From Interaction to Formal Language

Becoming the Excellent Observer and Thoughtful Communicator with Children who are Congenitally Deafblind

This Special Education Professional Renewal Graduate Course allows for graduate credit tied to attendance at this conference, which is presented in collaboration with ACVREP and the Colorado Department of Education. 

During this two-day, interactive conference we will explore ideas and questions for the adult interaction partner of congenitally deafblind learners with emerging language. Human interaction begins in infancy. From when baby and mother share a moment’s gaze. Human interaction is the basis for social exchange, the exchange of information, of ideas, of emotions. Human Interaction is conversation, both spoken and unspoken. Human interaction is the foundation for well-being and quality of life.

How do we join the person who is deafblind in sharing their world, a world experienced through touch? How do we arouse curiosity? What is the path to bonding? Why must we recognize and affirm communication before a meaningful, mutually understood language can be co-created?

We all have an inner voice of “self-talk.” What is this voice if you are congenitally deafblind and cannot easily access the visual, auditory world around you? Is your experience processed and recorded as internal tactile-bodily sensations? How do images, sounds and voices exist in your mind as thought and language? What if you do not have an empathetic partner who is attuned to your tactile-bodily experience of the world? A partner who you share with. A partner who helps you to make meaning of and put language to your experiences.

Course is graded Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory. Syllabus

  • Eligibility

    All of the participants of the course must be school-based professionals working with students with deaf-blindness and/or significant support needs.

    Graduate Students

    UNC Degree-Seeking Students

    Current UNC graduate students can register for this course.

    Non-Degree-Seeking Students

    Non-degree-seeking graduate status refers to a student who has earned at least a bachelor's degree and who either:

    • Has applied to UNC Graduate School and not yet been admitted or;
    • Wishes to take this graduate class but not pursue a degree.

    Please note, as a non-degree seeking student, you are not eligible for federal financial aid.

    Note: UNC student immunization policies will apply to your enrollment. See the current UNC vaccination policy and directions. If you enroll for a fully online course, please contact after your enrollment to request that the immunization requirement be removed.

  • Register

    Use CRN: 40651

    Follow the instructions in the PDF below to register.

    • You will use the CRN (Course Registration Number) listed above when you register in Ursa.
    • Step 1 of this process can take up to 1-3 days turnaround time, so we recommend you start the process in advance of the "add/register by" deadline posted on this page.

    Directions for course registration and activation

  • Contact Us

    Tanni Anthony

    UNC Extended Campus

  • Once You Register

    Dropping and Withdrawing

    If you wish to drop or withdraw from the course, you must do so on or before the deadline dates listed in the Course Basics box.

    • If you are registered for any other courses in the same academic term, you can drop or withdraw within your Ursa account.
    • If this is your only course this term, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or 970-351-4862.

    It is your responsibility to know the drop and withdrawal deadlines and procedures.

    Billing and Payment for Your Course

    Tuition for this course is listed in the Course Basics box on this page. Any course materials costs (textbooks, digital access, etc.) would be a separate or additional expense.

    Billing notification will be sent to your Bearmail (student email) account when your bill is ready. If you have not activated your Bearmail, directions are in the directions for course registration and activation.

    • Please pay your bill by the due date listed on your eBill to avoid service charges.
    • To view or pay your bill, log into Ursa and go to the Financial tab. You will not receive a bill in the mail; UNC has an eBill system.
    • Further instructions for finding and paying your bill are available on the UNC Bursar's website.