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Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Outreach Department. Presents TETN # 30,238 Usher Syndrome: An Overview. Events in February. February 1-2 nd - Mentor Training at TSBVI February 13 th - TETN O&M for Babies Who Are Non-Mobile

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Texas school for the blind visually impaired outreach department

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Outreach Department

Presents TETN # 30,238

Usher Syndrome: An Overview


Events in february

Events in February . . .

  • February 1-2nd - Mentor Training at TSBVI

  • February 13th - TETN O&M for Babies Who Are Non-Mobile

  • February 15-16th – VI Touch Workshop with Barbara Miles

  • February 18-19th – Intervener Statewide Workshop in Austin

  • February 24-26th – Mentor Center at TSBVI


Don t forget to fax to 512 206 9320

Don’t Forget to Fax to 512-206-9320

  • Sign-in Sheets

  • Include evaluations

  • Print e-mail addresses clearly if you want to receive your SBEC certificate


Acvrep credit

ACVREP Credit

  • ACVREP approval pending. Certificates will be sent once approval has been received.

  • ACVREP CEU Certificate Request Form (original broadcast date only) located on TSBVI website at www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/ACVREPcert_request.htm


Usher syndrome an overview

Usher Syndrome: An Overview

Presented by

Kate Moss, Statewide Staff Development Coordinator

Edgenie Bellah, Family Specialist

TSBVI Outreach

With Special Guest, Linda Carter


What is usher syndrome

What is Usher Syndrome?

  • Hereditary Syndrome

  • Hearing loss

  • Progressive vision loss as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

  • Combined vision and hearing loss (deafblindness)


What is retinitis pigmentosa

What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

  • Progressive vision loss

  • Rods of the retina (responsible for night vision) impacted first

  • In some cases early cone degeneration in macula leads to central loss

  • In most cases loss in the peripheral fields making donut shape and progresses to tunnel vision measured in degrees (10 degree fields)

  • Usually results in total vision loss


Example of tunnel vision

Example of Tunnel Vision


Three types of us usher i

Three Types of US – Usher I


Three types of us usher ii

Three Types of US – Usher II


Three types of us usher iii

Three Types of US – Usher III


Statistics on occurrence

3-6% congenitally deaf or hard of hearing

50% of all cases of deafblindness; leading cause of combined vision & hearing loss in USA

Type 1 - 90% of all Usher (most common)

Type 2 - 10% of all Usher

Type 3 – seems to account for about 40% of Usher in eastern Finland;

Statistics on occurrence


How is it diagnosed

Ophthalmological exam that includes field testing as well as acuity testing

Boys Town Research Hospital

Dr. William Kimberling, Center for the Study & Treatment of Usher SyndromeBoys Town National Research Hospital – Omaha

Phone – 402.498.6713email - [email protected]

How is it diagnosed?


Hereditary pattern

Hereditary Pattern

  • Autosomal recessive gene: both parents must pass gene for condition to occur

  • Each pregnancy 1 in 4 chance of US and 2 in 4 chance unaffected carrier


What treatment is available

What treatment is available?

  • Gene therapy – preclinical settings

  • Nutritional therapy - vitamin A palmitate in some RP and US 2.  Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)— can enhance effect of vitamin A. www.blindness.org

  • A Phase II/lll human clinical trial underway to test encapsulated cell technology (ECT) for delivery of a vision-preserving, therapeutic agent CNTF to retina.

  • Artificial retinal implants and transplants


Educational issues

Educational Issues

  • Nightblindness (dark to light & light to dark transitions inside and outside)

  • Restricted fields (loss of peripheral information for communication, travel & social interactions)

  • Possible acuity problems (need for glasses, LP, issues with seating)

  • Glare sensitivity (need for sunglasses, hats, problems with overheads)

  • Need for high contrast (travel and print)


Educational issues1

Educational Issues

  • Functional Vision Assessment or Evaluation (FVE)

  • Learning Media Assessment (LMA

  • Communication – Part B

  • Orientation & Mobility Assessment


Tool for assessment

Tool for assessment

  • Use for completing the FVE, LMA and Communication Part-B assessments

  • http://www.dblink.org/pdf/adamls.pdf


Educational issues2

Educational Issues

  • Travel cane

  • Driver’s training & driver’s license

  • One-on-one interpreter

  • Support Service Provider (SSP)


Deaf blind perspectives www tr wou edu tr dbp

Deaf-Blind Perspectives www.tr.wou.edu/tr/dbp


Db perspectives vol 9 issue 1

DB-Perspectives,Vol.9, Issue 1

“What’s My Role?” A Comparison of the Responsibilities of Interpreters, Interveners, and Support Service Providers

by Susannah Morgan


Educational issues3

Balance problems for Type 1 and 3 may contribute to overall clumsiness

May produce a wide-based gait although vision loss contributes

Certain sports may be difficult for the students

Infants and toddlers may be delayed in acquiring certain motor skills and may crawl with a “5 point stance”.

Educational Issues


Emotional support issues

Emotional Support Issues

  • Being different

  • Being uninformed

  • Being left out of games / activities

  • Fearing the future

  • Feeling insecure


Don ts for usher syndrome

Stand too close when fingerspelling, signing, speaking

Wave at the person from the sides to get attention

Point at another person who may want the attention

Grab the person’s arm to guide in the dark

Conversed with light coming directly behind you

Use large, wide-movements while using sign language

Attempt to carry on conversation in poor or dim light

Point vaguely in general direction of what you talk about.

Assume that person sees low obstacles.

Be afraid to ask if help is needed.

DON’Ts for Usher Syndrome


Dos for usher syndrome

DOs for Usher Syndrome

  • Stand at reasonable distance (4-5 ft.) when fingerspelling, signing and speaking.

  • Walk up to or ask person nearest him to call his attention.

  • Say name of person wanting attention/where person is.

  • Offer your arm for guidance in the dark.

  • Keep direction of the light at the side or behind

  • Confine fingerspelling and signs, preferably to chest level.

  • Converse in a well-lighted area, if possible.

  • Point out/specify where/to what you are referring.

  • Be ready to warn about low obstacles/unexpected steps.

  • Feel free to ask if he or she needs help.


For parents

For Parents

  • Read as much as you can about Usher Syndrome, but especially learn what the adults with Usher have to share – go to http://www.tr.wou.edu/dblink/lib/topics/topics.cfm

  • Go to training events with other parents http://www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/maillist.htm

  • Help your child meet others with Usher

  • Prepare yourself and your child

  • Never loose HOPE


Some important resources

Some important resources

  • Boys Town National Research Hospital: National Center for the Study and Treatment of Usher Syndrome www.boystownhospital.org

  • Foundation Fighting Blindness www.blindness.org

  • DB-Link: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness www.tr.wou.edu/dblink/

  • Texas Deafblind Outreach www.tsbvi.edu

  • Texas School for the Deaf www.tsd.state.tx.us


Don t forget to fax to 512 206 93201

Don’t Forget to Fax to 512-206-9320

  • Sign-in Sheets

  • Include evaluations

  • Print e-mail addresses clearly if you want to receive your SBEC certificate


Texas school for the blind visually impaired outreach department

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