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General

  • Your VI teacher (TVI) should give you a copy of the Functional Vision Evaluation and Learning Media Assessment with detailed information about how your particular student uses his/her vision
  • Students with low vision should be encouraged to use their eyes to the maximum. Vision is not diminished by use.
  • Allow the student to adjust his/her work to a position that he/she is most comfortable with
  • Do not use large print materials when regular print will suffice
  • Whenever an assignment refers to a picture (as in math workbooks) allow the student to look at the picture in a regular print book. The large print process distorts pictures

Reading the Chalkboard/Whiteboard

  • Seat student near the board (within 3 to 5 feet) and in a central location, but within a group of students
  • Verbalize as you write on board
  • If possible, provide a copy of what you have written on the board to the student
  • Have another student with good handwriting copy off the board (carbon or NCR paper can be used and the original can be given to the student with a visual impairment)
  • Allow student to use a telescope supplied by the TVI (if this is done the student will probably need to be seated back away from the board to increase his/her visual field)
  • A clean board makes a better contrast and is easier to read
  • Avoid using red, orange, or yellow markers as these are difficult to see

Projector Screen/Video

  • Seat student close to the screen
  • Provide student with your overhead projector sheet or master copy so he or she can read and/or copy from it
  • Use a dark (preferably black) Vis-à-vis pen on the overhead sheet
  • Discuss movies thoroughly afterwards to make sure the student understands major concepts presented
  • A darkened room provides more contrast
  • Move the projector closer to the screen to produce a smaller, more distinct image
  • Make a good photo copy of your master
  • Do not use red ink
  • Please be sure that your tests are completely legible. Ask the student to read parts of the test to you privately to be sure he or she can see all parts of the test
  • Give the student a little extra time if needed
  • Avoid handing the student a paper and saying, “Do the best you can”. This only cheats the student out of the continuity of your lesson and can be frustrating
  • Use an app, such as JoinMe, to connect the teacher’s computer screen and/or interactive white board with the student’s iPad

Illumination

  • Light intensity can be regulated by adjusting distance from the window or light source
  • Artificial lights should be used whenever brightness levels become low in any part of the room.
  • Avoid glares on working surfaces (a piece of dark colored paper taped to the entire desk surface diminishes glare off the desk)
  • A student with albinism will be sensitive to the light and will sometimes require an adjustment period of about 10 minutes when he or she comes in from being in the sun

Seating

  • Avoid having students work in their own shadows or facing the light
  • Students may need to change their seats whenever they desire more or less light

Contrast

  • Dry erase boards used with dark markers offer better contrast
  • Soft lead pencils and felt-tipped pens with black ink are recommended for use on unglazed light and tinted paper
  • Good contrast and white space between lines of print offer the best viewing comfort for lengthy reading assignments
  • Avoid using red/orange/yellow on interactive boards

Tests

  • Tests should be dark and clear
  • If there is a time element, please remember that a person with a visual impairment will frequently be a slower reader than a person with normal sight of the same intelligence. His or her eyes may tire much faster, so tests in the afternoon can be particularly difficult to read
  • On timed drills allow at least double the time for a student with a visual impairment. Ideally they should be untimed
  • If the student is comfortable performing orally, tests could be given orally by another person who fills in the blanks. Please be careful here, as some people are not auditory performers, and it is a misconception that all blind and low vision students can perform better auditorally.

