Student Services

Mission: “The Student Services Team actively supports students with deafness and/or blindness, and their families, so access to educational programs enhance students’ potential to be independent, contributing members of their communities.”

Student Services team members provide related services to support student education. The different disciplines are listed below. Each student services discipline uses a systematic and integrated approach to deliver schoolwide and individual strategies with the overall goal of assisting students to achieve academic, health, career, personal, and interpersonal competencies. The Student Services Department is led by the Director of Special Education, Kathy Emter 

  • The CSDB Audiologist provides services for students and staff. The Audiologist performs hearing tests; hearing aid and cochlear implant checks and maintenance; hearing aid programming when appropriate; makes earmolds; checks for signs of ear infections and makes appropriate referrals to physicians when needed.  The Audiologist also consults with students’ parents about test results and recommendations.  The Audiologist is responsible for running the FM Loan Bank for the state, housed at CSDB.


Lisa Shigio, Au.D., CCC-A

  • Being emotionally and socially healthy allows students to achieve their potential in all areas of life.  The CSDB Mental Health Team collaborates with service providers and community agencies to enhance the positive well-being of students.  The Mental Health Team offers a variety of services for students including, but not limited to: school counseling, guidance counseling support, educational psychological assessments, and consultation.  Counseling services are available as needed or can occur on a regular, scheduled basis.  Social emotional skills groups are offered, as needed, to provide support for students as well.  Assessments are undertaken based on identified areas of concern/need for individual students.


 Kathy Emter, Ed.S, NCSP, School Psychologist, School for the Deaf

 Cara Johnson, M.A., School Psychologist, School for the Blind

 Allison Sambrook, LMSW, High School Counselor, School for the Deaf

 Jessica Rogers, School Counselor, School for the Deaf

  JJ Ryan. M.A.,   School Guidance Counselor, Mainstreaming Coordinator

The focus of OT services in a school setting is to promote functional independence or participation within the educational environment.  At CSDB, OT addresses the unique sensory needs of our students with sensory loss in addition to contributing factors that may interfere with the ability to function independently in the classroom, the dorms, and around campus. Services are provided Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and may occur in the classroom, treatment room, sensory room, daily living skills room, cafeteria, dorm, on campus or in the community at a job site or school-related activity. OT collaborates with teachers, residential staff, and parents so that students demonstrate the same level of independence across all settings while using purposeful activities to enhance functional skills, such as the following:

  • Home management (meal/snack prep, making beds, doing laundry)
  • Daily living skills / self-care skills (dressing, feeding, grooming)
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Assistive technology
  • Bilateral or one-handed upper extremity skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Handwriting and keyboarding
  • Visual perceptual / visual-motor skills
  • Motor planning
  • Leisure skills/self-occupation
  • Sensory/tactile assessment, profiles, accommodations
  • Organizational skills / task planning
  • Environmental access/accommodations
  • Positioning
  • Work related tasks/skills development, activity analysis, strategies


 Alex Aversa

 Kathy Leveille, COTA

 Orientation and Mobility

  • “Orientation” refers to the ability to know where you are and where you want to go while “mobility” refers to the ability to move safely, efficiently, and effectively from one place to another.  At CSDB, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists teach independent travel skills geared toward each student’s individual needs.  This can involve, concept development, spatial awareness, cane travel, use of residual vision and other senses, navigating residential, small business, and downtown environments and accessing and using public transit.


Lisa VanDam, M.A., COMS 

Robin Tueting, M.A., COMS

Autumn Odette

  • Physical therapists work collaboratively with a student’s IEP team to improve student access and participation in school and community settings. Physical therapists provide professional expertise in the areas of self-help skills, foundational gross motor skills, mobility skills (transfers, walking, and equipment use), posture and positioning, and recreational skills for age-appropriate play. Physical therapy interventions promote skill acquisition and environmental adaptation and are commonly embedded within the context of student activities and routines.”


 Mimi McGinty, PT

  • Speech and Language services are provided for students, preschool through age 21, at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. These professionals provide direct therapy, in-depth evaluations and strong and effective IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) tailored to the individual needs of students who are deaf and or blind. Services are provided in both spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL).  Areas of focus include: articulation, language development, auditory training, speechreading, fluency, functional communication skills, pragmatics, vocabulary expansion, oral motor skills, and use of alternative communication devices. In addition to direct services, parent education and state-wide outreach services are provided.


 Pam L. Parker, B.S., M.S. Communication Specialist

 Kieva Reynolds, M.A., CCC-SLP

 Mariel Friedberg Knauss, M.S., CCC-SLP