Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Texas Focus 2018

Texas Focus logoThe 2018 Texas Focus Conference: On the Move will be held March 1-3, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Austin, Texas.

We have a brain for one reason and one reason only -- that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements. Movement is the only way we have of affecting the world around us… I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it’s important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they’re there for a reason, and that reason is action.
-- Daniel Wolpert, Neuroscientist
This year's Texas Focus takes a broad focus on movement and the important role it plays in learning and living a healthy and happy life.

Pre-conference Day - March 1, 2018

We begin with two special half-day preconference events on March 1st:

Ready, Set, Go! Orientation and Mobility Workshop for adult family members 

Heather Withrow, Parent, and Outreach Staff
James C. Durkel Conference Center, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
This highly interactive event will help family members gain a better understanding of skills related to movement for an individual with a visual impairment or blindness.  This event will be held on the at Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired campus. Participants will learn strategies for incorporating more movement into typical activities at home and in the community.  They will also learn how to support their child to get a move on and do it safely and successfully.

Meeting the Unique Needs of Students in Phase III CVI for professionals

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy
Crowne Plaza Austin North Central Hotel
Dr. Roman will be focusing on characteristics, scoring, and supports and interventions for Phase III CVI.  Some of the points she will be covering include:
  • Movement, orientation in space and the need for independent travel are often overlooked with students in Phase III.
  • Students in Phase III often face significant challenges in social experiences and will most likely need instruction in social skills.
  • Most CVI characteristics do not ever fully “resolve”, even in Phase III.
  • The most common CVI Range scoring errors occur in Phase III.


This session will be packed with information and Dr. Roman will have a special Q&A session to answer your questions during a separate session on March 2nd at 3:30pm.  Please write down any questions and bring them to the Q&A!

Main Conference - March 2-3, 2018

The main conference event takes place beginning the morning of March 2nd and continues through March 3rd at the DoubleTree Austin Hotel.  Our list or presenters includes:
  • Anat Baniel, Founder of Anat Baniel Method (ABM) Center 
  • Dr. Lauren Lieberman,  Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies & Physical Education at SUNY Brockport
  • Larry Lewis, Flying Blind, LLC's founder in Ohio
  • Kassandra Maloney, TVI and Yoga Instructor, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Dr. Michael McLinden, author of Learning Through Touch : Supporting Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Difficulties and Professor at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Dr. Elina Mullen, Physical Education Instructor, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, Professor of Practice, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies and  Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) federal project Animal Watch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy
  • Patty Obrzut, Occupational Therapist and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Michigan
  • Athena Oden, Pediatric Physical Therapist, Owner of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds
  • Karen Ranus, Director, National Allliance on Mental Illness, Austin, TX
  • Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of Pediatric VIEW Program, Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Neil Sharp, ABM Trainer, San Francisco, California
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative for American Printing House for the Blind
A more detailed agenda can be found at


Registration opens November 1, 2017 and ends Feburary 18th.  Please review the agenda prior to registration; you will need to make selections during each of the breakout sessions.
Registration fees are as follows and includes the cost of the optional pre-conference events:
  • Family and Professional Early Bird Rate (thru January 31st) - $250.00
  • Family and Professional Rate (from February 1st) - $300.00
  • Paraprofessional and University Student Early Bird Rate (thru January 31st) - $100.00
  • Paraprofessional and University Student Rate (from February 1st) - $150.00
  • Out-of-State Registration (thru January 31st) - $350.00
  • Out-of-state Registration (from February1st ) - $400.00


You may register online and pay with a credit card at the time of registration or send a check or purchase order at a later date.  If you do not know the number of your check or purchase order enter "0000". We encourage you to register right away to get the Early Bird Rate.  You may cancel up to February 21st and pay no cancellation fee.  After February 21st you may be subject to a $25 cancellation fee.
Family members from Texas may request assistance to cover the cost of registration, child care arranged at home, travel and lodging. Please contact your HHSC or TWC caseworker to determine which costs they can cover before making a request from Outreach Programs.  If you cannot receive assistance from them, you may request assistance from TSBVI Outreach when you register. Someone from our staff will contact you about your request.
Limited assistance may also be available to cover the cost of registration for professionals and paraprofessionals.  Please contact your regional ESC VI Consultant if you are interested in these funds. The Mentor Voucher payment option may only be used by individuals  employed by eligible Education Service Centers.  If you have questions about Mentor vouchers, please contact Chrissy Cowan at


Contact Carrie Keith at or 512-206-9314.

Learn more.


Event Date: 

Mar 01, 2018 to Mar 03, 2018