Saturday, August 27, 2011

Awesome documentary that you have to see!

I came across this trailer for the film documentary, "Do You Dream in Color?" at this month's regional AER conference in Boston and LOVED what I saw!! I literally sat there with chills as I felt totally inspired by the message of this film. It's not out yet but it will be soon.

Until then, here is the website and trailer address: You can also view the trailer with audio description.

Please check this out! I don't think anyone in our community will be disappointed. In fact, I urge my parents to check this out as I know it will give you a glimpse at what the future can hold for your young children.

I loved this and can't wait to see it!! I'll buy the popcorn and see you at the movies :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The wonder of IKEA

Do you live near an IKEA? Ever been to one? IKEA is an awesome place to score items for our kids! They have bold solid color items, lots of organization ideas and pretty good prices! I have found so many awesome finds at IKEA for my students. I was just there this week and I snapped some pictures of some cool things that I wanted to blog about.

I saw these buckets in red and black (yes, CVI families...) and loved them! They are a great price, only $1.99!! I love these buckets because they are great for organizing! They can be used as finished boxes, organization totes or turned upside down for some fun!

Then I found these trays! They are $3.99--what a steal! I hope you read my post on using play trays! I've never seen these at IKEA before. I see those trays and I am already thinking about what a great color red they are! Call your OT and see if they need a work tray!

If you don't live near an IKEA, check out their site. I will warn you this: it can be hard to find the treasures on the website. I usually need to go to the store and get inspired. I love their ideas for organization! They usually organize with bold solid, contrasting colors in simple organized bins/spaces. The other great thing is that they aren't too expensive! I feel it's worth the drive as well. It takes me 45 minutes one way but I just make an adventure out of it. IKEA is super kid friendly. You can eat there, kids can touch almost anything and everything and there are lots of great ideas for our students!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Student Highlight

This post features my student Isaiah, aka Iceman. He is a very talented MMA athlete! He also runs the Vision 5K in Boston and has a team, Team Iceman. I wanted to post this link to his youtube videos because I thought it was a great highlight of selecting sports for our kids to participate in. Wrestling, grappling, MMA, Judo are excellent choices as life long sport choices for our students.

Look him up on Youtube: Iceman Naga

Keep reading because I will be posting some more info on wrestling from my wrestling Greg Schultz. He teaches wrestling at Camp Abilities CT. Check out more information about him, the staff page.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 AER Regional Conference

Hi blogland,

For those in the Boston area, I will be presenting at the 2011 Regional AER Conference. I'm excited to be a presenter (twice!). I will be presenting on the ECC & VRT and how to integrate them for children and youth with vision impairments including MH/DB. I will also be presenting with Justin Haegele, my resident APE guru, on opportunities for physical activity for our students. I look forward to presenting as well as attending some good sessions. I hope to bring back some good tips, strategies and maybe even some products to blog about!

Update on Cody

Does everyone remember my blog post a few months back about my student Cody? He did a fundraiser so he could be a counselor-in-training (CIT) at Camp Abilities Alaska. Cody is our Student Supervisor (aka he supervises the CITs) at Camp Abilities CT. He is a fantastic student and a great mentor to my younger students. He was quite successful with his fundraising and spent a week at Camp Abilities Alaska a few weeks ago. They did a wonderful write up on him in his local paper.I've attached the link so you can read the follow up:

Cody with fellow CIT at the SIBS Weekend Talent Show

Check back in the next few weeks as Cody will be blogging a series on his experiences and reflections as a youth that is visually impaired. He will be blogging from Camp Abilities CT to kick his series off!

Wanna know more about Camp Abilities CT? Check us out!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Personal Safety Curriculum for Children with Vision Impairments

I've got another fabulous, FREE resource. This one is from the California School for the Blind. They have put together a comprehensive curriculum called Safe and Sound. It's free and downloadable into a Word doc from their site. You can access Safe and Sound on the CSB website under the Learning Resources tab.

Here's the direct link:

Safe and Sound is a safety awareness curriculum. It includes a "how to" teach this curriculum as well as pre & post tests for assessment. Each unit is broken down into topics with coordinating lessons, accommodations and tips for teaching. I think it's a resource we all need to go through. It's quite comprehensive and a great resource for teams. It was written by a vision professional team of orientation and mobility instructors and TVIs.

I urge my parents of all ages students to review this material. We need to teach human development, personal safety and self-defense in very unique, precise, realistic ways. It's nothing to shy away from! Consult your TVI for more tips and/or resources on teaching human development. I will also post some resources this fall.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mobility Summer Fun

There are so many fun things you can do with mobility skill development in the summer time!! So many places to go and explore! One fun mobility activity that I like to do is relay races especially with water on a hot day!!
photo from

In fact, I am working with students at a day mobility program this week and I pulled out my buckets! Why relay races? Relay races help establish a start and a finish point, develop directionality and work on timing and social skills. I like to do them with groups. My fave ones are water relays with a large sponge. You have to transfer the water via the sponge between two buckets. The line forms behind one full bucket of water. The student dips the sponge into the full bucket and then travels down to the empty bucket, rings out the sponge to fill the bucket and then returns back. You can use people calling the students' names or a sound source. If you use a sound source, make sure you keep relay lines far enough a part that the sound isn't confusing (and make sure to use two distinct sounds).

Relay games are not just for the youngsters! Every age group has fun with them!! Another great thing about relay games---they also work concepts like full/empty, bilateral hand skills (think sponge ringing), teamwork and sound identification skills. Who knew a summer water relay game could be so fun?

Grab some buckets and have some fun!!