A spring newsletter brought to you by Rhonda Davis, OSB Parent Liaison
A view of a Star Magnolia in bloom against a deep blue sky and and the pale yellow walls of OSB's west wing.

~Springtime Renewal~

Isn't it a gift! The flowers, the sunshine, the shedding of coats, hats, and mittens! All of it adds up to new beginnings and fresh starts...And thoughts of fun with family and friends.  I wonder how many of us are taking the time to try something new?  One thing that may be helpful to many of our families is to pull out your child's "ACCESS" card and to consider this: one Philly ACCESS card will allow entrance for 4 people into many regional attractions for only $2 each. Take a look at the list below, under "Resources," or HERE, and pick a new place to explore with your child! Refresh, recharge, and soak in the perfect temperatures before the air turns "swimmy!" 

Speaking of "swimmy"...It's ON! OSB's second annual Funky Friday BBQ and Swim Party!  If you made it last year, you're in the "know". We had an awesome time, and hope to see you this year on Friday, May 31st from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.  Please keep an eye out for the flyer and Evites, and mark your calendar.  While you've got your calendar out, make some time on Thursday, May 16, 10 am to 12 pm for a parent workshop presented by the PA Family Network. Check out the information box below under "Workshops@Woodbine House."  The parent/caregiver workshops are a wonderful opportunity to connect with other OSB families in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  Come for the workshop, stay for lunch, and leave with new friends.  

Here's hoping we can all find new ways to enjoy a springtime renewal!


~~Therapy Thoughts~~

~~Welcome to~~ Therapy Thoughts, where we will tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of OSB's talented therapists- in Occupational and Physical Therapy, Orientation & Mobility, and Speech & Language Pathology.  Below is an example of a "Busy Wall" which was created in collaboration with three OSB departments!
                                                           Meet the BUSY WALL                                                                    
Busy Wall: 4 shapes affixed to the wall, about 1 foot by 1 foot large, each containing an activity.  A blue square holds 9 padlocks with keys, a red circle has nails where rubber bands can be placed in different shapes, a yellow triangle holds large screws that can be moved in and out, and a green hexagon has holes and pegs to rearrange.
There is a section with locks and keys. A section to make shapes with rubber bands, a section with screws (that can't be completely removed) and a section with pegs that have different size widths and holes.        

This is not the first busy wall Occupational Therapist Keli Page and Maintenance staff member Vinny D'Angelico have designed together to benefits students.  It is not the first, but ask Kelli, and she'll tell you, it is the best!  The two have collaborated on other Busy Walls in other classrooms, in an effort to help students learn and practice fine motor skills, and to work towards IEP goals.  As a result of their previous experiences, and with input from High School classroom teacher Cheyenne Potts, Vinny has built a customizable tool that can be easily changed to reflect the needs of the child it was made for. The colorful shapes can be removed and replaced with new challenges for the student as her skills improve. This kind of collaboration designed with specific student needs and goals in mind is one of the things that makes our school so special.

Thanks to Paraeducator Lisa Wilson for sharing this excellent example of OSB teamwork!
Workshops@Woodbine House

Creating a Vision for a Good Life   Thursday, May 16,  10:00am to 12:00pm, Lunch to Follow

PA Family Network will be at OSB to share the "LifeCourse Framework" and other tools to help families:

Develop a vision for a Good Life;
Think about what they need to know and do;
Identify how to find or develop supports; and 
Discover how to have an “Everyday Life” in their community.

This workshop is for parents of children at all ages and stages of life! 
Call 215-877-0313 x305 or email to reserve your spot!

Woodbine House is located at 6398 Woodbine Ave, corner of Woodbine and N. 64th St., around the corner from OSB's main entrance. (No need to check in at the main entrance, go directly to 6398 Woodbine Ave. There is plenty of street parking!)
Second Annual Funky Friday BBQ and Swim Party
Friday, May 31st, 5:30-8:30

Please join us as we wrap up another beautiful year of learning and growth at OSB!
More info to come to your email inbox and your child's backpack, but please...
PERC Corner
Where you'll get the latest from your PERC representatives

Designer Bag Bingo April 27, 2019
The PERC is teaming up with Overbrook in hosting it's 2nd Annual Designer Bag Bingo!  It was a huge success last year and we are currently in the process of planning another great event!  Get your daubers ready and group your friends and sign up to have an adult fun-filled night!  

Staff Appreciation Luncheon May 1, 2019
The PERC is happy to, once again, give back to every employee at Overbrook to thank them for their wonderful service to the school with our Staff Appreciation Luncheon on May 1, 2019! We are asking for volunteers to serve the food and for all guardians and parents to donate a dessert of some sort.  We will be sending home slips for guardians and parents to fill out with their donation to help fill our "sweets table."  All donations are greatly appreciated.  

PERC Meeting May 9, 2019
Our next scheduled PERC meeting is May 9, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Nevil Center Gym.  All are welcome.  Light refreshments will be served. 

Spring Concert Tricky Tray May 16, 2019
We are asking for any and all donations to fill our baskets that we raffle off during the spring concert.  We raise money to give back to the school.  Please consider donating something to the PERC to help us create amazing baskets for the spring concert.  Everyone looks forward to the baskets and they enjoy themselves when they are being raffled off!  Please contact us at for any and all donations!  Thank you in advance!

Pastries with Parents June 10, 2019
We are hosting our 2nd Annual Pastries with Parents on June 10, 2019! Come join your child and enjoy yummy treats and coffee/tea with us.  It's our way of saying thank you for all you've done for the PERC and to have a very special moment to celebrate you with your child.  We all enjoyed ourselves last year and the kids enjoyed spending time with their parents, bonding and having fun.

