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A Sense of Texas

Dec 2019

Janie Blome - AER

AER Executive Director Janie Blome joins host Emily Coleman to discuss the importance of professional organizations and the future of AER. One of AER's offerings is an accreditation process and following Janie, TSBVI Outreach Director Kate Borg shares her experiences with this specific program.

Nov 2019

Michael Clinkscales - Student Health & Well Being

Schools for the blind are often responsible for more than sheer academics.  We are responsible for the whole student; helping them navigate the world as well as textbooks.  TSBVI Social Worker (and 27-year veteran of blind education) Michael Clinkscales joins Emily for a wide-ranging conversation on what brought a college student intent on teaching to taking on social work for a school for the blind, the challenges and rewards of the work, and some energizing new teaching methods on the horizon.  TSBVI Instructor John Rose joins us for the expert segment to discuss one of those new methods: the Unhushed Curriculum.

Nov 2019

John Ravenscroft - CVI

Dr. John Ravenscroft brings our first international perspective to the podcast to discuss brain based visual impairment (CVI, NIVI) as well as how proper research is helping practitioners in the field achieve better results for our kids. Sara Kitchen from TSBVI Outreach also joins us to show how TVI's and the Texas Sensory Support Network are helping kids with CVI right here at home.

Oct 2019

Norma Crosby - NFB

The National Federation of the Blind is one of the best known entities in blind services nationwide.  But as with many things we think we know, there's always so much more to learn about a subject.  Norma Crosby, the president of the NFB of Texas, joins Emily to discuss the many things the organization has cooking and to talk about living the life she wants.  Afterwards Emily speaks to a TSBVI student about navigating services on the ground level.

To contact organizations mentioned in this episode:

National Federation of the Blind of Texas
(281) 968-7733

BELL Academy Info:

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

Texas Parents of Blind Children

Oct 2019

2019 Outreach Forum Roundtable

Before Emily transitioned from outreach director to superintendent, she attended the 2019 COSB Outreach Forum, which brings together professionals from all over the country to discuss the current state and future of outreach in blind education.  She rounded up eight of her colleagues to join her in this roundtable discussion of the challenges and joys of the job.  Joining Emily are:

Adrian Amandi, California School for the Blind

Tanya Armstrong, Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Julie Johnson, New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Pam Parker, Washington State School for the Blind/Washington State Sensory Disability Services

Tiffany Sanders, Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Dawn Soto, Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Brandon Watts, Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

Cindy Williams, North Dakota Vision Services School for the Blind


Sep 2019

Chris Montgomery - TDB Pilot

Many difficulties arise when teaching a student who is hard of hearing or who has a visual impairment. When you combine the two it brings up a whole new set of challenges that not many of us are trained to deal with. Chris Montgomery, DeafBlind Consultant from TSBVI Outreach, joins us today to discuss how the Teacher of Students who are DeafBlind (TDB) Pilot program could help create more positive outcomes for individuals who are DeafBlind in your classroom and beyond. 

Sep 2019

Kate Borg - TSBVI’s New Outreach Director

Welcome to A Sense of Kates!  This episode features a conversation with Kate Borg, who has pulled up stakes in Utah to come to Austin to serve as the new outreach director at TSBVI-- the seat formerly held by our host, Emily Coleman.  Afterwards, longtime TSBVI Outreach team member Kate Hurst joins us in the expert seat to share some insights into how the Texas department works, the kind of people it attracts, and the importance of its mission.

Aug 2019

TSBVI’s New Superintendent

A Sense of Texas began as a way for TSBVI's new Outreach Director to learn more about her new home and position.  Now a plot twist has changed the game going forward.  Join us as Guest Host and TSBVI Board Member Michael Garrett sits down to discuss the future with the school's new superintendent, Ms. Emily Coleman.

Aug 2019

Summer Episode: George Stern & Andrew Cohen at Texas DeafBlind Symposium 2017

With the new school year not quite here but rapidly approaching we bring you another summer episode. Today we hear from George Stern and Andrew Cohen, two DeafBlind individuals who presented at the Texas DeafBlind Symposium in 2017. George discussed the importance of activity in his growth as a person who is DeafBlind and how we as educators can use activity to help our students feel involved both in and out of the classroom. Andrew brings to us information about the DeafBlind Camp of Texas. If you'd like to learn more about the DeafBlind Camp of Texas please visit their website at https://www.dbctx.org/

Jul 2019

Summer Episode: Mickey Damelio: Rec and Leisure

While a critical part of the ECC, recreation and leisure often get put on the back burner to make more room for life and academic skills.  But as Mickey Damelio, formerly of Florida State University, shared with us at Texas Focus 2016, it is incredibly important to instill knowledge about one's body and making that body move if our students are going to truly enjoy a long, healthy life. This is our second Summer Special episode where we step back from the usual format and bring you some information from the vaults, a little off our usual beaten path. We hope you're enjoying your summer.