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A young girl in the Infant Toddler program with pigtails and a polka dot sweater holds on to a tricycle by the handle bars.
April 29, 2023 | 9:00 AM

Early Connections Conference

The Early Connections Conference brings together families like yours—with children from birth to age 7 who are blind, deafblind, or low-vision, including those who have multiple complex disabilities—to engage with each other and leading professionals in the field.

Let’s connect.
Let’s engage!

On Saturday, April 29, join us on the Perkins campus for the annual Early Connections Conference—our 40th year of bringing together parents, medical professionals and educators in a supportive environment of learning, relationship-building and growth.

Our theme this year is engagement, and our sessions will focus on getting your blind or visually impaired child on an early path to technology and literacy – with an emphasis on the importance of play, social interaction and community.

Registration is open! Plus, find more exciting details on this page as we get closer to the conference.

Please note, childcare is not provided at this year’s conference.

Colorful backpacks and white mobility canes lined up neatly in a row of four cubbies in a classroom

Registration and tickets

Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
EarlyCC 2023 – Early Bird Rate
$30.00
45 available
EarlyCC 2023 – Regular Rate
$40.00
Unlimited

Keynote Presentation

Brenda Allair:
Choose Your Own Journey

When a child is diagnosed with a visual impairment, families often feel that the world has closed in on them. Thoughts of the future may bring fear instead of joy – and the path forward may seem full of obstacles.

In her keynote, Brenda Allair, Lead Educational Consultant at the New England Consortium on Deafblindness (NEC), will discuss how finding ways to engage with chosen communities – including family, friends, support networks and others – can help families recognize that they are not alone, and to begin to create new opportunities for exploration, connection and adventures.

Headshot of Brenda Allair

What to expect

Above all, if you attend the conference, you can expect to leave with valuable advice and tips that will help you make connections with – and for – your child. There will also be sparks of inspiration and “magic moments” that will help you better understand your child’s journey, today and tomorrow.

Our speakers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, but all have one thing in common: they are leaders, experts and innovators in their fields, ranging from specialists in technology, literacy, adapted physical education and Orientation & Mobility to folks who work every day with Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI), deafblindness, and medically complex diagnoses.

And while there will be lots of learning, there will also be lots of fun – including time to connect with other families to swap stories, share tips and just get to know one another.

Please note, childcare is not provided at this year’s conference.

What else can you look forward to?

  • Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided
  • Raffles, games and prizes throughout the day
  • Orientation and mobility training simulations
  • Fun and educational displays from our vendors, including:
  • Yogibo
  • Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
  • National Braille Press
  • The New England Consortium on Deafblindness (NEC)
  • Perkins Library
  • Perkins Admissions
  • The CVI Center at Perkins
  • Perkins Community Programs
  • Perkins Infant-Toddler Program

What are people saying about the Early Connections Conference?

Parent

“It’s always great to listen to tips on making learning more accessible for our kiddos. I always enjoy hearing from the other parents’ perspective – it is extremely powerful!”

Educator

“I love the opportunity to hear from other professionals in the field! I especially enjoyed when [the CVI moms] shared their journey. I found this so inspiring. ”

Parent

“What I liked most about this conference is the knowledge that I’m taking away that will help my daughter.”

Past sessions

Get a sense of the expertise and insight available at the Early Connections Conference. Browse past sessions for best practices, advice, and action plans from some of the best in early education for children with vision impairment.

Inclusion and access are our priority.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including those with disabilities, to engage fully.

For questions or to request accommodations at the Early Connections Conference, please contact our team at [email protected] or call 617-972-7573.

Please contact us by April 1, 2023 to help us provide seamless access.