CBSS Grant Objective:
The aim of the partnerships priority is to collaborate with federally-funded parent centers to provide training and supports to families of children who are deaf-blind so that they can successfully advocate on behalf of their children and help ensure their children are better positioned for independent living.
What this means:
CBSS is has many partners — we work and play well with others!
Some of our current partnerships began in previous grant cycles, and some of our partnerships are being developed during the current grant cycle. Whether a particular organization or group has been our partner for several decades or a few months, partnership matters. Building collaborative networks between and among families and providers and organizations ultimately supports the children being served, and leads to improved child outcomes.
Click on the headings and links below to explore some of our Partnerships
(listed in alphabetical order)
- Who & What: The CBSS Advisory Committee consists of approximately 30 to 35 members who meet twice a year to exchange experience and expertise, with the purpose of ensuring that CBSS is on target with respect to grant and program priorities, and with the development of relevant and quality services and activities.
- Partnership Information: The mission of each AC meeting is to facilitate ongoing coordination, collaboration, partnerships, and resource dissemination. This is accomplished through presentations, discussions, small group activities, information sharing, videos, research, and other activities. The members represent MSDE, UMD, local school systems, national projects, and other relevant agencies, as well as parents and consumers.
- Link: The CBSS Advisory Committee page with information about meetings, membership, and more (click here…)
Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) — www.AJE-DC.org
- Who & What: Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) is the Washington, DC Parent Training & Information Center. The mission of AJE is to education parents, youth, and the community about the laws governing public education, specifically for children with special needs. The organization is governed and run by parents, and includes staff members who are fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese.
- Partnership Information: AJE programs include direct services to parents (e.g., assistance at IEP meetings), community education, the DC Parent Information Network, Parent to Parent leadership training, a training and resource center, and a transition advocacy project. Most of the events, activities, and services are offered at no cost to parents. CBSS and AJE work together to provide events and activities for families, including family leadership training, informational events, and networking activities. CBSS is specifically collaborating with AJE and the Parents’ Place of Maryland (PPMD) to provide a family leadership training program to train and support family members of children who are deaf-blind to become leaders in deaf-blindness in their local or state communities.
- Link: Visit the AJE website here…
ARC of Baltimore — www.ARCofBaltimore.org
- Who & What: The ARC of Baltimore is dedicated to providing advocacy and quality, life-changing supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They provide provide employment training and support, residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, public policy advocacy, information and referrals, and other resources.
- Partnership Information: The ARC of Baltimore recently developed a day program that includes housing for a small group of deaf-blind youth located in Baltimore. These young adults are former students who have transitioned from school and CBSS services. Now that the house is established, CBSS is partnering with the ARC of Baltimore to assist with in-service training for house staff. Areas of training will include topics such as understanding deaf-blindness, communication needs, family training, assistive technology, recreation and leisure, and customized employment. The ARC of Baltimore is overseen by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DHMH). Through partnership with the ARC of Baltimore, CBSS will provide opportunities for training independent living staff and future job coaches on the life goals of deaf-blind youth.
- Link: Visit the ARC of Baltimore website here…
Children’s Hospice International — www.CHIonline.org
- Who & What: Children’s Hospice International (CHI) is an award-winning non-profit organization established in 1983 that has pioneered and promoted the idea that critically ill children should have access to hospice/palliative care along with curative care from the time their life threatening illness has been diagnosed. Back in 1977, when CHI was conceived, there were no hospice care programs available in the world. In 1983, when CHI incorporated, only 4 of the 1,400 hospices in the United States were able to accept children. Today, thanks in part to the efforts of CHI, most hospices are willing to consider accepting a child as a patient, and most hospitals are considering hospice & palliative care.
- Partnership Information: Since 1990, CHI and United Airlines at Dulles International Airport have collaborated on a “Fantasy Flight to the North Pole” to take children with life-threatening conditions and their families on a magical journey in a special plane to the land of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, princesses, storybook friends and TV characters, toys, treats, and everything that each child dreams of at Christmas time. Since 2007, dozens of families served by the CBSS Tri-area Family Engagement group (Maryland, DC, and Virginia) have participated in this amazing adventure.
