Wherever the need for services and information exists, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) reaches out to provide support and collaborates on statewide committees. We are more than just a school. For more than 130 years, FSDB has served as a trusted resource throughout the state of Florida and beyond. Our valuable partnerships with parents and families, local, state and national organizations and communities, and school districts impact hundreds of children and adults through our widespread network.
DeafTEC Initiative. FSDB is one of the partners in the DeafTEC initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. DeafTEC was developed by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)-National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). This initiative offers professional development for general educators, inclusion specialists, and others supporting students who are deaf or hard of hearing in district school general classrooms. Beginning 2015-2016, statewide events will be announced to support middle and high school students who are deaf or hard of hearing and their parents. Visit the FSDB DeafTEC page to review workshop options available and to request a workshop for your school or district.
Distance Learning. FSDB provides an array of distance learning services, including support, training and tools to benefit students, parents, professionals, and stakeholders throughout the state and beyond. Collaboration opportunities are offered through live broadcasts, webinars, online classes, and more. American Sign Language (ASL) interactive Online Classes are offered four times each year, and events at and connected with FSDB can be viewed online through live online streaming. Check our Events calendar for specifics.
Statewide Outreach. FSDB provides specialized outreach services to students, their families, and the teachers and professionals who serve them. We partner with school districts across the state by collaborating on issues impacting children who are sensory-impaired and sharing best practices through training, seminars and conferences. We also serve students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired in rural school districts with services that are not readily accessible at their locations. We also partner with universities, colleges and medical professionals who play an important role in our network. The relationships we have provide an impressive range of support that enhances student education and services.
Two statewide discretionary projects, funded by the state of Florida Department of Education, are housed at FSDB. The Resource Materials and Technology Center for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (RMTC) and the Outreach Services for the Blind/Visually Impaired and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (OSBD) work collaboratively to provide services throughout the state. Services include training, technical assistance, referral, on-site observations and evaluations, and more.
Other FSDB statewide services include:
- The Parent Services Program creates a forum for advocacy and exchange of information and resources. Parent Engagement Workshops are held throughout the year for FSDB families to network with each other while learning about essential topics that increase their capacity to promote academics, independent functioning, and socialization for their children.
- The Parent Infant Early Intervention Program provides in-home support for families with young children under six years of age with varying vision and hearing challenges in regions throughout the state of Florida. Families become involved in the Parent Infant Program through referrals from professionals who work with children or directly from families themselves.
- The Allied Health & Related Services department offers Outreach Evaluation Services assistance to school districts across the state of Florida by evaluating students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. School districts can refer students to FSDB for assessment services on the FSDB campus. Evaluation results are shared with the school district IEP team to identify each student’s programming needs, classroom accommodations or modifications, and service delivery strategies.
Summer Programs. FSDB provides three summer camp programs each year for students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired – Summer Quest Camp, Summer Explorers Camp, and Summer Day Camp, free of charge. Participants must meet eligibility criteria; a camp physical is required.