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Empowering Families for Children’s Vision

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health Webinar Series on the Vision Health of Children with Special Needs Presents:

Empowering Families for Children’s Vision

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern

Join us for the third webinar in our series on the Vision Health of Children with Special Needs to learn how parents can advocate for their children’s vision health. In this webinar, a parent of a child with special learning needs and a vision disorder will share her story. Participants will learn how to identify and best use the variety of community, medical, and school resources to enhance the vision health of children with special needs. Participants will also learn how eye care providers work with parents to make an early diagnosis of vision problems and to help ensure the best possible vision outcomes. Parents/guardians and professionals are invited to this webinar, which will address children ages 3 through 8 years.

The Year of Children's Vision

Presenters

  • Nicole Pratt, MAT, BS – Parent Advocate and PTI Senior Parent Professional Staff Trainer; FASD Project Coordinator/Trainer, SPAN – Parent Advocacy Network (New Jersey)
  • Robin Adair Shannon, DNP, RN, NCSN, APHN-BC, FNASN – Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the School Nurse Certificate Program at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing. Co-editor of the National Association of School Nurses’ School Nursing: A Comprehensive Textbook,3rd
  • Terry Schwartz, MD – Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and University of Cincinnati; Medical Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Low Vision Program and the West Virginia University Eye Institute’s Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program
  • Nicole Guysi, Parent and Transition Technician, Peoria Unified School District, Arizona

Target Audience

Parents, guardians, and caregivers of children with special health and learning needs.

Individuals who work with preschool and elementary children with special health and learning needs, including:

  • Child Care Health Consultants
  • Early Care and Education Professionals
  • Head Start Health Managers and Staff
  • Home visitors
  • Medical Care Providers.
  • School Nurses
  • Special Education Staff

Presenter Bios

Robin Adair Shannon, DNP, RN, NCSN, APHN-BC, FNASN – Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the School Nurse Certificate Program at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing. Co-editor of the National Association of School Nurses’ School Nursing: A Comprehensive Textbook,3rd ed.

Dr. Robin Adair Shannon is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the School Nurse Certificate Program at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing. She has been a school nurse since 1999 and has served all grade levels from early childhood through high school with a focus on students with special healthcare needs. Robin is a Nationally Certified School Nurse, an Advanced Public Health Nurse–Board Certified, an Illinois Professional Educator Licensed – School Nurse, a Fellow of the National Academy of School Nurses, and President of the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. Robin is privileged to be a co-editor with Drs. Janice Selekman and Cathy Yonkaitis for the National Association of School Nurses’ School Nursing: A Comprehensive Textbook,3rd ed., the go-to resource for practicing school nurses across the country. Dr. Adair Shannon has served as an early childhood diagnostic team nurse and as a nursing supervisor for students with medical complexity in a large urban school district. She has published and presented nationally on issues for students with special healthcare needs related to educational rights, school health policies and protocols, and school nursing clinical guidelines.

Sandra S. Block, O.D., M. Ed., MPH, FAAO, FCOVD, FNAP, Professor Emeritus at Illinois College of Optometry, Global Clinical Advisor and consultant to the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, president-elect of the World Council of Optometry, and immediate past co-chair of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health.

Dr. Block received her O.D. degree (1981) and Pediatric Residency (1982) at the Illinois College of Optometry where she is a faculty member. She completed her Master of Education at National Louis University and her Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois, School of Public Health. She is a Diplomate in Public Health and Environmental Vision at the American Academy of Optometry and a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Practice. She sits on the Prevent Blindness Board of Trustees and has recently joined the VISION 2020 USA Board of Directors.

She has been a consultant to the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program since 1995 and has been instrumental in developing the vision program globally.  Her interests lie in primary care for children and persons with disabilities, as well as diagnosis and treatment of visually related learning problems as well as public health issues facing the equity and quality of eye care delivery. Dr. Block has authored numerous publications and conducted presentations worldwide.

Nicole Guysi, Parent and Transition Technician, Peoria Unified School District, Arizona.  

Nicole Guysi is a wife, mother of two, handler to her daughter’s service dog, advocate, and transition technician in Peoria Unified School District. ​​In her role at the district, Nicole helps students with disabilities transition successfully out of high school while working alongside families to educate and equip them for their student’s postsecondary success. Married for over 12 years, their two children (Brooke and Blake) are 6 and 11 years old and what fuel Nicole’s passion to educate others and be educated herself. Brooke has multiple diagnoses in vision and in other areas. Since 2014, Nicole has volunteered and partnered with different organizations to learn for her daughter, help educate her daughter and other families and professionals. ​​

Nicole Pratt, MAT, BS – Senior Parent Professional Trainer, Empowering Women Project Director, and TA Facilitator – Leadership in Family Professional Partnerships (LFPP) at SPAN – Parent Advocacy Network (New Jersey).

Nicole Pratt is a single working mom of two young adults who both have special health care needs. Nicole is a strong advocate for her children and for other families who struggle to obtain appropriate education supports and healthcare services for their children. Nicole sits on several New Jersey State, national and local parent leader advisory committees/ boards that support/empower families and children. Nicole works for The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network as a Senior Parent Professional Trainer educating parents and professionals, which include teachers, administration, and community organizations on an array of education along with health topics across New Jersey and nationally. Nicole is the Project Director on the Empowering Women in Community Leadership for Healthier Families project, coordinating trainings and support for women around healthcare messaging. She is also The Diverse Parent Engagement Development & TA Facilitator on the Leadership in Family Professional Partnership project. Nicole has a BS in Psychology and Masters in Teaching with extensive training in Human Behavior/Positive Behavior Supports, Mental Health Facilitation, Social Determinates of Health and Trauma Informed Care

Terry Schwartz, MD – Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and University of Cincinnati; Medical Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Low Vision Program and the West Virginia University Eye Institute’s Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program.

Dr. Schwartz has been an academic pediatric ophthalmologist (clinician and surgeon) for 21 years at West Virginia University School of Medicine (WVU) and at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCHMC) and University of Cincinnati (UC) School of Medicine for the past 10 years.  She has developed and directed Pediatric Low Vision Rehabilitation interdisciplinary programs for 21 years as the founding Medical Director of CCHMC Pediatric Vision Rehabilitation Program and WVU Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program serving children with ocular and brain based visual impairment from birth to 21 years of age.  She has been a partner at the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the past 4 years providing clinical care for children with vision impairment.  She has lectured and designed instructional courses at national meetings on the delivery of pediatric low vision care.  She has served on Low Vision Rehabilitation committees for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Dr. Schwartz helped establish The Children’s Vision Testing Laboratory at University of Pittsburgh under the supervision of Velma Dobson, PhD participating in infant vision. Completed and ongoing research collaborations include; functional MRI in infants with brain injury, visual function in children with cerebral palsy and early vision intervention through telehealth in children with cerebral visual impairment.

Watch recordings of the first two webinars in the series

For more information, please contact [email protected] 

Certificates of Attendance will be available.