FREE Online Learning: OHOA Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules

OHOA logo shows photo of two hands surrounded by a black circle with the words open hands open access deaf-blind intervener learning modules logo says Florida & Virgin Islands in orange letters plus Deaf-Blind in black letters and Collaborative in blue capital lettersin Mississippi Hearing-Vision Project logo

The FAVI Deaf-Blind Collaborative has partnered with the Mississippi Hearing-Vision Project to offer the Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Deaf-Blind Intervener Modules to cohorts of educators, interpreters, other professionals and paraprofessionals who are serving students with combined hearing and vision loss. These cohorts are facilitated by an expert trainer, Tina Hertzog, who helped to develop content for the OHOA modules.   Each OHOA module includes approximately seven hours of reading, viewing, and assignments.

For more information, or to discuss the professional development needs of your team, please contact Shelly Voelker, Ed.D.,, 352-275-9505 (cellular/text)

Introductory Modules

Module 1: Overview of Deaf-Blindness and Instructional Strategies

Participants will recognize that deaf-blindness impacts a learner’s access to information and can impede interaction and learning.  The importance of understanding an individual’s etiology and concurrent disabling conditions is emphasized.  Key principles and effective strategies for educating and interacting with deaf-blind learners are described.  An array of supports and resources, for families and educational teams, is presented and discussed.

Module 2: Sensory Systems, Brain, and Learning

Participants will recognize the importance of each of the seven senses: vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste, proprioception, and the vestibular sense.  The brain-sense connection and the impact of each sense on learning are discussed.  General strategies for supporting learning and resources for further information are provided.

Module 4: Building Trusting Relationships and Positive Self-Image

Participants will understand that trusted relationships and positive self-image are essential for well-being and development.  Key strategies for establishing joint attention, creating reciprocal interactions, and sharing emotions are introduced.  Effective approaches for beginning, maintaining, and ending interactions are described.  Recognizing and accommodating a learner’s need for processing time is emphasized.

Modules 1, 2, and 4 introduce foundation concepts and are considered prerequisites
for further study of intervention for learners who are deaf-blind.  Once participants have completed these introductory modules, they may continue through the sequence with a Cohort or select additional topics of interest.

Additional Modules

Module 3: The Role of the Intervener in Educational Settings;

Module 5: Availability for Learning;

Module 6: Understanding Communication Principles;

Module 7: Emergent Communication;

Module 8: Progressing from Non-Symbolic to Symbolic Communication;

Module 9: Routines;

Module 10: Concept Development and Active Learning;

Module 11: Intervener Strategies;

Module 12: Maximizing Vision and Hearing; 

Module 13: Calendars;

Module 14: Introduction to Orientation & Mobility for Interveners;

Module 15: Orientation & Mobility in Everyday Routines;

Module 16: Self-Determination;

Module 17: Social Skills;

Module 18: Collaboration and Family Partnerships;

Module 19: Accessing the Curriculum and Environment;

Module 20: Values, Ethics, and Professionalism;

Module 21: Sexuality;

Module 22: Intro to Sign Language & Braille;

Module 23: Behavior and Environmental Supports;

Module 24: Transition to Adulthood and Community Living;

Module 25: Touch for Connecting and Learning;

Module 26: Touch for Connection and Communication;

Module 27: Putting It All Together