Communicating and Connecting with Learners Who Are Deafblind

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					A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




  Communicating and Connecting with Learners
              Who Are Deafblind
     Developing Communication Portfolios
             (Books and Videos)




           New England Center Match Maker Project
                      www.necdbp.org
                              Susan M. DeCaluwe, M.Ed.
                               Educational Consultant

                             Barbara A. McLetchie, Ph.D.
                               Educational Consultant

                                Mary Hill Peters, M.Ed.
                                Educational Consultant

                              Tracy Evans Luiselli, Ed.D.
                                 Project Coordinator

                                  Barbara Mason, M.Ed.
                                    Project Director




This Project (grant number CFDA 84.326C) is supported by funds from the United
States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
Services and the Massachusetts Department of Education State Improvement Grant
under #248-001-2-5889-C. Award dates: October 1, 1999 - September 30, 2003.
Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent
the position of the U.S. Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of
Education, or Perkins School for the Blind.
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project              CFDA 84.326C




Published August 2005 by:



                                             NEC
                             New England Center Deafblind Project
                                  175 North Beacon Street
                                   Watertown, MA 02472
                                      Ph. 617.972.7515
                                    TTY: 617.972.7523
                                     Fax: 617.972.7354
                                     NEC@Perkins.org
                               Website: http://www.necdbp.org




                This Project (grant number CFDA 84.326C) is supported by funds from the United
                 States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
                 Services and the Massachusetts Department of Education State Improvement Grant
                 under #248-001-2-5889-C. Award dates: October 1, 1999 - September 30, 2003.
                 Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent
                  the position of the U.S. Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of
                 Education, or Perkins School for the Blind.
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




                                        Tribute

This document is a tribute to the strength, wisdom and courage of
all learners who are deafblind, and to their families, friends,
teachers and other team members, who have committed to the
awesome challenge of creating meaningful moments of
communication connections.

Each time the team understands the complex message conveyed by
the learner who is deafblind, they develop an increased
understanding of the learner's unique communication needs, and,
effective communication is established.

We are all together on the journey of becoming effective
communication partners. There are countless moments in each day
filled with natural learning experiences and opportunities for
communication.

Discover them!




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project             CFDA 84.326C


                                       Acknowledgements

This document is the culmination of a four-year Match Maker Project. The Project began with a
single idea of reducing the amount of time it takes new team members to get to know the learner
who is deafblind, potentially increasing the number of communication partners for the learner.
We believe that designing this tool has united team member’s focus toward achievable goals.

First, we thank the learners, their parents, brothers and sisters, and extended family members for
trusting us with their stories. They continue to be our teachers! They provided us with insight
and direction in the development of the communication books and videos addressing the unique
needs of their children. We are most grateful. Thank you!

Second, we thank the following local school districts for their contribution to the project's
endeavors: Plymouth, Hampden, Wellesley, Lawrence/Methuen, Worcester and
Chelsea/Beverly. Specifically, we want to thank the following personnel who were especially
helpful in their implementation of the project's procedures and their commitment to effective
communication partnerships and practices for their students: Kathy Disa, Ami Lieberman,
Corally Littrell, Kristin St. Marie, Kim Stegbuchner, Jeff Sullivan, Deb Tobias, Val Wilk, Lynn
Chiastowski, Donna Ferguson, Brendan Foley, Gayle Francis, Dr.John Galinski, Rod
Hemingway, Lisa Jarpole, Maggie Lawler, Cate Miheliandaki, Jane Rosen, Kathy Russo,
Cynthia Turncliff, John Bierfeldt, Carol Dempsey, Alice Gabriel, Chris Majesky, Seon-Jo Park,
Kathie Alearn, Stanley Barron, Pat Bennett, Carrie Carlson, Sue Connors, Jeanne Duffy, Cesar
Gonzalez, Mary Beth Henderson, Jovanni Martinez, Marka O’Connell, Bernie Pierce, Janet
Reyes, Marta Sanabria-Ortiz, Maggie Solis, Carolyn Timbie, Alexandra Urena, Fatima Vidal,
Deb Bostwick, Jack Burke, Barbara Gravelle, Carolyn Hannon, Cathy Mayo, Larry Melander,
Lori Wilmot, Gretchen Bravacos, Linda Groszyk, Barbara Hodges, Dayna Hutchins, Lori Janiuk,
Rusty Johnson, Arthur Karelas, Carrie Larsen, Dawn Whyte, and Susan Weiner.

Third, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the team of professionals who provided ongoing
guidance and immeasurable support, a calming spirit, la joie de vivre, esprit de corps and
expertise in completion of this project: Gail Barbera for creating the initial portfolio templates,
John Pelrine for collecting hours of video footage, Madeleine Schulman for collecting additional
video footage and editing all of the footage into individual student videos and a compilation
video, Shaun Skeya for updating and revising portfolios and authoring the “Making the
Portfolio” section of this manual. And to an extraordinary volunteer, Carla Lynton, who gave
her own time, most generously, most enthusiastically, in translating multiple portfolio documents
and articles into Spanish for families, also acting as a Spanish speaking interpreter for the Project
connecting us with one of the learners parents.

We would also like to thank the team of professionals at the Massachusetts Department of
Education, Department of Special Education Planning and Policy who supported our ideas and
provided on-going guidance: Madeline Levine, Assistant State Director of Special Education and
the Assistant Director of the Department of Special Education Planning and Policy; Katherine
Honey, Educational Specialist; and Jody Williams, Educational Specialist. And to Marcia
Mittnacht, Massachusetts, State Director of Special Education, Director of Special Education
Planning and Policy, we thank you.



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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project           CFDA 84.326C


In addition, we are especially indebted to our colleagues in the Hilton Perkins Program: Betsy
McGinnity, Project Administrator, for brainstorming final document details by phone; Marianne
Riggio, Educational Consultant, Publications and National Technical Assistant, for reading,
commenting and referring us to Valerie Sensabaugh who completed the initial edits of the
document; Lisa A. Jacobs, Information Specialist for DBLINK for reading and commenting
upon portions of the document; and to Steven Davies, Parent Educator and Information
Specialist for DBLINK for proofreading and commenting on our final draft.

We also are indebted to the NEC Family Specialists for their wholehearted enthusiasm and
support of this Project: Delma Boyce (MA) for sharing your wonderful stories about deafblind
communication interactions; Andrea Garewski (CT) for viewing and recommending changes in
the initial Project video; Glenda Longe (ME) for writing an article on the benefit and use of the
Portfolios for learner’s who are deafblind; Djenne Morris (MA) for sharing your experience of
using a video during your son’s IEP visually demonstrating progress on his objectives; Jeanette
Peracchio (CT) for viewing and recommending changes in the initial Project video; and Ann
Dillon (NH) for bringing the Portfolios to New Hampshire. The NEC Family Specialists are a
gracious group of people: accessible, helpful and engaging. And we also are especially grateful
to the members of our NEC Multistate Team: Charlotte Cushman (ME), for reading and
commenting upon portions of the document and the Project video, and for using these materials
in trainings, Evelyn Kelso (NH) for bringing the Portfolios to New Hampshire and using the
Project video for trainings, Kathy Morgan (CT) and Karen Olson (CT) for encouraging us to
complete the document. You continue to inspire us with your focused commitment to quality
communication interactions for learners who are deafblind. A special thank you to Delma
Boyce, NEC Family Specialist, and Cheryl Harvey, NEC Project Assistant for your humor,
laughter and joy in the final days in birthing this document.

And to you the reader, it is our hope that you will use these materials to create Communication
Portfolios for your learners, establishing connection with communication partners now and in the
future. Best of luck in your endeavors!


                        And in memory of Jonathan Rosa (1983 – 2005)




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C



                               Table of Contents

Tribute                                                                    i
Acknowledgements                                                           ii
I.    Purpose and Background                                               1
II. Unique Communication Needs of Learners Who Are
        Deafblind and Their Partners                                       1
III. Developing Communication Portfolios                                   2
        Using The Learner’s Words, Photographs and Videos                  3
        Case Study Photographs and Videos                                  3
IV. Families’ Perspectives                                                 4
        Families and Trust                                                 4
        Medical Issues                                                     5
        Sharing the Portfolios                                             5
        Families as Advocates for Quality Programs                         5
        Updating the Portfolios                                            6
        Summary: Families                                                  7
V. Socialization                                                           7
        Portfolios Increase Understanding in Peers                         7
        Proximity                                                          8
        Manners                                                            9
        Modeling Interactive Techniques                                    9
        Spontaneity                                                       10
        Community Experiences                                             10
        Summary: Socialization                                            11
VI. Effective Educational Practices                                       13
        Real-Life Learning: Natural Learning                              14
        Conversations                                                     15
        Calendars/Schedules                                               17
VII. Vision Adaptations                                                   22
VIII. Auditory Adaptations                                                27
IX. Motor Adaptations                                                     32
        Summary: Adaptations                                              37
X. Systems Change                                                         38
        Substantial Need Agreed Upon by the Partners                      38
        Needs of Teams                                                    39
        Partners Share Resources                                          39
        Using Technical Assistance Strategies for Both Students           40
        and Systems
        Technical Assistance Strategies Based on Research                 40
        Partners Monitor Progress                                         40




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C


      System Change at the School Level                                     40
         The Impact of the Project on Building Level Personnel              41
            Team Requests                                                   41
            Building Level Inservices                                       42
      Systems Change at the District Level                                  42
         Evaluation Needs of the Learner                                    42
      Systems Change at the Agency Level                                    43
      Systems Change at the State Level                                     43
      Summary: Systems Change                                               44
XI. Conclusion and Thinking About the Future                                44
    References                                                              46
    Additional References                                                   47
    Appendices                                                              51
    Appendix A                                                              52
     Checklist of Portfolio Components- Picture This!                       53
     Cover (Illustration)                                                   56
     Jonathan’s Biopoem (Illustration)                                      57
     Biopoem Form                                                           58
     Biopoem Directions                                                     59
     Family Contribution List                                               60
     Family Contribution List – Sample Response                             61
     Family Contribution List (Critical Things…) (Illustration)             62
     Family Contribution List (Hopes) (Illustration)                        63
     Dimensions of Communication – Recording Booklet                        64
     Score Sheet                                                            78
     Descriptive Profile                                                    79
     Descriptive Portfolio (Illustration)                                   81
     Learner’s Likes and Dislikes (Illustration)                            82
     Communication Inventory - Learner’s Interactive Interactions           83
     Communication Inventory - Symbolic                                     84
     Process and Communication Style                                        85
     Communication Tools – (Illustration)                                   86
     Identify and Recommend Teaching Strategies (Illustration)              87
     Dreams MAP                                                             88
     Interagency Agreement Form                                             89
     NEC Consultation Contact Form                                          90
    Appendix B Making the Portfolio                                         91
     Cover                                                                  93
     1. Introduction                                                        94
     2. Points to Remember                                                  95
     3. Access to Tools and Techniques                                      96
     4. Content and Design: Working Together                                96
     5. The Basics                                                          97



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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C


      6. Creating Text                                                    98
      7. Creating Photographs                                              99
      8. Putting the Two Together                                         101
      9. Conclusions                                                      102
     Appendix C                                                           103
      Materials and Resources Shared with Teams                           105
      Translating Materials and costs                                     109
      Agencies                                                            110
      Websites                                                            111




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C


I.     Purpose and Background

The purpose of the Massachusetts Match Maker Project was to enhance the
communication competence of seven learners who were registered as deafblind
with the New England Center Deafblind Project by giving their communication
partners in-depth information about each of the learner’s communication abilities,
needs, and effective ways to communicate with the learner. This resource
provides a background of the project and details the process of gaining and
sharing information about the seven learners who were deafblind through the use
of Communication Portfolios. Finally, this resource shares what we learned
through this process--highlighting what we learned from families, what we
learned about socialization between the learners who were deafblind and others,
and what we learned about effective practices and systems change.

In Massachusetts, approximately sixty percent of school-age learners who are
deafblind are educated in their local schools. Their teachers and other team
members most often have no training or experience with learners who are
deafblind, as deafblindness is a low incidence disability. The lack of trained
personnel is also a critical national challenge. (McLetchie, B. A. B.; MacFarland,
S. Z. C., 1995: Giangreco, M. F.; Edelman, S. W.; Luiselli, T. E.; MacFarland, S.
Z. C. 1997). In 1999, the United States Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) offered federally funded Deafblind Projects an
opportunity to apply for Match Maker Grants, creating a fusion between state and
federal dollars (State Improvement Grant) and federally funded deafblind
projects. The New England Center Deafblind Project saw this as an opportunity
to create a model for developing the communication competence and others
working with and interacting with children and youth who are deafblind. The New
England Center Deafblind Project collaborated with the Massachusetts
Department of Education combining resources and expertise with the
collaboration of six Local Education Agencies. This four year Grant was the first
formal collaboration between the New England Center Deafblind Project and the
Massachusetts Department of Education on behalf of learners who are deafblind.

II.   Unique Communication Needs of Learners Who Are Deafblind and
Their Partners

Communication connects all human beings with one another. Each person who
interacts with the learner who is deafblind is a communication partner (family
members, peers, teachers and others). Although learners who are deafblind are
all different, they share difficulty in communicating with others. Communication is
the greatest challenge in working with learners who are deafblind. Many learners
who are deafblind do not speak, and some do not have formal language. They
may use objects, body movements, facial expressions, and other non-traditional
forms of communication; they may develop language and use sign language; a
few may understand and use speech.



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Without the ability to communicate effectively with learners who are deafblind, it
is impossible to assess their abilities, to include them in classrooms, and to
provide them access to the regular curriculum. Learners who are deafblind are
placed in many regular education classrooms, but they are often at risk for not
being well taught or included. Learners who are deafblind often have difficulty
making friends with classmates because peers do not understand their
idiosyncratic or non-traditional ways of communicating.

It takes time to learn how to be an effective communication partner. The learner
who is deafblind waits. She waits for new communication partners to learn her
ways of communication and her interests. How frustrating it must be for the
learner and her communication partners! By the time communication partners
establish an understanding of the learner’s communication abilities, it is the end
of the school year. Then a transition occurs to a new class in September, and the
learner who is deafblind begins waiting all over again. Unfortunately, this cycle
repeats itself over and over and over again. This serious problem was the
catalyst for the development of Communication Portfolios.

The use of the Portfolios reduced the amount of time required for new team
members to get to know the learners - a major outcome of this project. For
example, during spring break two of the learners transitioned to new programs.
When new team members used the Portfolios, they were able to implement the
learners’ programs within two weeks. Previously, annual school transitions have
required nine months for teams to implement IEP goals and objectives and to
communicate effectively with the learners.

Becoming an effective communication partner requires the ability to establish a
trusting relationship with the learner. Communication partners must have an in-
depth understanding of the learner’s communication abilities, needs and their
interests. Both the active involvement of families and other team members and
on-going team assessment were needed in developing Communication
Portfolios. Through our work on this project, we gained information about the
learners’ communication strengths, important people in their lives, important
community experiences, and their likes and dislikes. The Portfolios helped
communication partners to gain understanding and enhance their own
communication abilities with the learners.

III.   Developing Communication Portfolios

The seven learners who were deafblind were identified by the New England
Center Deafblind Project’s Registry. The following criteria were considered in the
selection process: issues of cultural diversity, gender, age, educational settings
(rural/urban) and six geographic areas of Massachusetts. The age range was 3
to 22 years old. One learner was turning three-years-old. Five learners were
school age, and one learner was preparing for transition to adult services.



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The New England Center contacted families who met the criteria. Families’
willingness to participate in the project was the starting point. The deafblind
specialist met with the families in their homes. She captured the family’s hopes
and dreams for their child by using biopoems and interviews/conversations. The
interviews respected and adapted to each family’s values, culture, and traditions.
The results of the biopoems and the interviews formed the foundation for
developing the Communication Portfolios. A biopoem is a single page document
highlighting the learner’s personality, expressing what he feels, needs, and loves
(See Appendix A).

The Communication Portfolio is a tool consisting of photographs, words, and a
video that captures the learner’s communication abilities and needs. The
Communication Portfolio for each student addressed the following majors areas:

       A visual and verbal description of the learner’s communication abilities
       across different environments (school, home, and community).
       Important people or communication partners in the learner’s life.
       The forms, reasons, and meanings of the learner’s communication in
       video segments and photographs with accompanying text.
       A holistic view of the learner, including communication abilities, learning
       style, family culture, vision and hearing abilities.
       The modifications and adaptations necessary for the learner to access
       people and things in the environment.

The Portfolios are ever evolving, as all human beings change over time. Family
members were the primary source of information and were involved in creating
the Portfolios. We found that the Portfolios created a way to share information
among team members and other communication partners. The Portfolio gave the
learners’ communication partners in-depth information about their abilities and
needs. (See Appendix B).

       Using the Learner’s Words, Photographs, and Videos

Each Portfolio was written in words the learner might use if he were speaking to
the reader. Pairing the learner’s words with a photo might sound like this: "Hi, I’m
Michael! I love to be with people. Touch my hand so that I know you are there.
Let’s read this book to learn about me. Tell me who you are.”

       Case Study Photographs and Videos

Individual photographs and video footage were taken in a variety of
environments. The videoclips were compiled resulting in about a fifteen-minute
video for each learner. Communication partners were encouraged to continually
photograph, make videos, and use the learner’s words to update the Portfolio,
chronologically marking and organizing it to document the learner’s progress.
One of the learners updated his own Portfolio. He was so proud of having a book

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and video all about him that he created new pages with more photographs of
himself engaged in a variety of activities.

IV.    Families’ Perspectives

As each learner who is deafblind is unique, so was each family in this Project.
One of the staff members worked on the project full time, so we had the rare
opportunity of frequent contact with the families. This took place in their homes
and at their children’s schools at least once a month, and weekly by phone, e-
mail or fax. We used a person-centered planning model to capture each family’s
dreams and hopes for their child’s future. Person-Centered Planning is a futures
planning process involving everyone connected with the learner. Together, the
teams created individual visual and word maps of the learners’ past, present, and
projected futures. They also gathered information about the learners’ favorite and
non-favorite items (likes and dislikes), and they determined what worked and
what did not work (Mount, B., 1992: Grisham-Brown, J., 1999: Mar, H.; Sall,
N.,1999: Luiselli, T.E.; DeCaluwe, S.; Jacobs, L.A.,1995).

Each family set goals and expressed their hopes and dreams for their child’s
future. Common goals shared among the families were for their children to
develop self-esteem, to have competent teachers and a meaningful curriculum,
and to have friends. Family members were concerned about isolation and the
quality of their children’s programs. All families were worried about the quality of
their child’s IEP. Parents appreciated the Portfolios and were concerned that they
might not be continued when the project was completed. At the end of the
project, the parents expressed more confidence in working with school personnel
to ask for changes (i.e., “My child needs an assistant who can sign.” “Can we
arrange monthly team meetings?”).

       Families and Trust

Establishing trust is the key component in developing a relationship and
communication with the learner who is deafblind. The same holds true for their
families. Establishing trust with the family and the learner was the heart and soul
of this project. The six families, who decided to participate in this project, taught
us a great deal about trust. They gave us permission to film, visit, and review
records. They trusted us to be in their lives and the lives of their children for two
years. They trusted us to look at the ways their children communicated and to
capture their communication abilities through videos, pictures, and words.
Parents entrusted us with valuable information about themselves and their
families.

Families often reminded us not to use jargon. Trust was built on shared
knowledge. For example, we encouraged a mother to begin using object symbols
with her son to support memory, anticipation, and language development. She
was not interested in or did not value object communication. The mother did not

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understand the term “object symbols;” but was familiar with math manipulatives,
since her son used them to support his need for touch in learning math concepts.
When object symbols were presented and described as language/communication
manipulatives, the mother understood and embraced use as part of her son’s
communication system.

Parents appreciated reviewing the photographs and videos on an on-going basis.
They told us where they agreed, disagreed, or had questions. The deafblind
specialist connected with the families every step of the way, seeking their input.

       Medical Issues

We learned to stay sensitive to medical issues. Two families whose children had
severe medical needs shared how medical concerns had an impact on their
educational programs and on the family’s ability to dream. “We can dream for the
moment. Sometimes life is lived in moments only!”

       Sharing the Portfolios

We discovered that parents shared the Portfolios with other family members,
church groups, and peers.

       A sister said, “This Portfolio helps my brother be more independent.
       Someone can look at this and understand how to communicate with my
       brother at his own level.”

       One family translated their son’s Portfolio into Spanish so the grandmother
       could understand what her grandson was learning in school and how he
       communicated. The student took great delight and pride in sharing the
       Portfolio with his grandmother.

       A brother was motivated to learn sign language when he saw his brother’s
       video. He had no idea that his brother used sign language because he
       never used it at home, as no one in his family could sign. Now family
       members are learning signs.

       A mother shared the Portfolio with her son’s classmates when he
       transitioned to a new class. His peers welcomed him and were eager to
       interact.

       Families as Advocates for Quality Programs

Through the Portfolio process, parents gained knowledge and confidence in
advocating for quality programs. At the beginning of the project, parents
measured the quality of their child’s program based on whether the child was
happy at school. Through the process of developing the Portfolios, four out of six

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parents told the deafblind specialist that their children were more capable than
they previously believed. Parents worried about the quality of their children’s
programs to meet their children’s unique communication needs. They asked for
and expected more from their children and others. They learned they could
approach administrators to request what their children needed.

The following highlights are examples of parent advocacy:

       One learner needed an assistant teacher who could sign. Because of
       parent advocacy, an assistant with sign language abilities was hired.

       One family asked that their son be seated for most of the school day,
       instead of lying on a mat. Their big dream was for their son to have
       friends, and they realized that being seated was essential for quality
       interactions with peers.

       Most parents expressed concern about the IEP process: setting goals and
       writing the goals to meet new state standards. They wanted goals that
       were functional for their children at home and in the future. They wanted
       IEPs to have communication as the primary goal.

       One parent was proactive in seeking specific information on the necessary
       components to build a quality program for her son. She sought academic
       achievement, assessments, and equipment adaptations that would allow
       her son access to all the academic materials available to his peers.

       One family requested IEP update meetings every six weeks to give team
       members the opportunity to meet, receive training if necessary, and keep
       each other connected on the child’s progress. This ongoing collaboration,
       and the creative discussion of what was working and what was not
       working, resulted in several positive changes, including the
       implementation of new activities, embedding therapies within routines,
       new equipment, and improvement in the team members’ skills.

       At the beginning of this project one of the seven learners received
       instruction from a teacher trained in deafblindness. Parents did not realize
       the importance of a highly qualified teacher for their son or daughter. At
       the end of the project, five learners received direct classroom instruction
       from teachers trained in deafblindness.

       Updating the Portfolios

The only way to assure longevity of the Portfolio is if families take responsibility
for completing and updating it. Educational teams must support families in this
process by photographing and videotaping the learner’s activities in school. It
would have been helpful if at the beginning of this project, we had anticipated

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and shared with parents that the responsibility for maintaining the Portfolio would
rest on their shoulders. In any case, parents felt confident to continue to develop
the Portfolio and share it with new team members. (Appendix B - Checklist).

       Summary: Families

This section only begins to highlight the enormous amount of information and the
contribution we received from families while developing the Communication
Portfolios. Families and learners who are deafblind continue to be our teachers.
Creation of the Portfolios led to higher expectations for each of the seven
learners. Parents recognized the value of the Portfolio for training staff, for
providing assessment information. Sharing the Portfolios with classmates, family
members, and members of the community led to greater understanding of their
children.

V.     Socialization

       Portfolios Increase Understanding in Peers

Most families want their children to have friends, and communication is the key to
developing social relationships. Natural interactions are often difficult for learners
who are deafblind, because of their vision and hearing losses. Vision and hearing
are the major avenues for connecting with others and establishing relationships.
It is critical for peers to understand the learner’s forms of communication and the
functions or reasons the learner communicates. For example, one learner lifted
his head and smiled to mean, “I want attention.” Peers who are sighted and
hearing need to be encouraged to use the forms that the learner uses to
communicate and to interpret the meaning of what the learner is trying to say.
Portfolios were invaluable in facilitating peer interaction.

Classmates were eager to interact with the learner who was deafblind once they
understood how the learner received information. Strategies used by peers to
interact with the learner included touch, close proximity, auditory trainers,
adapted table materials, sign language, pictures, and textured materials.

The Portfolio also helped peers understand why the learner was outside of the
classroom for medical related issues and/or therapies. During a class meeting, a
parent talked about her son using his Portfolio. She showed his classmates the
pictures and explained about his physical and medical conditions. That evening
one of his classmates told his entire family about the friend who was in his
classroom and what he did. He told his family how his classmate communicated,
how he ate, why he left the room for some activities, and what he liked to do.
During the fall open house, this peer’s mother introduced herself to the learner's
parent. She explained how her son had captivated the family at the dinner table
with the story about his classmate.



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       Proximity

Learners who are deafblind often are unaware of who is in close proximity,
because of their combined vision and hearing losses. The distance of a
communication partner is critical. Proximity is a key component to connection
with peers. For a person who is deafblind, communication partners often must be
within arm’s reach. The learner may not know that people are in the environment.
Classmates often need to touch the learner who is deafblind to let him/her know
that they are there, maintaining physical contact during an interaction.




When you touch my hand, I know you are close and I can use
my hands to see what you are sharing with me.


One learner, who could see, searched for his friend. The space between them
had to be within the learner’s visual field in order for him to see his friend. The
addition of touch was also important for clear identification of the friend. The
distance required to receive sign language was important for all students; it
ranged from hand-to-hand to a few feet away. Cooperative learning groups in
classrooms needed to have peers within easy reach of the learner.


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       Manners

In some situations, learners who are deafblind needed to learn proper manners
for relating to peers. For example:

       A learner used his feet to get attention from his classmates. He needed to
       be taught to use his hands to interact with his peers. All of the learners
       needed to learn how to greet peers and say goodbye.

       One of the learners used a switch to activate a tape that greeted his
       friends and shared news from home.

       One mother planned a pretend tea party for her son and other children in
       the neighborhood. She wanted him to learn social manners through
       pretend play. He learned to use his residual vision and hearing to
       participate. He was able to take turns with the other children in pouring
       pretend tea and choosing and eating imaginary cookies.




Please pour my tea. I love it!

       Modeling Interactive Techniques

Project personnel demonstrated the use of different methods for connecting with
the learner; for example, using hand-under-hand tactile signing, introducing
name signs, and using objects. Touch was modeled for peers. Following an
inservice, a teacher reported, “All these hands touched the learner to say Hi.”
The learner had new opportunities to listen to peers and to interact with them.




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       Spontaneity

Sometimes the best social interactions are spontaneous. A classmate brought in
a homework assignment that she had adapted on her own so her friend who was
deafblind, could touch, explore, and understand it better. A future teacher in the
making! During a table setting activity, a spontaneous event occurred that
captured the attention and playfulness of all the students. They learned how to
create and play with shadows on the table as the sun streamed into the room.
The shadows became interesting topics of conversation. The interactions
motivated and maintained the attention of the learner and his peers for several
minutes—unplanned but rich in social interactions.




       Community Experiences

Real-life learning experiences in the community can be a way of establishing
social relationships. Some programs provided community experiences; others did
not. Community outings occurred more frequently for one learner because his
teacher arranged transportation with the city bus company. This arrangement
broadened the learner’s experiences as a member of his community. Another
learner had the opportunity to plan trips to stores, where he enjoyed shopping
with classmates.




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The other five learners were classroom-based, and community experiences were
left up to the parents. It was difficult for one learner’s parents to include him in
family outings because of his physical size and behavioral challenges. Two of the
children were actively involved in after-school activities (wheelchair games at a
nearby university, pretend play activities with neighborhood friends and with
siblings, scout troops, dance classes, and church groups).


       Summary: Socialization

Communication Portfolios captured the primary objective of this grant.
Communication partners began to understand the learners’ non-traditional forms
of communication. What was most interesting was that through the Portfolios,
peers began to have conversations and interactions with the learner. Sometimes
these interactions required no words, such as when two children took turns with a
toy and enjoyed parallel play. A teacher’s words best conclude this section on
socialization.




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       We are teaching understanding every minute
       of the day when we’re in here, and it shows
       with Jacob. Every time we do an activity,
       honest to goodness, the children think of how
       they can adapt it so Jacob can enjoy it. It
       has just evolved; evolved because he is an
       accepted member of our class. For Jacob, I
       think he is getting a lot out of the social
       aspect of the classroom. What has happened
       in my classroom is phenomenal!




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VI.    Effective Educational Practices

The Project personnel provided a series of inservice training for teams to develop
their knowledge and skills in effective practices, such as discovering and
understanding the learner’s ways and reasons of communicating and interacting
with others; the need for real-life learning experiences and involving the learner
in the total process; using a conversational approach and understanding and
using a calendar and/or a schedule system. Remember, like all children, the
learner with deafblindness learns by doing. She needs to be given thoughtful
access to people, things, and environments that happen moment by moment. For
each interaction throughout the learner’s day consideration was given to the
visual, motor, and auditory properties of the interaction. Other important
practices to share with the learner’s team were placement of objects and
educational materials and the respectful awareness that the learner’s hands were
their eyes. The Portfolios became a visual reminder of effective practices.




  Let me feel your signs. Put your hands under mine.




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          Tell me what we are doing! Use objects,
          touch, gestures, and tactile signs. I need
          time to understand and respond. I need
          someone nearby to help me understand
          what is happening.

       Real-Life Learning: Natural Learning

Concepts are the ideas we develop about things, people, events, and feelings.
Concepts require real-life learning through repeated natural routines. In order for
concepts and communication to develop, the learner must be involved in the
entire process of an activity, from the beginning to the end. For example, if the
learner does not help take juice from the refrigerator, she may not understand
why it is cold and where it came from.

Most of what sighted and hearing people know was never learned in school. With
normal vision and hearing, we learned what crying and laughing mean, what
grass and clouds are. We learned our names. We learned about our homes and


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our families. No one ever taught us; we learned naturally. Learners who are
deafblind must be taught everything. They need access to real-life learning
experiences.