- Link: View photo album links from Fantasy Flight across the years here…
- Link: Visit the Children’s Hospice International website here…
Delrey School Demonstration Project — www.DelreySchool.org
- Who & What: The Delrey School in Baltimore, Maryland provides education and comprehensive services to youth ages 3-21 who have multiple disabilities. They combine academics with therapeutic techniques and communication strategies to help students engage in learning. Although CBSS and Delrey staff have collaborated on supporting students with deaf-blindness and their families for many years, during the 2013-2018 CBSS grant cycle a more formal partnership is being developed, and Delrey School is becoming a Demonstration Project classroom by classroom. This project builds on the CBSS Demonstration Classroom Project developed at the Maryland School for the Blind during the previous grant cycle.
- Partnership Information: As a result of partnership, administrators and staff at Delrey will gain an in-depth understanding of best practice strategies for working with students who have deaf-blindness, and students will benefit with improved outcomes. In addition, the school will serve as a role model training sources for Maryland and DC families and providers who want to learn more about interveners, evidence-based practice, and other state-of-the-art strategies and environmental improvements for for youth with dual sensory impairment. As a part of the Demonstration Project, Dr. Jan Van Dijk, international expert on deaf-blindness, will be consulting with CBSS and Delrey School staff using distance technology.
- Link: Visit the CBSS Delrey Demonstration Project page here…
- Link: Visit the Delrey School website here…
Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) — www.DORS.State.MD.US/DORS
- Who & What: Maryland DORS supports the employment and economic independence of people with disabilities. DORS is one of the CBSS Partners. Currently, CBSS and DORS are collaborating on the DORS Transition Training Project. DORS counselors and administrative staff have participated in panel presentations on transition issues and adult services during trainings in the previous grant cycle. Now, CBSS staff continue to work with DORS directors and case managers to develop appropriate supports for individuals who are deaf-blind as part of Connections statewide provision of both targeted and intensive TA.
- Partnership Information: In an effort to better prepare all job coaches and transition specialists to meet the needs of consumers who are deaf-blind, small group training sessions will be conducted at the DORS office, the Work Force and Technology Center for specific needs as determined by the DORS Deaf-blind Specialist. Through small group and larger meeting activities, participants will be trained on topics such as customized employment, personal future plan (PFP) for the consumers,and MAPS, and assistive technology in collaboration with the Maryland Technology.
- Link: Visit the DORS website here…
Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) Summer Youth Seminar — www.HKNC.org
- Who & What: Helen Keller National Center, located in Sands Point, New York, supports teens and young adults with deaf-blindness in planning for the future, developing friendships and community, and becoming self-advocates. HKNC provides a two-week summer institute for youth applicants aged 15 through 22 years: who have both vision and hearing loss; who have a formal communication system; who are on a career path to work, technical school, or college. Presenters who are positive role models and mentors with deaf-blindness address topics related to transition, self-determination, technology, social skills, and self-advocacy.
- Partnership Information: CBSS supports and facilitates the annual process of facilitating one youth from either Maryland or DC to attend the youth training seminar. Students who are deaf-blind, their families, and service providers require much needed support and guidance before, during and at the completion of decision making for their child’s exit plan from high school.
- Link: Visit the HKNC website here…
Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) — www.Gallaudet.edu/kdes.html
- Who & What: Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) dates back to 1857. Today, it is a collaborative education program with Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, serving individuals with sensory impairment in the DC area. The goal of KDES is to provide youth with an academic program that supports them in becoming self-directed, independent, resourceful learnings so they can become effective, productive, and contributing members of society.
- Partnership Information: Gallaudet University and KDES will be working with CBSS to create opportunities for the National Consortium on Deaf-blindness “Open Hands, Open Access” Intervenor Training Modules to be made available on-line.
