Florida Festival of Families
Florida Festival of Families is a free event for parents, family members and caregivers of children with visual impairments. Parents will attend sessions led by mentors who are visually impaired, other parents, and professionals in the field. While parents are networking and learning, children in grades K-12 can participate in activities to facilitate social skills, independent living and concept development.
Meet our 2021 Festival of Families Speakers
Diane Sheline | Strategytosee@gmail.com
Diane’s professional training is in the area of early childhood education and special education/visual impairment. She has over 40 years of experience in the field of special education and has focused on education of students with CVI for over 15 years. After taking numerous courses and researching available information on CVI, she began developing and using a variety of tools and strategies that appear to be promising for this population. Diane worked towards and received the Perkins-Roman CVI Range Endorsement in 2016. She has worked closely with the Outreach Department at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired developing programs such as the CVI Clinic and various online webinars, including the recently released, “CVI Range Assessment Scenario Training Series”. Diane often completes independent assessments using The CVI Range and works with the students’ Team Members to develop educational programs that encourage more consistent, efficient use of vision throughout the students’ day. She frequently conducts trainings nationwide in the area of CVI for vision teachers, therapists, parents, and others who are involved in the education of children with CVI. Diane shares many of her strategies and techniques through her website at www.strategytosee.com, her YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/strategytosee and her book, Strategy to See; Strategies for Students with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment.
Jule Ann Lieberman
Jule Ann Lieberman has earned her Master of Science from Salus University (2013) in Low Vision Therapy, is dual certified by Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (acvrep.org) as Low Vision Therapist and Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist. Jule Ann began her work in assistive technology instructing blind and low vision adults in the use of assistive technology in 1998. In 2005, she opened a retail business, EZ2C Products, selling assistive technology and tools for vision loss. This led to a conversion in 2007 to a non-profit EZ2C Foundation which provided consultation and training in the use of technology and tools for persons with vision loss. Jule Ann joined TechOWL, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University (formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology) in 2013 as Assistive Technology Specialist and continues to provide information and assistance, consultation, demonstrations and public awareness training in the use of assistive technology. She has presented at ATIA and CSUN Technology conferences for many years along with sessions at Penn Del AER Conference for over 10 years. Jule Ann has been legally blind with a progressive vision impairment since age of 16 and enjoys learning new technologies and how it meets the needs of those with vision loss. With each change in her vision, Jule Ann has discovered access technology that enables her to support her role as wife, mother of three adult children and work in a competitive academic environment. Jule Ann recently joined Salus University as Adjunct Faculty member teaching future vision professionals.
What past attendees have said about the Festival of Families:
It is such a wonderful opportunity for families to support and encourage each other through this journey.
I think attending allows parents to not feel as though they are an island, navigating this alone.
This is the first workshop that I’ve been to and I found it extremely informative. I enjoyed all the speakers, took lots of notes and really enjoyed the entire day.
The provision of a setting where families could share their experiences and feel safe to be vulnerable in doing so, learn from blind adults, and make connections with those walking the same path were the strongest features of this workshop.
As a parent and an educator ONE thing I will take from this workshop is having high expectations while supporting and fostering independence- this is what resonated with me from the young adult panel.