Yearly, OCDBE sponsors a weekend Parent Retreat for parents of children with deafblindness, ages 3 through 21 years. The retreat is designed to provide parents with opportunities to network with other parents of children with deafblindness, learn new information regarding deafblindness, and develop skills for working with their children.

Topics presented at Parent Retreats have included: strategies to use in working with children with deafblindness, information related to the development of a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), transition of children from early intervention to school-age and from high school to adulthood, Universal Design for Learning, and more.

Parent input is used to design each year’s Parent Retreat, incorporating relevant content, delivery formats, opportunities for networking among parents, and opportunities for respite. Parents’ attendance at the Retreat is supported through stipends, which are intended to offset child care and related costs, and by covering the costs of overnight lodging, meals, and meeting materials.


The 2018 OCDBE Parent Retreat

The 2018 Parent Retreat, held at Deer Creek State Park in May, welcomed parents from all over Ohio. The annual event is an opportunity for parents to reconnect with old friends and meet parents participating for the first time.

Melane Barlow, LifeCourse trainer and consultant, was the keynote speaker. LifeCourse Planning provides parents with an understanding of the Charting the LifeCourse framework and the techniques that can be used in designing a life course for their children, birth through adulthood. Charting the LifeCourse, a parent training program from the University of Missouri- Kansas City, includes planning a life course through life stages and in areas such as community living, employment, healthy living, safety and security, social interactions and spirituality, and citizenship and advocacy.

An additional focus of the 2018 Parent Retreat provided parents with an understanding of various methods of communication to use with children with deafblindness. In a presentation by Judy Knisely, a regional representative from the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC), parents were introduced to various methods of communication for individuals with deafblindness that are based upon an individual’s strengths and preferences.


SAVE THE DATE: The 2019 Parent Retreat will be held on May 3-5, 2019 at Deer Creek State Park.

Explore Local Resources

resource-map-1