Each activity needed to be presented as a total process. The learner learns by
doing. For example, the learner who does not see or hear very well may have no
idea that his mother arrives home by car and comes through a door before she
kisses or hugs him. To the learner who is deafblind, objects and people seem to
appear and disappear magically, if the learner is not involved in the entire
process of the activity. Sighted and hearing children learn naturally by observing,
listening, and interacting with others. Hand-under-hand technique, where the
communication partner puts her hands under the learner’s hands, allows for free
and shared exploration and access of the environment.

The learners, throughout this project began to actively participate in more natural
routines such as hanging up a coat; making juice from an orange; buying food at
the grocery store. Team members began to appreciate the importance of real-
life/natural learning and the seven students got new schedules to allow for
natural learning experiences: feeling rain on their faces, exploring a puddle,
shopping, cooking, going to a swimming pool. Active involvement of the learner
encouraged both communication and concept development.

                                                                           Let me
                                                                           feel. My
                                                                           hands
                                                                           are my
                                                                           eyes.




Conversations

All people learn to communicate through conversations. The first conversations
have no words. A mother imitates her baby and they begin reciprocal
interactions; they take turns. Communication requires two people; conversations



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require a shared topic and mutual turn-taking. The first topics come from the
learner’s interests. Competent communication partners discover topics that
interest the learner. They understand the importance of waiting, taking turns, and
following the learner’s lead. All quality conversation requires a shared topic, a
balance of turn-taking, mutual attention, a comfortable position, and empathy.
Please refer to Remarkable Conversations (Miles, B. & Riggio, M. 1999) for more
information.




  My turn!




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Mom, I had a contest today at snack to see who could drink
the most juice. I won!


       Calendars/Schedules

Understanding and organizing time is a critical component of communicating. We
all use some kind of calendar or schedule system to help us remember the past,
think about the present, and anticipate the future. Calendars and schedules are
crucial for learners who are deafblind. These may be object calendars, or they
may consist of pictures and/or words.




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  An object calendar/schedule above and a picture
  calendar/schedule below




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The learner may use objects and/or pictures to anticipate and remember his/her
schedule. Concrete symbols support memory, learning and anticipation. An
object calendar has several boxes that represent the different activities of the
day. The last box is a Finished box for objects and the red pouch is the Finished
section for pictures. The learner can refer to the Finished section later to
remember what she/he has done during the day.




At the end of each activity, the learner puts the object in the Finished box. When
the learner puts an object or a picture in the Finished container, she knows that
the activity is complete.




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The availability of objects for some learners and pictures for other learners allows
the learner access to topics of conversation. The communication partner should
create the schedule with the child to promote conversations and interactive
communication.




      I’m looking for my swimming picture! Here it is!




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This learner uses her vision very well to access her computer screen and to look
at her schedule pictures.




I use my computer, what will we do today?




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VII.    Vision Adaptations

Vision losses were different for each of the learners. Some of the modifications
used by these seven learners included color, contrast, elimination of glare,
lighting, distance, size of print, placement of materials in relationship to the
learner, use of materials, and elimination of visual clutter (things look messy).




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For one learner with a documented lower field loss, materials were presented in
his upper visual field. His educational team designed a clear Plexiglas board to
hold materials within a certain visual distance. The team attached materials to
the board using Velcro.




                                                                     Can you see the
                                                                     Plexiglas board? My
                                                                     teacher is sitting in
                                                                     front of me. Can
                                                                     you see my three
                                                                     choices? They are
                                                                     side to side. When
                                                                     I see my choices
                                                                     like this, my
                                                                     muscles can relax,
                                                                     I can use my eyes
                                                                     to answer. It is
                                                                     easier and I am
                                                                     less tired. I use
                                                                     the Plexiglas boards
                                                                     in many places.

                                                                     Can you see the
                                                                     yes/no symbols on
                                                                     my wheelchair
                                                                     tray? I use these
                                                                     on tables in school
                                                                     and everywhere I
                                                                     go.




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Two of the learners had usable vision in one eye only. Note the distance the
learner in the first picture chooses to look at pictures and print. Notice the size of
print and the location placement of the white board in the second picture.




   I can move the book to where I can see best. I need
   lighting from my left side.




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   This is my shopping list. I can see the
   words on the white board.*

*Please note the enlarged print in the box above. This student is able to see and
read this size print.




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This learner needed worksheets to be presented at an angle to see them well.
Two binders placed on top of each other were an inexpensive adaptation.




 Do you see the binders? I like to do my schoolwork like this.
 It is easier for me to see.




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VIII.   Auditory Adaptations

Hearing loss is unseen; it is the silent loss. Understanding a learner’s hearing loss is
an even greater challenge for education teams. This challenge is more complex
when combined with vision loss. The combination of vision and hearing losses is not
additive but highly complicated, complex and unique for each learner. Having
knowledge and understanding of the impact that hearing loss has on the
development of language and social connectedness is critical. Just because a
learner enjoys music or turns toward a slamming door doesn't mean he understands
speech. Understanding the difference between hearing and discriminating speech is
critical when working with learners who are deafblind.




   Please be sure the room is not too noisy. Then I can
   use my hearing aids to listen.

Using the Portfolios, teams better understood the hearing process and the learner’s
hearing. They came to understand that information presented auditorially may or
may not be heard due to environmental factors, such as the impact of distance on
the learner’s ability to receive sound. The importance of maintaining and using the
hearing aids was a priority for inservice training. For each learner, management and
use of hearing aids was unique.

Four of the seven learners wore hearing aids; two of these four used an auditory
trainer in school. This reduces the amount of ambient noise, while enhancing and
focusing the learner’s attention in the direction of the teacher or the person using the
microphone. Teachers shared the auditory trainer microphone with the learner’s
peers during group discussions or when peers asked questions. The difference



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between an auditory trainer and a hearing aid, learning how it is used and how it
works, was important for team members. People tend to use the term “FM System”,
rather than “auditory trainer.”

Passing the microphone is an excellent strategy. Class discussions often happen so
spontaneously that the microphone cannot keep pace with the very fast interactions.
Teachers learned to slow down the pace and invited classmates to do the same.


   My teacher uses a microphone and the sound of her voice goes right to my ears. She
   passes around the microphone I love to hear the stories and my classmates voices.




My teacher uses a microphone and the sound of her voice
goes right to my ears. She passes around the microphone. I
love to hear the voices of my classmates.




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                                                        I use two hearing aids
                                                        because my ears don’t work
                                                        like yours. Hearing aids
                                                        help me listen to you. I
                                                        like to talk to everyone.
                                                        My hearing aids have
                                                        batteries. Cool, huh? Every
                                                        day we check my batteries
                                                        to be sure that they work
                                                        okay. I touch my ear or
                                                        pull my hearing aid out if
                                                        the batteries stop working.
                                                        New batteries are kept in
                                                        my backpack. My hearing
                                                        aids are digitized like a
                                                        little computer by an
                                                        audiologist, who checks and
                                                        tests my ears. Take a look
                                                        at my shirt. My hearing
                                                        aids are clipped to my shirt
                                                        with otoclips.




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   Play telephone with me! I can hear the
   telephone with my hearing aids.




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One learner had an environment that was rich in using sign language paired with
voice.




 I wear hearing aids because the hearing
 loss in both ears is severe. With my
 hearing loss, I do not understand what
 you say, but I can hear your voice. Please
 talk to me when you sign. Remember when
 you sign, I only see out of my left eye,
 and you need to be within arms length for
 me to see the sign.*

*Please note the enlarged print in the box above. This student is able to see and
read this size print.




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IX.     Motor Adaptations

The complex effects created by the losses of vision and hearing are further
complicated by a learner’s motor challenges. In addition to their vision and
hearing losses, five of the seven learners had significant motor challenges that
required support from physical and occupational therapists. Daily considerations,
activity by activity, were given to the placement of materials, the use of adaptive
materials and motor techniques.




 Can you find the blue ball switch on my wheelchair? It’s
 called a gooseneck toggle switch. When I hit it, I can talk
 to you. My mom and teachers can easily change the message
 for me. I like the switch to be in the same place so that I
 can use it when I want to!




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My sister Kim came to my music class. I can’t see. She pulled
  rope close has could reach it myself like closer and kids
aHere a desktop so Ibeen modified to bring the materialsthe othermake it at
 easier to see and use the materials.
circle time! I like music. I like doing things on my own.

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 I do not need to bend my neck when you use binders!




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I like to talk about my family. I use the green switch as a mouse. I need
all this stuff for my arms, neck, and head to help my muscles calm down.
When my muscles are calm, I can click the mouse easily. My mom and
teachers can show you how to set this up.




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I like to relax with my brother. I need to get out of my chair.




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  Ilike to relax with my
  brother Ineed to get out of
  my chair




 I can touch and see pictures easily when they are at an angle
 like this.



Summary: Adaptations

We use our vision, hearing, fine and gross motor capabilities to access people,
objects, and environments. A critical component of working with learners who are
deafblind is adapting and modifying environments throughout the learner’s day.
We become environment engineers. We must be vigilant about distance, size,


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contrast, color, and lighting. We must be careful about the loudness and softness
of sounds and their sources. We must be thoughtful about physical accessibility,
and the use of special equipment and adapted materials. With appropriate
adaptations the learner can better understand the world and communicate more
effectively with others.

X.      Systems Change

A system is a group of people or agencies that work together or mutually support
each other’s work to achieve a common goal. There are five system levels for
consideration when working with individuals who are deafblind, which include
building level, district level, county level, agency level, and state level. Change is
an act of making something different. Therefore a simple definition of systems
change is to change a system, whether in part or in whole, with the expectation
of improving outcomes.

There are six criteria that define and shape systems change efforts.1) A
substantial need is agreed upon by the partners. 2) Shared leadership and
commitment exist among the identified partners. 3) Partners share resources to
support and maintain the initiative. 4) Multiple technical assistance strategies are
used to improve outcomes for both students and systems. These may include
strategic planning, training, and case studies. 5) Technical assistance strategies
used are known to be effective and are based on research. 6) Partners use an
ongoing planning process and specific methods to document the progress of the
initiative. (Davies, P., McNulty, K. & Bixler, B., 2003). Parents are the most
important partners in bringing about change for their sons or daughters. They are
truly lifelong advocates for their children.

In the next section we will see how this project met the six criteria stated above.
We will then apply these changes to the building, district, agency, and state
levels.

Substantial Need Agreed Upon by the Partners

Today, more than any other time in the history of education, learners who are
deafblind are being educated in their home schools with their same-age peers.
The pool of qualified teachers, assistants, paraprofessionals, and interveners is
small. More than ever before, there is a need to provide local education
programs with the information, training, and technical assistance required to
serve learners who are deafblind in their home schools. Inclusion is not just a
place in the classroom; it is a quality program rich in communication
opportunities. This requires an understanding of the learner’s ways and reasons
for communicating; how she interacts with others and how she processes
information.




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The field of deafblindness has amassed a body of knowledge, including
strategies and effective practices. From these we must create practical and
effective ways to enable local educational teams to ensure quality outcomes for
learners. School districts and classroom teachers often contact the New England
Center Deafblind Project for technical assistance and consultation. The questions
they ask again and again are “How can we teach the student who is deafblind?
How can I communicate with my student? Where do I begin?”.

Getting to know the learner may take a new team nine months or more, and by
then the school year is almost over. How, then, can we design technical
assistance to reduce the length of time it takes new communication partners and
teams to get to know the learner? What would help new team members start
where the previous team left off? How can we help teams communicate with the
learner? With these questions the Match Maker Project was born.

        Needs of Teams

Within this project teachers and teams needed support in modifying and adapting
their curricula to include the unique learning style of the learner who is deafblind.
They needed help understanding and interacting with the learner. They needed
help to understand, modify or set up communication devices, calendar systems
or picture/object books. They needed to generalize the modifications and
adaptations across the learner’s scheduled day and among staff interacting with
the learner. The learner needed better quality IEPs and programs. The Match
Maker Project attempted to acknowledge the strengths and to support each of
the learner’s school systems, paying attention to the values, organization,
resourcefulness, stability, and optimism of each one.

Based upon the needs of teams, including the families, we began by using a
person-centered process to plan for the learner’s future, anywhere from a few
months to a year or more. Taking this process one step further, we designed the
Communication Portfolio. Communication is the primary goal for the learner who
is deafblind. The Portfolio (book/text and video) helped new teams understand
the learner’s communication needs, in the areas of visual modifications; the
placement, distance and size of materials; the importance of touch, proximity to
peers, and peer interactions; identifying motivating activities; and identifying
possible accommodations. Creating this joint focus among team members played
a key role in facilitating effective communication interactions with the learner. The
Portfolio created a shared visual history of what the learner could do, as well as
her current and future goals.

        Partners Share Resources

The New England Center Deafblind Project and the Massachusetts Department
of Education shared equally in funding the conceptual framework designed by
the New England Center Deafblind Project. The New England Center Deafblind



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Project provided ongoing management of the budget, supervision of project staff,
and completion of products. Local school districts allocated staff time to meet and
work collaboratively with project staff. The Massachusetts Department of
Education continues to involve the New England Center Deafblind Project in
trainings and collaboration to improve services.

Using Technical Assistance Strategies for Both Students and Systems

Six of the seven learners’ parents and school districts sought support to obtain
an evaluation designed for the learner who is deafblind. Having this information
assisted teams in making better placement and program decisions, based on the
needs of the learner. One might assume this is a given. However, the complex
communication needs of the learner who is deafblind can be confusing and
sometimes overwhelming.

Technical Assistance Strategies Based on Research

An earlier section discussed effective educational practices many of which come
from research. This project attempted to apply effective research to the
development of a Communication Portfolio. (van Dijk, J. 1986, Finnie, N. R.
1970, Brennen, V., Lolli, D. & Peck, F. 1996) The Communication Portfolio, a
consistent reminder of the placement of materials and effective interaction
strategies is key to understanding and mutual collaboration.

Partners Monitor Progress

The deafblind specialist documented each visit to the school or home with
narrative data, photographs and, sometimes, video footage. Telephone
conversations, e-mail conversations, and faxes sent and received were
documented. During the evaluation and dissemination phase, all the data were
separated into categories: families, socialization, effective practices, and systems
change. There was overlap of materials, as some fit multiple categories. For
example, we consolidated the modifications and adaptations sections and
included them in the category of effective practices. The category of inservice
training was included under systems change.

System Change at the School Level

The following stories highlight systems change at the school level. During all
meetings related to the learners’ unique needs, the deafblind specialist
encouraged teams to keep a record of what worked and what did not work for the
learner. This was included in the Portfolio.

One of the learners transitioned into a first grade classroom with an experienced
first grade teacher. This was the teacher’s first experience with including a
learner with deafblindness in her classroom. She was extremely apprehensive



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and expressed concern about being able to design an educational program and
materials to meet the unique needs of the learner. The deafblind specialist met
with the teacher prior to the learner entering the classroom. After reading the
Portfolio and talking to the deafblind specialist, the teacher expressed great relief
and knew that she could do a competent job.

During another learner’s IEP meeting, the speech therapist asked for an
understanding of how this learner’s combined vision and hearing losses affected
his ability to learn. The team requested training in methods designed for teaching
tactile recognition of letters in braille, and the use of these letters in reading
acquisition and comprehension. They also requested information and training on
adapting equipment so the learner could sit with his peers comfortably and within
arms reach.

        The Impact of the Project on Building Level Personnel

Following an IEP meeting for one of the learners, the building principal realized
that he had another student in his school with combined vision and hearing
losses. He requested support from the New England Center for the other student
and classroom team. In another school setting, the principal requested support
for other students who were deafblind. The students needed support with
transitions, low vision evaluations, and guardianship.

        Team Requests

The deafblind specialist received e-mails and faxes from team members prior to
meetings, requesting that certain issues be addressed. For example, a teacher of
the visually impaired requested that the deafblind specialist “address the
advantages of using a daily tactile calendar with one of the learner’s. Can you
demonstrate its use? Can you model what you mean by a “team approach”?”
Another time, the deafblind specialist developed a set of questions to be
discussed during the IEP meeting, faxing and e-mailing the questions ahead of
the meeting for all members to think about. Questions included how to train the
support staff in specialized skills and how to develop a program for the student.
The deafblind specialist and other team members identified the main goals: for
the learner to use effective communication skills and develop social competence,
to hire trained personnel, to think about the learner's independence, and to
consider long-range plans for vocational opportunities. A few days after an IEP
meeting, another teacher contacted the deafblind specialist, wanting to
brainstorm ways to provide the best possible program for the learner while they
waited to hire a trained, one-on-one intervener/paraprofessional.

When one of the learners transitioned to a new classroom within the same
program during spring break, the deafblind specialist met with the new teacher
sharing the Portfolio and video. She listened to the priorities of the new teacher
and heard the teacher’s method for staying in touch with the family was through



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daily entries in a school/home notebook. As the family spoke Spanish, a
translation website was shared with the new teacher.

For one of the learners who traveled to three different classrooms during the day,
the question of portability and durability of materials was addressed by creating
three sets of materials and arranging them in a similar fashion in each room. The
materials included a tray with three compartments to organize the activities in
each classroom and a calendar with objects to represent the days of the week
and schedule of the day.

The deafblind specialist provided on-going additional resources to each team
based upon the parent and other team member requests, and the learner’s
needs identified within the Communication Portfolio entries (Appendix C).

        Building Level Inservices

The deafblind specialist provided individual training for parents and staff using
the individual students’ Portfolio videos for trainings. Two teachers read the
learners’ Portfolios to their classmates, and the students understood how the
learners communicated and why they left the classroom. Upon reviewing one of
the learner’s Portfolios a principal commented that he now understood why the
learner was coming to school and how he learned.

Systems Change at the District Level

The Match Maker grant created a joint vision for the education of learners who
are deafblind, between the Massachusetts Department of Education and the New
England Center Deafblind Project. The services provided through the grant were,
therefore, offered at no cost to the schools; additionally, the connection with the
Department of Education assigned the project more power or credibility.

A teacher’s e-mail sent April 28, 2002, describes how the transition within the
district to another program changed the life of a learner. “The learner’s transition
has been absolutely unbelievable!!! All these hands are coming up to him to say
Hi and stop him in the hall to see where he is going. He is reaching out and
accepting willingly!” Once the Portfolio identified the learner’s educational needs
for communication, the team questioned his current placement and found
another in the district. The Portfolio was used to introduce the student to the new
staff.

        Evaluation Needs of the Learner

Districts requested evaluation information from the project. They asked where
should they go to schedule a comprehensive educational evaluation for learners
who are deafblind. School districts recognized the unique learning styles of




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C


these learners and in doing so, afforded support to their local teams for
evaluation by qualified personnel.

After an evaluation one district made a placement change. Within the district,
new staff used the Portfolio, and immediately the learner was able to relate to his
new classmates. Soon he was settled, and was seated and playing by the rules
for card and music games. Quickly, within a day, he had a three-ring notebook
containing his daily schedule, and a communication system was in place and
being used by all staff members.

Systems Change at the Agency Level

A collaborative program consisting of several school districts joined together to
provide education for students with disabilities learned from a deafblind specialist
how to keep multiple agencies connected simultaneously to address the learner’s
needs. They used printed materials in Spanish and English, which were
distributed at meetings by e-mails, fax, and regular mail to all members of the
learner’s team. This team consisted of the local education agency (LEA),
teachers, clinicians, paraprofessionals, Department of Mental Retardation
(DMR), and the family. The Portfolio focused the team on the common goal of
communication. For another learner, the deafblind specialist assisted multiple
agencies in securing funding for a summer program, linking family, school
district, and the Lions Club, to support the learner in developing independent
skills for his transition.

In March 2002, a letter sent by the Match Maker project to the program
administrator stated, “I will collaborate on family resources and networks in
regards to deafblindness and continue to document the learner’s progress via the
Match Maker Project. The ultimate goal is to support and illuminate the
communication process, especially around transition. I will also ask
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) and Massachusetts Commission
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) for any available resources.”

Systems Change at the State Level

The Massachusetts Department of Education developed a category of
Deafblindness within the Low Incidence Disabilities population. To date, local
education systems have identified six additional learners who are in the process
of being registered with the New England Center Deafblind Project. This new
state definition has raised awareness as to the unique needs of learners who are
deafblind. The new category allowed for a review of low incidence learners,
placed in educational classrooms for learners with severe disabilities without
sensory impairments. Four parents decided to join the MA Deafblind Family
Alliance (a statewide organization for advocacy) because of the connections and
linkages. These changes occurred during the Match Maker Project and may or
may not be directly linked.



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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C




Summary: Systems Change

In the section on systems change, it was noted that a “system” is a group of
people or agencies that work together or mutually support each other’s work to
achieve a common goal. Our common goal was to create a rich learning
environment for seven learners who are deafblind. A rich learning environment
can promote active communication between the learner and her communication
partners.

Systems change occurred at different levels: building, district, agency, and state.
Communication interactions increased for all learners, time to transition
lessened, families became active advocates, and peers learned how to have a
conversation with their classmate. We believe this change is directly related to
the amount of intensive technical assistance provided to the seven learners, their
families, and their teams. Deafblindness is a unique disability. The deafblind
specialist’s role, working directly with each team as the agent of change who
imparted knowledge and skills to those providing direct service, resulted in the
improved quality or the program.

XI.     Conclusion and Thinking About the Future

The project gratefully acknowledges all the hard work and efforts made by
educational teams, and their willingness to learn about and create appropriate
educational programs for learners who are deafblind. The role of the deafblind
specialist as an equal team member was a resource that helped build capacity.
We believe based on current information that the project has extended beyond
the grant period. Working with the learner who is deafblind is multi-faceted, like a
diamond. The facets are not independent of each other, but relate together in a
holistic way. Communication Portfolios help the learner shine!

Under this grant, seven individual books and videos were begun. A compilation
video, an article in Deaf-Blind Perspectives (DeCaluwe, S., McLetchie, B.A.B,
Evans Luiselli, T., Mason, B., Hill Peters, M. 2004), and this manual were
distributed nationally to federally funded Deafblind Projects. And beyond the
grant, numerous trainings have occurred at the state, national, and international
levels.

We must think about the future. As the Portfolios continue to evolve, these
questions and others encourage us to seek answers:
       Are school district administrators listening to the apprehension of teachers
       and teams in providing quality education for learners who are deafblind?
       Will parents maintain roles as advocates?
       How can we have parents mentor other parents in developing Portfolios?
       Will families continue to share the Portfolio with extended family
       members?


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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C


      Will peers continue to use the Portfolio?
      Could peers contribute to updating the Portfolio?
      Can teams develop Portfolios with less technical assistance (i.e., by
      attending inservices with assignments related to learners’ outcomes)?
      Will teams designate person(s) to share the Portfolio with new teams, to
      facilitate positive transitions so that the learner is understood in new
      settings?
      How does the Communication Portfolio compare to traditional written
      reports in understanding a learner’s communication abilities and needs?
      How can the Communication Portfolio contribute to the IEP process?
      How can the Communication Portfolio contribute to the Alternate
      Assessment Process?
How can we involve the learner in updating his Portfolio to promote self-
advocacy?




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project    CFDA 84.326C


                                       References

Brennen,V.; Peck, F.; Lolli, D.(1996). Suggestions for modifying the home and
school environment — A handbook for parents. Perkins School for the Blind,
Watertown, MA.

Davies, P.; McNulty, K.; Bixler, B. (2003). “Improving systems: an NTAC
initiative.” Deaf-Blind Perspectives. May 2003.

DeCaluwe, S.; McLetchie, B.A.B.; Luiselli, T. e.; Mason, B.; Hill Peters, M.
(2004). Communication portfolio: a tool to increase the competence of
communication partners of learners who are deafblind. Deaf-Blind Perspectives.
May 2004.

Finnie, N. R. (1970). Handling the young cerebral palsied child at home. E.P.
Dutton and Company, Inc. 201 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
Pp.224

Giangreco, M. F.; Edelman, S. W. ; Luiselli, T. E. ; MacFarland, S. Z. C. (1997).
Helping or hovering? Effects of instructional assistant proximity on students with
disabilities. Exceptional Children, v64 n1 p7-18 Fall 1997.

Grisham-Brown, J.; Haynes, D. (1999). Reach for the stars: a transition process
for families of young children. American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. 1839
Frankfort Avenue, P.O. Box 6085, Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085.

Luiselli, T. E.; DeCaluwe, S.; Jacobs, L. A. (1995). Procedures manual for the
New England Center Pilot Project. A grant supported by a U.S. Department of
Education, Office of Special Education (H025A20040). New England Center
Deafblind Services and Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street,
Watertown, MA. 02472.

Mar, H.; Sall, N. (1999) Dimensions of communication: an instrument to assess
the communication skills and behaviors of individuals with disabilities. A grant
supported by a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education
(H025D6001). St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital Center, St. Joseph’s Children’s
Hospital 703 Main street, Xavier 6, Paterson, NJ 07503.

McLetchie, B.A.B.; MacFarland, S. Z. C. (1995). “Need for qualified teachers of
students who are deaf-blind.” Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. May-
June 1995. pp. 244-248.

Miles, B.; Riggio, M. (Eds.) (1999). Remarkable conversations: guide to
developing meaningful communication with children and young adults who are
deafblind. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.




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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project    CFDA 84.326C


Mount, B. (1992). Person-centered planning finding directions for change using
personal futures planning. Graphic Futures, Inc. 25 W. 81st Street, 16-B, New
York, New York, 10024. Pp.61.

van Dijk, J. (1986). An educational curriculum for deaf-blind multi-handicapped
persons. In Ellis, D. (Ed.), Sensory impairments in mentally handicapped people.
San Diego, CA: College-Hill Press, Inc.

                                Additional References

Baldwin, V. (1998). “Population and demographics.” Educating children and
youth who are deaf-blind: review of issues and directions for federal support:
Focus Group Proceedings. National Association of State Directors of Special
Education. Alexandria, VA.

Best, T. (1993). Trends in policy and practice in deafblind services. Teaching
Research Publications. 12.

Collins, M. (1998). “Visions for the future.” Educating children and youth who are
deaf-blind: review of issues and directions for federal support: Focus Group
Proceedings. National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
Alexandria, VA.

Collins, M. (1992). Plenary address: reflections and future directions.
Proceedings of the National Conference on Deaf-Blind Services in the 90’s. (pp.
46-58). Sponsored by the Hilton-Perkins National Program.

Communicating and connecting with learners who are deafblind. (2003).
DeCaluwe, S.; McLetchie, B.A.B.; Luiselli, T. E.; Mason, B.; Hill Peters, M.,
Compilation Video, Massachusetts Match Maker Project 2000-2003. New
England Center Deafblind Project, Watertown, MA, 02472. And Project Focus,
Massachusetts Department of Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-
5023.

Downing, J. (1996). Practical strategies for teachers. Baltimore, MD: PH
Brookes.

Downing, J. (1999). Teaching communication skills to students with severe
disabilities. Baltimore, MD: PH Brookes.

Dybwad, G.; Bersani, H. Jr. (Eds). (1996). New voices: self-advocacy by people
with disabilities. Cambridge, MA. Brookline Books.

Farmer-Kearns, J.; Grisham-Brown, J. (2001). Including students with deaf-
blindness in large-scale assessment systems. Information received at the New
England Center Deafblind Project Summer Institute, June 25-29, 2001. Critical



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A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C


Issues in Assessment of Children with Multiple Disabilities or Who are Deafblind.
Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, Massachusetts.

Gee, K.; Meyer & J.; Suitor, S. (1998). Designing educational services for
students who are deaf-blind in general education classrooms. Resources:
California Deaf-Blind Services Publication. Vol. 10.

Giangreco, M. F.; Edelman, S. W.; Luiselli, T. E.; MacFarland, S. Z. C. (1998).
Reaching consensus about educationally necessary support services: a
qualitative evaluation of VISTA. Special Services in the Schools, v13 n1-2 p1-32,
1998.

Goetz, L.; Guess D.; Stremel-Campbell, K. (1987). Innovative program design for
individuals with dual sensory impairments. Baltimore, MD: P.H. Brookes.

Kaiser, A.P. (1993). Toward the dream of a common language. Journal of the
Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (JASH), v18 n1 p1-3 Spring,
1993.

Kessler, R. (2001). The ‘teaching presence.’ MTA Today. February, 2001.

Kleinert, H.; Kearns, J. (2001). Alternate assessment. Baltimore, MD: P.H.
Brookes.

McLetchie, B. (1995). “Teacher preparation.” In Haring N.G., & Romer, L. T.,
(Eds.) Welcoming students who are deaf-blind into typical classrooms. Baltimore,
MD: P.H. Brookes. pp. 89-104.

McLetchie, B.; Riggio, M. (2001). Competencies for paraprofessionals working
with learners who are deafblind in early intervention settings. Watertown, MA.
Hilton/Perkins.

McLetchie, B.; Riggio, M. (1997). Competencies for teachers of learners who are
deafblind. Watertown, MA. Hilton/Perkins.

Nafstad, A.; Rodbroe, I. (1999). Co-creating communication: Perspectives on
diagnostic education for individuals who are congenitally deafblind and
individuals whose impairments may have similar effects. Dronninglund,
Denmark: Forlaget Nord-Press.

Project Participate. A grant supported by a U.S. Department of Education
(H324M980258). University of Colorado Health Science Center, 4200 E. 9th
Avenue, C268-20, Denver, CO 80262.

Pugh, G.S.; Erin, J. (Eds.) (1999). Blind and visually impaired students:
educational service guidelines. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.



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Rainforth, B.; York, J.; Macdonald, C. (1992). Collaborative teams for students
with severe disabilities. Baltimore, MD: PH Brookes.

Rowland, C.; Schweigert, P.( 2000). Creating classroom environments that
nurture independence for children who are deafblind. Final Report.

Rowland, C. (1997). Hands-on problem solving for children with multiple
disabilities: guide to assessment and teaching strategies. Oregon Health
Sciences University.

Rowland, C. (1997). Problem solving for children with deafblindness: guide to
assessment and teaching strategies. Oregon Health Services University.

Stremel, K.; Schutz, R. (1995). Functional communication in inclusive settings for
students who are deaf-blind. Baltimore, MD: PH Brookes.

Texas Deafblind Outreach. IEP quality indicators for students with deafblindness.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired,1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX
78756.

Watkins, S. (Ed.) (1989). INSITE MODEL: home intervention for infant, toddler,
and preschool aged multihandicapped sensory impaired children, Volume I.
Logan, UT: SKI*HI Institute.

