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
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:

Family Paddling Event

Location: TBD
May 18-20, 2018 

DeafBlind Interpreting Institute 2018 - Apply Now!

What better way to celebrate midweek than with the launch of the 2018 DeafBlind Interpreting Institute (DBII) call for applications?! 

This training opportunity is the first of its kind, and we are grateful to the amazing DeafBlind leaders/teachers/trainers/mentors who are partnering with DBI to make this week a reality! Under the direction of DeafBlind leaders, this week-long, protactile and ASL immersion-based environment, will provide hands on experience, mentorship, and learning opportunities that will better prepare you to interpret with the DeafBlind community using protactile ASL.  

We anticipate a high volume of interest in this training and can only admit a total of 35 participants for the 2018 cohort, so be sure to get your application in early and answer all questions completely.  

Call for applications will close on Thursday, May 24th at 5PM PST. Check out Enrollment Application for full details.  

Summer Braille Class to Begin June 19th in Lansing!

The Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) is now taking registrations for a Beginner Braille Class in Lansing for parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other personnel who work with students who are blind or have a visual impairment. This class will meet at the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing. There will be 16 two-hour sessions, meeting at 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 19-August 16, 2018. The class will not meet on July 3rd or July 5th.

Participants who satisfactorily complete the class requirements will receive a certificate.

The registration fee for this class is $90 per person for teachers and other school personnel.  University students and parents of students who are blind or visually impaired can attend for ½ price!  

Required materials (not included in the registration fee) are Ashcroft’s Programmed Instruction in Braille: Unified English Braille (Printing 3) and Companion Reader: UEB.

For more information, please refer to the MDE-LIO website and flyer.

Spicing Up Your Kitchen and Technology Skills:  An Expanded Core Curriculum Training

MDE-LIO is pleased to offer Spicing Up Your Kitchen and Technology Skills:  An Expanded Core Curriculum Training on May 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m at the Kalamazoo RESA.
This event is for students with visual impairments ages kindergarten through 8th grade and their parents/guardians.  Go to Spicing Up Your Kitchen and Technology Skills Registration for more information and to register.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Bureau of Services for Blind Persons - Transition/Pre-ETS Students:

The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) is hosting a number of programs for Transition/Pre-Employment Transition Students who are visually impaired.  Students do not have to be legally blind to participate in these programs.  A brief list of the programs are listed below.   Click here for a detailed information of the programs available  For more information contact Shannon M. McVoy, (269) 337-3449.
Topics and Dates:

  • Encounter Career Opportunities (ECO), Hospitality Edition - June 1-3, 2018, Traverse City, MI
  • WMU/Michigan Rehabilitation Services Summer Transition Program - June 17-21, 2018, Kalamazoo, MI
  • STEM Track - June 18-22, 2018, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Post-Secondary Rediness Program - June 24-July 6, 2018, Kalamazoo, MI
  • College Prep Program - June 25-28, 2018 and June 28-August 18, 2018, WMU Kalamazoo
  • Are You Ready - July 8-20, 2018 BSBP Training Center
  • Ingham ICTA 3 Week Summer Work Experience - Ingham County (various sites)
  • Michigan Works!  Employment Transition Program - (Date TBA), Grand Rapids, MI
  • Sense-Sational Adventures in Summer Science - July 29-August 5, 2018, Camp Tuhsmeheta and UM Dearborn
  • Camp Transition Zone - August 14-18, 2018, Petoskey, MI
  • Summer in the City - (Date TBA), Grand Rapids Area
  • Business Enterprise Program Summer Work Opportunity Program - Dates (summer/ongoing), various Michigan locations
  • Detroit Summer Youth Program - (Dates TBA), Detorit, MI
  • Macomb ISD - (Dates TBA)
  • Visions - Monthly, Port Huron, MI
  • NFB Mentoring Program - Dates are on-going
  • College Success Program - Dates are on-going
Additional Programs BSBP Students can participate in include:
  • MSU's College Transition Program, Project Venture - June 24-27, 2018
  • Postsecondary Education Rehabiliation Transition Program (PERT) - July 8-13, 2018 or July 15-20, 2018, Plainwell, MI
  • Leader Dog-Summer Camp Experience - June 23-30, 2018, Rochester, MI

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 has been extended to April 27, 2018.   

