Division on Visual Impairments


A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

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Page 30 of 47

30 VIDBE-Q Volume 63 Issue 3 and plenary speakers had worked with Dr. van Dijk in various capacities, and many of the workshops featured references to the tremendous volume of research that he has contributed to the literature on DeafBlindness over the years. A banner featuring a photo of Dr. van Dijk was displayed throughout the conference as a reminder of his impact on the lives of individuals who are DeafBlind as well as their families and caregivers. Attendees were encouraged to write a personal message of thanks or a fond memory on the banner which was presented to his family following the conference. It seemed particularly fitting that conference organizers chose to honor Dr. van Dijk by asking the attendees to share their memories of him with his family as the inclusion of NFADB as one of the sponsors provided the conference with a very familial atmosphere. Many of the conference sessions focused on the rights of individuals who are DeafBlind and their families as well as the roles that people who are DeafBlind and their family members can play in promoting inclusion of individuals with disabilities in society. In addition, individuals who are DeafBlind and their families were represented in the plenary sessions and panel discussions which took place over the course of 4-day conference. George Stern, a doctoral student at Texas Tech University and member of DeafBlind Citizens in Action, provided the keynote address on day three of the conference. Mr. Stern's presentation, entitled "The Inclusive Mindset," reflected on his experiences of growing up as an individual with DeafBlindness and how he has come to define the term "inclusion." He explained that his definition of inclusion is that of a thought process in which differences are celebrated and welcomed. Mr. Stern encouraged the conference attendees to think of inclusion not simply as a set of actions

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