Watkins, S. (Ed.) (1989). INSITE MODEL: home intervention for infant, toddler,
and preschool aged multihandicapped sensory impaired children, Volume II.
Logan, UT: SKI*HI Institute.

Wethersby, A.M.; Warrant, S.F.; Reichle, J. (1998). Transitions in prelinguistic
communication. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.




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                                          Page 50
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




                   Appendices




                                          Page 51
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




Appendix A
     Checklist of Portfolio Components – Picture This!                              53
     Cover (Illustration)                                                           56
     Jonathan’s Biopoem (Illustration)                                              57
     Biopoem Form                                                                   58
     Biopoem Directions                                                             59
     Family Contribution List                                                       60
     Family Contribution List -- Sample Response                                    61
     Family Contribution List (Critical Things…)                                    62
     (Illustration)
     Family Contribution List (HOPES) (Illustration)                                63
     Dimensions of Communication – Recording Booklet                                64
     Score Sheet                                                                    78
     Descriptive Profile                                                            79
     Descriptive Profile (Illustration)                                             81
     Learner’s Likes and Dislikes (Illustration)                                    82
     Communication Tools
         o Communication Inventory - Learner’s Interactive                          83
            Interaction
         o Communication Inventory – Symbolic                                   84
         o Process and Communication Style                                      85
         o Communication Tools (Illustration)                                   86
     Identify and Recommend Teaching Strategies                                 87
     (Illustration)
     Dreams MAP                                                                     88
     Interagency Agreement Form                                                     89
     NEC Consultation Contact Form                                                  90



                                          Page 52
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project             CFDA 84.326C


Checklist of Portfolio Components
The communication portfolio (Book and video) is a rich visual tool, used by families and
educational team. This tool creates a common view of the learner’s communication
                                                             I
skills, abilities and challenges across all environments. t is designed to capture the
idiosyncratic experiences of the learner’s individual processing style, favorite and non-
favorite activities, and social relationships. This tool has been used in developing and
modifying the general education curriculum as well as being used as part of the alternate
                       I
assessment process. t is critical that this tool continues to grow and expand with the
          a o                 P
learner! Ech Cmmunication ortfolio is un        ique and may include all or some of the
following contents.

o
Fllowing this checklist, examples taken for i ndividual learner’s portfolios will illustrate
            o
each of the Prtfolio components.

Picture This!
“
P          ”
icture this!is the title gi                                     W
                             ven to this checklist. When asked, “ hat should be included
                  o
in the student’s Prtfolio?The answer is, Pi          ”
                                          “cture this!

Communication Portfolio Contents

_____ Cover                                                           See Appendix A
                                                                           6
                                                                           .
      (Binder with plastic cover to slip the Learner’s picture pasted page 5
      on fancy paper)
      Learner’s Name
                P
      Learner’s hoto
                rade
      Learner’s G and D   ate

_____ Biopoem                                                              See Appendix A
       esearch for Better Teaching nc.)
      (R                           I                                             7
                                                                                 9
                                                                                 .
                                                                                 -
                                                                           pages 5
      6
      5             o
       Bellows Hill Rad
      C             1
                    4
      arlisle, MA 017
       0) 6 4
          9
          -
          2
      (58 329

_____ Family Contribution List                                             See Appendix A
           F      C                             i
      The amily ontribution List is a seven-tem questionnaire                    06
                                                                                  .
                                                                                  3
                                                                           pages 6-
      designed to identify the family’s priorities for the Learner.
      n                           F      o
      I addition to capturing the amily Cntribution List
                                                     C
      answers in a visual format for the Learners’ ommunication
      o
      Prtfolios, the Match Maker Project completed the
      imension of Cmmunication ecord Booklet on each of
      D             o             R
      the Learner’s and displaying the results in both a written and
      visual format.

                                                                     PICTURE THIS!
Mary Hill Peters, M.Ed.                                                  Revised August 2003
                                           Page 53
                                                                              Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project               CFDA 84.326C




Communication Portfolio Contents Continued

_____ Dimension of Communication – an Optional Tool                          See Appendix A
      imensions of Cmmunication is
      D             o                       an assessment instrument         pages 6.
                                                                                   -
                                                                                   4
                                                                                   1
                                                                                   8
      designed to help teachers, educational specialists, speech-
      language therapists, psychologists, and other service
      providers evaluate the communication skills of persons with
      multiple disabilities including severe or profound mental
                                       D
      retardation and deafblindness. esigned primarily for
      persons whose communication behaviors are basic,
                             o
      nonconventional, and/ r nonsym bolic, but also can be
      applied to individuals with more sophisticated language
                                              r
      skills. We have included the 12 page-ecording booklet for
                                      7p
      your use. To order the entire 0- age document with video,
                                 h .,     o       h
      contact: Harvey H. Mar, P.DSt. J seph's Cildren's
                0 Main Street, X
      Hospital, 73                     6a            0
                                                     5.
                                avier , Pterson, NJ073
      m
      E ail: hhm1@                         -
                                           m
                   columbia.edu . A 13 inute videotape
      accompanies the manual.

_____ Learner’s Likes and Dislikes                                           See Appendix A
      Brainstorm with the family and other team members a two-                    2
                                                                             page 8.
                                                       iscuss why
      column list of the learner’s likes and dislikes. D
      the learner likes and dislikes each item. Capture, display and
      illustrate these lists in photos and videos.

_____ Communication Tools                                                    See Appendix A
      t
      I is critical to highlight the Learner’s distinct information                3
                                                                                   .
                                                                                   -
                                                                                   6
                                                                             pages 8
      processing style. The learner’s timing, approach and
      idiosyncratic methods of exploring and understanding their
      world. As you continue to gather information about the
      learner, use these tools to focus your observations and begin
      to answer the question how the learner processes
      information. Also consider how the learner
                 e
      receives/ xpresses communication. Be sure to highlight this
      information when captioning the photographs with the
      o                 P
      Cmmunication ortfolio document.

_____ Identify and Recommend Teaching Strategies (for                        See Appendix A
      example…)                                                              a . 8
                                                                             Pge 7
         When captioning the photographs consider the following points:

         List the learner’s strengths observed in the photo                  R
                                                                             efer to pages
                                                                              ,1 ,5
                                                                             293, 33


                                                                          PICTURE THIS!
Mary Hill Peters, M.Ed.                                                     Revised August 2003
                                               Page 54
                                                                                 Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project               CFDA 84.326C




Communication Portfolio Contents Continued

         Identify and Recommend Teaching Strategies (for
         example…) Continued
         When captioning the photographs consider the following points:

         Speak in the first person                                           efer       ,
                                                                             R to pages 8
           With my vision I…                                                  ,
                                                                             1721, 24

         Tell the reader how to communicate with the learner! !              efer
                                                                             R to pages
            ou
            Y can…                                                            , ,
                                                                             141520
            Y can sign, point to a picture, or write in my book
            ou
             ou
             Y can be animated (facilitator modulate your
                   personality to meet the learner’s), pantomime,
                   gesture, use facial expressions.

         Highlight best practices Teaching strategies seen in the            efer
                                                                             R to pages
         photo…                                                               , (taking
                                                                             1316
            Hand under hand presentation of activities and materials                  , ,
                                                                             turns), 2325
           Taking turns                                                      2 7
                                                                             3, 3

_____ Binder Dividers                                                        See Appendix B
                                                                             .o
                                                                             4Cntent and
                                                                             esign: Working
                                                                             D
                                                                             Together

_____ Dreams MAP                                                             See Appendix A
      Thinking about the Learner’s future, the dreams MAP                         .
                                                                             page 8
      highlights the Teams hopes and ideas for the learner in the
      following areas:
            L
      Home/ iving
             W
      School/ ork
      o
      Cmmunity
      ecreation/ eisure
      R        L




                                                                          PICTURE THIS!
Mary Hill Peters, M.Ed.                                                     Revised August 2003
                                               Page 55
                                                                                 Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C
    n      enter D
New Egland C              P
                 eafblind roject                                      Allison
            P
Match Maker rogram




                                           Allison




                                             5th Grade



                                        September 2001




                                          Page 56                        COVER
                                                                        Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project       CFDA 84.326C




             Biopoem written by Jonathan for his Communication Portfolio, Summer 2002.
                                         Page 57                      Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project             CFDA 84.326C




                                Family Contribution List

    1)      What do you feel should be the most important goals for your child
            during this school year?

    2)      lease indicate at least three things that you hope your child and your
            P
            family will gain by being part of the Match Maker P rogram.

    )
    3       What are some of the most critical things about your child that you feel
            all staff should know?

    )
    4                                                      for        …
            What hopes do you have for your child’s future?… working, for
                     for        for
            housing, … leisure, … community access?

                                                               o
    The following information will assist in completion of the Cmmunication and
    laces MAP for your child’s Cmmunication ortfolio.
    P        s                 o               P

    )
    5       List all the ways that your child communicates with you.

    )
    6       List all the places your child likes to go to, and places your child has
            been. List all family vacations, trips, hospitalizations, etc.

    )
    7       escribe a normal daily schedule fo r your home. What time does your
            D
                       u
            child wake- p, get dressed, eat meals, complete chores, goes to sleep, etc.
                                                                                 o
            What family activity does your child participates in on a weekly and/ r
            seasonal basis?

                           h                             u
                     Start Potographing NOW, don’t wait. J st do it!




                                                 List of Questions from the MA Matchmaker Project 2000-2003
                                               Page 60                                      Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




Learner’s Name
May 1, 2002

Family Contribution List – Interview
     (A family’s responses to the first four interview questions).

Goals for Learner
      n
      I crease walking
      Social interaction
      Toileting

Goals expected from the Matchmaker Project
      n
      I crease communication between (Learne r’s name) and school, staff, family,
      friends, and home health aides
      o
      Cnsistent methods for communicati on used by everyone with (Learner’s
      name)
      ain
      G insight into (Learner’s name) be havior and communication and life in
                   eafblind child
      general as a D

Critical things all Staff should know about (Learner’s name)
      (Learner’s name) can become over stimulated and confused by commotion and
      too many people or changes
      (Learner’s name) needs time alone -or off time to pace himself and gather
      energy
      (Learner’s name) needs gentle cues and information and warning (especially
      for eating) for all activities

Hopes for (Learner’s name)
     o
     Cntinued health
     e
     Feling of connection and contentedness
     e
     Feling and being included




                FAMILY CONTRIBUTION LIST – SAMPLE RESPONSE
                                                Page 61                      Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C




                                        or
 Sometimes Ineed to back off and think – take a break for a little while.
 sually 5
 U       minutes helps me calm down.     A short walk in a tilted back wheelchair
 also can help me settle down from an upset or restless mood. Iget a rest and can
 recharge my energy and attitude.




       FAMILY CONTRIBUTION LIST (CRITICAL THINGS…)
                                      Page 62                        Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C




           n
           I cluding me in the real and func tional activities of the surroundings
           gives me valuable information. Knowing that others are doing things
                                                             o
           Iam doing, makes me feel a part of the group. Cactive activities
           like having a drink together or looking at things together, gives me
           an opportunity for interaction on a mutual topic and relevant
           learning.




                            FAMILY CONTRIBUTION LIST (HOPES)
                                      Page 63                        Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project        CFDA 84.326C
Dimensions of Communication – Score Sheet



       Learner’s Name:
       May 1, 2002

       Score Sheet

       1. Symbol U se: U hands to search for objects at home, and in
                       ses
                      ocalizes discomfo rt in positioning. Pshes objects
       the classroom. V                                    u
       sway when finished with interaction.

           n
       2. I tent: Scoots to dining room window to gaze at light. Q
                                                                 uiets
       when Teacher models action with object hand under hand and will
       d
       " o it again"by rocking, or touching the object.

       . o
       3 Cmplexity:     uiets, mouths and explores objects at home and
                        Q
               u
       school. Fsses at the lunch table at school until lunch appears.
       refers Aide to assist with lunch.
       P

       .
       4 Social Action : Moves body in response to being lightly touched
                                                    u
       by parents, aide, student teacher and peers. Q iets when interaction
                                            m
       stops and then uses body to indicate " ore"by leaning, bouncing,
       rocking.

       . ocabulary se:
       5V           U      ses
                           U body to orient self to space in each
                               U
       classroom and at home. ses ha nds to reach, grasp and mouth
                ses
       objects. U hands to push object away when finished.

       . o
       6 Cmprehension:    a
                          Puses and quiets when approached. Opens
       mouth when presented with food.




       DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNICATION - SCORE SHEET
                                          Page 78               Recording Booklet, p.9
                                                                          Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project            CFDA 84.326C
Dimensions of Communication – Descriptive Profile


Learner’s Name
May 1, 2002

Descriptive Profile

The learner was observed across several settings, including home, school, and
individual sessions with the 1:1 Aide and Student Teacher. Across these settings the
learner exhibited similar expressive and receptive communication strategies, such
as quieting his body when being approached, responding to touch, indicating when
he wanted more or if he was finished with an activity. The learner's Aide used
touch cues to indicate her presence. One student peer, who was protective of the
learner, would always say hello and want to assist with his chair. The Student
Teacher initiates objects and signs hand under hand to the learner.

Symbol Use
The learner is able to use some nonsymbolic actions, gestures, or vocalizations that
relate to immediate needs or interests in the environment. He uses his hands to
search for objects at home and in the classroom. He vocalizes discomfort in
positioning. He pushes away objects when he is finished. The learner is beginning
to use object cues to represent movement from one classroom period and course to
another. He also has a symbol matching strip (see attached activity)

Intent
The learner seems to know that his actions will be followed by a response. When
sitting in the observers lap, rocking side to side, The learner will lean to one side
when the rocking has stopped to indicate he wants to continue more rocking. He
readies his hands for objects when the Student Teacher arrives, anticipating that
she will place an object in his hands.

Complexity
The learner's expressive communication is mostly in the form of physical reactions
in response to stimuli. He quiets his body when approached. He mouths and
explores objects, then discards them when he finishes and moves on to other
objects. His physical reactions are specific to the location and the individual
working with the learner.

  DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNICATION – DESCRIPTIVE PROFILE
                                                                     Recording Booklet, p.10
                                          Page 79                               Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project            CFDA 84.326C
Dimensions of Communication – Descriptive Profile



Social Action
The learner's interactions with peers are brief and fleeting. The classroom peers
are very protective of the learner, informing observers what the learner likes and
dislikes and asking questions of what is being done with the learner. There is one
student who has been invited to the learner's home. The learner moves his body in
response to touch; he also quiets and waits to understand what the next interaction
will mean. The learner exhibits behaviors such as mouthing objects, scooting on
his back in a defined space and seeking light source in his dining room. The
learner's attention span is brief and designing curriculum activities to correspond
to age peers complex.

Vocabulary Use
The learner's vocabulary can be observed by the way he moves through his
environment. He uses touch to explore objects in his space. He mouths objects as
a way to identify them. He allows the Student Teacher to present objects hand
under hand. Object cues will be presented to build anticipation of activities to come
and schedule calendars to organize daily events.

Comprehension
Building comprehension will happen through the consistent use of hand under
hand techniques, object scheme turn taking, object schedule use and adaptive
curriculum materials and activities.




  DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNICATION – DESCRIPTIVE PROFILE
                                                                     Recording Booklet, p.10
                                          Page 80                               Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project          CFDA 84.326C




                                                               I’m learning to use a tactile
                                                               symbol/communication
                                                               system. Here are some
                                                               examples of us using a
                                                               symbol for going to the
                                                               next room at school. I
                                                               understand better when
                                                               there is a standard way of
                                                               giving me symbols and
                                                               information.




                                                               I want to know what’s up!
                                                               What’s up with me and you
                                                               and the other kids. Tell me
                                                               everything please – tell me
                                                               again – and I’ll tell you if I
                                                               understand. Go slow, give
                                                               me a chance to think and
                                                               react – I want to use
                                                               listening and telling in
                                                               every place with friends,
                                                               family and school matters.




                                 DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNICATION
                                            Descriptive Profile: Symbol Use; Intent;
                                              Vocabulary Use; and Comprehension
                                           Page 81                    Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project           CFDA 84.326C



    Learner’s Name
    April 30, 2002


     Likes                                        Dislikes

     Moving around                                Cold
     Music                                        Abrupt disconnection
     Attention                                    Being hungry/thirsty/wet
     Small/fine motor tasks                       Using his hands for heavy, hard work
     Organized tasks*                             Commotion
     To eat and drink
     Playing by himself
     School*
     Home
     Family
     Classmates*
     To know what is happening
     Familiar routines/consistency*
     Familiar people/staff




                                                               I like to share and be “in
                                                               touch” with my classmates.
                                                               Playing “push” with the
                                                               book for a minute with
                                                               (insert classmate’s name)
                                                               helps me anticipate and
                                                               shift my attention to
                                                               “reading” time.




P                       s
* lease note the learner’ likes highlighted and displayed in a sample page from his Portfolio.


                                             Learner’s Likes and Dislikes
                                        Page 82                             Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project                                                     CFDA 84.326C
New England Center Deafblind Project Matchmaker* (NECDBP Matchmaker)


Communication Inventory – Learner’s Interactive Interactions                                       Date Initiated:

When the learner does this:                   I think the learner is trying to tell me this: I will let him/her know that I understand by:
(Describe the learner’s action/behavior.)     (Explain what you think he/she means.)         (Describe your behavior/action response.)




* Funded in part by the MA Department of Education                                                           By NECDBP – March 13, 2000
                                                     COMMUNICATION TOOLS – COMMUNICATION INVENTORY
                                                                 LEARNER’S INTERACTIVE INTERACTIONS
                                                                Page 83                                                     Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project                              CFDA 84.326C

                                        Communication Inventory – Symbolic
Learner’s Name: ________________________________

Date          Symbols                             Activity             Comments on Usage   Setting
              (object, picture, photo,            (Meaning)                                (home, school,
              tactile)                                                                     other)




                                                     COMMUNICATION TOOLS – COMMUNICATION INVENTORY
                                                                                          SYMBOLIC
                                                             Page 84                              Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project                                                                  CFDA 84.326C
Tools used by the Learner to Receive/Express Communication and to Process Information

Learner’s Name:___________________________________________ Initials:____________________
Date/Activity Observed:_________________________________________________________________
                                       s                                                   s
It is critical to highlight the learner’ distinct information processing style. The learner’ timing, approach and idiosyncra tic methods of exploring and
                                                                                 e
understanding their world. As you continue to gather information about the Larner, use these tools to focus your observations and begin to answer
     u                                                                                            e
the qestion how the learner pr ocesses information. Also, consider how the learner receives/ xpresses communication.

W type of sensory pathway(s) have you observed the learner use to process information?
hat
                       s                       u
Think about the learner’ processing time and seqence. Circl e one or more sensory pathways and give an example.
Visual                                Tactile                                Auditory                              Kinesthetic
Describe how the learner processed information during this activity.
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _

W
hat strategies and tools have yo u observed the learner use to receive and convey information?
Circle one or more items within each category (receptive and expressive).
Receptive                                                      Expressive
Breathing Color                Tone           Objects Pictures Breathing Color                              Tone          Objects Drawing

Written          Pictures Tadoma Sign                        Voice          Written         Pictures Tadoma Sign                        Voice
Describe what you observed:
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _
 _
__                                                                                   _                                                                      _

Capture, display and illustrate your findings in photos and video segments.

                          COMMUNICATION TOOLS – PROCESS AND COMMUNICATION STYLE
                                                                                                                  Tools used by the Learner…
                                                                  Page 85                                                        Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project            CFDA 84.326C




My teachers and my mom, who is my inclusion aide, all work together to prepare materials and
lessons adapted from the kindergarten curriculum.

Special songs and books have been created with tactile materials and Braille for the alphabet,
calendar, numbers, pre-reading and early literacy.
The auditory song/verbal–input paired with the corresponding tactile materials gives me multi-
modality input and built in motivation to listen, attend, focus, anticipate, remember, participate,
initiate and process and build on previous skills.




                                                 COMMUNICATION TOOLS
                                                                     Kindergarten – 2000
                                      Page 86                               Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C
                                                                             Allison




      I can tell you about
      myself and my
      feelings many ways!
      Talking is my favorite,
      but I also use picture
      books, facial
      expressions and some
      gestures.




      IDENTIFY AND RECOMMEND TEACHING STRATEGIES
                                           Page 87                     Appendix A
     A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project       CFDA 84.326C



     Home
                                                                             School




           Sandbox
           Kitty Cat
           Music
           Goodnight sleep
           Books on Tape
           Dad at Night
           Mom at Day
           Sisters


Recreation/Leisure



                                                                Reading Tactual Materials
                                                                Classmates

                                         Jacob                  Switch Activation Output
                                                                Expression
                                                                Choices
                                                                Music
                                                                Come – Go
                                                                Ablenet: make concoctions
                                                                Jello cheesecake
 Vacation Time (CAPE CT Perkins)                                Playdoh?
 Sunshine/Health
 Warmth                                                Swimming?
 Florida days
 Family Weekend


   White Van


                                                                              Sit Walker


         Chore/Job
                                               Adapted Bike Riding (DEM?)
         Switch activated

                                                                          DREAMS MAP
                                             Page 88                         Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project                           CFDA 84.326C
New England Center Deafblind Project Match Maker* (NECDBP Match Maker)
Interagency Agreement for the School Year 200 -200

The NECDBP Match Maker and the Local Educational Agency agree to perform or provide the
following services as designated below:

       NECDBP Match Maker

   Present Match Maker information to the student’s I.E.P. TEAM members.

   Collaborate with staff to develop an individual student Communication Portfolio, and to
   integrate appropriate elements into the student’s I.E.P. and related instructional materials.

   Provide training opportunities to classroom (and/or) education personnel relative to implementation
   of Communication Portfolio and Curriculum Frameworks modifications.

   Document successful interventions, resources, and deafblind specific teaching strategies necessary to
   facilitate smooth annual classroom, staff, and student transitions.

   Complete and disseminate Match Maker products and recommendations to the student’s Team and
   to the LEA at conclusion of the grant.

       LEA/Program

   Facilitate Match Maker’s participation. This includes: obtaining parental consent; provide access to
   the child's records; clearance for classroom observations; and permission to video.

   Designate liaison who will: support consistent meeting time between Match Maker staff, classroom
   personnel, and TEAM members.

   Work through Team, with Project participation, to develop and use a modified, grade appropriate,
   Curriculum Frameworks for the development of the student’s I.E.P. Student’s, 14 and older, will
   actively contribute to the development of their Portfolio.

   Implement educational procedures as designed in the student’s Communication Portfolio. This may
   include mechanisms for conducting assessments of student performance.

   Identify a TEAM member to maintain and update Communication Portfolio as needed.

   Encourage parent participation in development of the portfolio, and any needed home-based activities
   to support it.

   Participate in review of the success of the Project’s work at the end of the school year, and subject to
   mutual agreement, in making plans for the student’s and LEA’s continued participation the following
   year.

Classroom Teacher/Personnel/DATE                                  Parents/DATE


Local Educational Agency/DATE                                     NECDBP Match Maker/DATE

*Funded in part by the MA Department of Education                         NECDBP - February 2000
                                                Page 89                              Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project     CFDA 84.326C


                    NEC Consultation Contact Form
                                                              Initials:______
Student Name:______________________________________________________________

Contact Name:___________________________ Phone#:___________________________

Date:____________________________________ Time:____________________________

        Main Issues:

            o 1.

            o 2.

            o 3.

            o 4.

        Concerns:

            o 1.

            o 2.

            o 3.

            o 4.

        Action – Recommendation:



Follow-Up     Expectations                                           Expected Time
NEC



Contact



Other




                               NEC CONSULTATION CONTACT FORM
                                           Page 90                       Appendix A
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




Appendix B

Making the Portfolio
           1. Introduction                                                 94

           2. Points to Remember                                           95

                                        u
           3. Access to Tools and Techniqes                                96

                                  W
           4. Content and Design: orking Together                          96

           5. The Basics                                                   97

           6. Creating Text                                                98

           7
           . Creating Photographs                                          99

           8. Putting the Two Together                                    100

           9. Conclusions                                                 101




                                          Page 91
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project   CFDA 84.326C




                                          Page 92
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project              CFDA 84.326C




      Communicating and Connecting with Learners
                 Who Are Deafblind
         Developing Communication Portfolios
                  (Books and Videos)



                                      Appendix B

                              Making the Portfolio
              New England Center Match Maker Project
                         www.necdbp.org

                                    Shaun M. Skeya, BA
                                   NEC Project Assistant
                                 Massachusetts Match Maker Project
                                              8/4/2003




                 This Project (grant number CFDA 84.326C) is supported by funds from the United
                 States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
                 Services and the Massachusetts Department of Education State Improvement Grant
                 under #248-001-2-5889-C. Award dates: October 1, 1999 - September 30, 2003.
                 Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent
                 the position of the U.S. Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of
                 Education, or Perkins School for the Blind.



                                              Page 93
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project               CFDA 84.326C



                              Making the Portfolio
                                     Shaun M. Skeya, BA
                                    NEC Project Assistant




1. Introduction
This document presents introductory concepts related to tools, methods and techniques
for creating Communication Portfolios as described in Communicating and Connecting
with Learners Who Are Deafblind Developing Communication Portfolios (Books and
Videos) August 2005.




There are four key topics that are presented in this manual:

         The Portfolio is a form of communication.
         (Sections 2)
         Multiple Techniques and Tools can be used in production.
         (Sections 3-7)
         Access (or lack of access) to particular techniques and tools is not a barrier to
         creativity, design, and utility.
         (Sections 8 and 10)
         Content and Design work together.
         (Section 9)




Notes:

1. Several techniques will be discussed in the manual. In most cases, these techniques
were used at the New England Center Deafblind Project for its Match Maker Project. Of
course, if you have different equipment, software, or materials, you may need to consult
the Owner’s Manual or other documentation for the proper use of your equipment. With
the diversity of tools and techniques available (as will be discussed later), it is impossible
to adequately account for all of these techniques in one manual.

2. For simplicity, this manual will use the male pronoun (he, his), where a pronoun is
necessary.



                                                      MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                            Page 94
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2. Points to Remember
As the portfolio is a form of communication (such as a speech, presentation, or other
document) it is important to keep in mind several key points that will provide direction in
making your portfolio effective at communicating with your audience.

       Text and Pictures: Using both text and pictures in your portfolio will present
       information in the best possible way. Neglecting one or other will make the
       portfolio difficult to understand or unapproachable. If you choose to use text to
       the exclusion of pictures (photographs, designs, or drawings) you will not capture
       the full experience of the child and his environment. On the other hand, if you do
       not include sufficient text (in the form of descriptions, captions, etc.), you will not
       be able to provide the reader a sufficient understanding of the meaning of the
       photographs.
       Accessibility: You should take care to consider the methods that you will use to
       reach your intended audience. For example, consider a Spanish translation of
       your portfolio if the parents are Spanish-speaking.
       Information: The core of the portfolio is in providing information—providing
       answers to questions like “Who is this student?”; “How does he communicate?”;
       “What is his school environment?” Remember that some of your readers are
       meeting this student for the first time; you want your portfolio to provide the
       reader with a useful introduction to the student and his experiences.
       Presentation: An effective design invites readers to “turn the page” and continue
       learning about the student. Good presentation ensures that your audience will
       want to remain interested and involved with your work.
       Organization: Consider what points are most important and highlight them with a
       well-organized portfolio. Proper organization prevents confusion and the chance
       that a reader will be confused as they move from page to page and section to
       section.
       Simplicity: With all of the other details to keep in mind, it might seem impossible
       to keep your work simple! However, simplicity in production and presentation
       will make your portfolio more accessible to your audience and give you less
       headaches during its creation. Keep a record of what work you have
       accomplished and what still is in progress. Avoid duplicating work.

All of these points are all equally important; while you should keep them all in mind, do
not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by details that detract from your overall
purpose: Capturing the Best. It is likely that during your composition of the portfolio
these points may come into conflict—that’s ok! These points should not exist to restrict
your creativity, but rather as a guide to remembering the components of an effective
presentation.




                                                     MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                           Page 95
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3. Access to Tools and Techniques
Access (or lack of access) to particular techniques and tools is not a barrier to creativity,
design and utility. It is possible to make portfolios that capture the best of your student or
child using any combination of the tools that have been discussed in this manual. Know
your resources (including time, money, and experience) and design a manual that uses
those resources to the best of your ability.

Take advantage of your skills and talents. If you have particular experience in, for
example, photography, use that talent to capture the student in photographs.

Use techniques with which you are familiar, but do not be afraid to try something new. If
the possibility of using a computer to create the portfolio or publishing online excites
you, give it your best effort! Investigate new techniques that interest you and that you
believe will help your student communicate through you.

Do not let yourself get frustrated if something goes wrong! It is important to give
yourself ample time to deal with the inevitable difficulties that will result from working a
significant project such as the portfolio. If you have remained organized, you will be
able to work through minor (and major!) issues and continue towards the goal of
completing the portfolio.

4. Content and Design: Working Together
The content (i.e., all the information) that you intend to communicate should work hand-
in-hand with the design of the portfolio, in order to convey that information as efficiently
as possible. Design includes the structure of organization of the portfolio as well as its
“look”—color (or black and white), font, size of pictures and text, the length of the
portfolio, etc.

Remember the components of the portfolio: family goals, biopoems, the photographs and
their captions, the varied experiences of the student, etc. Consider how each might
require a unique design to communicate the message that the child would wish to present.

Furthermore, do not forget the important aspects of communicating effectively: text and
pictures, accessibility, information, presentation, organization, and simplicity. Allow the
design of the portfolio to incorporate each of these aspects.

