DeafBlind Events

Learn more about upcoming events for deafblind individuals and their families. Want to be notified about upcoming DB Central events? Join our contact list!

Ongoing events

Leader Dogs for the Blind Collaboration Events

  • November 30 - September 27; 3:00 PM EST
  • Leader Dogs for the Blind Collaboration Events spotlight organizations within the blindness and low vision field that have resources that may be helpful to you. Please share these events with others who could benefit from learning about additional resources. 
  • Register for Collaboration Events!

iCanConnect: The National DeafBlind Equipment Distribution Program

  • Sending an email or chatting on the phone can be challenging for people with both significant vision and hearing loss. iCanConnect is a national program that provides free equipment and training to help people stay connected with friends, family, and the world.
  • iCanConnect provides equipment including smartphones, tablets, computers, screen readers, braille equipment, and software to people with significant combined vision and hearing loss who meet federal income and disability guidelines.
  • Apply for iCanConnect now!
  • Complete the iCanConnect MI Consumer application! 

Birth to Three Year Parent to Parent Support Group

  • State Liaisons with the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation will be hosting a virtual support group for families with children aged birth – 3 years. 
  • We recognize that this group goes through so much in the first 3 years of life and it can often feel isolating or overwhelming. We want to offer a safe place where families can get together to connect, share, ask questions and get support from other families.
  • Meetings will take place on the third Saturday of every month at 6:00 PM PT, 7:00 MT, 8:00 CT, 9:00 ET, beginning November 19, 2022. A Zoom link will be sent out monthly to registered participants. Click below to register.
  • Register for this CHARGE Syndrome Foundation support group!

Protactile Language Interpreting Pilot Cohort - Applications Open!

  • The Protactile Language Interpreting National Education Program is charged with preparing interpreters working with DeafBlind individuals in Protactile language. Training is provided by DeafBlind educators.
  • For those interpreters who work regularly in communities with greater concentrations of DeafBlind individuals, PLI is launching a Pilot cohort in 2023. This is a small cohort of 12-18 participants to maintain small mentor-to-student ratios and cohort experiences.
  • Each cohort is a community of practice, sharing their newly-applied learnings, skills, knowledge and resources with each other and their instructors and mentors.
  • View the 2023 PLI Pilot Cohort Application!

Michigan Department of Education - Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) LIVE Webinar Series
September 13, 2022 - June 6, 2023 from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
The Michigan Department of Education - Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) will once again offer LIVE with LIO webinars for the 2022-2023 school year. The webinars will continue to cover important topics of interest to individuals supporting students who are Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI).

Sensing Connections: Grief Support for Families of Children with Deaf-Blindness
Wednesday Evenings at 8:30 ET for 90 minutes (starting September 7, 2022)
Sensing Connections: Grief Support for Families of Children with Deaf-Blindness are web-based, peer-to-peer meetings that allow parents who have lost a child an opportunity to process their grief and learn coping strategies that have helped others. Interested parents are asked to commit to the entire 5-month series (10 total meetings). Enrollment is free. If you are interested in joining this group, please email Molly Black.

California DeafBlind Services Support Video Calls

California DeafBlind Services Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Spanish-Language Online Course

  • October 5 - December 14; weekly at 9:00 PM EDT
  • Ten spaces in this group are reserved for CA families, but the other spaces are open to families from other states until the cohort is filled.
  • The training will be utilizing three modules from Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) over the next eleven weeks with weekly discussion sessions (Wednesdays). Readings and assignments will be at your own time and you will meet weekly online with the rest of the group to discuss the topics on Wednesdays at 6 pm PST.
  • This training will cover An Overview of Deaf-Blindness and Instructional Strategies, The Role of the Intervener in Educational Settings, and Understanding Communication Principles. 
  • Email Myrna Medina to learn more and register for this event!

    Bureau of Services for Blind Persons Training Center (BSBPTC) Virtual Tours
    Tours are available upon request. Tours are routinely scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm (ET). The tour usually takes half an hour. The BSBPTC is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is a residential training institute that assists persons who are legally blind increase their marketable skills through onsite technical training programs. Due to current restrictions, tours are limited to virtual hours. Visit their website to learn more about BSBPTC virtual tours!

