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Millcreek Journal

Vision beyond sight: Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind’s summer camps will run virtually

Jun 15, 2020 11:49AM ● By Katy Whittingham

By Katy Whittingham | [email protected] 

Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind’s Expanded Core Curriculum Coordinator, Robbin Clark, remains committed to delivering an educational and fun-filled summer camp experience for blind and visually impaired students across the state. 

“We are going to do all kinds of great things this summer,” she said. “It’s not about what you can see, it’s about what you can do.” Although the programs will be virtual this summer, the planned curriculum will be covered with some modifications for distance learning. 

Clark explained that they teach the students the elements of the expanded core curriculum along with regular academics, so they learn the same materials as sighted students. “Students who are blind miss out on learning a lot of things by watching, nine things to be exact,” she said. “We call it #9morethancore.” 

Those nine things are compensatory access skills, orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure, sensory efficiency skills, assistive technology, career education, and self-determination.

This year they are offering four summer programs for moderate to typically developing students in grades third through 12th. The offerings include: June 15-19, Music and Lyrics; July 6-9, The Amazing Oreo, STEM and other projects relating to Oreo cookies; July 13-17, Camp Abilities UT, a returning sports and recreation favorite with a special focus on including families this year from home; and July 27-31, Tactile Arts Academy, which will include virtual field trips. 

After offered orientation meetings with students and families, the camps will run with students having one-hour whole group sessions daily and small group sessions set up according to the student’s schedule. The students each will receive a kit with supplies, and participation will take place over a combination of platforms, with Internet and a device required. 

Programs are free for students with vision impairments in Utah. Out-of-state students are welcomed after a brief intake interview, but the district/family is responsible for providing supplies. Registration is required, and the deadline this year is June 10 at midnight. All specific program details will be shared with families after registration. 

For more information on the expanded core curriculum, #9morethancore, and this year’s camp offerings, contact Robbin Clark, [email protected]. The Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (USDB) remains committed to educating students who are deaf, blind, or deaf-blind, so they can achieve their full potential. To learn more visit