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A very special weekend workshop for parents and young children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities including deafblindness

April 15-17, 2016

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

OlianaRuthAnnSMWe are so pleased that you have decided to participate in the Power of Touch workshop hosted by TSBVI Outreach Programs.  We think you will find, like many other families who have attended this event in the past, that your entire way of thinking and interacting with your child who is visually impaired or deafblind will be changed by what you learn.  

Our goals for you during this training are:

  • To understand that your child uses their sense of touch to understand their world, even if they have considerable vision and hearing.
  • To learn specific techniques to enhance your child's tactile skills
  • To learn specific techniques to improve the quality of interactions with your child through touch
  • To learn the important role that touch plays in developing concepts, social interactions, communication, and emotional development.

What Makes this Event Unique?

Unlike other workshops you may have attended, during this workshop you will be learning skills and then immediately trying to apply them during interactions with your child. The day is organized so that your child with be attending the workshop with you and enjoy activities under the supervision of trained staff from TSBVI while you are in short discussion sessions.  Then you will go to your child for interaction times that will be videotaped.  A "coach" from the Outreach staff will work with you to review and discuss the videotaped interactions so you will have many opportunities to ask questions and share with other parents what you learn.

You will also have the opportunity to learn about therapeutic and instructional approaches such as Bonding and Relaxation Techniques (BART) and Active Learning Approach. Things you can do at home with your child as well as things that can be included in their educational program to improve overall development and learning.

Meet Other Parents

Probably one of the most wonderful things you will experience during this weekend is meeting other parents and caregivers just like yourself.  The connections you make with these other families is a special bonus that you will take with you and utilize long after the workshop has ended.

Still Not Sure about What to Expect?

Listen to some comments from two parents who attended last year's workshop!  

The Power of Touch 

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Description: Testimonials from parents who participated in the The Power of Touch workshop at Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

Download the transcript (txt) or audio recording (mp3):

Can My Child's Teachers or Personal Care Staff Come?

Though you as parents and caregivers are our target audience; we are happy to include educational and caregiving staff who work with your child at this workshop.  They will not have exactly the same experience as you, since you will be the one interacting with your child, but they will definitely benefit from the information that is shared

Where We Will Stay and How Will We Get There?

All family members who attend this workshop will be able to stay at the Residence Inn Austin Northwest/Arboretum along with their child.  The Residence Inn Austin Northwest/Arboretum is located at 3713 Tudor Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78759.  Visit our hotel information page for more information. 

We will make your hotel reservations for you.  If you need a crib, side-rails for you child's bed, or other special accommodations, you should let us know when we contact you by phone to set up your travel.

TSBVI Outreach Programs can provide financial assistance to reimburse you for the cost of travel by car, meals, and child care that you arrange at home for any children other than the child you will be bringing with you to the workshop.  If you need to fly or travel by bus, we can also cover that expense.  Once again, our staff will contact you about any assistance you may need and make these arrangements with you.

We can also provide registration, hotel and transportation costs for the professional or paraprofessional you invite to attend the Power of Touch workshop with you.  Most meals will be provided as part of the workshop with the exception of Saturday dinner.

What Should We Bring?

As we mentioned, we will provide meals and snacks for you and your child during the workshop, with the exception of Saturday night.  You breakfasts will be available at the hotel.  On Saturday many of the families like to go out for dinner together or pick up take-out to enjoy in their room or poolside.  However, you should bring any special foods that you or your child requires.  We have refrigerators and microwaves at the school and each of the hotel rooms also has a refrigerator and a microwave.

If your child has a favorite toy, "blankey", or any other thing that helps them feel secure and happy, please bring these with you.  We will have activity areas and toys for them during the workshop.

Bring any medications or supplies your child might need. Someone from Outreach Programs will contact you to gather important information about your child so that the staff working with you child is aware of their needs, allergies, and communication styles.  You will also have the opportunity to meet the staff working with your child so you can share additional "need to know" information when you arrive.

Wear comfortable clothes!  You will be interacting with your child and may need to get down on the floor from time to time.  Also, though we try to keep the meeting space at a comfortable temperature, wearing layers that will allow you to find your personal comfort level is important.  If the weather permits you may also want to bring a swimsuit so you can enjoy time at the hotel pool.


Information about the Hotel

Power of Touch Agenda