Physical Education/Recess

  • Check with TVI to see if there are any restrictions of activity or on visual fields
  • Ball Sports: practice catching, kicking, and batting with students to check whether or not he/she can see the ball in time to catch, kick, or bat
  • Use audible goals and/or balls (available from TVI) or use a radio as a goal locator (as in basketball)

Orientation and Mobility

  • Allow student to explore your room during the first week and whenever you make any major changes
  • Show student where his or her desk is, where materials are located, papers turned in, etc.
  • Point out the restrooms, water fountains, library, office, cafeteria, gym, and bus stops
  • Contact a certified O&M specialist for detailed information

View and/or download Communities of Practice in Tech and Literacy: A Dynamic Example from the Field - Powerpoint

http://bit.ly/virtualcop-aerintlconf

Download PowerPoint (pptx, 7.3 mb)

 

Today’s Objectives

  • Describe: A “Community of Practice” and its value in expanding access to educational resources.
  • Discover: The Paths to Literacy site, use of social media platforms, and interactive features.
  • Discuss: Ways a Virtual Community of Practice supports teachers and families in literacy activities.

 

What is a “Community of Practice”?

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

-- Etienne Wenger (2006),  Cognitive Anthropologist
http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

 

Elements of a CoP

The Domain:
Shared interest and values

The Community:
Members interact and learn from each together

The Practice:
Mutual development of a shared repertoire of resources:  experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring problems - a shared practice

 

Levels of Participation

http://wenger-trayner.com/resources/slide-forms-of-participation/

 

Relevancy to Itinerant TVIs

  • Invite different and informal levels of participation
  • Focus on shared values, goals
  • Combination of mentors and mentees
  • Access to shared expertise, experiences

-- by Etienne Wenger http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/2855.html  
(Harvard Business School, 2002)

 

Example: Teachers’ technology use

Teachers and students in general education:

  • Improved infrastructure
  • Increased funding and availability of technology
  • Standards for tech instruction in pre-service
  • Professional development
  • Learning communities
  • In-service trainings

 

TVIs and students with visual impairments:

  • Improved infrastructure
  • Increased funding and availability of technology
  • Standards for tech instruction in pre-service
  • Professional development?

 

What is Paths to Literacy?

  • A community of practice that is dynamic
  • A symposium or think tank that gives people access to ideas and conversations about literacy
  • A home to multiple platforms, including an interactive  website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

 

Content Areas

The site is divided  into 12 content areas:

  • General Literacy
  • Learning Media Assessment
  • Emergent Literacy
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Braille
  • Struggling Readers
  • Print
  • Writing
  • Dual Media
  • English Language Learners
  • Auditory Strategies
  • Math Literacy

 

Features of the Site

 

Value of Registering on the Site

  • Email notifications of blog posts
  • Subscribe to learn when posts are made in different areas
  • Make comments, ask questions
  • Submit a post and earn continuing education credit!

Register to Post entries on Paths to Literacy website.

 

Finding the Community: Interactive Possibilities of Site. We need to go to where the discussions are happening:

  • Conversations/comments
  • Dear Paths
  • Social Media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter - The Power of the #, immediacy, quick links (e.g. Assistive Technology Resource List)
    • Pinterest - Visually organize information, locate ideas on topics and themes that are of interest
  • Great way to share information quickly!
  • Conversation threads and meaningful engagement continues to increase

 

How do people follow us?

 

Who is in our community?

 

Non-Registered Users

136,500+ unique visitors to the site since launch in April 2012

 

International Community

  • Visitors from 196 countries
  • Spanish-language posts
  • Cross-cultural content
  • Posts from UK, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Philippines

 

Some of our favorites!

 

Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu, TVI & Doctoral Candidate


www.facebook.com/yuetingsiu
Twitter: @TVI_ting

Charlotte Cushman, Project Manager

Perkins School for the Blind 

Cyral Miller, Outreach Director

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

AER International, Friday, March 28, 2014

Download PowerPoint (pptx, 2mb)

SLIDE 2: Service Intensity Subcommittee Members- 2010 to present

Current Members
Rona Pogrund, TTU, Chair
Cyral Miller, TSBVI Outreach
Frankie Swift, SFASU
Kitra Gray, Region 10 ESC
Mary Ann Siller, Richardson ISD
Chrissy Cowan, TSBVI Outreach
Michael Munro, SFASU      
Tracy Hallak, SFASU
Debby Cady, SFASU
Cecilia Robinson, Region 4 ESC
Shannon Darst, TTU Ph.D.  student
Former Members
Jim Durkel, TSBVI Outreach
Suzy Scannell, Region 4
Steve Young, Alief ISD Administrator
Dixie Mercer, SFASU
Ann Rash, TSBVI Outreach
Michelle Chauvin, parent

SLIDE 3: What is the VISSIT  ?

Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas (VISSIT)
Type of service: direct intervention and collaborative consultation
Focus on student need
Appropriate for ALL students with visual impairments

SLIDE 4: History of the VISSIT

Creation of the VISSIT
Field trials
June 2013 retreat of the Service Intensity Subcommittee of the Texas Committee for the Education of Students with Visual Impairments

SLIDE 5: History of the VISSIT (continued)

Validation study of the scale
Research study proposal through Texas Tech University’s Institutional Review Board
Study approval and participant selection
Study implementation

SLIDE 6: The VISSIT: First Page

          This slide shows the first page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.

Type of TVI ServiceDirect Instruction from TVI Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

COMPENSATORY SKILLS

 

 

  Literacy Instruction

 

 

Includes emergent literacy, pre-braille, braille, Nemeth, access to print materials, alternate literacy through signs and pictures, etc.

 

 

  Organization and Study Skills

 

 

Includes note-taking, research, time & material management, calendar/ schedule system, etc.

 

 

  Communication Modes

 

 

Includes body responses, gestures, object/tactile/picture symbols, calendars,  sign language, tactile signs for students who are deafblind

 

 

PAGE TOTALS =>

   

 

SLIDE 7: The VISSIT: Final Page

This slide shows the final page of the scale.  The scale is three columns wide, with column heading from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  The final page of the scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.  Rows seven through nine include the ECC area of Self-Determination heading and the description of self-determination.  Columns ten and eleven are the Column Subtotals for columns with column headings labeled “Direct Instruction Column Subtotal” in column two and “Educational Team Support Column Subtotal” in column three.  Rows twelve through fourteen include contributing factors score boxes for both columns two and three, as well as the Additional Areas of Family Support Subtotal score box in column three.  Row fifteen includes the score box for the total scores for direct instruction from TVI in column two and educational team support/collaboration in column three.

Type of TVI ServiceDirect Instruction from TVI Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area

 

 

SELF-DETERMINATION

 

 

Includes enabling student choice-making, self-evaluation, self-advocacy, and assertiveness

 

 

COLUMN SUBTOTALS

Direct Instruction Column Subtotal

Educational Team Support Column Subtotal

A

 

E

 

Contributing Factor: Transition

B

 

F

 

Contributing Factor: Medical Status/Condition

C

 

G

 

Additional Areas of Family Support Subtotal

 

H

 

TOTAL

D

 

I

 

SLIDE 8: The VISSIT: Additional Areas of Family Support Table

          This slide shows the Additional Areas of Family Support (AAFS) Table.  This table contains two columns and eight rows.  The first column describes the areas of family need.  The second column contains the description of the value range of the scores used to score the areas of family need described in column one.  Row eight is the scoring box for the AAFS table. 

Areas of Family NeedValue Range

 

 

There is a need for:

0=No Need
1=Low Need
4=Medium Need
7=High Need
10=Intense Need

Consistency of educational concepts across school and home settings (e.g., communication systems, behavioral techniques, routines, independent living skills, environmental adaptations, adapted toys/equipment, etc.).

 

Connecting family members to outside agencies and support services (e.g., family organizations, state and local community resources including related agencies, camps, respite, etc.).

 

Facilitating active family participation in special education meetings and medical visits (e.g., training on special education laws and guidelines, interpreting medical information, accompanying family to medical visits).

 

Assistance in overcoming cultural/language differences.

 

Strategies to support family members in bonding and interactions with their child.

 

SUBTOTAL

H

 

SLIDE 9: The VISSIT: Recommended Direct Service Time Range Form

This slide shows the recommended schedule of service minutes for direct service time.  The table contains four columns and fourteen rows.  The first column is the list of the score ranges on the TOTAL direct service score on the VISSIT.  The second column includes the recommended service time ranges for each score range.  The third column is the space where the actual total from the VISSIT  direct service time need is recorded.  The fourth column is the space where the actual recommended direct service time will be recorded.

DIRECT SERVICE TIMETOTAL (box D) from direct service columnYOUR Recommended AMOUNT OF DIRECT SERVICE TIME
(MINUTES PER WEEK)

Score on rubric

Suggested service time

 

 

106+

600 or more minutes/wk

 

 

97 - 106

480 - 600 minutes/wk

 

 

86 -96

360 - 480 minutes/wk

 

 

75 - 85

270 - 360 minutes/wk

 

 

60 -74

180 - 270 minutes/wk

 

 

45 - 59

120 - 180 minutes/wk

 

 

38 – 44

90 - 120 minutes/wk

 

 

29 – 37

60 - 90 minutes/wk

 

 

17 –  28

30 - 60 minutes/wk

 

 

10 - 16

15 - 30 minutes/wk

 

 

0 – 9

0 - 15 minutes/wk

 

 

BASED on a 2400-minute/per week system --- 2400 minutes in a school week (includes a 7 hour, 15 minute school day, plus 45 minutes for lunch [lunch time can be used for instruction])
2400 min per week = 480 minutes per day available for instruction

SLIDE 10: The VISSIT: Recommended Educational Team Support/Collaboration Service Time Range Form

This slide shows the recommended schedule of service minutes for educational team support/collaborative service time.  The table contains four columns and fourteen rows.  The first column is the list of the score ranges on the TOTAL collaborative consultation service score on the VISSIT.  The second column includes the recommended service time ranges for each score range.  The third column is the space where the actual total from the VISSIT educational team support/collaboration service time need is recorded.  The fourth column is the space where the actual recommended educational team support/collaboration service time will be recorded.

Educational Team
Support/Collaboration Time
TOTAL (box I) from the educational team support/ collaboration columnYOUR Recommended AMOUNT OF EDUCATIONAL TEAM SUPPORT/COLLABORATION SERVICE TIME
(MINUTES PER WEEK)

Score on rubric

Suggested service time

 

 

112+

600 or more minutes/wk

 

 

101 - 111

450 - 600 minutes/wk

 

 

91 - 100

300 - 450 minutes/wk

 

 

81 - 90

150 - 300 minutes/wk

 

 

69 - 80

110 - 150 minutes/wk

 

 

58 - 68

70 - 110 minutes/wk

 

 

47 – 57

30 - 70 minutes/wk

 

 

40  –  46

15 - 30 minutes/wk

 

 

27 – 39

10 - 15 minutes/wk

 

 

14 - 26

5 - 10 minutes/wk

 

 

0 – 13

0 - 5 minutes/wk

 

 

SLIDE 11: The VISSIT: Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of the frequently-asked questions in the VISSIT.  They are divided into three sections: purpose, how to use the VISSIT, and effect on programming.

PURPOSE

Q:  Can the VISSIT be used for all students on my caseload, including those with multiple impairments and/or those with deafblindness? How about infants?

A:  The VISSIT is designed to determine the appropriate type and amount of services needed for ALL students with visual impairments on the TVI caseload.

Q:  Is the VISSIT to be used as a caseload analysis?

A:  The VISSIT is not a caseload analysis tool but can be used as part of a process to determine appropriate caseload size. The VISSIT does not take into account issues related to workload (e.g., planning, travel, and material preparation).

HOW TO USE THE VISSIT

Q:  Can professionals who are not teachers of students with visual impairments fill out the VISSIT?

A:  The VISSIT must be completed by a TVI who has the vision-specific knowledge to quantify the levels of service intensity.

