On-Site Training and Webinars


Training programs and seminars at HKNC headquarters in Sands Point, New York, feature small classes that foster a high level of personal attention and maximize hands-on learning opportunities.

Support Service Provider Training


Online Pre-Seminar: May 23rd – June 3rd, 2022:  7-hour online self-paced course that includes readings, video tutorials and a quiz.

Onsite Training: June 11th - 12th, 2022 (Saturday & Sunday): An in-person two-day seminar (14 hours) will include presentations, discussions, and hands on-experiences. 

Location and Cost

Location: Denver, Colorado area, specific location TBD

Cost: $25 (Lunch will be provided for the onsite portion of this training)


To Register: contact Kayla Kmetz at: Kkmetz@helenkeller.org or 206-452-7970 (VP)

Registration Deadline: April 29th (limited space available)


Maricar Marquez

Maricar Marquez is the supervisor of the Independent Living Department at Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC) in Sands Point, NY.  Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, Maricar was diagnosed with Usher syndrome characterizing a combination of hearing loss and progressive vision loss caused by retinitis pigmentosa.    Maricar earned a bachelor’s degree in in Communication Arts in 1994 and a master’s degree in Administration in 1997 from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.    She also earned a certificate in Deaf-Blindness Rehabilitation from Northern Illinois University in 2010.  Maricar has provided on a national level training including touch signals, Haptics Communications, support service provider services, and communication strategies used by DeafBlind individuals.  Maricar has taught community and cultural aspects of DeafBlind people in an online certificate program in Deaf-Blindness Rehabilitation at Northern Illinois University.  Maricar has worked at HKNC since 1997 and has been in different capacities including providing individualized rehabilitation training to DeafBlind youths and adults as well as coordinating SSPs and volunteers.  Maricar has been a mentor and provided training in self-determination, advocacy, and independent living skills to young adults.

Seminar Overview:

Support Service Providers (SSPs) are specially trained individuals who enable people who are DeafBlind to access their environment and make informed decisions by providing visual and environmental information, human guide and communication facilitation. This DeafBlind led training provides foundational information needed to be an effective SSP and provides opportunities to practice skills useful in the SSP experience. There will be time for discussion and questions.

Topics Addressed in this Training Include:

The roles and responsibilities of an SSP

An overview of social and cultural aspects of the DeafBlind community

A general overview of etiologies and visual conditions commonly associated with DeafBlindness

The role of a human guide including orientation

Communication methods

Communication accomodations, modifications and tools

Empowerment through providing visual and environmental information

Problem solving strategies

Learn more about the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB) SSP program:

CCDHHDB SSP Guidelines

Adaptive Technology: Using VoiceOver with a Bluetooth Keyboard on iOS Devices

Dates: April 12th – 14th 1PM to 5PM

Location: Virtual training on Zoom

Presenter: Scott Davert – Scott Davert is the Coordinator of the Technology, Research and Innovation Center. He has over a decade of professional experience in providing training in the Adaptive Technology field working with professionals and consumers who are blind and DeafBlind. He has been using iOS for nearly 11 years. Mr. Davert is also a member of the Editorial staff on AppleVis, a community-driven website advocating for the accessibility  of products and apps for individuals who are blind and DeafBlind.

CEU’s available upon completion of this course:

  • 9.0 CATIS Points

  • 9.0 ACVREP Hours

Registration Deadline: March 31, 2022

Seminar Overview:

This seminar is intended for intermediate trainers of individuals who are DeafBlind and blind. VoiceOver on an iPhone has been a popular method of access for many years, many users also include accessories to utilize the operating system (iOS) more comfortably. Consumers who use speech, individuals who use a Mantis q40 and for those who prefer typing on a QWERTY keyboard instead of a braille one, Bluetooth keyboards often assist them in using their iOS Device more efficiently.

Topics in this seminar include:

  • Reasons why a DeafBlind individual may prefer a Bluetooth keyboard over other access methods

  • Descriptions of popular Bluetooth keyboards in use with VoiceOver

  • Basic navigation with a Bluetooth keyboard

  • When to configure VoiceOver differently and what works best for specific types of consumers

  • The foundations which will lead to the more advanced portion of the seminar where participants will learn how to use a Bluetooth keyboard in conjunction with VoiceOver in apps such as Messages, Notes, Mail, and Safari.

Pre-Requisite Skills: It is essential that the user has prior knowledge of how to utilize VoiceOver and the gestures to move around the operating system efficiently, the VoiceOver rotor and the ability to touch type.

Cost: $225.00 – Includes online training, time for Q&A and discussion. Participants will be provided with a Tech Guide to refer to during training and use as a resource in the future.

Accessibility: This training will be presented in spoken English. ASL interpretation will be available on screen as well as captions. Additionally, a full transcript and accessible versions of the PPT will be made available to participants.

Registration: To register for this training please contact Scott Davert at scott.davert@HKNC.org or call Pam Farney at (516) 833-8348

Professional Training Seminar Application

PDF iconClick here for the Professional Training Seminar Application in PDF.Microsoft Office document iconClick here for the Professional Training Seminar Application in Word.

For additional information, contact PLD@hknc.org.