What's New

Communication Matrix - January 21, 2021

Do you have questions like this about a child or student:  How can I help this child learn to interact with others?  How can I help her understand and choose?  How can I rate communication level and skills in a meaningful, positive way? How do we increase his communication skills?  Where do we start? Come to these free webinars and Kelly Fonner will show you a FREE TOOL that can help!

   For Professionals:

Overview of the Communication Matrix & Community of Practice

WHEN:  3:30 pm - 4:45 pm, January 21

WHERE:  Zoom Meeting Online

PRESENTER: UPDATE!  Samantha Zauner


Registration closed


 For Families:

Getting Familiar with the Communication Matrix & Community of Practice to Support You and Your Child

WHEN:  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, January 21

WHERE:  Zoom Meeting Online

PRESENTER: UPDATE!  Samantha Zauner

Registration closed.



Coursework in Deaf-Blindness and High Intensity Needs - PD Hours and Financial Support Available.

EDUCATIONAL STAFF:  As you plan your safe PD in 2021, here is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about DeafBlindness and High Intensity Support Needs while gaining IL PD hours.  The University of South Dakota, along with their partners, will be providing THREE online courses designed for working teachers: “An Introduction in Deaf-Blindness”; “Deaf-Blindness, Assessment and Instructional Planning”; and/or “Life Planning for Success: Deaf-Blind Strategies.” These courses are only $200 for a 3 credit course, and for an additional $40, participants can receive graduate credit.  Project Reach:  Illinois DeafBlind Services can provide the PD hours through the Philip Rock Center and School, AND reimburse applicants through an honorarium up to $200 per course (2 course per semester maximum).    

Priority for consideration of the honorarium is given to

  • Educational staff currently serving a student on the Project Reach Deaf-Blind Child Count, and
  • Educational staff who have, in the past served a student on the Project Reach Deaf-Blind Child Count or serve groups likely to include students eligible for the Project Reach Deaf-Blind Child Count.

  REGISTRATION CLOSES JANUARY 1; the link is in the University of South Dakota brochure.  To apply for an honorarium download this application. 

Feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.    Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Virtual Family Meetup: Discovering Our Connections

Saturday,Virtual Meet up picture May 16  9 am - 12 noon Central time

In collaboration, the GFPD and Project Reach Illinois Deaf-Blind Services, are proud to present this free event for families who have a child with deafblindness.  

Save your seat by registering here

During this event you will have the opportunity to connect with others and discover ways to encourage and connect your child with the world around them.


Join our event to discover:

  • Active Learning: Ways to encourage independent exploration
  • Active Learning Spaces: Learn how to create your own!
  • How you can make a difference in your community
  • Connecting with other families who “get it!”
  • Available Resources


Looking for general information about where to get help for your family for meals, childcare, immigration, or other issues?  Links to information on these topics and others related to COVD 19 are on this flyer from ISBE called "COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) FAQ for Illinois Families WHERE TO GET HELP"


Beginning May 1, 2020 Project Reach will be posting Illinois specific information below.  Previously posted information regarding initial COVID 19 posts, posts from March 2020 and from April 2020 have been archived and can be accessed by clicking these links:  COVID 19 link, March 2020 link, April 2020 link.  More resources regarding distance learning for students who are DeafBlind can be found at the National Center on Deaf-Blindness  (NCDB) Distance Learning for Proficient Communicators page.  There is a special section of resources for families related to COVID 19 in the NCDB Key Topics for Familes page.

Illinois specific information is below for SCHOOL PERSONNEL and FAMILIES:


FREE  PARAPROFESSIONAL TRAINING: Paraprofessionals!  Do you want to learn more about supporting students with combined vision-hearing loss? You are invited to register for online classes called Open Hands, Open Access (OHOA) Deaf-Blind Intervener Training!  The training is free, on an accessible online platform called Moodle, and provdes you with certificates of completion. Information about this online training program is here, and the registration form is here




Support for Food for Children:  Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) SNAP Benefits


 Please take us up on our invitation to call 630-790-2474 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ideas that Wrok

This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.

This site is Bobby Approved for accessibility.

Contact Us

818 DuPage Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137
Phone: (630) 790-2474
TTY/Voice (800) 771-1158