Q:  How often should the VISSIT be completed? When might I complete the VISSIT?

A:  The VISSIT should be completed prior to any determination of service type and amount. It should be completed prior to any IEP or IFSP meeting so that the TVI can have data to determine and support recommended type and amount of services for students.

SLIDE 12: The VISSIT Validation Study

  • 38 responded and consented to participate
  • 25 actual participants
  • 81 actual VISSITs completed and returned
  • Electronic survey
  • Results of the study indicated that the tool is valid and reliable

SLIDE 13: Was the VISSIT, in its entirety, easy to use?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to ease of use of the VISSIT.  The table is made of eight columns and two rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and row two includes the results. 

#QuestionCompletely unclearMostly unclearClearMostly clearCompletely clearTotal ResponsesMean

1

How clear?

1

1

3

13

7

25

3.96

SLIDE 14: Time Needed to Complete VISSIT

The average time it took to complete the VISSIT per student was 31 minutes per student.

Average time to complete was faster (15-20 minutes) after completion of several scales and with more familiarity.

SLIDE 15: Did you base your VISSIT scoring of student need on the student's evaluation results?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to how the participants based their scoring of student need on the VISSIT.  The table is made of eight columns and two rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and row two includes the results. 

#QuestionCompletely not based on evaluation resultsMostly not based on evaluation resultsSomewhat based on evaluation resultsMostly based on evaluation resultsCompletely based on evaluation resultsTotal ResponsesMean

1

Based on student evaluation results?

0

0

4

10

10

24

4.25

SLIDE 16: Did the results of the VISSIT match your professional judgment regarding student need and recommended type and amount of service?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to whether the results of the VISSIT matched the participant’s professional judgment regarding student need and recommended type and amount of service.  The table is made of eight columns and two rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and row two includes the results. 

#QuestionCompletely did not matchMostly did not matchSomewhat matchedMostly matchedCompletely matchedTotal ResponsesMean

1

Matched?

2

1

4

10

7

24

3.79

SLIDE 17: Did your VISSIT results directly translate into the type and amount of service you recommended for your student's IEP?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to how the results of the VISSIT directly translated into the type and amount of service they recommended for their students’ IEPs.  The table is made of eight columns and two rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and row two includes the results. 

#QuestionCompletely did not translate to recommendationMostly did not translate to recommendationSomewhat translated to recommendationMostly translated to recommendationCompletely translated to recommendationTotal ResponsesMean

1

Translated to recommendation?

0

1

5

10

8

24

4.04

SLIDE 18: Do you feel you would use the VISSIT in the future for determining the type and amount of service you recommend for your students?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to their opinions about using the VISSIT in the future.  The table is made of four columns and four rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column.  Rows two through four include the results. 

#AnswerResponse%

2

Yes

22

96%

1

No

1

4%

 

Total

23

100%

SLIDE 19: Do you feel that the VISSIT is a better tool to use for determining the type and amount of service than other available tools or methods you are currently using?

This table shows the responses of participants in regard to their opinion of the VISSIT when compared to other tools or methods used for determining service time.  The table is made of four columns and four  rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column.  Rows two through four include the results. 

#AnswerResponse%

2

Yes

18

78%

1

No

5

22%

 

Total

23

100%

SLIDE 20: Revised VISSIT

Based on feedback from the study participants, the instructions were simplified and reformatted to make it more user-friendly
A test-retest phase of the study was conducted in March with the revised VISSIT asking the same participants to complete one additional administration of the tool on one student and take a short survey to assess the revisions of the scale.

Slide 21: Overall, was the revised VISSIT easy to use?

(n=16)
This table shows the responses of participants in regard to the ease of use of the revised VISSIT.  The table is made of four columns and six rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and rows 2 through 6 includes the results. 

