NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month
Written by: Teresa Coonts, Project Director of Nebraska Deaf-Blind Project with input from Susan Brennan, Iowa Deaf-Blind Project
Deaf-blindness is one of the lowest-incidence of all IDEA disability categories; however, supporting students with deaf-blindness often involves a wide array of team members in many areas of expertise! To help meet the unique needs of these students, OSEP funds 53 State Deaf-Blind Projects, assisting districts, schools, and families in all States and territories as well as the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). Collaboratively, we work to improve educational results and quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families. The Center and projects’ efforts include a national count of children who are deaf-blind as well as development and sharing of resources, strategies, and events.
NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
After 43 years, Carl Belnap retired in August 2020, from his position at A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company), a Newberg, Oregon, manufacturer of dental office equipment.
Carl began his job at A-dec in May 1977. Blind since birth, Carl began as a client of Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) in 1973. As a high school Junior, Carl attended OCB’s Portland Training Center for the Blind, a summer job training program. After high school, he attended the Oregon Rehabilitation Center for Development at the Oregon School for the Blind for several months, receiving vocational counseling and training. Carl also attended Clackamas Community College for additional training in the machine shop.
Ida and her service dog
NOTE: October is Blind Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Ida is a senior at Drew University in Madison, N.J. where she majors in computer science with a minor in humanities. In addition to a recent paid summer internship and an offer of employment from JP Morgan Chase upon graduation next spring, Ida has had a range of exceptional experiences as she pursues her career goals.
In the summer of 2016, Ida studied abroad at Hannam University in South Korea as a Student Program Developer in the Robotics Program. In 2017, Ida spent the summer as a Research Assistant at Texas A&M University working on natural language processing and information extraction.
Ida is legally blind.
The Governor of New Jersey recently appointed her to serve on the State Rehabilitation Council for the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI).
Director of Business Relations
Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR)
Rehabilitation Services Administration Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education