Open Hands, Open Access (OHOA)

Open Hands, Open Access (OHOA) 2017-10-02T08:56:16+00:00

The OHOA Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules are offered in a series twice a school year,  fall and winter. Each series is comprised of four to five modules and runs approximately three weeks for each module.  When a module opens, participants can access at their convenience anytime over the course of three weeks.   Registration for this series is no longer open – please check back in December to register for the 2018 Winter/Spring series.

We’re pleased to introduce three new modules, 16, 25 & 26 – scroll to view the fall 2017 schedule and descriptions below:

Module 3: The Role of Interveners in Educational Settings (October 2 – 22, 2017)

Module 3 orients learners to the role of the intervener and the process of intervention.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Be able to explain the role of an intervener.
  • Understand the Principles of Intervention.
  • Be able to describe intervention as team process.
  • Be aware of basic team dynamics.

Module 1: An Overview of Deaf-Blindness and Instructional Strategies (October 23 – November 12, 2017)

Module 1 gives learners an overall sense of the population of students who are deaf-blind and describes approaches for teaching and interacting with students who are deaf-blind.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify important facts that can be learned from the National Child Count of Children and Youth Who Are Deaf-Blind.
  • Understand the importance of gathering information about a student’s etiology to guide the development of an effective educational plan.
  • Recognize that deaf-blindness is a disability of access to information that results in significant challenges in interactions and learning.
  • Be aware of basic team dynamics

Module 2: The Sensory System, the Brain, and Learning (November 6 – 26, 2017)

Module 2 gives learners an overview of the sensory systems and the ways that students access information in the world around them.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of each of the seven senses.
  • Understand the brain-senses connection and its impact on learning.
  • Understand some general strategies for supporting a student’s learning.
  • Understand basic information about all seven senses.
  • Know how to identify additional resources to learn more.


Module 16: Self-Determination (November 27 – December 17, 2017)

Self-determination is an essential skill for all people. Students who are deaf-blind need specific supports and opportunities to develop self-determination. Come and learn how people can develop their “choices” and “voices” through supportive intervention and planning.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learners will be able to describe four components of self-determination as they relate to the specific needs of students who are deaf-blind.
  • Learners will be able to define basic vocabulary, as it relates to self-determination.
  • Learners will identify opportunities for self-determination within video-based case studies.
  • Learners will conduct environmental analyses to determine what opportunities there are for students with deaf-blindness to develop self-determination skills with partners in actual school settings.

Module 25: Touch for Connecting and Learning (January 2 – 21, 2018)

Touch is one of our most important senses, yet there is little written about how the touch sense supports learning and communication. For students who are deaf-blind, touch provides access to people, to information, and communication in a multitude of ways! Come and learn about ways to support and respect the touch sense as a foundation for learning.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect on your own experiences with touch and learn about the varying cultural, personal, and physical boundaries that affect other people’s relationship with touch.
  • Be able to explain the importance of touch as an access point for students who are deaf-blind and how to implement it in all environments for the student.
  • Discover the spectrum of touch support needs and how to provide the appropriate amount of touch support to students on an individual basis.

Module 26: Touch for Connection and Communication (January 8 – 28, 2018)

In the second module on touch, you will have the opportunity to explore essential techniques for supporting students to use touch everyday.  Trusting relationships, practice, and observing students’ responses are vital for supporting the touch sense. Listen to leaders who are exploring touch as a support for richer communication, empowerment, and information in the world. Reflect upon touch as an integrating sense that supports connection and communication throughout a person’s life.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Observe specific ways a student who is deaf-blind can use touch to gain access to the world that will lead to communication and learning.
  • Understand how mutual tactile attention, tactile modeling, and joint tactile attention lead to communication and language development.
  • Evaluate the variety of ways touch can be used for communicating and learning.
  • Analyze the tactile ways the students who are deaf-blind and the intervener access and engage in communication and learning and especially in conversation even prior to formal language development through touch. 
  • Find out more about techniques for supporting language, communication and mutual attention to reduce isolation, and to promote access to environmental information.  Learners may explore topics such as Pro-Tactile, haptics, and neuro studies based upon the touch sense
  • Understand why, when, and how to use tactile symbols with students who are deaf-blind who may not yet be ready for abstract symbol systems.