Teen Events

2017 Transition Institute will be hosted by Alabama ~ save the date for June 22-25!

Transition Institute – Save the Date 2017

We will share more information as it becomes available.


2016 Transition Institute was hosted in Georgia

We want to say a big THANK YOU to each and every person who helped to make Let the Big Dawg DREAM! Transition Institute an awesome reality.  We appreciate your participation, hard work, and enthusiasm! 

Please visit our blog and Facebook page!

NCDB 2016 Transition Blog http://ncdbtransition2016.blogspot.com/

Transition Institute for Young Adults who are Deaf-Blind Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TIYADB


What is GSAP’s Teen and Young Adult Program?

GSAP sponsors a transition institute for teens and young adults who are deaf-blind and are planning to transition to work, technical school, or college.  The event is planned with other deaf-blind projects in the southeast including Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Mississippi. This Southeast Regional Transition Institute is held in a different host state each year and brings together 20-25 young people for a fun weekend.

These events are designed to help build leadership skills, and encourage self determination and self advocacy while providing opportunities for making friends and having fun. Presenters at these retreats are often deaf-blind adults who provide information and inspiration to teens and challenge them to take an active role in planning their future.

Parents get a chance to talk with other parents of teens who are deaf-blind and get valuable information on issues of transition. In the past, parent sessions have covered establishing wills and special needs trusts, navigating the changes in SSI when children become adults, using Vocational Rehabilitation and Helen Keller Nation Center resources, and Person-Centered Planning.

At all teen and young adult events, support service providers (SSPs) are provided for all young people in attendance. SSPs help facilitate communication between signers and non-signers, help explain what is going on, and help with travel for those who need sighted guide or some help getting around in a new place. Interpreters and assisted listening devices are also provided to make sure everyone has full access to the weekend.

Who can Participate?

Teens and young adults ages 14-22 who have both vision and hearing losses and who plan to transition to college, technical school or work are invited to attend the teen events. Teens under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent. Parents of all teens and young adults are encouraged to attend.



  • Weekend events
  • Opportunities to attend national workshops
  • Expand your knowledge, develop new skills and prepare for your future
  • Get ahead and prepare for your next transition now


Make new friends who are deafblind from Georgia and other states

  • Keep in touch with new friends through email, your Blackberry, TTY or even the telephone
  • Attend retreats, social events and workshops
  • Have fun

Networking and Mentors

  • Meet successful role models who are deaf-blind
  • Connect with professionals and agencies in Georgia and the United States


  • Parent sessions at retreats feature professionals with expertise in transition issues for young adults who are dea-blind.
  • A chance to share experiences with other parents.

Click here to view the Video: Teen Institute Deaf-blind Young Adult Weekend


2015 Southeast Family Deaf-Blind Transition Institute, June 18-21, 2015 in Lexington, KY

2013 DB Teen and Family SE Regional Transition Institute, Feb. 15-18, 2013 in Spartanburg, SC

2012 Southeast Regional Transition Institute, January, 20-23, 2012 in Jackson, MS

AADB National Conference in Kentucky, June, 2011!
The Southeast Regional Teen Group sent representatives to the National American Association for the DeafBlind (AADB) Conference this summer instead of holding the usual winter weekend retreat. The AADB Conference was held in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, June 19-23.

GSAP Teen and Family Weekend at Camp Dream

Friday-Sunday, November 5-7, 2010
Arrive Friday, November 5th between 5:00-6:30pm
Depart Sunday, November 7th at 11:00 am

Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation

6391 Roosevelt Highway, Warm Springs, Georgia 31830


The Georgia Sensory Assistance Project (GSAP) in collaboration with state Deafblind Projects from Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas held a Teen Retreat in Macon, Georgia, January 16-18, 2009 at the Georgia Academy for the Blind. Twenty-seven teens and young adults with vision and hearing loss attended the weekend event for a chance to meet and socialize with other young people and be inspired by dynamic presenters who are deafblind. Kim Powers Smith, former host of the Emmy award winning TV show Kim’s World and frequent presenter on advocacy for persons with disabilities encouraged the young adults to be self advocates and take an active role in making decisions about their future. Jason Corning, a college junior from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, worked with participants on using sites like Facebook and My Space to do social networking, and gave tips on giving presentations to help others understand deafblindness. Fifteen family members attended and learned about services offered by Vocational Rehabilitation and the Helen Keller National Center, and were encouraged to make their children active participants in the transition process.

One highlight of the event was a panel of young people and adults with deafblindness who talked about their experiences in college, at work, and in the community and the barriers and supports they have encountered. Matthew Roush from Atlanta and Virginia Jordan from Athens, both veterans of GSAP teen events, were panel members, as were Leigh Russell, from the Georgia Association of the Deaf Blind (GADB), and Kim Paulk, an adult with deafblindness who lives in Macon. Other highlights included a fun evening of bowling, dancing and karaoke, and a chance for the teens to share their talents in music, martial arts, and painting.

GSAP would like to recognize people and organizations who helped plan and execute the event. Dr. Dorothy Arensman and Mr. Frank Reynolds at the Georgia Academy for the Blind for allowing us to use their facilities and taking such good care of us, Eric Hefner and Chad Oliver of Zaxby’s of Middle Georgia for providing a delicious lunch, Tom Ridgeway and the Macon Lions Club for providing refreshments for our Saturday Coffee House, Georgia Perimeter College Interpreter Program for sending great Support Services Provider (SSP) volunteers and the student volunteers from Stratford Academy in Macon who helped on Saturday.

Kim Powers Smith and Chris Myltek cheer for a team response to questions posed by Mike Fagbemi from the National consortium on Deaf Blindness.