Professional Development Resources

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: Clerc Center Webcasts

Maximizing language acquisition | ASL and Spoken English

What the Eyes Reveal About the Brain: Advances in Human Language Acquisition

Insights from Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) and the Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2) with Dr. Laura Ann-Petitto from Gallaudet University's Brain and Language Laboratory

Our Human Capacity for Language: Insights from Signed Language

TEDx UManitoba Talk with Dr. Charlotte Enns

Child Guided Assessment Strategies with Dr. Jan van Dijk

Over 65 Alberta educators spent two days learning about the Emotional Brain and Child Guided Assessment Strategies from Dr. Jan van Dijk, world renown expert on Dual Sensory Loss and Multiple Disabilities. Assessment for children and youth with sensory impairments and multiple disabilities can be very challenging. Standardized assessments often focus on what the child cannot do, rather than on their strengths. Dr. Van Dijk's approach to assessment aims to identify each individual's unique capacity to notice, interact with and make sense of the environment and the people within it as a starting point for intervention.

Dr. van Dijk (Emeritus Professor, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands) has pioneered assessment and teaching approaches for children with deafblindness and other disabilities. He is known as the father of coactive movement strategies, anticipation cues for communication, and calendar systems that have been adopted as strategies for working with children and adults who have other disabilities such as autism and behaviour disorders.

The two-day conference was hosted by the Minerva Deaf Research Lab. The event is part of a province-wide capacity building initiative funded by Alberta Education.



Child-Guided Assessment - In this webcast, Dr. Jan van Dijk of the Netherlands shares his expertise related to Child-Guided Assessment. Dr. van Dijk has over 50 years of experience working with students with deafblindness. He discovered long ago that typical assessment methods are not successful for these individuals. The child-guided approach is recognized and used throughout the world.

The Role of the Emotional Brain - In this webcast, Dr. Jan van Dijk of the Netherlands presents his research and ideas related to the brain, the limbic system and the impact on teaching and learning for students who are blind with additional disabilities including deafblindness. The chapters in this webcast are: 1. Introduction, 2. Limbic System, 3. Stress, 4. Mirror Neurons, 5. Challenging Behavior, 6. Evidence Based Practice.Dr. Jan van Dijk - Child Guided Assessment Strategies

D/HH & B/VI "Just in Time" Summer Institute Series for Classroom Teachers

The Minerva Deaf Research Lab (MDRL) has undertaken a range of innovative capacity building initiatives bringing research to practice to enhance leadership, learning, and instructional effectiveness.

The Capacity Building Initiatives: Inclusive Supports to Alberta Educators (2010-2014) project, aimed to support Alberta educators in addressing the learning needs of low incidence, unique abilities students (e.g., deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and deaf-blind).

In Alberta, many students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind/visually impaired attend their neighbourhood school and it is the classroom teacher who is charged with daily instruction and program planning. Many of these teachers have had little or no previous experience working with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, or blind/visually impaired. The intent behind the Summer Institutes was to offer classroom teachers the opportunity to gather some basic information about working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, or blind/visually impaired prior to their first day in the classroom.

Below you will find links to the PowerPoints and resources from the Summer Institute presentations that were presented as part of this province-wide capacity building initiative funded by Alberta Education. The Summer Institute Series was held from 2011 to 2013.

D/HH PowerPoint Presentations:

D/HH Presentation Handouts:

B/VI PowerPoint Presentation:

B/VI Presentation Handouts: