CHARGE Syndrome Foundation Webinars

The following CHARGE Syndrome Foundation Webinars are provided with the support from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness.  Please clink on this link to access the Webinars below.

  • Interveners: Who are they?  Why are they critical for individuals with deafblindness?
  • Conference 101  
  • Ask The Expert: Q&A With David Brown  
  • The Education of our Children: Helping Everyone Thrive with 3535 (This webinar was provided with support from Perkins). 
  • Strategies that Work in the Home and in the Community  
  • Why Does My Child Do That? Compulsive Behaviors and OCD in CHARGE Syndrome  
  • CHD7 and CHARGE Syndrome Research: Unveiling the Mysteries  
  • A Conversation on Intellectual Assessment: What Parents Need to Know   
  • Pain Issues in CHARGE  
  • The Forgotten Senses   
  • CHARGing Into the Teens   
  • Techniques to Improve Feeding Skills and Speech Clarity   
  • Top Ten Strategies for Promoting Positive Behavior   
  • Physical Education for Children who are Deafblind   
  • A Conversation about Intellectual Assessment: What Parents Need to Know

DB Central Winter Family Fun Day - Challenge Mountain

Location: Challenge Mountain, Petoskey, MI
Date: February 10, 2018
Time: 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Join DB Central for a Winter Family Fun Day at Challenge Mountain.  Detailed information coming soon.  Registration: Click here to register online.  Follow this link to view the program flyer.

Optical Illusions--The Blind Skiers' Association

Optical Illusions--The Blind Skiers' Association, is now able to add additional blind skiers to their membership.  They ski Sunday mornings at Pine Knob from 8:30 am to 1 pm.  Lift tickets and ski rentals are generously provided by Pine Knob (skiPIneKnob.com).  Guides are provided by Optical Illusions.  For more information, email to bmerkadam@gmail.com with subject:  Optical Illusions, or call (248) 790-8065.

NC Deaf-Blind Project and ECAC Webinar:  Transition to Adulthood--Getting from Here to There

Date:  Thursday, February 15, 2018
Time:  7:00 pm - 8:15 pm EST
The NC Deaf-Blind Project and the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center will be hosting a free WEBINAR on Transition to Adulthood--Getting from Here to There.  Click here to register online.  Follow this link to view the webinar flyer.

Family Nature Club    
Source:  Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach   
The Camp T Family Nature Club is a group of people who are Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI) and their families who love to get outside and enjoy nature.  The group typically meets on the third weekend of each month at Camp T.  Previous Family Nature Club events included hiking, fishing, gardening, rock climbing, canoeing, dragon-boating, swimming, and socializing.  All individuals who are BVI and their families are welcome to attend!  Food and lodging are available.  Save the date for the following upcoming Family Nature Club Events:

Winter Snowshoeing

Location: Camp T
Date: January 20, 2018

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Location: Camp T
Date: February 16-18, 2018

Spring Equinox

Location: Camp T
Date: March 16-18, 2018

Family Backpacking Weekend

Location: TBD
Date: April 20-22, 2018

Family Paddling Event

Location: TBD
May 18-20, 2018 

Michigan Department of Civil Rights - Town Hall Meetings

The Division will hold four town hall meetings across the Lower Peninsula for the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities. (Upper Peninsula dates coming soon!).  The Division wants to engage with the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities and to learn from you about your experiences in various situations.  Interpreters and CART will be provided. If alternate accommodations are needed, please contact us at doddbhh@michigan.gov or (313) 437-7035.  Dates and times of the meetings are as follows:

February 10
Time:  10:00 am to 12 Noon
JARC
30301 Northwestern Hwy - Suite 100
Farmington Hills, MI 48334

February 24
10:00 am to 12 Noon
Flint Association of the Deaf
4156 Holiday Drive
Flint, Michigan 48507

March 14
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
DeafLink
331 Jackson Street West
Battle Creek, MI 49037

March 24
10:00 am to 12 Noon
Wyoming Public Library
3350 Michael Ave SW
Wyoming, MI 49509

Sports Camps of Western Michigan University for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Location:  Campus of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI  
Who:  Students who are blind or visually impaired (20/70 or worse)*  
Age:  Junior Camp: 9-12 years old, Senior Camp: 13-18 years old, and Michigan State Games: age 13-19 years old who have previously attended Senior Camp and are still in high school
Dates:  Junior Camp: Sunday, May 6 to Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Senior Camp: Wednesday, May 9 to Saturday, May 12, 2018, and Michigan State Games: Friday, May 11 to Saturday, May 12, 2018  
Deadline:  March 15, but applications will be accepted until camp is filled   
To apply:  Go to  www.mbaa-mi.com 

Sports Camp is a great opportunity for students who are blind or visually impaired to learn and participate in a variety of sports. Sports Camp also encourages the students to work on their mobility skills in a new environment, practice independent living skills by staying in a college dorm, and make new friends. These are areas within the ECC that teachers of the visually impaired try to include as part of their instruction.    

We are offering three opportunities: Junior Camp, Senior Camp, and Michigan State Games. Junior Camp provides a series of clinics designed to teach younger students fundamental athletic skills. Senior Camp provides a series of clinics designed to teach middle and senior high school students intermediate athletic skills. The Michigan State Games offers an opportunity for students to compete as individuals and on teams. The camps are designed to introduce students with blindness and visual impairments to sports and recreational activities and to provide continued training to those demonstrating athletic potential. Typical Camp activities include: basic skills, track and field, swimming, wrestling, goalball, tandem cycling, 5-a-side soccer, and judo. Athletes who attend these camps have the unique opportunity to interact with others who have similar vision. The Camp requires rigorous, active participation and is designed specifically for those who show interest in physical activities.   

If you have a student that wants to attend, but has transportation concerns, please contact us. Please complete the application that can be found at www.mbaa-mi.com. Hard copy applications can be downloaded, printed, and mailed in as well.   

We are sending this notice to you in the hope that you will distribute it to the parents and students within your area. You are the only link to students, since privacy laws forbid the Department of Education from distributing mailing lists. We appreciate your time and effort. If you have any questions, please contact Robert and Christine Brauker (Junior Camp directors) or Scott and Leanne Ford (Senior Camp directors) at michigansec@gmail.com or 231-715-1732.

MDE-LIO:  Developing a Process for Assistive Technology Assessment for Students with Visual Impairments

Location:  Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 West Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48915
Date/Time:  Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 22, 2018, 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Cost:  The registration fee is $75 (1/2 price for college students and parents of students who are blind/visually impaired). 
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) is now taking registrations for the "Developing a Process for an Assistive Technology Assessment for Students With Visual Impairments" workshop. This two-day event is for parents, teachers, paraprofessionals and others who support students with a visual impairment.

To succeed in the educational setting, students with visual impairments must learn to maximize the use of their assistive technology (AT).  Therefore, it is important to select technology that matches student abilities with learning goals, which can be challenging for teachers and administrators.

James Duffield, assistive technology specialist and Teacher of the Visually Impaired from the Columbus City Schools, and Ann McKay-Bacon, TCVI & MDE-LIO Technology-Team member, will guide attendees through a process for selecting assistive technology.  Participants will review case studies that emphasize the importance of the selection process and learn about the AT assessment process. Attendees are asked to have at least one student in mind for the case study portion of the workshop.

More information is available on the MDE-LIO's website.

MDE-LIO:  Orientation and Mobility from Birth to Three - Building a Strong Foundation

Location:  Ingham ISD's Thorburn Education Center, 2630 West Howell Road, Mason, MI  48854
Date:  March 23, 2018
Time:  8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Cost:  $50 per person, $25 for college students and family members of children who are BVI
Audience:  Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS), Teacher Consultants for the Visually Impaired (TCVIs), Preschool Teachers, Early-On staff, Parents of children with visual impairments,  and University students.
Registration:  Register Online

Through this hands-on, interactive workshop, participants will be equipped to readily apply skills, techniques, and knowledge to ensure our wee ones are successful now and in the future.

 The presenter is Marjorie (Marjie) Wood (M.Ed., COMS, TVI) from Austin, Texas. She has taught O&M to children and adults for more than 40 years. In the past 25 years, her attention has turned toward children ages birth to 3, starting in a center-based program as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) and certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS), and continuing as an itinerant COMS until 2016. For the past eight years, Marjie has traveled around the U.S. and Canada giving workshops and presentations to parents and colleagues on various O&M topics. She is passionate about helping parents and service providers better understand the importance of early O&M and the skills and concepts needed for optimal service delivery outcomes. 

Family Matters!

Location: Lansing Community College - West Campus
Date: March 10, 2018
Time: Registration starts at 8:30 am, event is from 9:30 am to 4 pm
A fun-filled, one-day workshop for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Leader Dog's Summer Experience Camp - Making Teens Unstoppable!

Summer Experience Camp is a week of outdoor fun, friendship and skill building. The program combines activities like rock wall climbing and tandem biking with leadership building exercises and things exclusively Leader Dog—GPS training and spending time with Leader Dogs in training. The combination helps increase independent travel skills, interpersonal skills and leadership skills.

The free program is for boys and girls ages 16 and 17 who are legally blind. Leader Dog covers all costs including airfare to Michigan—and everyone receives a free HumanWare Trekker Breeze+ GPS device. The 2018 camp dates are June 23—June 30. Applications are due by March 31, 2018.

For more information and to download an application, go to The Leader Dogs for the Blind website or call the Leader Dogs for the Blind client services department at 888-777-5332.
Application deadline is March 31, 2018! 


DBI Network of the Americas Conference

Location: Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis - Cape Cod, MA
Date: April 15-18, 2018

Midwest Transition Institute - Save the Date

Date: June 28 - July 1, 2018

STEM Track 2018

Date:  June 18-22, 2018
Location:  BSBP Training Center, 1541 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo.

Thinking about planning your education and career journey?  Check out the STEM Track to see where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics might take you! 

Calling all high school students 14 and older (BSBP current students and VI students who are interested in BSBP services).  Come to the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) Training Center for a week of STEM discovery.  Students will be introduced to 3D printing technology while learning about careers in the STEM field and exploring characteristics of the universe.  Students will also hear from blind professionals about how to pursue an education and career in STEM.    

The program will use tactile models, sound, and hands-on activities to:

  • Make objects using 3D printers
  • Examine simulated atmospheres of celestial objects
  • Investigate the surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and Sun
  • Journey through a model of the Solar System
  • Trace the life cycles of stars
  • Explore the constellations that make up the signs of the Zodiac
  • Discover the shape and structure of galaxies
  • Meet blind role models like Kenneth Silberman, a NASA Engineer and Patent Lawyer

For more information, contact your local BSBP counselor or Jaclyn Tollas at TollasJ@michigan.org or (269) 337-7897. 

All forms must be submitted by May 18, 2018. 

**You will need a completed medical report or physical less than a year old to stay at the Training Center**