Spotlight on Wendy Stoltman
June 21-27 is Deaf-Blind Awareness Week.  A Shared Vision ’s expert on deaf-blindness is Wendy Stoltman, who joined our team as an EI-TVI in 2019. Wendy also works for the Colorado Department of Education as a technical support specialist for the Deaf Blind Grant, a mentor for first-year Teachers of the Visually Impaired and a member of the Low Vision Evaluation Clinic.

With all these accomplishments, Wendy is most proud of the relationships she’s built with her students and their families. She has many students that she has worked with from birth until they graduated from high school. She is passionate about early intervention because “it is a time when I can help families see the possibilities instead of the limitations in their child’s life,” explains Wendy. Read more about Wendy HERE .
Let's Make a Gardening Sensory Bin
Gardening is one way to teach concepts about nature and so many others to a child who is blind or visually impaired. If your child is easily overwhelmed by new textures or smells or has limited mobility, getting outdoors is more challenging. Instead of growing a real garden, you can make a sensory bin filled with garden-themed materials to teach the same concepts about nature. Learn how to make a gardening sensory bin HERE .
Our "Dirty" Book List

Since it began in 2008, International Mud Day celebrations happen on June 29 all over the world to connect children to the earth and discover the messy joy of playing with mud.  Even if you can’t mess in mud on June 29, HERE are our ten favorite “dirty” books to read with your child who’s blind or visually impaired.
The Best Use of Screen Time
With safer-at-home orders in place due to COVID-19, many children are watching television, tablets and video games more than usual. How much is too much? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 18 months; for older kiddos the recommendations vary as this helpful article in The New York Times explains HERE.

Although there are some useful assistive technologies, children who are blind or visually impaired learn best through everyday interactions with their primary caregivers. Parents can help their child build language and cognitive skills by providing participatory, routine-based experiences that engage all their senses.

If you want to try something on your iPad or tablet, go low-tech, such as a Cause and Effect type app where the child touches the screen and hears a sound. Find more recommendations HERE from Perkins School for the Blind and Paths to Literacy.
NEW! Vision Screening Training
Did you know Colorado supports just 25% to 50% of the families with very young children who are visually impaired or have vision concerns because of inadequate vision screening? Vision screening, now using telehealth , is critical to help identify and support children from birth to age three who are blind or visually impaired. 
A Shared Vision is offering vision screening training at no cost to professionals who serve families of children birth to age three, including early intervention providers, optometrists and pediatric medical professionals. In this two-hour virtual classroom you will learn how to effectively implement and score the Colorado Department of Education’s “Vision Screening Parent Questionnaire for Children Ages Birth through Five Years.” Then you will conduct virtual vision screenings (telehealth) of children, birth to age three, assessing appearance of the eyes and eyelids, behaviors and caregivers' concerns; evaluate and score vision screening results; determine appropriate next steps, including referral to pediatric ophthalmologist/ optometrist and/or EI-TVI; and understand who to contact for ongoing support and training. Sign up HERE .
A Shared Vision is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the leading provider of in-home and community early intervention vision services in Colorado. We inspire and empower families to nurture the development of their very young children who are blind or visually impaired so that all children may discover their brightest future.
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