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December 1, 2018

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Location: Barter Theater, Abingdon, VA.

Time: 9:00am – 2:30pm

Target Audience: Students grades 1 through 12 who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired from any school in Virginia.  Students must be accompanied by at least one parent from 9:00am - 2:30pm, and are welcome to bring up to three family members (maximum of four people total attending per family).

Description: View the play, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with pre- and post-show sessions, and meet students from other school divisions who are also blind/vi or deaf/hh. Audio description provided by Access Virginia and nationally certified interpreters will make the play accessible to all. Students will have the opportunity to explore the stage before the play, and ask actors questions after.  An interactive, educational session with Project REAL educators utilizing theatre techniques to integrate the student's life experiences with career awareness.  (Project Real is provided under a contract with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2017-2018).

Sponsored by:   VA Dept. for the Blind and Vision Impaired, VA Hands & Voices,  VA Association of Parents of Students with Visual Impairments, and VSDB Outreach Services.

Registration: Registration is free, but limited to the first 45 family members registered.  The deadine to register is November 19, 2018.  Register now for Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Registration does not guarantee admission.  Emails will be sent to registrants letting you know if you are confirmed or on the waiting list.

For more information: For more information, please contact Debbie Pfeiffer at or call 540-414-5249.  Details will be sent to registrants as the date of the event approaches.


December 5, 2018

IEP Accommodations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: A Virtual Learning Opportunity

Time: 10:00 am

Description: Wanda Council, the Virginia Department of Education's Education Specialist in Sensory Disabilities, especially Deaf/HI, Blind/VI, and Deafblindness, will present on IEP Accommodations for Deaf/HI students. 

Virginia Hands and Voices is happy to provide another opportunity to connect families of children who are deaf/hard of hearing from all the corners of Virginia to the resources needed. Please consider joining us virtually for this important discussion! 

Sponsored by: Virginia Hands and Voices (

Registration: Pre-registration is required to join this free teleconference call. The presentation will last approximately 45 minutes with ample time to answer questions. Please register here by November 30, 2018. Thanks to the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through its Virginia Relay program, our deaf and hard of hearing participants can join via Remote Conference Captioning (RCC) available through Hamilton Relay. A computer, tablet, or smartphone with access to the Internet is all that is needed. Upon registration, an RCC link will be emailed to you.

For more information: Please contact Teri Urban, VA H&V Chairperson at


December 7, 2018

Hacking for the Holidays

Location:  T/TAC @ Virginia Tech Assistive Technology Lab - 250 S. Main St. Suite #326 Blacksburg, VA.

Time:  9:00am - 3:00pm.  (Registration begins at 8:30am).  Lunch will be provided.

Description:  For many children with physical disabilities, playing with off-the-shelf toys is difficult. Making toys switch accessible does not affect the quality of use or the operation; rather, it allows for alternative access for children to be able to play with toys. This workshop will cover how to modify a battery-operated toy with simple operations and how to create your own DIY accessibility switch.  All of the needed equipment and materials for adapting the toys will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring an off-the-shelf toy or a gently-used toy from your home or classroom.  Suggested toys include soft/plush push-button toys, basic remote control toys, and other single function toys that talk, move, or play music. Inexpensive toys are often easier to hack! There will also be a wrapping station available for those toys that will be given as holiday gifts.

Target Audience:  Families of children with disabilities and school personnel working with students with disabilities. 

Registration:  Free, but register early!  Registration for Hacking for the Holidays is limited to 15 participants. There will be a waiting list available.

For More Information:  Please contact Matthew Newton at, Holly Nester at, or call 800-848-2714.

Sponsored by:  The T/TAC at Virginia Tech.