2017 National Webinar: Identifying Learner Preferences and Utilizing Results in Designing Instructional Communication

by on Apr 12, 2017
Print Screen Share


This webinar focused on a discussion of the importance for teams who work with learners who experience deaf-blindness and additional disabilities to consider and assess a learner’s sensory preferences.  Implications of findings from preference assessments for instructional design, particularly the design of communication programs, were addressed.

The webinar began with a presentation and analysis of a case study of a learner who experiences deaf-blindness, severe intellectual disability, and physical challenges.  This included a demonstration of ways in which an educational team might incorporate personal preferences in the design of early receptive and expressive communication instruction.  The presenters also provided suggestions for ways to appropriately adapt research-based preference assessments for learners who experience dual sensory losses and guidelines for determining the type of information educational team members might gather from such assessments.  Strategies for instructional programming to support a learner’s communication development with his/her preferences in mind concluded the session. 


Dr. Sarah Ivy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Teacher Education, with the Visual Disabilities Program, at Florida State University.  She serves as PI on a research investigation establishing home-school partnerships to develop and implement preference-based routines.  She received her PhD in August 2014 from Vanderbilt University while she was a fellow of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities.  Prior to her doctoral work, Dr. Ivy completed an MS in Special Education for Students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities Including Deafblindness at Hunter College and was a classroom teacher at the Helen Keller School for the Blind. Her BS in Psychology was completed at the University of Kansas.  Dr. Ivy’s research focuses on teaching interventions for communication and skill development for children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. 

Dr. Susan M. Bashinski is an Associate Professor of Special Education and Director of Graduate Programs in Education at Missouri Western State University.  She has 40 years of experience working with learners who experience multiple disabilities, including deaf-blindness and has directed numerous federal and state grants in low-incidence disabilities and deaf-blindness in the areas of personnel preparation, research, model in-service training, and assistive technology.  Dr. Bashinski has extensive experience providing professional development and technical assistance nationally and internationally, particularly in the areas of augmentative and nonsymbolic communication for learners who have low-incidence disabilities, including deaf-blindness.  Her research interests and areas of expertise include early communication, gestural communication, and language development; CHARGE syndrome; augmentative communication; and cochlear implants, with numerous publications and presentations related to these topics.

This webinar is apart of a larger series called NCDB Professional Development Webinar Series: Research in Deaf-Blindness. To see the full list of this and future webinars, click here.

Recorded Webinar Link

Closed Captioning

Captioning (txt) 

PowerPoint Presentation

Identifying Learner Preferences and Utilizing Results in Designing Instructional Communication Programs 

Associated Forum Post

Child with large smile and arms spread wide when adult shows squishy toy

NCDB : The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
Contact Us: 800-438-9376 |

Tour This Page Website Help
Help for this page

Help Guides & Tutorials