Some tips related to the concepts of content and design are:

       Decide how you wish to organize the portfolio, to best communicate the intent
       and experience of the student. Creating a uniform structure will help in providing
       an understanding what elements of the portfolio you have included and which you
       may have missed. Possible organizational strategies include:


                                                     MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                           Page 96
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           o Chronological: Have the earliest experiences of the student at the
               beginning of the book, adding new pieces at the end of the book.
           o Topical: Arrange the portfolio by subjects, combining information on
               different topics together. Topics can include communication,
               adaptation/modification, curricula, etc.
           o Location: Does the child communicate differently at home and at school?
               It may be useful to present the student as he is at different times and
               different places.
   Keep page design—including page layout, fonts, borders and colors—consistent.
   Strike a balance between text (including captions) and photographs. Allow your
   elements to work together in communicating ideas.
   Avoid “overloading” information. Stress those elements that are most critical to
   understanding the student. Present the most important issues related to
   communicating effectively with the child in a clear manner.
   Keep in mind that your design may have to account for readers with low-vision. You
   may want to keep adequate space for large type font (18 point or higher) and avoid
   using small designs or photographs, especially if they convey essential information.
   In some cases, you may want to produce both normal-vision and low-vision versions
   of the portfolio.
   If you are planning to publish to the Internet, remember that information presented on
   a computer screen may look different than the same information printed on paper.
   Also, try to make your publication conform to standards for usability and
   accessibility. Be sure that pages that can be read across multiple platforms (Mac and
   PC) and with a variety of connection speeds. For information on accessibility,
   consult the Bobby-approval site: http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp.
   All organizational and design possibilities can be altered to suit the individual needs
   of the student. However, no matter what methods or styles you choose, staying
   consistent to those elements will assist in organizing the portfolio and presenting the
   clearest possible introduction of the learner to the reader.
   Do not be afraid to copy designs that you find clear and useful. If there is a design or
   publication that you feel does a good job of communicating its message, than
   incorporate some elements from that design into the portfolio.

5. The Basics
Paper: Use any kind of paper you wish; however, avoid colored paper if possible. If you
are planning to work by hand (i.e., not on a computer) either for the final portfolio or for
a draft, consider using “sticky” paper. This paper will allow you to move pictures and
note cards around the pages easily. If you feel that a single photograph or piece of text
would be more useful on another page in the book, you can move it without the hassle
(and expense) of reprinting pages or having to make additional photo prints or copies of
text.

The portfolio needs to be bound. For final productions, you can take the portfolio to a
professional copying center where it can be spiral-bound. Alternatively, you can staple

                                                     MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                           Page 97
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the pages together or use paperclips. NEC recommends using a three-ring binder and
sheet protectors. Using a binder keeps pages well organized and allows for easy
movement of pages from one place to another. Sheet protectors keep the pages safe from
being torn in the binder or cut by a hole-puncher. Keep in mind that sheet protectors are
produced with varying degrees of gloss; high-gloss sheet protectors can be visually
distracting to a person with visual impairments.

Don’t forget the importance of reproduction: how many people are going to need to be
able to see the portfolio? Do you intend to reproduce the portfolio in color? There are
several options that you can consider: using a photocopier at your office, using
professional reproduction/printing, or printing multiple copies on your own printer.

One other alternative is to use the Internet to publish the portfolio as a web page (or
series of web pages). Internet publishment allows an unlimited number of people to view
your portfolio. Several online companies provide free or low-cost web site options; these
include Yahoo/Geocities and Tripod. Many of these sites provide easy tools and tutorials
for the creation of your web page. Keep in mind that you will still need some computer
experience to create the elements of the portfolio, and in order to include pictures you
will need to be able to work with the pictures on the computer in order to transfer them to
the Internet.

6. Creating Text

Handwriting is the simplest method of creating text for your portfolio. Even if you plan
on using a computer to produce your portfolio, it may be useful to handwrite a first draft
or an outline. At NEC, we used note cards with handwritten text pasted on “sticky” paper
to act as a draft for the portfolio. Whether you use handwriting for the portfolio itself or
just as a draft, be sure to write clearly and legibly so that others can read your writing
easily.

If you are using a typewriter, keep in mind that you are restricted by the character size of
the typewriter—usually 10 point. You may wish to enlarge typed documents using a
photocopier. There are two methods to incorporate typewritten text into the portfolio:
        Type directly on the paper you plan to use for the communication book. Keep in
        mind that you will want to save some space for pictures later. You may want to
        consider planning the layout of your text and pictures in advance.
        Similar to using note cards while handwriting, you can attach typed pages to note
        cards in order to arrange them on sticky paper.

Using word processing software allows you to create and edit documents quickly and
easily. Also, current software allows for the easy inclusion of photographs and other
graphics with your text. Some packages include Microsoft Word, Corel, Adobe
Pagemaker, and StarOffice. As always, be familiar with the particular features and
functions of your word processing software.


                                                     MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                           Page 98
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Although a computer allows for great freedom in creating and editing your work, there
are a few strategies you may wish to consider while working on the portfolio:

       As always, have a plan for layout. Even though the computer allows you to
       change the position of elements easily, an organization plan will save you from
       some of the headaches of editing.
       Using text boxes (note: the actual name may be different with different packages)
       will allow you to easily move items around the page.
       Keep spacing consistent. Inconsistent spacing or placement of items will appear
       rushed or confusing.
       If you are using a computer for desktop publishing, choose software with which
       you are familiar.

7. Creating Photographs
The techniques you will use in creating and working with photographs depends, first, on
the type of camera that you have. There are two types of cameras: film and digital. Both
types of cameras have their pros and cons.

Film: The primary advantage of film is in its simplicity. Film cameras provide a
consistent picture. Developing prints is a simple matter of dropping the film off at a local
convenience store. If you are planning on using a computer to create your portfolio,
developers will often have the option of adding “digital prints” to a floppy disk for a
small additional charge.

Digital: Digital cameras may seem daunting at first, but once you have learned the basics
of working with a digital camera you will enjoy the freedom to take, edit, and print
photographs with the freedom of a computer and without the added expense of
purchasing and developing film. From a digital camera you can easily publish to the
web, incorporate photographs into a word processing document, print photographs on a
printer, or purchase prints online or from a convenience or photo store.

There are many versions of digital cameras, so be sure to do some research to adequately
fulfill your needs without buying unnecessary features. No matter what camera you
purchase, all will be described by their megapixel. A pixel is one “dot” of color;
therefore, cameras with higher megapixels can take larger and clearer photographs. A
digital camera with a megapixel of at least 3.0 should be adequate for most needs.

Video Camera: If you choose to make a video in addition to you portfolio book, you will
need a video camera. Video cameras come in many styles, depending upon the type of
videotape that is used by the video camera. A digital video camera also uses a tape; the
“digital” in the name refers to the ability to transfer the video to a computer for editing
and later output back to the digital video camera, a VHS tape, or a DVD. Working with
video on a computer requires special software—an example of this software is Windows


                                                    MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                          Page 99
                                                                             Appendix B
A Communication Competency Model-Massachusetts Match Maker Project          CFDA 84.326C


MovieMaker and Adobe Premiere. Many digital video cameras also can take still
photographs, replacing the need for a separate still camera.

Once you have taken your pictures, they need to be included in your book. If you are
creating the book by hand—or using a manual draft before working on a computer—you
can arrange the pictures on “sticky” paper as described in previous sections. If you wish
to make a final document on ordinary paper, you can either glue the photographs to one
page or arrange the photographs relative to each other on the glass of a photocopier.

There are several methods of transferring pictures to a computer:
       Digital Development is receiving your prints on a floppy disk or CD from the
       store that developed your film. You may then copy the pictures from the floppy
       to your computer’s hard drive. Some store chains have recently begun sending
       digital prints directly to your email address or publishing them to a special web
       site for you to download. Digital Development is an easy way to begin working
       using desktop publishing software with your film camera.
       Many digital cameras connect to your computer using a Universal Serial Bus
       (USB) cable. USB is an industry standard for connecting many types of devices
       (printers, mice, keyboards, cameras, scanners, disk drives, etc.) using a common
       style of port on the camera. Typically, a camera that uses USB will be packaged
       with software to help you download the photographs from your camera to the
       computer.
       Another industry standard for transferring data from the camera to your computer
       is IEEE1394/Firewire. Firewire is designed for devices that transfer very large
       pieces of information; digital video cameras usually use Firewire to send video
       from the camera to the computer.
       Many cameras use a technology called “SmartCard” to store data. Often, the
       SmartCard reader will be separate from the camera. In this case, the card reader
       will connect to your computer with a cable; a USB cable is standard.
       Some cameras write pictures directly to a floppy disk or CD. The primary
       advantage to this method is that you do not need to connect your camera to your
       computer with any cables or worry about downloading pictures before you can
       work with them on your computer. After you have taken pictures, the floppy disk
       or CD can be used in an ordinary floppy or CD drive. The disadvantage to this
       storage method is that these cameras are often bulkier (to accommodate the size
       of the storage format) and—in the case of floppy-based cameras—are limited in
       their storage space by the size of the disk. Of course, this second issue can be
       avoided by simply carrying several floppy disks with you.

If you plan to work on a computer, consider the potential need for editing photographs.
Your desktop publishing software (such as Word or Pagemaker) can allow for resizing
and cropping photographs within the document. If you plan to take advantage of more
serious photo editing (for example, to place text directly on the photograph or draw on
the picture in order to bring attention to particular elements) then you may wish to
explore additional photo editing software. Working with photo editing is strictly

                                                 MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
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optional; at NEC, we did not need to edit any photographs beyond simple resizing and
cropping.

8. Putting the Two Together
As has been noted in specific sections, there are two primary methods of arranging text
and graphics/photographs: manual and digital. Furthermore, you can combine these
methods in different sections of a book or even on the same page.

As noted earlier, it is always helpful to have a plan in mind before combing the elements
of the portfolio. This is especially true if you are planning on using manual; the
reproduction costs (in time and money) of recreating a large piece of text or making
additional photo prints can quickly add up.

When you have a good idea of how you wish your portfolio to look, consider scrapbook
techniques: while a person working on a computer is limited by the ability of the
computer to incorporate items into a document, a person not working on a computer has
the freedom to include any items they wish—this can include original drawings made by
the student, handwritten notes, and other designs that may be more interesting than
Microsoft ClipArt. Consider a trip to a local scrapbook store for ideas.

If there are elements for which you only possess one original (the student’s drawing, for
example) and you wish to use it for the portfolio, a photocopier becomes an important
tool. Along with its utility to help you arrange photographs on a page (as noted earlier),
the copier can help you work with both pictures and text. Of course, if you make a
mistake, you have only lost one page and not an important piece of your presentation.

If you plan to work on a computer, there are several software packages that you can use:
Microsoft Word, Adobe Pagemaker, Appleworks and others. If you are planning to
publish the portfolio online, you can use one of the previously mentioned software
packages or a dedicated web page This manual will not make a recommendation for a
particular software package; each has their advantages and disadvantages, and the most
important factor to consider is the ease with which you can use the software. Typically,
you will already possess the software you plan to use. Occasionally, office suites (such
as Microsoft Office and AppleWorks) will be preinstalled on new computers. No matter
which software package you select, there are several skills/techniques that you will need
to know in order to effectively and efficiently design and produce the portfolio:

       Text boxes: Creating, resizing, moving, and working inside text boxes allow you
       to arrange your text and graphics on the page. (Note that, in Microsoft Word,
       even pictures and graphics are placed in “text” boxes) If you choose not to use
       text boxes, your text will be in paragraph format, and any pictures you include
       will be in-line with the text. Paragraph format may be useful for elements of the
       portfolio that are intended to be read as a narrative, not through the voice of the
       student.

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       Text elements: Know how to change font sizes, text alignment, spacing and
       bold/italics/underline if necessary.
       Picture cropping and resizing: You will want to be able to resize and arrange
       pictures on the page in order to convey information in the best possible way.
       Saving/Printing: Knowing how to work with files is critical.
       Cut/copy/paste: If you move or reproduce elements from one location or file to
       another, cutting or copying and pasting is important.
       Accented characters: If you are planning to write the portfolio in Spanish, know
       how to type accented characters. In Microsoft Word, press CTRL+’ (apostrophe)
       then the letter.
       Headers/Footers: These may be useful to add titles to pages, page numbers, and
       dates for reference purposes.

9. Conclusions
Ensure that your content and design serve the overall purposes of the portfolio. You are
trying to capture the best of your child. While you can certainly experiment with new
creative techniques, be sure that any design elements you include reinforce the message
of the portfolio. Just as being too sparse with creative elements may hide the unique
voice of the child, an overload of elements may distract the reader from that voice.

Let the portfolio work to share the experiences and abilities of the child to a wide
audience. Ideally, the portfolio is a tool that can be used for years as the child works with
new educational teams and develops new communication techniques. In some cases, the
child may wish to include his own thoughts directly into his book. Encourage the
development of the portfolio over time, and be sure that anyone who wants or needs to
read the book to learn more about the child has access to the portfolio.

The portfolio is a unique combination of serious effort and creativity. Commit serious
research to understanding the child as well as possible and strive to merge that hard work
into the creative presentation of the portfolio. Build on the experiences that you may
have developing other documents; a story, scrapbook, or photo album may provide
inspiration to the creation of the portfolio. Just as you have worked hard in the past to
present your own voice in those formats, you can present the child’s voice in the
portfolio. In this way, you can take advantage of the opportunity to use your skills—and
learn new ones—to gather information, compile it, and present it in the visual format that
the portfolio provides.




                                                  MAKING THE PORTFOLIO
                                          Page 102
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Appendix C

        Materials and Resources Shared with Teams                          105

        Translating Materials and Costs                                    109

        Agencies                                                           110

        Websites                                                           111




                                         Page 103
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                                         Page 104
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                    Materials and Resources Shared with Teams
Alsop, L. (Ed.) (2002). Understanding deafblindness. Logan, UT: SKI*HI Institute.

Alternate MCAS portfolio cookbook. (2001). Perkins School for the Blind: 2001, 88. Perkins
School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. 02472.

Blaha, R. (2001). “Let me check my calendar,” pp 97-108. Calendars for students with multiple
impairments including deafblindness. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin,
Texas.

Blasch,B.B., Weiner,W.R., Welsh, R.L. (1997). Foundations of orientation and mobility. AFB
Press; 2nd Edition (November 1, 1997).

Brennen,V., Peck, F., Lolli, D.(1996). Suggestions for modifying the home and school
environment — A handbook for parents. Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.

Brooke, V. (Ed).; and Others (1997). Supported employment handbook: a customer-driven
approach for persons with significant disabilities. Feb. 1997, 262p. Virginia Commonwealth
University, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Supported Employment, P.O. Box
842011, Richmond, VA 23284-2011.

Brown. D. (2001). Follow the child: approaches to assessing the functional vision and hearing of
young children with congenital deaf-blindness. CDB Services Resources: Winter 2001.

Beukelman, D. & Mirenda, P. (1998). Augmentative and alternative communication:
management of severe communication disorders in children and adults (Second Edition).
Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.

Butterfield, N., Linfoot, K., Arthur, M. (1994). Enhancing communication in functional settings:
putting research into practice. In Linfoot, Ken, Ed. Communication strategies for people with
developmental disabilities: issues from theory and practice. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., P.O.
Box 10624, Baltimore, MD.

California Deaf-Blind Services. California deaf-blind services: fact sheets [English] (1992)
California Deaf-Blind Services: San Francisco, CA. (47 pages).

California Deaf-Blind Services. Hoja de datos - servicios para sordos y ciegos de California
[Spanish] [California deaf-blind services: fact sheets] (1996). California Deaf-Blind Services: San
Francisco, CA. (50 pages).

Casper, V., Theilheimer, R. (2000). Hands on, hands off, hands out: choices teachers make in the
teaching-learning relationship. Zero to Three. June/July 2000 (pp5-11).

