• FSDB Misty Porter leading the PEW meeting
  • FSDB PEW members Listening to presentation.
Parent Engagement Workshop on Genetics

On Friday January 26, 2018, the FSDB Parent Engagement Workshop (PEW) featured a special visitor, Amy Jonasson, arranged through Parent Liaison Misty Porter.  Jonasson, a Genetic Counselor with the University of Florida, was recommended by Stan Gustetic, FSDB Administrator of Allied Health Services and works on a contractual basis with the school to provide services to FSDB students and families.

Jonasson used presentation slides for her talk on genetic counseling, a growing field. She first explained her role as Genetic Counselor before branching off into the following topics:

  • How to interpret genetic testing results
  • How genetic inheritance works
  • What are different genetic testing options
  • Role of research
  • What happens in a genetic evaluation
  • Basic genetics principles overview
  • Specific genetics of hearing loss
  • Specific genetics of vision loss
  • Common conditions involving hearing loss
  • Common conditions involving vision loss
  • Basic overview of structure of the eye
  • How to get genetic testing
  • Costs and insurance trends
  • Types of results and how to interpret them
  • Benefits of genetic testing
  • Limitations of genetic testing

Jonasson moved rapidly through the slides but took the time to answer parent questions that arose. She was sensitive to some of the sticky aspects of genetic counseling, such as the impact of testing positive for various disorders. According to Misty Porter, one of the highlights of Jonasson’s visit was the one-on-one meetings she had with parents after the workshop. Porter also introduced Jonasson to FSDB Parent Infant Program personnel and they began discussions on future program partnership. This informative workshop was enjoyed by all!

By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services

About FSDB
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired.
At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit