Just for Parents

Family Support Services

The Maryland School for the Blind’s Family Support Services’ goal is to provide support, information and resources on disabilities and community services for families of children with visual impairment.

Services are designed to:

  • Inform families about available resources
  • Build working relationships among families, schools and the community
  • Provide learning opportunities through workshops and conferences
  • Increase parent involvement
  • Collaborate with other departments to develop parent support groups & activities
  • Provide information through our Reaching Out newsletter
  • Provide tours for families of potential students
  • Assist parents/families with IEP meetings
  • Loan books and videos to families from our lending library

The “Just for Parents” lending library includes books on:

  • Children
  • Communication
  • DeafBlindness
  • Education
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Family Topics

Workshops and Events

2017-18 Informational Parent Webinars

Our monthly Informational Parent Webinars are free webinars presented by MSB and our community partners focusing on topics and resources available to students with visual impairments and their families.These webinars are live streamed and also recorded for future viewing on MSB’s YouTube Channel.

Each monthly webinar is held from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM and has a unique link which is shared prior to the event:

For more information, contact Renee Kirby, Parent Coordinator, reneek@mdschblind.org or 410-444-5000 ext. 1489


April 24, 2018 – “Inclusive and Effective Listening Strategies” presented by Tracee Ford, Director of Quality Assurance Community Meditation Maryland.

May 22, 2018 – “What Parents Need to Know When Navigating Through Disability Laws for Their Blind or Visually Impaired Child” presented by Leslie Margolis, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights Maryland (formerly MD Disability Law Center.)

February 27, 2018 – “What is Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) & How Does it Affect My Child’s Vision?” presented by Sharon Whited, MSB Low Vision Specialist. Recorded version coming soon

January 30, 2018 – “Quality Assessments – The Key To Literacy”  Presented by Michelle Horseman, M.Ed – Teacher of the Visually Impaired – THIS SESSION HAS BEEN POSTPONED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED AT A LATER DATE 

December 12, 2017 – “Social Skills for Independence” – Recorded version coming soon

November 30, 2017 – “Technology Benchmarks for your blind or visually impaired child”  – Watch recorded version at https://youtu.be/3ABh3rcdNGM

Community Events

Check back for community events for families of children who are blind, visually impaired or multiply disabled.

Parent Support Groups

Parent support group meetings can be held on the MSB campus or regionally.  Contact Renee Kirby, Parent Coordinator, reneek@mdschblind.org if you are interested in organizing a group in your area.

Outreach Newsletters

Reaching Out Newsletter – November 2017

Reaching Out Newsletter December 2017

Reaching Out Newsletter – January/February 2018

Reaching Out Newsletter – March/April 2018

Reaching Out Newsletter May/June 2018

Reaching Out Newsletter July/August 2018


Seedlings Logo

Seedlings logo

Get 3 free braille books for your child! 

Register TODAY for

Seedlings’ Book Angel program!


Looking for gift ideas for children who are blind, visually impaired or multiply disabled?  Visit these websites:
FamilyConnect – Toys and Gift Ideas for children who are blind or visually impaired

Inclusive Technology – a leading supplier of hardware and software for people with special needs

National Tele-Support Network – the Lighthouse Guild provides a free national tele-support network for parents of children with visual impairments

Parents Visiting the Classroom

MSB wholly supports parent involvement with students and welcomes parents who wish to observe their children in class.  The process is simple. Please arrange for an appointment by contacting your child’s teacher or related service provider before visiting.  Please use email rather than text messaging. These guidelines will help to ensure that the time that you invest in coming to MSB will be time well spent, avoiding any field trips or other activities when students wouldn’t be in the classroom. They also help to reduce interruptions for our teachers and students.  Thank you for adhering to these policies and we look forward to your visit.

Visitor Sign In/Out

At MSB your child’s safety is our greatest concern. We continue to enforce Maryland state regulations implementing that only people who are cleared through a background check can access our school buildings. Our sign in/sign out policies help to ensure compliance with these regulations. All visitors are required to sign in/out and to be escorted while on campus.  Parking is available at all of these locations.  Visitors must sign in, receive a badge, be escorted while in the buildings, sign out, and return the badge at these locations. The sign in/out location for visitors are as follows:

Autism Blind
– General Academic Program
– Functional Academic Program
– Autism Blind Program

Blanton Health Center
– Multiple Disabilities Blind

Preschool, Early Learning, and Outreach Center
– Preschool, Early Learning, and Outreach Center

Please see the Campus Map for specific locations.

For more information about Family Support Services contact:

Renee Kirby, Parent Coordinator
410.444.5000, ext. 1489 | reneek@mdschblind.org