Irwin Blog2019-10-14T21:24:01-07:00

Irwin Blog

23Jun

Summer Feeding Program

Though WSSB won’t be having a summer feeding program, we are providing the following resources:

There are a number of resources, in both English and Spanish from USDA.

  • No Kid Hungry Texting Line – Families may text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877 to find free summer meals near them.
  • No Kid Hungry Meal Site Locator – Promote the https://www.nokidhungry.org/find-free-meals website.
  • USDA Summer Meals Hotline at 1-866-348-6479. Families will receive assistance to find the location, meal times, and contact information for summer meals based on their full address, city, and/or zip code.
  • USDA Summer meals finder at www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks. This website is easy for families to use as they can access summer meals locations by entering their zip code.
23Jun

Summer Institute Aug 2 – 5 In-Person

Summer Institute will be held IN-PERSON this year.

CDC guidelines will be in place with masks, small groups, outdoor classrooms, 6 feet distancing, and still a lot of fun!

When: August 2-5, 2021

Where: Washington State School for the Blind, Vancouver

Cost: $395, includes breakfast, lunch and lodging. *4 Scholarships are available for WA participants.

Limited to 50 participants so register soon.

Registration is now closed.  See you all in August!

About WSSB Summer Institute-

PURPOSE: To provide public school personnel who are, or will be, working with a blind or visually impaired (BVI) child in their local school, with foundational knowledge, skills and experiences that will allow the participant to understand the impact of vision loss on learning.

LODGING: Lodging is included in the registration fee. Participants stay in cottages on campus that WSSB students reside in during the school year. Each cottage has a full kitchen, private bedrooms, community bathroom and living room. Men and women will have separate residences.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Any person who works with visually impaired or blind children in public school and has had limited experience or education in the field of blindness. Typically participants include: teachers (classroom and special education), paraprofessionals, OT, PT and speech and language specialists, administrators, school psychologists and other related service personnel.

TOPICS THAT WILL BE ADDRESSED: Travel Skills – Orientation and Mobility, The Eye & Vision Disorders, Vision Loss & Learning to Adapt Environments & Materials, Braille and other Literacy Media, Physical Education, Daily Living and Self-Help Skills, Assistive Technology, Your Role in the Classroom, Social Skills & Vision Loss Low Vision Aids, Assessment and so much more!

20May

Talk O Tuesdays Family Resource Night

WSSB PRESENTS “TALK O TUESDAYS” FAMILY RESOURCE NIGHT

For parents of children aged birth to 5 with blindness or low vision

SECOND TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH IN 2021 from 6 TO 7 PM

The Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) is hosting a virtual early childhood parent resource night every month in 2021.  Our goal is to provide information about resources around the state and beyond to enhance your parenting experiences.  Additionally, we hope that parents of young children will connect with each other through these resource nights.

Our schedule is:

  • Tuesday June 8th Continue the Conversation… Last month, we had a wonderful guest speaker from WaPAVE (WaPAVE.org) who introduced us to Parent Advocacy and the basic concepts of special education as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  In June, we will continue the conversation with an open meeting with connection and sharing stories of experiences from YOUR point of view (transition to preschool, access to services, equitable accommodations, etc).  If you were unable to attend last month, please watch the recorded webinar on WAStSchBlnd and come ready to support and share with others (but we will review so not required).  This meeting will not be recorded.
  • Tuesday July 13th Summer Sensory Fun

Summers are the perfect time for tactile and messy play.  This session will focus on early childhood tactile development and fun ways families can encourage learning through sensory play with the hands…and feet too. Let’s get messy and learn at the same time!

  • Tuesday August 10th TBD…

Meeting are recorded (then edited to take out personal information about children and families, if needed and transcribed for accessibility) and can be seen on WSSB’s You Tube Channel in the Talk O Tuesday playlist.  WSSB’s YouTube channel is “WAStSchBlnd”.

Currently on the playlist:

January 2021: Statewide Services Panel from WSDS, NWABA, WTTBL, and DSB (Alphabet Soup)

February 2021: The Expanded Core Curriculum

March 2021: Early and Emergent Literacy

April 2021: Early O&M Basics

May 2021: Guest Speaker from WaPAVE on Parent Advocacy in Special Education (coming soon)

 

Please register in receive the secure Zoom link via email, which will be sent 1 week prior to meeting.

Registration Link:  Talk O Tuesday

Questions: Contact DeEtte Snyder at (360)947-3305 or DeEtte.Snyder@wssb.wa.gov

28Apr

BlindCovid website

What is Blind COVID?

Blind COVID is a grant funded by the Washington State Department of Health that was given to the Washington State School for the Blind. The goal of this grant was to create and find accessible resources for people who are blind, specifically in Washington, but we hope we reach other individuals as well. These resources specifically deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our goal is to list vaccine sites by county as we hear about them.

Please visit Blind Covid – Empowering blind and low vision individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic to learn more.

31Aug

Starting the School Year From Campus

Being at a distance doesn’t prevent us from being a community.  For many of our students, families, staff, and volunteers, WSSB’s campus is a hub for building meaningful relationships that support our success as a community of learners.  While we’re away from campus, our students will connect to their classrooms live using Zoom video, access materials and collaborate using Google Classroom, and use technology as a tool for bridging the physical gap.  Just like in-person, it is important to balance time sitting in class with authentic learning activities that allow students to get hands-on, move their bodies, and develop skills towards greater independence.

This summer, WSSB worked hard on creating a strategic plan that will support our students in their future.  Some of the outcomes of our strategic planning include:

Core Purpose: To empower blind and low vision individuals to reach their full potential. 

Core Values: Student Centered, Equity, Accessibility, Relationships, Continuous Improvement

In all of our work this school year, online or in-person, WSSB strives to create experiences for students that will assist them in their individual path of success.  No matter the distance, we are committed to our mission and values.  I am so very proud to stand behind our values and grateful to have the opportunity to serve as WSSB’s Principal.

I hope all of you have a fantastic start of the school year.

9Jun

Summer Programs

Check out some of the summer programs in the area!  Please note that due to COVID-19, some or all of these programs may not be available.

Summer Programs: https://dsb.wa.gov/services/youth-programs-and-workshops.shtml

  1. Overnight Skills Program (Independent Living Skills Ages 9-13
  2. Youth Employment Solutions/Yes 1 (ages 14-15) includes career exploration, community service, daily living skills, and recreation.  CANCELED
  3. YES 2 (ages 16 through high school graduation) teaches design a career portfolio, daily living skills/residential living, community service, recreation, 3-5 job shadows, public transportation, paid opportunity.
  4. Bridge Program (after high school graduation): Prepares for college, living in a dorm room, study/social skill, independence skills, orientation & mobility lessons, recreation, 5 credit university course.
  5. Student Work and Academic Growth (SWAG) (ages college undergraduate) Work Study Program: Work part time, practice independent living skills, take college courses.
  6. Zookeeper for a day (youth)

Other Summer programs:

  1. Camp Spark WA (ages 9-15): sports, community building, orientation & mobility, independence, advocacy https://nwaba.org/sports-programs/camp-spark-wa/
  2. Camp Spark OR (ages 8-15): sports, community building, orientation & mobility, independence, advocacy https://nwaba.org/sports-programs/camp-spark-or/