- Link: Visit the KDES website here…
Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE) — www.MCIE.org
- Who & What: The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, Inc. (MCIE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the inclusion of students with disabilities in their neighborhood schools. Their mission is to be the catalyst for meaningful and successful participation of all students in their neighborhood schools. MCIE has a vision of a society where neighborhood schools welcome all students, engage them in learning, and form the foundation for inclusive communities. They envision that in neighborhood schools, students with disabilities will benefit from meaningful instruction, have friends, and be full members of their school communities.
- Partnership Information: CBSS and MCIE work together to ensure that students with deaf-blindness and their families have access to the information, advocacy, and support necessary for an inclusive education and to benefit from the best educational practices. MCIE services include individual student planning, training and technical assistance, school- and system-wide reforms, professional development courses, legal representation, information sharing, and advocacy.
- Link: Visit the MCIE website here…
Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) — www.MDSchBlind.org
- Who & What: The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) is a private, statewide resource center providing outreach, school, and residential programs to children and youth from infancy to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. Located in northeast Baltimore, MSB endeavors to help each student reach the fullest potential, and to meet or exceed the expectations of families and local school systems.
- Partnership Information: CBSS and MSB work together to meet the educational and technical assistance needs of students at the school who have both vision and hearing disabilities. During the 2008-2013 CBSS grant cycle, CBSS supported MSB in the development of a “Demonstration Classroom” in the school. The classroom demonstration project has become a statewide hands-on training opportunity for families and professionals working with children who have dual sensory impairment. Building on those lessons, CBSS is now working with Delrey School in Maryland to create a school-wide demonstration project.
- Link: Visit the MSB website here…
- Link: Learn more about the MSB Demonstration Classroom Project —
— 2010 MSB Demonstration Classroom article here…
— 2011 MSB Demonstration Classroom article here…
Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) — www.MSD.edu
- Who & What: The Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) is a With campuses in both Columbia and Frederick, MSD endeavors to be a diverse bilingual community that works in partnership with families and providers to create an equitable and exemplary education in a nurturing, engaging, and challenging environment. MSD works to ensure that their students achieve personal excellence and become responsible lifelong learners.
- Partnership Information: CBSS and MSD work together to meet the educational and technical assistance needs of students at the school who have both hearing and vision disabilities.
- Link: Visit the MSD website here…
Parents’ Place of Maryland — www.PPMD.org
- Who & What: Parents’ Place of Maryland (PPMD) is the Maryland Parent Training & Information Center. The mission of PPMD is to ensure that families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need have the knowledge and assistance they need to make informed decisions that support their child’s health, education, and development. The organization is run by members of the community, including parents of children with special needs.
- Partnership Information: PPMD offers peer support to families, and information and education to families, professionals, and the community at large. They offer workshops, individual assistant by phone or in-person, and many resources including information packets and factsheets. Most of the events, activities, and services are offered at no cost to parents. CBSS and PPMD work together to provide events and activities for families, including family leadership training, informational events, and networking activities. CBSS is specifically collaborating with PPMD and the Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) to provide a family leadership training program to train and support family members of children who are deaf-blind to become leaders in deaf-blindness in their local or state communities.
- Link: Visit the PPMD website here…
Tri-Area Family Connections
- Who & What: Building on the “family engagement” initiatives of the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and the National Family Association for Deaf=Blind (NFADB), CBSS has created a “Tri-Area Family Connections” group for families in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia area.
- Partnership Information: The goal of the Tri-Area Family Connections group is to create family activities as well as training opportunities for area families whose children have deaf-blindness or sensory impairments. In addition, CBSS hopes to launch the effort as a local NFADB affiliate chapter. Creating a local NFADB affiliate chapter is a win-win-win situation for families, providers, and administrators. It will result in stronger family engagement activities, and a greater understanding by families of the law and education regulations, so that they can better partner with providers and advocate for their children.
- Link: Learn more about the CBSS Tri-Area Family Connections group here…
- Link: Read the Fall 2012 CBSS e-Connection Update featuring the Tri-Area Family Connections group here…
- Connect: If you would like to join the CBSS Tri-Area Family Connections group, please send us an e-mail here…