    National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB): Assistance in Creating Training Series
    The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is currently working on the first module of Teaching Children Who Are Deafblind: Professional Development for Educators to help enhance competency and skills. For use in the module, the NCDB is looking for videos of educators, children, and family members to help illustrate the strategies and skills involved when working with deafblind children. Anyone who contributes photos or videos selected for use will receive an Amazon gift card or mailed check in the following amounts: $50 per video, $15 per photograph.

    Michigan Hands & Voices Membership
    Anyone can become a member of Michigan Hands & Voices for $25 a year! Membership renews the next November 1; if you start a membership after March, renewal is November 1 of the following year. Benefits of a Michigan Hands & Voices membership include more than 40 events yearly, members-only events, The Communicator in your mailbox, legislative representation, and access to national parent network! They offer scholarships to aid in purchasing memberships are available as well!

    December events

    Accessible Pharmacy's Blind Health Expo 2022

    • December 2; 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST
    • Accessible Pharmacy’s 2022 Blind Health Expo will be the largest virtual expo of healthcare information, products, services, and medication for individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, or have low vision.  Attendees will include thousands of consumers, caregivers, healthcare professionals, educators, nonprofit and government agencies.
    • The event is FREE to attend and FREE to exhibit.
    • Learn more and register for this Accessible Pharmacy event!

    Michigan Hands & Voices Q & Drop-in Session

    • December 5-6; 8:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
    • Drop in as convenient during the hour! Learn how to work with the school and meet your child's/student's educational and accessibility needs. This is a safe place to help you navigate this journey with your child or students and your school.
    • Advocates from five Hands & Voices chapters, who are trained specifically to support families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, will answer your questions. Spanish-Speaking Advocate also available: Email mbarquet@isdh.in.gov
    • Learn more and register for this Michigan Hands & Voices event!

    Michigan Hands & Voices: Keep Calm & Ask Me

    • December 8; 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
    • Our Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Guides have varying levels of deafness/hearing loss. They grew up using different languages or modes of communication, and may or may not use technology. DHH Guides help families identify practical solutions for common challenges our children may experience.
    • Meet and ask questions of two of these positive role models! We host a variety of DHH Guides, so you won't want to miss any dates!  Adults only.
    • Learn more and register for this Michigan Hands & Voices event!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Holiday Cookie Zoom "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"

    • December 10; 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • OUB has a snowpeople making cookie event coming up for our whole community!  This is a family zoom event! 
    • Registrants will receive a FREE cookie cutter, recipes, ingredient list, candy decorations for their snowpersons and a Zoom link.
    • Email Gwen Botting to register for this OUB event!

    LIVE with LIO: Orientation and Mobility and Literacy

    • December 13; 12-1 PM EDT
    • Join MDE-LIO Consultant Beth Brabbs and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist Meri McGregor to explore ways you can support literacy instruction during orientation and mobility (O&M) lessons and use O&M as a vehicle for increasing specific literacy skills.
    • This live webinar will be held via Zoom. Participants do not need to have a Zoom account to participate in the webinar, although you might be prompted to download a plugin when joining.
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    Hands & Voices New Year Virtual 5K: Freeze your Fanny 5K

    • December 30 - January 2
    • Run. Walk. Bike. Hike. Roll. Crawl. Whatever your mode, join us to "freeze your fanny" as you welcome 2023! All virtual 5K registrants will receive a race t-shirt, and the first 500 registrants will receive a custom finisher's medal.
    • Proceeds from this race will go directly to participating chapters of Hands & Voices throughout the United States. Hands & Voices is an international organization with 43 chapters that provides support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    • Learn more and apply for this Hands & Voices event!

    January events

    Hands & Voices New Year Virtual 5K: Freeze your Fanny 5K

    • December 30 - January 2
    • Run. Walk. Bike. Hike. Roll. Crawl. Whatever your mode, join us to "freeze your fanny" as you welcome 2023! All virtual 5K registrants will receive a race t-shirt, and the first 500 registrants will receive a custom finisher's medal.
    • Proceeds from this race will go directly to participating chapters of Hands & Voices throughout the United States. Hands & Voices is an international organization with 43 chapters that provides support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    • Learn more and apply for this Hands & Voices event!

