New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - 1900 North White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310, phone (800) 437-3505

Home | Programs | Contact | News & Events | For Parents | For Students | VI Resources | Photos

NMSBVI Vision Bees

A Vision Bee is dedicated to imparting the latest information regarding teaching students who have visual impairments. A Vision Bee is appropriate for parents, families, teachers, service providers, social workers and anyone who is interested in increasing their skills in regards to serving students with visual impairments. The Vision Bees take place in January of each year in Albuquerque and Alamogordo. Registration is free. CEUs are available. You may register using the documents found on this webpage.

Upcoming Vision Bee Dates

Vision Bee 2015 with David Brown:

 January 14th 2015 in Albuquerque at the Marriott Pyramid (5151 San Francisco Road NE)

January 16th in Alamogordo at the Civic Center Auditorium (800 East First St.) 

Maps and Directions Below

Go to registration Form

Maps of Local Restaurants


Alamogordo Civic Center

Alamogordo Civic Center-800 East First Street, Alamogordo, NM 88310-  
Phone: 505-439-4142
From White Sands Blvd./Hwy 70 Turn East onto First Street, The Civic Center will be on the right-hand side.


Go to registration Form

Albuquerque Marriott

Marriott Pyramid Hotel-5151 San Francisco Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone: 505-821-3333
Take I25 to exit 232, Take Pan American Frontage Rd. South, Turn Rt. on San Francisco Rd. NE.

Please note that the Marriott has rooms available to us at a discounted rate. Call the number above to make a reservation.

Go to registration Form

Information - 2015 Vision Bee


8:30am to 9:00am: Registration

9:00am to 4:00pm: Sessions (two short breaks and a lunch break in-between).

Light snacks will be provided.

A more detailed Agenda will be sent out and posted prior to the event.


Click here to see the handouts for the event and print them if you like. We will not have printed versions available at the event so please bring your copy or download them to your device. Thank you for your cooperation


The WiFi at the Marriott Hotel has been upgraded however we recommend you download the handouts prior to the event.


General Information

How and why we should interpret a child’s “Self-Stim” behaviors as a good thing

"When the phrase 'deaf-blind' is used to describe a child it obviously conveys the idea that there are difficulties with both vision and hearing. Unfortunately the phrase is misleading in two significant ways. First, it makes many people think that the child can't see anything and can't hear anything, but in fact, most children with deaf-blindness do have some useful vision and/or hearing, even if they themselves don't seem to be using it yet. Secondly, the majority of children with deaf-blindness today have significant medical issues which result in other sensory systems also not working properly, including perception of pain, smell, taste, touch, and balance, Because everyone of our senses is designed to develop and work simultaneously with all the others, a problem with one sense may result in problems with the functioning of other, apparently, unrelated, senses. Two of these 'other' senses, the proprioceptive sense and the vestibular sense, are particularly important but often ignored. Knowing about these senses, how they work, what might happen if they are not working properly, and what to do about it, can make a surprising difference to the development of functional vision and functional hearing. A consideration of the functions of ALL our senses can help us to understand why we self-stimulate, and also understand what any child's self-stimulation behaviors tell  about their difficulties and needs. As a result of this perspective many behaviors that are generally thought of as 'bad' begin to be seen as actually quite smart adaptive responses. Sometimes accepting, or re-channeling, or even encouraging these behaviors can be much more helpful than merely trying to stop them. Close analysis of a child's self-stimulation behaviors can give me at least half of the information I need in my assessment.



1. To develop a clearer focus on the identification and use of individualized motivators

2. To focus and organize observations in a more effective way

3. To adopt and develop a broader idea of what constitutes 'communication'

4. To utilize a child's current expressive behaviors in determining the best way forwards

5. To focus and organize on the total environment in facilitating communicative interactions.


About the Presenter

David Brown

Since entering the specialist area of deaf-blindness in 1983 David Brown has become a leading and well-published practitioner in the field. In his roles as Head of the Family Education and Advisory Service of SENSE (the National Deafblind Association) in the UK (1983-2000), and as Educational Specialist for California Deaf-Blind Services (since August 2000), he has worked with over 500 children and young people with deaf-blindness.

For 25 years David has been writing training manuals for universities and other training organizations, and publishing articles on a variety of topics in journals and magazines such as “Talking Sense”, “Deafblind Education”, “Eye Contact”, “Special Children”, “Deaf-Blind Perspectives”, “reSources”, “Deafblind International Review”, “The American Journal of Medical Genetics”, and “Child: Care, Health and Development”. His writings have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, German, Greek, Japanese, and Russian.

David has contributed to staff training courses in the UK, USA, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Greece, Germany, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He is in constant demand as a conference speaker. Since 2000 he has presented at CHARGE Syndrome Conferences in England, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany. In 2013 he presented at conferences in Phoenix (Arizona), Salt Lake City (Utah), Washington DC, London (UK), Stockholm (Sweden), and Berlin (Germany). David has also worked as a consultant with the state deaf-blind projects in Arizona, Idaho, Hawaii, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Florida, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. In 2014 conference presentations and staff training courses are planned in Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Germany, the UK, Norway, New Zealand and Australia.

David has a credential in the Education of Students with Multi Sensory Impairments from the University of Birmingham, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Central Michigan University for his research work with children with deaf-blindness, and was recently awarded the Deafblind International ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for  “innovative and visionary work with people with deafblindness”.