~Mark Your Calendars~ 


Elmwood Park Zoo Presents:  Early Access Morning and Quiet Evenings

Enjoy discounted zoo admission in a calm environment, before or after regular operating hours.

Early Access days, 9 am to 10 am:  May 4th, June 1st, July 6th, August 3rd September 7th.

Quiet Evenings, 6 pm to 8 pm: June 27th, July 25th, August 29th

For more information go to To register for Early Morning Access go here, or Quiet Evenings go here.

Check out the following workshops presented by The Institute on Disabilities of Temple University
Families First 2019 Spring Session

April 11 Thursday

5:30 -7:30 PM

Challenging Behaviors
What families can do to make a difference
Family Support Services
5548 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19139 (Entrance on 56th Street)


April 29 Monday 

5:30-8 PM
Transition to Kindergarten
What to expect for my child with behavioral challenges or autism
3300 Henry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19129 

April 30 Tuesday
10 AM - 12 PM
Community Resources for Special Needs

Tabor Children Services
57 E. Armat Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144(Entrance on Kenyon Street)
May 9   Thursday
10 AM - 12:30 PM 
Transition Brunch  
A panel of professionals and parents will discuss transitioning 
4025 Chestnut St. 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104  
May 16  Thursday

5:30-8:30 PM  

Understanding Evaluations and Reevaluations  
What different testing measures mean for your child; how to be an active part of this process
Resources for Human Development
4700 Wissahickon Ave.
Suite #126, 
Philadelphia, PA 19144  


Cathy Roccia-Meier
TEL:  215-204-1772

Elyn's monthly Parent Partners Calendar and Coupon book for April 2019. April 2019 Activites and April 2019 coupon book


Reminder!  ArtReach Access Philly  
The ACCESS Philly Program allows individuals with a PA ACCESS Card to attend 48 cultural sites & theaters for just $2!  For more info, click here. 

How it works:

  • Bring a valid ACCESS Card with a photo ID
  • One (1) ACCESS Card admits the cardholder and up to three (3) people at a rate of $2 per person. The person whose name appears on the ACCESS Card must be present to obtain the discount.
Check out where you can use the ACCESS Card:

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

American Swedish Historical Museum

Bartram’s Garden

Betsy Ross House

Brandywine River Museum

Chanticleer Garden

Christ Church and Christ Church Burial Ground

Eastern State Penitentiary

Franklin Institute

Franklin Square – Parx Liberty Carousel

Franklin Square – Philly Mini Golf


Independence Seaport Museum

Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion

James A. Michener Art Museum

Longwood Gardens

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Museum of the American Revolution

Mutter Museum

National Constitution Center

National Liberty Museum

National Museum of American Jewish History

Penn Museum

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Physick House

Please Touch Museum

Powel House

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Tyler Arboretum


Wharton Esherick Museum

Woodmere Art Museum

~Previously Shared Resources~ 
New Podcast
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has launched a podcast! Some topics covered may be of interest to parents of blind or visually impaired students If you enjoy learning while listening, check it out here:   Listen while you drive or do chores!

Coats for Wheelchair Users
Looking for winter coats and other cozy gear for the wheelchair crowd? Take a look at this special shop: X-Ability.  (

Thanks to Beth L. and Vicky for sharing the above resources! 
Now for a little fun! Check out Blindfold Games- Audio games for the visually impaired community.
What is the Medical Assistance Transportation Program?
The Medical Assistance Transportation Program, also known as MATP, provides transportation to medical appointments for Medical Assistance recipients who do not have transportation available to them. The individual’s county of residence will provide the type of transportation that is the least expensive while still meeting their needs.”
Where appropriate, the county MATP may reimburse consumers who have access to private vehicles (their own or another individual’s) but cannot meet their own transportation needs. This reimbursement will be at a specified rate per mile for travel expenses plus parking and tolls. The rate of reimbursement is $.12 per mile.
Enrollment Phone Numbers By County:

Children under age 5 who have Medical Assistance are eligible for WIC regardless of income!
This can be a great help when income is lost to care for a child with disabilities.  Children under age 5 who receive MA are eligible, and this includes foster children. Parental or foster parent income is not considered. WIC does not require proof of citizenship or alien status.” - PA WIC Fact Sheet
Elwyn's "A List" of Philadelphia Special Needs  Resources!
Another comprehensive listing of local resources. Always good to bookmark for future needs.

Elwyn's "A List"

A one-stop resource shop all Philly parents should be aware of is CAP4Kids, developed by Dr. Daniel Taylor of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. If you need something, you can find it there! Consider downloading Cap4Kids on your mobile device. It’s mobile friendly, so you can access help from anywhere. You can also sign up for Dr. Taylor's weekly emails which highlight different resources each week.

A recent email from Dr. Taylor describes hardships suffered by some Philadelphia families due to financial concerns. There are some neighborhoods where 70% of residents live below the poverty line. Many have housing issues that come from tenant/owner disputes, with tenants usually getting no representation.

On the website, under the Housing/Utilities tab, there is a whole section for Tenant Rights, including the newly developed Tenant Legal Aid Resource Hotline and the amazing Philly Tenant Resource Guide.

This is just one example of the many wonderful resources you will find at CAP4Kids. Do download the app today!
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Rhonda Davis OSB Parent Liaison Contact Info:

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Overbrook School for the Blind · 6333 Malvern Ave. · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19151 · USA

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