Online Learning

Webcasts & Online Learning

General Resources

The Iris Center

The IRIS Center is a center that has special education resources for inclusion, scientifically validated and evidence-based instructional strategies.

Perkins School for the Blind Webcasts

Child Guided Assessment

In this Perkins webcast, Dr. Jan van Dijk, internationally-recognized expert on deaf-blindness, shares his expertise related to Child-Guided Assessment. Dr. van Dijk has over 50 years of experience working with students with deafblindness. He discovered long ago that typical assessment methods are not successful for these individuals. This child-guided approach is recognized and used throughout the world. The webcast chapters are as follows: 1. Introduction 2. The Domains of Van Dijk Assessment 3. Behavioral State 4. Orienting Response 5. Channel of Learning 6. Approach/Withdrawal 7. Memory and Anticipation 8. Social Interaction and Problem-Solving 9. The Advantages of Van Dijk Assessment 10. Insight Gained From Assessment.

CHARGE Syndrome: An Overview

In this webcast, Pamela Ryan, Perkins School Psychologist, offers an overview of the characteristic features of CHARGE Syndrome and discusses the very diverse ways these features may manifest themselves in children. She talks about some of the early medical complications that many children face and how these issues affect development and learning.

CHARGE Syndrome: The Impact on Communication and Learning

This very insightful webcast explains the physical, sensory and neurological issues shared by many children with CHARGE and how these issues can affect their success in school. Martha Majors, who has served many children with CHARGE in the Deafblind Program at Perkins, offers guidance for educators in developing an effective educational program that will improve the emotional wellbeing and success in learning for students with this syndrome.

CHARGE Syndrome: Behavioral Issues

In   this Perkins webcast, Dr. Timothy Hartshorne addresses the topic of Behavioral Issues in CHARGE Syndrome. Dr. Hartshorne is a Professor of Psychology at Central Michigan University and has been interested in CHARGE Syndrome since 1989 when his son was born with the syndrome. He is also the director of the CHARGE Syndrome Lab at CMU.

Conversations: Connecting and Learning with Persons who are Deafblind

In this webcast, Barbara Miles, a well-know as an author and lecturer, discusses her approach to engaging in conversations with students who are deafblind. She encourages people to think of how they converse with their friends and try to replicate the elements of those successful interactions in a way that is accessible to a child with limited vision and hearing. For example usually people initiate a conversation because the other person expresses a willingness to talk, through a smile or some other cue. Miles offers alternative strategies for making that connection when the person with whom you want to converse can neither see or hear you.

Tangible Symbols

Elizabeth Torrey is a Speech and Language Pathologist in the Early Learning Center at Perkins School for the Blind. She has extensive experience working with children with visual impairments who are at the early stages of language development. In this webcast, Elizabeth talks about the use of “tangible symbols,” a term originally coined by Charity Rowland, Ph.D. and Philip D. Schweigert, M.Ed, to support the development of communication in children who experience a variety of severe communication disorders and who are unable to use abstract symbols. The webcast draws from the work of J. Van Dijk as well as the work of Rowland and Schweigert.
Ch. 1: Introduction, Ch. 2: What Are Tangible Symbols, Ch. 3: How Tangible Symbols Should Be Presented, Ch. 4: The Benefits of Using Tangible Symbols, Ch. 5: Considerations When Developing Tangible Symbols, Ch. 6: Behavioral Benefits.