Alsop L. Blaha R. Kloos E. 2000. Briefing Paper: The Intervener in Early Intervention and Educational Settings for Children and Youth With Deafblindness. Website of NCDB


Blaha R. 1996. Thoughts on the Assessment of the Student with the Most Profound Disabilities. See/Hear Vol 1 No 4 Fall 1996, 13-25.


Brody J. Occupational Therapy For Young Children With Visual Impairments and Additional Disabilities.


Brown D. 2001. Follow the Child – Approaches to Assessing the Functional Vision and Hearing of Young Children with Congenital Deaf-Blindness. ReSources, Vol 10 No 9, Winter 2001


Brown D. 2002. Resonance Boards. Deaf-Blind Perspectives, Vol 10 Issue 2, Winter 2002-03


Brown D. 2004.  Knowing the Child – Personal Passports. reSources, Vol 11 No 4, Fall 2004


Brown, D. & Bates, E. 2005. A Personal View of Changes in Deaf-Blind Population, Philosophy, and Needs. Deaf-Blind Perspectives, Vol 12 Issue 3, Spring 2005


Brown, D. 2008. “The sensory integration perspective and what it offers us in the field of deafblindness – Part I” DbI Review Number 42, July – December 2008


Brown, D. 2009. “The sensory integration perspective and what it offers us in the field of deafblindness – Part II” DbI Review Number 43, January – June 2009


Brown, D. 2009. Helping Children Want to Do Things: Identifying and Using Motivators. ReSources, Vol 14, No 2, Summer 2009.


Brown, D. & Rodriguez-Gil, G. 2010. A Self-Evaluation Guide for Assessing the Quality of Your Interactions with a Student who is Deaf-blind.  Fact Sheet #41.


Brown, D. 2012. Sensory Confusion. reSources, Vol 17, No 1, Spring 2012.


Brown, D. 2012. Vision Issues for People with CHARGE Syndrome. Perkins School for the Blind webcast.


Brown D. 2012. CHARGE Syndrome: Sensory Processing. Perkins School for the Blind webcast.


Brown D. 2014. What does ‘Follow the Child’ mean? reSources, Vol 19, No1, Spring 2014.


Chen D. 1998. Early Identification of Infants who are Deaf-Blind: A Systematic Approach for Early Interventionists. Deaf-Blind Perspectives, Vol 5 Issue 3, Spring 1998


Deuce G. 2002. Sensory integration dysfunction in deafblind children. DbI Review, Number 30, July-December 2002.


Durkel J. 2001. Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Auditory Neuropathy. See/Hear Winter 2001


Hartmann, H. 2012. Universal Design for Learning. Perkins School for the Blind webcast


Hartshorne, T. 2011. CHARGE Syndrome: Behavioral Issues. Perkins School for the Blind webcast


Janssen, Riksen-Walraven, Van Dijk, & van den Tillaart. 2007. Harmonious Interactions.


Lace J. 2000. Minimal Losses…Major Implications. See/Hear Summer 2000 (


Morgan S. 2001. “What’s My Role?” A Comparison of the Responsibilities of Interpreters, Interveners, and Support Service Providers”. Deaf-Blind Perspectives, Vol 9 Issue 1, Fall 2001


Nelson C. 2002. The van Dijk Approach to Child-Guided Assessment. See/Hear Winter 2002


Newton G. Moss K. 2001. Early Identification of Hearing and Vision Loss is Critical to a Child’s Development. See/Hear Summer 2001


Rowland C. The Communication Matrix.


Rowland, C, (ed) 2010. Assessing Communication and Learning in Young Children Who are Deafblind or Who Have Multiple Disabilities


Stephens L.C. 1997. Sensory Integrative Dysfunction in Young Children. See/Hear Fall 1997


Taylor E. Stremel K., Steele N. 2006. Classroom Observation Instrument.


van Dijk, J. 2011. Child Guided Assessment. Perkins School for the Blind webcast


van Dijk, J. 2011. The Role of the Emotional Brain. Perkins School for the Blind webcast


Wiley D. (ed) 1997. IEP Quality Indicators for Students with deafblindness. TSBVI.


Some Useful Websites

American Foundation for the Blind –


California Deaf-Blind Services –




CHARGE Syndrome Foundation –


DB-LINK (The National Information Clearinghouse on Children Who Are Deaf-Blind) –


Deafblind International –


Deaf-Blind Perspectives –


Dr Jan van Dijk -


Family Center on Technology and Disability -


HANDLE Institute –


NCDB (the National Centre on Deaf-Blindness) -


Nat. Scientific Council on the Developing Child –


Open Hands Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules -


Project SALUTE (Successful Adaptations for Learning to Use Touch Effectively) -


Sense (UK National Deafblind Association) –


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired  (See/Hear is the newsletter of their Deafblind Outreach Service) -

Download bibliography document

For more information, please contact:
Kimber Kniffin
801 Stephen Moody St. SE
Albuquerque, NM  87123
Phone: (505) 271-3067  Fax: (505) 271-3073



Serving the Youth of New Mexico and Their Families since 1903  
Please read the Terms And Conditions Of Use carefully before using this site.
If you do not agree to these terms and conditions of use, please do not use this site.

Comments to:
Last Updated: 1/21/2014