Message from DVIDB President Nicole Johnson
Welcome to newly elected leadership in the amazing Council of Exceptional Children: Division of Visual Impairment and Deafblindness! As President of DVIDB, I wanted to welcome new members of our board and thank returning members. Lisa McConachie is serving as our president elect and our new board members are Carol Rimka, Joan Allison, Bryan Moles, and Jodi Reeves. Continuing board members include Tessa McCarthy our secretary, Karen Koehler as treasurer, and board members include Kathleen Farrand, Kathleen Stanfa, Ying-Ting Chiu, Adam Graves, and Donna Sorenson. Thank you all for your service to our division, your hard work is greatly appreciated. I’d like to share a special thank you to our Past-President, Dr. Amy Parker, for her leadership and dedication to DVIDB through her presidency. Our gratitude is also extended to Mackenzie Savaiano for continuing to update our website.
As the new president of DVIDB for the 2020-2021 term, I look forward to serving our division in this capacity. It is my hope to increase engagement among members and provide more opportunities for interaction. In February, we were excited to welcome so many colleagues at our pre-convention and convention in Portland, Oregon. Due to the sponsorship of the Columbia Regional Center in Portland and the American Printing House for the Blind, we were able to host Diane Sheline for a full day of information on “Implementing Effective Instructional Practices for Students with CVI”. A special thank you to all of the presenters throughout the convention and those that contributed to this issue. Portland was a wonderful time of sharing and learning. Our DVIDB Facebook page shares several highlights of the Portland convention. Thanks to all of our generous sponsors we were able to hold our business meeting and social at Altabira City Tavern. At this meeting we were able to recognize the work of our award winners which included Dr. Sandra Rosen: Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Stacy Kelly: Exemplary Advocate Award, Robin Finley: Teacher of the Year Award, Ying-Ting Chiu: Virginia M. Sowell Student of the Year Award, and Dr. L. Beth Brady: Deborah D. Hatton Dissertation of the Year Award. All of our award winners were well deserving and it was an honor to recognize you in this capacity.
While in Portland, DVIDB was able to host a community forum on “Revising the DVIDB Teacher of DB and Intervener Standards: A Participatory Process” which was facilitated by Adam Graves, Dr. Amy Parker, and the DVIDB Validation team. During this time the validation team discussed the process for revising the specialty sets of competencies for teachers of students with deafblindness and interveners. This hard work will continue throughout the year as the validation team works on updating all of the standards. Thank you for all of your hard work on this very important task.
Nicole Johnson, Ed.D.
Professor, Kutztown University