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February 2017 Digital Update

Blind and Low Vision
Psychologist Marnee Loftin discusses "Emotional and Behavioral Difficutlties in Students with Visual Impairments and Learning Disabilities: Anxiety" at Paths to Literacy, which is a joint effort of the Perkins School for the Blind and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Click here to read the article
Speech/Language pathologist Carla Brooks writes about "Behavioral Issues in Children With Visual Impairments and Blindness: A Parents' Guide" in Family Connect, an online resource for parents of children with visual impairments. Click here to read the article. The article is also available in Spanish here. 

The Chicago Lighthouse has some great events coming up.
Click here to see their calendar.
The National Federation of the Blind provides members resources and support to overcome obstacles and achieve the lives they want to live.
NFB Bell Academy Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning targets blind and low-vision children (ages 4-12) who do not receive enough Braille and non-visual skill instruction in school or who could benefit from Braille enrichment over the summer. In addition to Braille crafts, games, and other engaging projects, children learn vital independent living skills, benefit from peer learning and mentoring from blind adults, and enjoy field trips to sites related to the NFB Bell academy curriculum.  

Illinois will participate in two NFB Bell Academy programs in 2017. Click these links to learn more:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Thanks to Karen Bogdan for letting us all know about the upcoming Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advocate of the Year event coming up April 24, 2017 at the 176 Banquet Hall in Joliet. We are very excited to learn that Tina Childress will be the guest speaker! Learn more and register for the event the new-and-improved website Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advocate of the Year. 

Participants must submit their essays, videos, and registration by March 24, 2017.
Thanks to Desa Johnson of the Illinois School for the Deaf for this information:

"Here is a great, free event being held June 11-16, 2017!  Institute is for families of children, age 6 months to 5 years with moderate, severe or profound hearing loss in both ears. The Institute brings together families from all over the state.  At Institute families spend 5 days with the best staff in the field of deafness in the state. The staff gives information needed to help families make choices along the path of raising a child with a hearing loss."
For more information, call 800-322-3722 or email [email protected] 
Click here to read an article by Raven Stromek and Cheri Sinnott from Gallaudet University's Odyssey.
Exciting news from The Children's Tree House:
Illinois Hands and Voices Presents
Mom's Night Inn
Saturday, March 4 - Sunday, March 5
Hilton Lisle/Naperville

Moms Night Inn is an overnight retreat for moms and female caretakers who are raising children of ALL ages who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hands & Voices prides itself on being open to every method and modality, if your child has a hearing loss you are part of our Hands & Voices family. This retreat is an amazing way to meet  and share experiences with other moms on their journey. Woven into these moments are the connections you make – the experience of sharing your personal journey with another mom and hearing their journey as well. Moms have made lifelong friendships at these events. Join us!

Click here to register

Thanks to Desa Johnson for letting us know about this event!
The Chicago Park District has some great programs coming up for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Family Art
Sunday, February 12
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S Cornell
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Family Bowl
Sunday, March 18 
Diversey River Bowl 
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

For more information about the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Park Programs & Special Events, please contact Sarah B. Faber at 773.796.3525 (Direct Video Phone & Voice) or [email protected]
If your students or children are interested in attending this summer camp, you can contact Sheri Cook, director of 
GURC-Midwest at [email protected]
For more information: Go to
The Center for Accessible Technology in Sign (CATS) at the Georgia Institute of Technology has created a library for deaf students. All media in the CATS Library is signed or sign-supported. Explore their holdings at their website:

Many thanks to Amy Richards, WCES Special Education Coordinator, for bringing this resource to our attention!



The Crisis Text Line​, a free, 24/7 text-messaging support line for people in crisis, has partnered with Gallaudet University in providing the Deaf community access to services via text.  Starting November 14th, Deaf individuals are able to text the word DEAF to 741741 and be connected with a Crisis Counselor.  For more information, please check
The Illinois School for the Deaf will be hosting conferences for parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Click the flyers to see more details.
Click here to register for the North of Eighty Conference on March 11.

Click here to register for the South of Eighty Conference on April 8.

Click here to register for the South of Seventy Conference on February 25.
Please visit the Illinois Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing website ( for an information and registration packet. challenge you to Run/Walk with us! This race will be timed for those who are competitive.  We also will have activities for kids, and a DJ for the AFTER PARTY, so be sure to stick around after you've completed your laps!
Click here to register. 
Proceeds from the event will go towards Hersey Deaf Alumni Association's Scholarship Fund, and SouthWest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Ed(SWCCCASE)'s Deaf Mentor program. Both organizations focus on Creating Future Leaders.

Gates open at 8 am. Race starts at 9:30 am.  There is a Metra Stop right by the school for those taking public transportation.We also welcome sponsors.
For more information, contact [email protected].
Hop to It 5/10K Info Flier
Please note the correct date for the ITDHH Pre-Conference is March 2, 2017.
Click to visit the Illinois School for the Deaf outreach page and learn more about the training events for specific dates. Register at the website as well.
Parents of children with vision loss will have a wonderful opportunity to connect with other parents as well as learn from experts at two FREE conferences. Mark your calendar for March 11, 2017 if you live downstate or for April 8, 2017 if you live in Northern Illinois. Jane Redmon at [email protected] can provide more details. These events are not to be missed!
Info flier; contact for details
New to the ISRC Library
"This handbook for parents, family members, and caregivers of children with visual impairments explains special education services that these children are likely to need and to which they are entitled--and how to make sure that they receive them. 
Edited by Susan LaVenture, the Executive Director of the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments and written by experienced professionals and parents, this helpful resource addresses the effect of visual impairment on a child's ability to learn and the services and educational programming that are essential for optimal learning. It is an invaluable manual, intended to help parents ensure that their children receive the best education possible."
--AFB Publishers
In this whimsical picture book, "a blind child questions all he encounters--a dog, wolf, elephant, mountain, bird, stream, and tree--about the color of the wind. Each responds differently, with a shape, color, smell, texture, or idea. Each page displays a visual and tactile palette of cutouts, textures, colors. It is a sensory experience that makes the invisible experiential, ending with the wind as the pages fly." --Enchanted Lion Books
The ISRC library consists of an expanding collection of over 1,200 items, including books, DVDs, CDs, test kits, and games related to deafness, deaf culture, sign language, blindness, mental health, behavior management, parenting, and administration. The catalog can be accessed via the Library Page of the ISRC website. Free LibraryWorld apps are also available for iPhone, iPad, and Android users. After installing the apps, set the Library Name to ISTAC. No password is needed.

ISRC library materials may be requested by contacting [email protected] or by calling 847-559-8195. We also accept requests by fax at 847-559-8199. All our resources are free and will be mailed to you with return postage included.

Check out our other newsletters:

ISRC Review highlights our activities, especially those of interest to parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Parent Connections contains parenting tips, resource information and news updates.

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3444 Dundee Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

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