P.O. BOX 2120



December 5, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



2004 Space Science the Special Way (with a Little Twist from Assistive Technology) Conference, February 12-13, 2004, Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond


The Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind, and Multi-Disabled (VSDBMH) and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Education and other groups extend an invitation to staff members in your school division to the Space Science the Special Way (with a twist from Assistive Technology) Conference. This professional development opportunity is not only aimed at science and special educators, but also other personnel (area specialists, technology and assistive technology specialists, etc.) who are involved with the teaching of the Earth/Space Science Standards of Learning students with visual impairments or blindness and students who are deaf or have hearing impairments. This conference will be held February 12-13, 2004, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond.


The keynote speaker at the conference on Thursday will be Dr. Harry G. Lang from the Rochester Institute of Technology, who will discuss issues related to the teaching of Earth/Space Science to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Mr. Mike Kersjes, president of Space is Special, Incorporated, and author of Space is Special, will be the keynote speaker on Friday. Mr. Kersjes will present his experiences in working with special needs students at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.


A variety of concurrent sessions will be offered to participants by other speakers, including NASA scientists from Arizona, Texas, and Maryland; Mary Watkins from the Media Access Group at WGBH Boston; Dr. David Hurd, Planetarium Director at Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA; and Lucia Hasty from the Braille Authority of North America. In addition, practitioners from across the commonwealth, members of the Department of Education from science and special education, and personnel from the Science Museum of Virginia will also conduct sessions.


We hope that you will encourage special educators, science educators, and other staff members to attend this dynamic conference.


An application form and informational flyer is attached to this memorandum. If you have questions about the conference or need further information, please contact Gail Henrich (, VSDBMH, (757) 247-2283 V, (757) 247-2058 (TTY) or Mary Sandy (, VSGC, (757) 766-5210 V.