Louisiana DeafBlind Project News

HDC Spotlight: Nicky Gillies, MS, NIC

DeafBlindness affects more than 10,000 children between birth and 21 years of age in the United States, and has over 70 known causes, including Usher’s syndrome, CHARGE syndrome, meningitis, and rubella. Nicky Gillies, MS, NIC and the Louisiana DeafBlind Project (LADBP) work with families and school districts to ensure that they are providing the best supports for children and youth that address deafblindness as a unique disability as well as any other disabilities that may be present.

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New Voting Machine Demonstration

Committee Meeting with Public

From Natasha Aymami, HKNC South Central Regional Representative:

June 28th from 9am to 3pm there is a request for Deaf and DeafBlind individuals to go to the capital to provide feedback on the new voting machines. There will be a demonstration as well. The address is 660 N. Fourth Street, Baton Rouge, LA; across from the state capital.

Emergency Preparedness Overview

Webinar (Live Meeting)

The Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults is proud to announce an Emergency Preparedness Overview Training presented by Valerie Chmela on July 14, 2022 at 9:00AM-11:00AM CST via Zoom (link is under the information below). The training is being provided at no cost to attend and is open to anyone who is interested. LRID is an approved sponsor for continuing education activities. The professional studies program is offered for 0.20 RID CEUS at the Little/None Content Knowledge Level. 

Target audience: Support Service Providers, novice to experienced interpreters and community members.

Training Description:

This training will teach participants the importance of having an emergency and disaster preparedness plan for personal safety and its impact on their ability to provide support to others. The upcoming hurricane season is predicted to be more active than years passed with 14-21 named storms making landfall in the United States. Given the past several years of disastrous weather patterns it is very important that those in the interpreting field, who are often called to frontline duty, be aware of emergency and disaster planning. Therefore, everyone needs to be prepared and have a plan to save themselves and their families.

There are numerous emergency preparedness training programs for the general population. However, there are specific preparedness planning and strategies for DeafBlind individuals. Valerie Chmela with Helen Keller National Center has developed an emergency curriculum for the DeafBlind population. She has delivered this training across the country with various professionals, service providers, and community members. Not only is the curriculum for DeafBlind individuals, but it is also beneficial for interpreters, Support Service Providers (SSPs), and service providers to learn as well.

New Deaf Education Newsletter

Web Site or Blog

There is a new issue of the Louisiana Deaf Education Newsletter available. Click the link below to learn about new events and training opportunities.

Family Training Webinars from California Deafblind Services

Interested in online Training Webinars for Families? California Deafblind Services is hosting a series of online Family Training Webinars including topics such as Transition Planning Using a Person-Centered Process, Virtual Stories: Sharing the Story of Your Child and Family with Educators, and Active Learning: Principles and How to Encourage  Active Learning for Your Child. Please see the attached flyers in English and Spanish for more details and to register:

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DeafBlind Events and Resources Rollup

Louisiana DeafBlind Community Events

  • DeafBlind Support Group (DBSG) in Lafayette, Thursday, April 14th, at ABL in Daigle Hall at 9:00 AM
  • Louisiana DeafBlind Citizens (LADBC) Crawfish Boil, Saturday, April 30th: details will be shared later
  • DBSG Picnic: date will be shared later
  • DeafBlind Day on June 23rd in Lafayette
  • Join LADB e-mail news list at ladbnews@gmail.com (not affiliated with LADBP)

HKNC Virtual Confident Living Program for Senior Citizens

  • April 28th and 29th from 12:30 to 2:30 PM CST on Zoom
  • For participants who use ASL to communicate
  • Topics include:
    • Coping with vision loss
    • Communication strategies
    • Technology
  • Contact Natasha Aymami for flyer and more information at natasha.aymami@hknc.org

Louisiana DeafBlind Registry

The purpose of the registry is to provide basic information about people with combined vision and hearing loss in the United States. This information is to be used as a census of persons who are DeafBlind, as a planning tool and for research purposes. All identifying information is confidential.  

The registry data also helps collect data in support of services or programs in the state for the DeafBlind community. For instance, if there is a need of specific services for the DeafBlind community, the HNKC registry data can be utilized as justification of the needed additional services.

It is vital to maintain an accurate census in order to provide various services and programs to Louisiana’s DeafBlind citizens. If you are a person with combined vision and hearing loss, parent/guardian, or service provider for an individual who is DeafBlind, please take a few moments to fill out the registry at this link: www.helenkeller.org/hknc/national-registry

DeafBlind Day in Lafayette, Thursday, June 23

People in a park

From the Lafayette DeafBlind community:

Join us for
7th Annal DeafBlind Day
(Known as White Cane Day and Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareness Celebration)

When: Thursday, June 23, 2022

Listed Plans

9:00 AMGather/socialize at the front of Lafayette Recreation and Parks, 500 Girard Park Drive, Lafayette, LA, and then walk the one-lap path-track around the park in suppport of DeafBlind Day
11:00 AMDine/gather/socialize at the ABL centered outdoor lawn and Daigle Hall, 420 Cherry Street (off 409 West St. Mary Boulevard), Lafayette, LA for Lagneaux’s famous Jumbo Chicken or Jumbo Steak Burger Platter with chips and drinks.
NOTE: To get a FREE Borden’s Ice Cream, all is required to be at Daigle Hall at 11:00 to receive a ticket.
NoonAnnouncement of proclamation of DeafBlind Day by City-Parish of Lafayette Mayor-President
12:30 PMPlay indoor and outdoor water games
2:00 PMFinal drawing of National 50/50 Rally given by NADBA and then gather/socialize at Borden’s Ice Cream, 1130 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA

Admission: CHEAP $5.00 for the following promotions:

  • FREE BBQ Jumbo Burger Platter/Drink
  • FREE participation of indoor and outdoor games
  • FREE Borden’s Ice Cream
  • Deadline: Required to pay by June 1st for final headcounts of ordering specialized patties. No walk-ins on the day of the event!!!
  • Hand money in person to one of our co-chairs, Dan Arabie or Michelle Eaton, or mail payment directly to Dan Arabie, 106 Dempsey Drive, Lafayette, LA 70503 with a memo line: 2022 DB Day

Everybody is invited to join us for a fun-filled all-day event

For more information, please contact Dan Arabie by e-mail at LSUCajunDan@gmail.com or by text at (337) 388-6505 or Michelle Eaton by e-mail at bluevanilla17@gmail.com.

March Deaf Education Newsletter

The March edition of the Louisiana Deaf Education Newsletter is here. March 13-April 15 is even Deaf History Month!!!

DbI March 2022 Newsletter

Deafblind International has published their March 2022 Newsletter. Please use the link below to read it.

Louisiana Department of Education Survey

From the Louisiana Department of Education:

Each year the Louisiana Department of Education submits a grant application to the U.S. Department of Education for state set aside funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Department uses these funds to support its priorities for students with disabilities.

As they develop their grant application for Federal Fiscal Year 2022 that begins 10/1/2022, they are asking for feedback from families of children with disabilities to better understand what activities the public views as important.

Please assist them by completing this survey by Friday, March 11, 2022. It should take no more than five minutes to complete and personally identifiable information is not requested.