Participating in the Development of the OHOA Learning Modules: One Parent’s Experiences by Kimberly Lauger
Posted on September 11, 20131 Comment 0 Likes Like this post
As parents, we cope with our children’s diagnoses in a variety of ways. My way was to cope through learning. Knowledge helped me feel I had some control. Dylan was only 1 year old when I went to my first CHARGE Syndrome conference. I tell people that Sally Prouty changed my life at that conference. In only 5 minutes she explained the impact of combined vision and hearing loss and why an intervener was so important to her son Andy. I got it and, ever since that time, have been on a path to learn everything I could about deafblindness and interveners and to share information with other families that might change their lives as well.
I was first asked to be on the advisory panel for the OHOA Intervener Learning Modules as a parent advocate for a child with CHARGE syndrome. I thought, what a daunting task to get so many professionals and parents, each an expert in their own right, to come together for only 2 days to decide the content of the initial 4 modules. What I experienced was an amazing work of leadership and planning and I am happy I was able to be a part of it.
Beyond that, as a parent/professional in the field, I was thrilled to be asked to participate as a contributor to create content for the modules. It was an opportunity to share some of what I have learned with other parents who might not have been able to attend the conferences I have been to. It was an opportunity to share my perspective on deafblindness. It was also an opportunity to collaborate with many other professionals in the field and to put our perspectives together to develop learning modules rich with content and easily accessible to people even in the most rural of locations.
I believe strongly that interveners as a service model should be considered for every child with a combined vision and hearing loss and I believe every child who is deafblind can learn when they receive appropriate educational strategies, including intervention. It is my hope that our work will reach many families and professionals who otherwise would not have access to this information; that more students will be provided interveners; that deafblind educational strategies will be used by families, educators, related service providers, and interveners; and that this introductory information will lead to more people participating in full intervener training and certification programs.
As people go through the modules and experience my point of
view through the “Box of Deafblindness,” the overview of the brain, and the
example of balancing the scale, I hope their lives will be changed. I hope that they will “get it” and share what
they learn with others. Perhaps, down
the road, someone else will say that in 5 minutes Kim Lauger changed my life
when I saw her talk about . . . in the Open Hands Open Access Intervener Learning
For more information about the OHOA Modules, visit nationaldb.org/pages/show/intervener-services-initiative.