July 1, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2016 Unified English Braille Summer Training Institute

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is partnering with the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment through George Mason University (VI Consortium), and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) to provide additional training in Unified English Braille (UEB) for Virginia special educators.  George Mason University will host the 2016 UEB Summer Training Institute on August 8 & 9 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  The training will be broadcast simultaneously through regional sites at James Madison University (Harrisonburg), Old Dominion University (Norfolk), Radford University (Radford), the DBVI Library and Resource Center (Richmond) and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (Staunton-VSDB staff only).  Lunch will be provided.

This training is highly recommended for all Virginia teachers of students who are blind or visually impaired (TVI) as an extension to the previous VDOE/DBVI sponsored UEB training.  Current VI Consortium students who have completed the Braille Code course and paraprofessionals with knowledge of braille are also invited to participate.

Participants must register by July 10 to ensure space availability at the preferred location via the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TTSBLSY.  The registration link will remain open through July 18 on a space available basis.  Additional information regarding the specific training locations will be provided for registered participants.

This information was previously sent to the Directors of Special Education for dissemination to all TVI and paraprofessionals who work with students who are blind or visually impaired in Virginia school divisions.

For additional information, you may contact Wanda Council, education specialist, at Wanda.Council@doe.virginia.gov; telephone (804) 371-4059 or Kimberly Avila, VI consortium coordinator, at Kavila@gmu.edu; telephone (703) 993-5625.