Message from the Team
We hope this letter finds each of you well and off to a blissful start of the 2017-2018 school year!
As we enter Year 5 of our current 5-year grant cycle, we have much to be thankful for when look back at our first 4 years, and as we look forward to the final year in this cycle, and prepare to apply for a renewed grant so that we can continue this important work.
We also welcome a new staff member to the CBSS Team — Jennifer Willis, who will serve as our Project Coordinator. Jen is a familiar face to many families and providers in the area — having worked at the Maryland School for the Blind for 5 years, then at the Maryland School for the Deaf for the past 9 years. She has participated in numerous CBSS training and outreach activities across time. Visit our “Who We Are — Our Staff” page (click here) to learn more about Jen and her new role, and about our other team members.
As always, we invite families and providers to share resources and ideas and experiences and photos with us. We love to add what matters to you to the website, so that it can matter to others as well. Please visit our “Contact Us” page (click here) to stay in touch.
Best wishes from your CBSS team
— for an amazing 2017-2018 year,
Donna Riccobono, MEd — Project Director
Jennifer Willis, MS — Project Coordinator
Sandra Newcomb, PhD — Education & TA Specialist
Jeni Stepanek, PhD — Education & TA Specialist
Donna, Sandy, Jeni, and Jen —
your 2017-2018 CBSS Staff Team
During Year 4, we continued to work with our partner organizations and teams of renowned experts. Together, we offered opportunities for children with dual sensory impairment and their families and providers to learn and grow, to network and access resources, and to play and create good memories. Highlights of the many training, networking, and recreational activities included:
- Family Weekend and LEADers training (both in partnership with Parents Place of Maryland);
- National symposiums and regional meetings on current research and education topics;
- Special Topics Workshop, Summer Institute and “experts in the field” training sessions — on routines, communication, literacy, cortical vision impairment — with Mark Campano, Julie Durango, Christine Roman-Lantzy, and other partners;
- Transition, SLP, and other current issue training sessions;
- Online training modules and webinars on a variety of topics, including interveners, CVI, communication, literacy, and transition (in collaboration with NCDB, NFADB, Perkins, and other local deaf-blind projects and partner organizations);
- The annual Fantasy Flight (with Children’s Hospice International) and the Day at the Farm adventure (with PPMD);
- Mini-grant competition and activity presentations;
- Advisory Committee and Joint Steering Committee meetings — with guest speakers representing families, providers, and policy makers; and,
- So much more… all to keep everyone up-to-date on current research and best practice — with the ultimate goal of improving child outcomes.
And a glance forward —
— exciting plans for Year 5…
- During September, two tiers of the East Coast Cohort OHOA Intervener Training Modules will begin (for beginners and for advanced participants). This training continues through the year, with modules scheduled at sequential intervals.
— For information about the East Coast Cohort 2017-2018 OHOA Intervener Training Modules schedule, click here…
— For general information about the OHOA Intervener Training Program, visit the NCDB website page by clicking here…
- During October and November, we will begin reviewing the 2017-2018 Mini-Grant applications. We are very excited that we will be making two grants available again this year, of up to $1,000 each, for providers who are seeking financial support for innovated and field-initiated projects.
— For information about our CBSS Mini-Grant Program, click here…
- During late fall, we will be hosting a Special Topics Workshop that combines information and resources with networking and recreation — inviting families and providers to special “adaptive car building” activity. More information coming soon… .
— For information and to register for the Fall STW, LINK COMING SOON…
— For information about CBSS STW activities in general, click here…
- Also during November, the 2017-2018 Family LEADers Training Program kicks off (registration closes during late October). CBSS has worked with PPMD on this annual, free training opportunity for families for a number of years. Families gather for seven sessions throughout the year to gather and share information that can improve the lives of children with disabilities.
— For the 2017-2018 Family LEADers Training dates and application form, click here…
— For information about the Family LEADers Training Program and to view photos from previous years, click here…
- During December, we will be having our annual Joint Steering Committee meeting. This activity has been scheduled later in the winter in previous years. We are hoping that the December date means we can avoid the inclement weather that sometimes results in postponing or canceling this important gathering – which includes the launch of the annual Child Count Census.
— For information about the 2017-2018 Joint Steering Committee meeting, click here (link coming soon)…
— For information about the CBSS Joint Steering Committee in general, click here…
— Information about the 2017-2018 Child Count Census will be posted soon.
- We are already working on Spring 2018 activities as well, including –
— A collaborative training activity with feeding expert, Marsh Dunn Klein (information coming soon)
— Our annual Family Day at the Farm in partnership with PPMD (date TBD – information here…)
— Our annual Spring Advisory Committee meeting (May 18 – information here…)
— Our annual Summer Institute (June 29-22)
- In addition to the events and activities listed above, during the coming year, we will continue many ongoing activities, including:
— Technical Assistance activities – from targeted to intensive to universal universal, we work hard to provide TA information, training, and support to families and providers (information here…)
— “Needs Assessment” activities — as we prepare to write a grant for another five-year funding cycle for CBSS (information about participating in a brief online survey and/or brief phone interviews coming soon…)
— Working on our Demonstration Project activities (information here…)
— Working with Mark Campano (of the Delaware Deaf-blind Project) to continue “How We All Learn” (communication and literacy) training sessions for providers and families in Maryland and DC (information here…)
— Additional workshops, webinars, and collaborative activities – including SSP and Transition training – that we will be planning, and that we will post to our Events & Training page (click here…) and to our News page (click here…)
As always, we encourage you to review the many Resources that we create or review and post on our website, including:
- New Referrals information page (click here…)
- National (here…) and Local (here…) resources
- Specific Condition resources (click here…)
- Special Topics resources (click here…)
- Recursos en Español (Spanish) (click here…)
- Factsheets & Policy Statements (click here…)
- CBSS Training Materials (click here..)
- Celebrating Families & Providers pages (click here…)
- Partnerships with local organizations (click here…)
- Collaboration with world-renowned experts (click here…)
- Photo & Video Galleries (information & inspiration) (click here…)
- Social media updates (click here…)
- CBSS General Information & weblinks page (click here…)
Finally, we are always encouraging and accepting donations to the Diane M. Kelly Memorial Fund.
- The Diane M. Kelly Memorial Fund was established in honor of former CBSS Project Director who passed away in 2012 due to cancer.
- The money raised gives us the means to provide additional supports to the families we serve –- including free participation in all of our training and workshop opportunities, and other essential logistic supports such as urgent respite care.
- During the 2015-2016 year, we raised almost $1000 that will go directly to families in need. Thank you to our supporters — past, and present, and future!
- To learn more, and to make a donation, please click here…