    LIVE with LIO: Active Learning

    • January 10; 12-1 PM EDT
    • Active Learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, focuses on creating motivating learning environments for children with multiple special needs. Join Patricia Obrzut, MS, OTR/L, as she provides strategies to implement this approach.
    • This live webinar will be held via Zoom. Participants do not need to have a Zoom account to participate in the webinar, although you might be prompted to download a plugin when joining. 
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO Train the Trainers: Assistive Technology Assessments

    • January 13; 8:30 AM - 3 PM EDT
    • Join the Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) for a three-part workshop on assessing a student’s assistive technology (AT) needs. Michigan teachers of students who are visually impaired (TVIs) will learn how to identify devices and services that will improve students’ functional capabilities in the educational setting, home, and community.
    • Participants will have an opportunity to observe a live component of the AT assessment process. Attendees are encouraged to become trainers for their district or region to help build capacity in the state. This event will include two online sessions, on January 13 and March 24, followed by an in-person session on May 5 in Lansing.
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO Independent Living Skills Tips and Tricks

    • January 18; 3-4 PM EDT
    • Join the Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) to discuss tips and tricks for teaching independent living skills (ILS). This free one-hour session is for professionals who serve students who are Blind/Visually Impaired and parents to learn a variety of methods for teaching ILS.
    • Learn tricks for basic cooking, cleaning, laundry, dressing, organizational, and home maintenance. There is no one right way to teach ILS, so bring your ideas to share with the group!
    • It is important for participants to request accessibility accommodations at least three weeks prior to the event. Outside agencies MDE-LIO contracts with to provide accommodations cannot guarantee services if requests are made in less than three weeks.
    • Register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO Essential Assessments: Functional Vision Assessment

    • January 19; 8:30 - 11:30 AM EDT
    • Do you need help with conducting functional vision assessments? Whether you are new to the field or are a seasoned professional, join MDE-LIO staff for this half-day workshop.
    • We will share information on how to perform a functional vision assessment (FVA), including techniques for assessing various age groups. This is the second workshop in a series on essential assessments. 
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO Exploring American Sign Language

    • January 19; 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
    • Are you interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL), but don’t know where to start? Are you nervous about learning a new language as an adult? Do you have questions about ASL?
    • Join MDE-LIO consultants John Kirsh and Amanda Schneider for an opportunity to learn more about ASL from a Deaf adult and parent perspective. Resources for learning will be shared, and time will be available for an open discussion.
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO Family Nature Club: Chills and Thrills

    • January 21-22; 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
    • Join us at Camp Tuhsmeheta (Camp T) for a winter getaway! Families will have an opportunity to snowshoe, build snowmen, and sled during this fun-filled event. This overnight experience will also allow participants to explore camp and all its beauty during winter.
    • This is a great opportunity for school-age children who are Blind or Visually Impaired and their families to be active and adventurous in the winter. Don't miss out on the fun!
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    MDE-LIO 2023 Michigan Regional Braille Challenge

    • January 28; 9 am - 1 pm
    • Braille Challenge offers many options for participation this year! Students who are Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI) and read braille are invited to participate online or in person in the 2023 Michigan Regional Braille Challenge.
    • Braille Challenge is an academic competition unlike any other; this two-stage contest is designed to motivate students who are BVI to emphasize their study of braille, while rewarding their success with fun-filled, but challenging, regional and national events. After this initial round, students who qualify will be invited to compete in the Braille Challenge Finals, hosted by Braille Institute. 
    • The 2023 Michigan Regional Braille Challenge is sponsored by MDE-LIO in partnership with Genesee Intermediate School District (ISD) and Kent ISD.
    • Learn more and register for this MDE-LIO event!

    February events

    Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education

    • February 23-25
    • The theme for the 2023 Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education is "Inspiration to Implementation." Join us as we explore innovations within deafblind education, such as developing tactile learning strategies, evaluating students, and increasing recognition for qualified personnel.
    • Together, we will discuss practical strategies, including identifying infants and children who are deafblind and elevating the family voice in individual services and systems change. Take advantage of this experience by attending the optional, full-day Pre-symposium, which features a track for attendees who are new to deafblind education and another for advanced practitioners.
    • The symposium will be held in person at the Austin Marriott North.
    • Learn more about the Texas Symposium on Deafblind Education!