Council for Exceptional Chidren Michigan - Start the Assistive Technology Journey

Alt+Shift is offering Start the Assistive Technology (AT) Journey workshops with Mike Marotta. We will go to Romulus, St. Johns, and Grand Rapids in April, followed by Gaylord and Marquette in May.

Teams of technology consultants, classroom staff, related services personnel, and administrators will:

  • Think about a sustainable, team-based, local district approach to AT consideration.  
  • Consider the skills and knowledge that the team would need.  
  • Plan how best to develop those skills and knowledge in team members.  

This one-day offering will also serve as a preview to a 40-hour hybrid workshop, led by Mike Marotta, coming next school year.

Anyone who works with students who might benefit from AT will benefit from learning how to improve systems to get that technology to those who need it. 

Dates and Locations:
Marquette event - May 16, 2018

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $30 for individuals, $20 per person in teams of three or more; some complimentary administrator registrations available (see registration form for details).    

State Continuing Education Clock Hours are available.  

For more information including registration, visit the Alt + Shift website.

MDE-LIO - Spicing Up Your Kitchen and Technology Skills: An Expanded Core Curriculum Training

Date:  May 19, 2018
Time:  2:00 pm
Location:  Kalamazoo RESA

This event is for students with visual impairments ages kindergarten through 8th grade and their parents/guardians.  Go to  Spicing_Up Tour Kitchen and Technology Skills Flyer and Registration for more information and to register.

National Center on Deaf-Blindness - Webinar Announcement:  iCanConnect

Date:  May 23, 2018
Time:  12 pm Pacific Time (90 minutes)
Free:  No registration required
This webinar, for both families and service providers, will provide an overview of iCanConnect, a national deaf-blind equipment distribution program that provides individuals who have both significant vision and hearing loss with free equipment and training, to help them stay connected with friends, family, and the world.

For more information, visit the NCDB website.  

Midwest Transition Institute - Save the Date

Date: June 28 - July 1, 2018

Braille Enhanced StoryWalk® Programs Offered at 32 Local Michigan Libraries

Thirty-two public libraries statewide are blending indoor and outdoor activities in a literacy enrichment program called the Braille Enhanced StoryWalk®, the Library of Michigan (LM) announced today.

The second-annual StoryWalk, a collaboration of the LM, Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) Low-Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO), and Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL), is a fun, educational activity designed to inspire parents and caregivers to take young children outdoors to engage in literacy and physical activities.  

For more information, a listing of hosting libraries, and dates, please click on the Michigan Department of Education news release dated April 9 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 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**

21st Century Transportation: Careers for Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired

October 31 – November 2, 2018
Holiday Inn North Campus, Ann Arbor, MI

Program includes the opportunity to meet MCity business affiliates and a tour of MCity. Additional information is available by clicking the Careers for Students who are Blind and Visually website, and U of M COHSE website. 

Program sponsors include:  Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairements, National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, Mcity (University of Michigan), and the Center for Occupational Health & Safety Engineering (University of Michigan). 

Foundations of Math - Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities - 5 Day Course

Date:  August 3, October 4-5, and November 7-8
Location:  Clinton County RESA

This course is designed to develop educators' knowledge of mathematics they teach by seeing it through the lens of a well-delineated number sense.  This course focuses on research and practice that addresses the unique instructional challenges of teaching mathematics to students with significant disabilities, and provides teachers with the mathematical understanding needed to provide coherent, consistent mathematics instruction.  For detailed information, preview theprogram flyer.

Foundations for Literacy - Two-Day Training

Cost:  $100 (includes breakfast and lunch)
Time:  8:30 am to 4 pm
Location:  Quality Suites Hotel, 901 Delta Commerce Dr., Lansing, MI  48917, 517-866-0600
Learn More:  For details on hotel reservations, SCECHs availability, and required materials, visit the Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach website.

This two-day training will provide Michigan certified teachers who deliver reading and early literacy instruction to students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) the opportunity to discover the benefits of the Foundations for Literacy Curriculum. Dr. Stacey Tucci, from Georgia State University’s Center on Literacy and Deafness (CLAD), will help participants learn:

•  Research outcomes of Foundations for Literacy
•  How to utilize components of the curriculum and implement strategies with fidelity
•  How to teach early reading skills to students who are DHH

Required Materials:
•  Attendees will be required to purchase the Foundations for Literacy Curriculum for $410.

Family-to-Family Communities Project (F2FC) - Connecting Families to Individuals with Deaf-Blindness via Distance Technology Image of the Family to Family Communities Project flier.