Irwin Blog2019-10-14T21:24:01-07:00

Irwin Blog


Talk O Tuesdays Family Resource Night


For parents of children aged birth to 5 with blindness or low vision


The Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) is hosting a virtual early childhood parent resource night every month in 2021.  Our goal is to provide information about resources around the state and beyond to enhance your parenting experiences.  Additionally, we hope that parents of young children will connect with each other through these resource nights.

Our schedule is:

  • Tuesday, January 12th

What’s out there?: Statewide Resource Panel

  • Tuesday, February 9th

Parents as Teachers:  Intro to Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)

  • Tuesday, March 9th

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss: Multi-Sensory Literacy Ideas

Our first virtual meeting will be on Tuesday January 12th and will showcase 4 statewide agencies that work with blind and low vision individuals both young and old. Find out how to utilize their services now and in the future.

  • Washington Sensory Disabilities Services (WSDS)
  • Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)
  • Northwest Association of Blind Athlete (NWABA)
  • Department of Service for the Blind (DSB)

Please register in order to receive the secure Zoom link via email.

January Talk O Tuesday Registration

Questions: Contact DeEtte Snyder at (360)947-3305 or


White Cane Awareness Day

Today is white cane awareness day!  Let’s celebrate independence and empowerment for blind and low vision individuals!  Attached is a Proclamation from Governor Inslee proclaiming today is White Cane Awareness Day!

Washington’s White Cane Day Hub is up! Please go check it out for:

  • Live White Cane Day activities & events
  • White Cane Day activities for students and adults
  • #WhiteCaneDayWA social media
  • And more!

White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation (pdf)


Starting the School Year From Campus

Being at a distance doesn’t prevent us from being a community.  For many of our students, families, staff, and volunteers, WSSB’s campus is a hub for building meaningful relationships that support our success as a community of learners.  While we’re away from campus, our students will connect to their classrooms live using Zoom video, access materials and collaborate using Google Classroom, and use technology as a tool for bridging the physical gap.  Just like in-person, it is important to balance time sitting in class with authentic learning activities that allow students to get hands-on, move their bodies, and develop skills towards greater independence.

This summer, WSSB worked hard on creating a strategic plan that will support our students in their future.  Some of the outcomes of our strategic planning include:

Core Purpose: To empower blind and low vision individuals to reach their full potential. 

Core Values: Student Centered, Equity, Accessibility, Relationships, Continuous Improvement

In all of our work this school year, online or in-person, WSSB strives to create experiences for students that will assist them in their individual path of success.  No matter the distance, we are committed to our mission and values.  I am so very proud to stand behind our values and grateful to have the opportunity to serve as WSSB’s Principal.

I hope all of you have a fantastic start of the school year.


Summer Feeding Program

Though WSSB won’t be having a summer feeding program, we are providing the following resources:

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Emergency School Meals Program (pdf)
Get help buying groceries while schools are closed – P-EBT ends on the first day of school.
You need to apply for P-EBT by visiting or by
calling 877-501-2233.
Your EBT card will arrive in the mail within
35 business days of applying (application
will open by June 30).

The USDA provides a number of resources, in both English and Spanish, to raise awareness in your community.

  • USDA Summer Meals Hotline at 1-866-348-6479. Families will receive assistance to find the location, meal times, and contact information for summer meals based on their full address, city, and/or zip code.
  • USDA Summer meals finder at This website is easy for families to use as they can access summer meals locations by entering their zip code.
  • USDA Summer Meals Toolkit, provides multiple tools and resources.
  • No Kid Hungry Meal Site Locator

Families may also text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877 to find free summer meals near them.


Summer Programs

Check out some of the summer programs in the area!  Please note that due to COVID-19, some or all of these programs may not be available.

Summer Programs:

  1. Overnight Skills Program (Independent Living Skills Ages 9-13
  2. Youth Employment Solutions/Yes 1 (ages 14-15) includes career exploration, community service, daily living skills, and recreation.  CANCELED
  3. YES 2 (ages 16 through high school graduation) teaches design a career portfolio, daily living skills/residential living, community service, recreation, 3-5 job shadows, public transportation, paid opportunity.
  4. Bridge Program (after high school graduation): Prepares for college, living in a dorm room, study/social skill, independence skills, orientation & mobility lessons, recreation, 5 credit university course.
  5. Student Work and Academic Growth (SWAG) (ages college undergraduate) Work Study Program: Work part time, practice independent living skills, take college courses.
  6. Zookeeper for a day (youth)

Other Summer programs:

  1. Camp Spark WA (ages 9-15): sports, community building, orientation & mobility, independence, advocacy
  2. Camp Spark OR (ages 8-15): sports, community building, orientation & mobility, independence, advocacy

Pride Wall: Untitled Drawing by Henry

drawing of street and clouds