Crane, P.; Cuthbertson, D.; Ferrell, K. A.; Scherb, H. ( 1997). Equals in partnership: basic rights
for families of children with blindness or visual impairment. Hilton Perkins Program, Perkins
School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. 02472.166p.

Cushman, C., Heydt, K., Edwards, S., Clark, M.J., Allon, M. Perkins activity and resource guide -
a handbook for teacher and parents of students with visual and multiple disabilities. The Conrad
N. Hilton Foundation of Reno, Nevada and Perkins School for the Blind. (Volumes One and Two).

DB-LINK, The national information clearinghouse on children who are deaf-blind. fact sheets
[English and Spanish] http://www.tr.wou.edu/dblink/lib/products.htm
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DB-LINK, The national information clearinghouse on children who are deaf-blind. “Deaf-blind
census and registry.” http://www.tr.wou.edu/ntac/census.htm

Downing, J. E. (1993). Communication intervention for individuals with dual sensory and
intellectual impairments. In: Kupper, Lisa, Ed. The National Symposium on Effective
Communication for Children and Youth with Severe Disabilities (2nd, McLean, Virginia, July 10-
12, 1992): Topic Papers, Reader's Guide & Videotape. p.109-134. May 1993.

Downing, J. (1996). Practical strategies for teachers. Baltimore, MD: PH Brookes.

Driscoll, D.P. (2000). Educator’s manual for the MCAS alternate assessment: alternate
assessment for students with disabilities. Massachusetts Department of Education. 2000, 300.

Dwyer, K. P. (1996). Disciplining students with disabilities. National Association of School
Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814 (free).

Fabian, E. S.; And Others. (1994). A working relationship: the job development specialist's guide
to successful partnerships with business. Brookes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore,
MD 21295-0624. 131p.

Fieber, N. M. (1977). Sensorimotor cognitive assessment and curriculum for the
multihandicapped child. Working Papers in Developmental Disabilities. 55p.; Based on material
presented at: Workshop on Cognition and the Deaf-Blind Child (Dallas, TX, March 30-31, 1977).
Revision and additions presented at: Workshop on Sensorimotor Assessment (Austin, TX,
December, 1977). In: Proceedings of Workshop on Cognition and the Deaf-Blind Child. Dec
1977.

Flippo,K., Inge, K., Bancus. J. M. (1997). Assistive technology: resources for school, work, and
community. In Supported employment handbook: a customer-driven approach for persons with
significant disabilities. Brooke, Valerie, Ed.; And Others 262p. Virginia Commonwealth University,
Rehabilitation Research & Training Center on Supported Employment, P.O. Box 842011,
Richmond, VA 23284-2011.

Gee, K., Alwell,M., Graham,N., Goetz, L. (1994). Inclusive instructional design: facilitating
informed and active learning for individual who are deaf-blind in inclusive schools. California
Research Institute.

Goehl, K.S., Poff, L., Bryan, S., Littlejohn, W. R. (2000). What is curriculum? Deaf-Blind Focus
Winter 2000.

Gothelf, C., Petroff, J., & Teich, J. (2003). “Imagine.” Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.
Vol. 97, No. 2., February 2003. pp. 97-105.

Gothelf, Carole R.; And Others (1994). Teaching choice-making skills to students who are deaf-
blind. TEACHING Exceptional Children, v26 n4 p13-15 Sum 1994.

Grisham-Brown, J., & Hemmeter, M. L. (1998). “Writing IEP Goals and Objectives: Reflecting an
Activity-Based Approach to Instruction for Young Children With Disabilities.” Young Exceptional
Children. Spring 1998. pp. 2-10.

HANDS ON: Functional Activities for Visually Impaired Preschoolers. American Printing House for
the Blind, Inc. American Printing House for the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206.


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HANDS ON: Guidebook. American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. American Printing House for
the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206.

Hartman, E. (2000). Creative communication rich environments. CDBS re:Sources Fall 2000.

Hilton/Perkins Program. (1997). Workshop Proceedings of the 1997 National Conference on
Deafblindness: The Individual in a Changing Society, Washington, DC June 6-9, 1997: Volume
One. Washington, DC: Hilton/Perkins Program.

Hilton/Perkins Program. (1997). Workshop Proceedings of the 1997 National Conference on
Deafblindness: The Individual in a Changing Society, Washington, DC June 6-9, 1997: Volume
Two. Washington, DC: Hilton/Perkins Program.

Huebner, K., M., Prickett, J.G., Welch,T.R., Joffee, E. (1995). Hand in hand: essentials of
communication and orientation and mobility for your students who are deaf-blind. AFB Press,
American Foundation for the Blind, Eleven Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001.

Huebner, K., M., et al. (1995). Hand in hand: selected reprints and annotated bibliography on
working with students who are deaf-blind. 300 p. AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind,
Eleven Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001.

Hudson, L., J. (1997). Classroom collaboration. Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon
Street, Watertown, MA 02472.

Johnson,J.M.; Baumgart,D.; Helmstetter,E.; Curry, C. (1996). Augmenting basic communication
in natural contexts. Paul H. Brooks Publishing Company. 289 p.

Special Edition on Deafblind Issues. (1995). Journal Vision Impairment Blindness. May-June
1995.

Kaiser, L. (1995). Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication To Improve
Communication for Preschool Handicapped Children.

Kelly, J.T. (1994). Hands on reading. Mayer-Johnson Company; Spiral Edition (March 1, 1994).
430 p.

Klein, M., Chen, D., & Haney, M. (2000). Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction: A Guide
to Early Communication with Young Children Who Have Multiple Disabilities. Baltimore, MD: PH
Brookes.

Klein, Pnina S.; Schwartz, Allen A. (1997). Effects of Training Auditory Sequential Memory and
Attention on Reading. Journal of Special Education, v13 n4 p365-74 Win 1979.

Koenig, A. J.; Farrenkopf, C. (1997). Essential experiences to undergird the early development of
literacy. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v91 n1 p14-24 Jan-Feb 1997.

Kohl, M.A.F.; Gainer, C. (1996). Math arts: exploring math through art for 3 to 6 year olds.
Gryphon House (September 1, 1996) 256 pages.

Light Box Materials Level I Activity Guide. American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. American
Printing House for the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206.

Light Box Materials Level I Activity Guide, Large Print/CD, Spanish Edition. American Printing
House for the Blind, Inc. American Printing House for the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY
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40206.

Light Box Materials Level II Activity Guide, Large Print/CD. American Printing House for the
Blind, Inc. American Printing House for the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206.

Light Box Materials Level II Activity Guide, Large Print/CD, Spanish Edition. American Printing
House for the Blind, Inc. American Printing House for the Blind, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY
40206.

Mar, H., & Sall, N. (1999). Dimensions of communication: an instrument to assess the
communication skills and behaviors of individuals with disabilities. A grant supported by a U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Special Education (H025D6001). St. Luke’s/Roosevelt
Hospital Center, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital 703 Main street, Xavier 6, Paterson, NJ 07503.

McDonald, J. (1995). Turn-taking: a giant step to communicating. Exceptional Parent, May 1995.

McDougal, J.; Hiralall, A. S. (1998). Bridging research into practice to intervene with young
aggressive students in the public school setting: evaluation of the Behavior Consultation Team
(BCT) Project. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School
Psychologists (30th, Orlando, FL, April 14-18, 1998).

MacDonald, J. D.; Carroll, J. Y. (1990). A social partnership model for assessing early
communication development. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Speech-
Language-Hearing Association (Seattle, WA, November 16-19, 1990).

MacDonald, J. D. (1989). Becoming partners with children: from play to conversation. A
developmental guide for professionals and parents. 356p. Riverside Publishing Company, 8420
Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60631.

McInnes, J. (2000). A guide to planning and support for individuals who are deaf-blind. Toronto
Press.

McNulty, K.- HKNC-TAC: (1995). Developing recreation and leisure time opportunities for youths
who are deaf –blind. Transition services for youth who are deaf-blind: a “best practices” guide for
educators. Jane M. Everson (ED.). Chapter 8, pp. 105-116.

McNulty, K. (Ed). (2002). Communication Fact Sheets for Parents. Monmouth, OR: National
Technical Assistance Consortium for Children and Young Adults Who are Deaf-Blind

Miles, B., & Riggio, M. (Eds.) (1999). Remarkable conversations: guide to developing meaningful
communication with children and young adults who are deafblind. Watertown, MA: Perkins
School for the Blind.

Murphy, S; And Others (1993). Developing natural supports in the workplace: a manual for
practitioners. Non-classroom Material, 89p. July 1993.

Nelson, C., van Dijk, J., McDonnell, A., & Thompson, K. (2002) “A Framework for Understanding
Young Children with Severe Multiple Disabilities: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment.”
Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 97-111.

Parsons, M. B.; Reid, D. H.; Green, C. W. (1998). Identifying work preferences prior to supported
work for an individual with multiple severe disabilities including deaf-blindness. Journal of the
Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, v23 n4 p329-33 Win 1998.


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Pogrund, R.; Healy, G.; Jones,K.; Levack, N.; Martin-Curry, S.; Martinez, C.; Marz, J.; Roberson-
Smith,B.; Vrba, A. ( 2002). TAPS - Teaching age appropriate purposeful skills: an orientation and
mobility curriculum for students with visual impairments. 2nd Edition. Texas School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired,1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756.

Pugh, G.S. (Ed);Erin, J. (Ed) (1999). Blind and visually impaired students: educational service
guidelines. National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and Hilton
Perkins Program. 193 p. Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. 02472.

Rosenberg, S.; Clark, M.; Finkler, D.; Filer, J.; Robinson, C. (1989). Project Participate final
report, September 1985-August 1988. Winthrop University, University of Nebraska at Omaha,
111p.

Rowland, C., Schweigert, P. (2000). Tangible symbol systems: symbolic communication for
individuals with multisensory impairments, 2nd Edition. Communication Skill Builders, 3830, E.
Bellevue, P.O. Box 42050, Tucson, AZ 85733.

Stanislawski, N. (1997). Lorna’s book. Talking Sense, 11-13 Clifton Terrace,
Finsbury Park, London, England N4 3SR, Summer 1997.

Sweeny, B. (1997). Resources for staff and organization development. 26 W. 413 Grand Avenue,
Wheaton, IL 60187, 630.668.2605.

Trenbeth, N. (1991). Sequence box. Handout given at New Staff Workshop 1990, Watertown,
MA.

Welch, Rafalowski, Goetz, L. (1997). Issues and Concerns Related to Inclusive Education for
Students Who are Deaf-Blind: Findings of the Task Force of a Model Demonstration Project.
Deaf-Blind Perspectives. Vol. 4, pp. 1-7.

Wiener, D., Green, P. (2003). Educator’s manual for MCAS alternate assessment. Malden, MA.
Massachusetts Department of Education Student Assessment Services.

Wiener, D., Green, P. (2003). Massachusetts comprehensive assessment system.
Massachusetts Department of Education Student Assessment Services. Malden, MA.

Wiener, D., Green, P. (2003). Resource guide to the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for
students with significant disabilities. Massachusetts Department of Education Student
Assessment Services. Malden, MA.

                             Translating Materials and Costs
           Agency                      Cost per word translated
Bilingual                                                  .18-.20
Cambridge Translation                                      .22-.24
Christian Charity                                              .10

BTS Bilingual Translation Services
6747 Nevada Avenue
Hammond, IN 46323
219.844.6545
219.844.6002 Fax
http://www.netnitco.net/bts/bts_main.htm

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Cambridge Translation Resources (CTR)
186 South Street
Boston, MA 02111
617.451.1233
617.451.2247 Fax
http://mbbnet.umn.edu/www/ctr.html

                                              Agencies
Carroll Center for the Blind
617.969.6200
800.852.3131
http://www.carroll.org/services/youth.php

Department of Mental Retardation
Provided PCA services and translation services to a Spanish speaking family
Central Office
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
617.727.5608
617.624.7783 TTY
http://www.dmr.state.ma.us/

Easter Seals: Services for Children and adults with disabilities and Special Needs
BOSTON, MA
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111
617.226.2640

WORCESTER, MA – State Headquarters
484 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608-1817
508.757-2756
http://ma.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=MADR_homepage

Handi Kids – Year round recreation for challenged children
470 Pine Street
Bridgewater, MA 02324
508.697.7557
508.697.1529 Fax
http://www.handikids.org/contact_us.shtml

Lions Clubs
http://www.lionsclubs.org/en/content/resources_club.shtml

Lowell Association for the blind
174 Central Street
Lowell, MA
978-454-5704
http://www.lowellassociationfortheblind.org

Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS)
http://www.spedschools.com/home.html

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Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
48 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4718
617.727.5550
617.626.7685 Fax
http://www.mass.gov/mcb/

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
150 Mount Vernon Street
Suite 550
Boston, MA 02125
617.740.1600 voice
617.740.1700 TTY
617.740.1699 Fax
800.882.1155 voice
800.530.7570 TTY
http://www.mass.gov/mcdhh/

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/
North Shore ARC
64 Holten Street
Danvers, MA 01923
978-750-6001
http://www.nsarc.org/frame/main/main.html

Pass it On
Recycle Medical Equipment and Assistive Technology
P.O. Box 2120
Mashpee, MA 02649
508.477.6966
800.267.6768
http://www.communitygateway.org/local/passiton.htm

Perkins Outreach Services
Perkins school for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
617.972.7434
Fax: 617.972.7586

                                          Websites
A Deafblindness Web Resource
http://www.deafblind.co.uk/

Access New England
800.949-4232 voice/tty
ADAinfo@NewEnglandADA.org
http://www.NewEnglandADA.org

Adaptedstories is similar to the book of the month of club, however much, much more. Each
Month you can Download a variety of curriculum related materials associated with one Topic.
http://www.adaptedstories.com/index.cfm
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APH (American Printing house for the Blind Materials) http://www.aph.org/

Communication Skill Builders
http://www.davisandco.com/products/Skillbuilders/index.html?=home.html

Deaf-Blind Perspectives.
May 2004. http://www.tr.wou.edu/tr/dbp/may2004.htm#communication

Deafblind International Publications
http://www.deafblindinternational.org/publications.html#

DB-LINK National Clearing House http://www.tr.wou.edu/dblink/

Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness
http://www.afb.org/jvib/jvib_main.asp

Lilli Nielsen
http://www.lilliworks.com/dr_nielsen_cv.htm

Learning Technology for pre K-8 Classrooms
http://www.intellitools.com/

MA Department of Education
http://www.doe.mass.edu/contact/

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968
Danbury, CT. 06813-1968
203.744.0100
203.797.9590 TTY
http://www.rarediseases.org

Perkins School for the Blind Publications
http://www.perkins.org/area.php?id=10

Project Participate provides families, educators, administrators and therapists with simple
strategies to increase the active participation of students with disabilities in school programs.:
http://www.projectparticipate.org

Mentoring teachers: resources for staff and organization development.
Email: barrys@teachermentors.com


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Materials http://www.tsbvi.edu/

Therapy Skill Builders http://www.plexxa.com/s/therapy_skill_builders

Where to find Sign Language Classes in Massachusetts
http://www.mass.gov/mcdhh/textversion/201.html
Sign Language Classes for Young Learners
http://www.mass.gov/mcdhh/textversion/208.html



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                                                                                       Appendix C