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GameOfLifeTSBVI Short-Term Program and Outreach Programs offers a special opportunity for middle school students and their parents!

November 30 - December 3, 2017


Is the game of life a game of chance or choice? Throughout life, we all make choices and navigate roadblocks daily. Students heading into high school are faced with a number of challenges as they transition to adult life. Students with visual impairments have an added layer of learning, related to concepts such as money handling, career exploration, and socializing with peers. Together, we will develop skills in these areas while encouraging students to be leaders in their own lives.

In this weekend course, students and their parents must attend together. Students will be taught by teaching staff in Short-Term Programs while parents will attend a conference portion hosted by the Outreach department. Hotel lodging will be available for adults and paid for by TSBVI. Students will reside on the Short-Term Programs dorm. The goal is for students to understand ways that they can “step up” as they transition to adult life, while parents will learn ways to “step back,” as they support their child with this transition.

The parent program includes information about:

  • Transition planning
  • Graduation plans
  • Supporting your child in the expanded core areas at home and in the community
  • Exploring post secondary options
  • Experiences shared by other parents and students who have made this transition
  • Opportunities at Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center and the Post Secondary Programs on the TSBVI campus - Parents will be able to tour both programs.

Logistical details:

  • Students and their parents must attend together.
  • Activities for parents and for students will be in separate locations.
  • Students will be taught by staff in Short-Term Programs while parents work with Outreach Programs staff.
  • Parents are welcome beginning Thursday night, or may join in Friday.
  • Program runs through Sunday noon.
  • Hotel lodging will be available for adults and paid for by TSBVI. Students stay at Short-Term Programs dorm.

Lodging and Travel Arrangements:

Parents will be contacted by Randall McAlister from our Outreach Programs to find out about your specific travel needs and to make travel arrangements for you.  

Parents will be staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, located at 6505 Interstate Highway-35 North in Austin.  For more information about the DoubleTree follow this link.  Randall will make your hotel reservations for you after finding out what type of room you will need.  Please do not make hotel reservations on your own.

DoubleTree lobby01Other individual travel needs related to rental cars, flights, or transportation in Austin will be planned during Randall's contact with you.  If you have questions about any of your travel plans, please contact Randall at   or phone him at 512-206-9344.



All meals will be provided for the students.  Luncheon will be provide on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the parents, along with morning and afternoon breaks.  On Saturday evening a dinner will be provided at the hotel. Complementary breakfasts for two is included with each room reservation for parents staying at the hotel.

Parent registration:

Students apply through Short-term Programs, and parents will be register by the TSBVI Outreach staff for this workshop once their child has been accepted.  Your child must be accepted for the weekend in order for you to attend. A registration fee of $175 will be charged to cover the costs.  However, parents may request assistance with this fee and travel which may be paid by TSBVI Outreach and will include the cost of lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as dinner on Saturday.

Parent agenda:

Thursday, November 30th: Arrival and check-in at the hotel and TSBVI

3:00-6:00 PM Parents check students in at TSBVI Health Center 
5:00-7:00 PM Hospitality at the DoubleTree - meet and greet.


Friday, December 1st: DoubleTree Hotel

9:00-9:45 AM Welcome
9:45-10:30 AM Big Picture What is a Full Life?
10:30-10:45 AM Break
10:45-12:00 PM


Assistive Technology

12:00 -12:45 PM Lunch
12:45-1:15 PM Travel to TSBVI James C. Durkle Conference Center
1:15-2:15 PM Tour EXIT/Post-Secondary Programs
2:30-4:00 PM Tour Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center
4:00-6:00 PM Optional social hour; meet in the hotel lobby.  Drinks available for purchase.


Saturday, December 2nd: DoubleTree Hotel

9:00-10:30 AM Big Picture What is a Full Life? Revisited
Graduation plans and transition elements
Building work-skills now
10:30-10:45 AM Break
10:45-11:45 AM Panel
11:45-12:45 PM Lunch 
12:45-1:45 PM ECC Guidelines and Standards
1:45-2:00 PM Break
2:00-3:30 PM How Do You Feel?
3:30-4:00 PM 19 ways to Step Back
6:00-8:00 PM Dinner at the hotel


Sunday, December 3rd: TSBVI- James C. Durkel Conference Center

9:00- 10:00 AM Stepping back so your child can step up
10:00-12:00 PM Presentations of student ability statements and parent’s support statement


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