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01/15/2025, Communication for Students with Complex Needs: The Key to Success (Deaf-Blind focus)- Session 8

Date: 01/15/2025 Time: 4:00-5:30 Location: internet Type: Webinar


Children and youth who are deafblind have many concepts and skills to learn before language is achieved, most of which are learned by other children incidentally. Not so for students who are deafblind. Learn the steps to ensure your students are primed for learning and using language.  The strategies and tools learned in this class will prepare educators and parents to better support students across learning settings and within the community.

You will develop or increase your knowledge of:

  • how to authentically assess students’ communication
  • the ways students can communicate and for what purpose
  • how to provide ongoing opportunities for receptive and expressive communication attempts within a daily schedule
  • communication strategies for success
  • how building relationships and having real conversations with students contributes to the student’s motivation to communicate
  • many individualized technology ideas for communication and when a student might be ready for an electronic communication device

Learning Objectives

  1. learn and analyze a variety of assessments to guide programming:  Likes and Dislikes Inventory, Use of Sensory Channels, Sensory Box of DeafBlindness, and Communication Matrix.
  2. increase their knowledge of how building relationships contributes to the student’s motivation to communicate.
  3. increase their knowledge of all the ways students can communicate and for what purpose.
  4. learn how to provide ongoing opportunities for receptive and expressive communication attempts within a daily schedule that is meaningful to the student.
  5.  learn how to engage in non-verbal conversations with their students.
  6. learn strategies: hand-under-hand, wait/processing time, instructional routines, “do with, not for”, “Be a bridge not a barrier.”
  7. learn the developmental sequence of sensing and learning, symbols and meaning, and symbolic communication (Tactile Connections and STACS).
  8. determine if/when the use of an electronic communication device is appropriate for a student.


Emma Packard

Since 1996, Emma Packard has been dedicated to working with children and adults with deafblindness across various educational, residential, and community settings. With qualifications including a B.A. in early childhood and elementary education, an M.A. in special education focusing on low incidence disabilities, and dual M.Ed. degrees in special education emphasizing teaching students with low vision and deafblindness, she now serves as a Teacher of Students with Low Vision and Blindness as well as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist for the Snohomish School District, alongside her role as a DeafBlind Specialist for the Washington DeafBlind Program.

Kathee Scoggin


Email Sue Wright at the SETC office

Clock hours for this webinar and others in this series are available from ESD105 for a small fee. The following Professional Development Enroller link provides more information about clock hours: