Texas Tech’s Sowell Center Hosts Dutch Expert in Deafblind Education
March 23, 2009
How does one educate a child who is both deaf and blind? As a parent or teacher, reaching
and teaching children with dual sensory impairments remains an ongoing struggle.
Texas Tech University's Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education
in Visual Impairment is hosting Dutch educator
Jan van Dijk for a seminar and workshop March 30-31 at the Region 17 Education Service
Center, 1111 West Loop 289.
With more than 40 years of experience in working with students who are deafblind,
their educational teams and families, van Dijk will help educators and parents unlock
the mysteries of teaching students with dual sensory impairments.
During the two-day workshop, "Using Child-Guided Strategies for Assessment of Students
Who Are Deafblind or Those with Multiple Disabilities," he will individually assess
what children who cannot communicate for themselves may be communicating through their
Representatives from the Division of Blind Services, Texas School for the Blind and
Visually Impaired, and Regional Service Centers, as well as teachers and parents are
expected to attend to observe his direct assessments of children and to learn about
practical approaches that can be used to teach, communicate and enhance the lives
of students with deafblindness.
Amy Parker, a research associate in Texas Tech's College of Education, said that sometimes,
in rural regions of the country, it is hard to find professionals with in-depth knowledge
of certain unique disabilities.
"Dr. van Dijk brings a wealth of experience, humor and compassion to his lectures
and assessment of children," said Parker.
"The really great thing about this event is that he will be working with children
directly as the audience watches and learns. This will be a hands-on approach to assessment
and teaching. He will also explain what he is doing to assess the students and why
he is using the methods that he uses. So not only will audience members learn about
strategies that they can use, the children who are participating will come out of
the experience with assessments that their teachers can use for planning instruction."
Training will feature direct assessment with students with conversation about approaches
used. Topics will include: biobehavioral states, orienting responses, habituation,
developing anticipation with children, routines-based learning, social interactions,
communication and problem solving.
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CONTACT: Amy Parker, research associate, College of Education, Texas Tech University,
(806) 445-6836, or firstname.lastname@example.org