involvement Network) home visits.  This curriculum includes the following areas: communication, hearing, vision, cognition, motor impairments, and developmental resources.

You Could Be A PA!


Melissa Moore

MoSPIN Coordinator/Lead Parent Advisor




Unified English Braille Code

To find more information on Unified English Braille Code, please visit the BANA UEB webpage.

Coursework Leading to Certification as Teacher of the Visually Impaired

TVI and OM programs breakdown

Training and Certification (undergraduate and graduate)

Considering a degree program?

The following college and university programs have successfully completed the accreditation process and have earned the distinction of “AER Accredited.” Each of these personnel preparation programs has demonstrated adherence to high quality standards that lead to a valuable academic experience; and the competencies needed for employment and certifications.

Training for a Rewarding Career - Generous Student Financial Assistance 

Teaching Children or Adults who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Providing Orientation and Mobility Services for Those Individuals, and/or Specializing in Assistive Technology for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired  

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Illinois) offers a nationally regarded program at the graduate level for individuals who wish to join a rewarding career in teaching children or adults who are blind or visually impaired as a teacher of students with visual impairments, orientation and mobility instructor, assistive technology specialist for children with visual impairments, or a vision rehabilitation therapist for adults who are visually impaired. There is an overwhelming need for professionals who specialize in instruction for people who are visually impaired. As a consequence, there are many job opportunities in all regions of the United States. Individuals who choose this career path can anticipate having no difficulty obtaining life-long employment with great job security! In addition to numerous job opportunities, good pay, and excellent job security, individuals who choose this career path experience a sense of fulfillment not commonly found in other careers. These professionals play a significant role in the lives of children who are visually impaired, adults who are visually impaired, and their families. 

Generous student financial assistance is available. We will pay all in-state or out-of-state tuition, all fees, health insurance, and a stipend of $9,500 per calendar year for qualified individuals who wish to come to Northern Illinois University to enroll in the Visual Disabilities Graduate Program. 

For more information, go to the following YouTube link: 
Please note there was a raise in the living stipend since the filming of this video clip and the living stipend is $9,500 per calendar year. 

And, the following webpage: 

Interested individuals can contact the Project Director, Stacy Kelly, at the following e-mail: 


Lighthouse for the Blind-St. Louis Tuition Reimbursement Program

The Tuition Reimbursement Program was developed for individuals who are specializing in the field of service to persons who are blind or legally blind. This program is for college students in their senior year in an undergraduate program, OR a graduate student OR a paraprofessional that is currently employed and working in the field.

So you want to be a TVI/OM?


AER Accredited Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Programs


AER Accredited Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) Programs


AER Accredited Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) Programs


DeafBlindness Programs