    March events

    Michigan Council for Exceptional Children 83rd Annual Conference

    • March 1-3, 2022
    • MCEC is excited to announce our83rd Annual Conference "The Power of YOU." You will have access to the most contemporary and innovative approaches to educating students with exceptionalities  We hope to see you at the conference! 
    • Register for the MCEC annual conference!

    MDE-LIO Independent Living Skills Tips and Tricks

    • March 22; 3-4 PM EDT
    • Join the Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) to discuss tips and tricks for teaching independent living skills (ILS). This free one-hour session is for professionals who serve students who are Blind/Visually Impaired and parents to learn a variety of methods for teaching ILS.
    • Learn tricks for basic cooking, cleaning, laundry, dressing, organizational, and home maintenance. There is no one right way to teach ILS, so bring your ideas to share with the group!
    • It is important for participants to request accessibility accommodations at least three weeks prior to the event. Outside agencies MDE-LIO contracts with to provide accommodations cannot guarantee services if requests are made in less than three weeks.
    • Register for this MDE-LIO event!

    May events

    Leader Dogs for the Blind Free O & M Professional Seminar - In Person

    • May 31 - June 1, 2023
    • Join us to learn more about specialized O&M techniques, GPS, guide dogs and how you can help your clients become guide dog ready. Get hands-on experience with orientation aids, DeafBlind simulations, guide dog practice and more.
    • Time will be provided for Q&A, group discussion, networking, and several added activities to enhance your learning experience.
    • Learn more and register for this Leader Dogs for the Blind event!

    June events

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Cooking and Serving Camp

    • June 18-23, 2023
    • OUB camper’s favorite activity – cooking! American Food, this time! And a service project to give back to the community.
    • Campers age 10-19 years old are welcome.
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Discovery Camp

    • June 25-30, 2023
    • Science week! May include trip to Calvin College Observatory, nature programs, and much more! Plus little science-y cooking projects! Also available as a day camp.
    • Campers age 7-14 years old are welcome. 
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Leader Dogs for the Blind Teen Summer Camp

    • June 25 - July 1, 2023
    • Teen Summer Camp applications are now open! Camp is an opportunity for teens who are 16 and 17 throughout the US and Canada to learn about leadership skills, accessible GPS technology, guide dogs and more!
    • This camp is completely free including room, board and airfare. Teen Summer Camp will take place June 25- July 1, 2023, the application deadline is Friday March 31, 2023.
    • Learn more and register for Teen Summer Camp!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Family Day

    • June 30, 2023
    • Free! Join us for this fun day of exploring fun activities that don’t need vision to participate fully. Crafts, cooking, music!
    • Families of all ages and sizes are welcome!
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    July events

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Bicycle Camp

    • July 2-4, 2023; 10:00 AM EDT
    • Day Camp option. Learn to ride a real bike from people who know how to help any child with disabilities learn to bike. Transportation may be available in the Grand Rapids area.
    • Campers age 7-19 years old are welcome.
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Chicago Mini-Trip

    • July 5-7, 2023
    • Spend 2 nights in hotels in Chicago and practice big city transportation, including using the trains, the EL, taxi’s, Uber and Lyft, and ordering and paying for restaurant food, experiencing museums, and China Town.
    • A great time, and great experience with different cultures and supervised by staff members with experience in Chicago and certifications in Orientation and Mobility. Participation by director’s permission only.
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Cooking and Jamming

    • July 9-14, 2023
    • Cooking and Music camp with multiple genres of music and multiple international cultures of food! A fun and exciting camp for all!
    • Campers age 7-14 years old are welcome.
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Adventure Trip

    • July 14-18, 2023
    • Younger campers may be accepted under special circumstances.) - $150. We are working with Chicago Adventure Therapy again, but this time to do a rock climbing (on real rocks) and kayaking trip at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo, Wisconsin, including an experience in the woods with Kate Trnka introducing us to 54 senses, and the Dane County Farmer’s Market.
    • A great trip with great people and great fun!
    • Campers age 12-19 years old are welcome. 
    • Visit the OUB website to learn more!

    Calendar

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