#AnswerResponse%

1

Completely difficult to use

0

0%

2

Mostly difficult to use

0

0%

3

Easy to use

0

0%

4

Mostly easy to use

8

50%

5

Completely easy to use

9

56%

Slide 22: Were the revised instructions clear and understandable?

(n=16)
This table shows the responses of participants in regard to the clarity and understandability of the revised instructions of the VISSIT.  The table is made of four columns and six rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and rows 2 through 6 includes the results. 

#AnswerResponse%

1

Completely unclear and not understandable

0

0%

2

Mostly unclear and not understandable

0

0%

3

Clear and understandable

1

6%

4

Mostly clear and understandable

5

31%

5

Completely clear and understandable

10

63%

Slide 23: Would you prefer to use a paper format or an electronic format of the VISSIT?

(n=16)
This table shows the responses of participants in regard to their preference of use of the paper format or an electronic format.  The table is made of four columns and three rows.  Row one is the heading description for each of the column, and rows 2 and 3 include the results. 

#AnswerResponse%

1

Paper format

6

38%

2

Electronic format

10

63%

 SLIDE 24: Next Steps

The electronic version has been completed.
A website for accessing the electronic version is in development.  
Continuing data analysis to gather more information about various aspects of the validity and reliability of the tool. 

SLIDE 25: Sample VISSIT – STUDENT A “Lily”

 Lily is a 5-year-old girl who has a history of “extensive multifocal cystic encephalomalacia involving bilateral cerebral hemispheres”.  Dr. XXX reports, “likely cortical vision impairment”, legally blind and, "… appears to have no vision".  Lily also has a history of HSV meningitis as an infant, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, encephalopathy, and developmental delay.  She is able to alert to sounds and to her name being called; turn or tilt her head towards music, bells, and instruments; sit in an adapted chair; smile when she is happy; and demonstrate discomfort (as when she is wet).  She demonstrates the 3 distinct criteria for Cortical Visual Impairment:  1) eye exam does not explain the child’s functional use of vision, 2) history of a neurologic incident or some neurologic sequelae, and 3) demonstrates the unique visual and behavioral characteristics associated with CVI.

With regard to her vision, Lily is able to visually attend to and track an 8-inch lighted red ball when it is presented in either her far left or far right visual field or no more than 12 inches away from her face.  She also visually attends to other targets that are either lighted or have reflective qualities.  No distance viewing is observed, other than staring at ceiling lights and sunlight for brief moments.  Results from her learning media assessment indicate that Lily relies heavily on her auditory mode for learning, but will explore real objects that are of a single, bright color, reflective, and/or can light up. 
Lily is transitioning from a school-based self-contained classroom into a homebound setting with services being provided in her home.

Slide 26: Filling Out the VISSIT – Intensity of Need in Skill Areas

This slide shows the first page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.

This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI ServiceDirect Instruction from TVI Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

COMPENSATORY SKILLS

 

 

  Literacy Instruction

 

 

Includes emergent literacy, pre-braille, braille, Nemeth, access to print materials, alternate literacy through signs and pictures, etc.

 0

 0

  Organization and Study Skills

 

 

Includes note-taking, research, time & material management, calendar/ schedule system, etc.

 0

 0

  Communication Modes

 

 

Includes body responses, gestures, object/tactile/picture symbols, calendars,  sign language, tactile signs for students who are deafblind

 4

 4

PAGE TOTALS =>

4

4

Slide 27: Filling Out the VISSIT – Intensity of Need in Skill Areas

This slide shows the second page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area. This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI ServiceDirect Instruction from TVI Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

Access to Core Curriculum

 

 

Includes access to English/language arts, math concepts, math trends, tactile graphics, science, social students, art, music, and P.E.

 0

 0

Concept Development

 

 

Includes note-taking, research, time & material management, calendar/ schedule system, etc.

 0

 0

Assistive Technology

 

 

Electronic Devices

 

 

Includes braille notetakers, electronic braillers, tablets, mobile devices, audio devices, readers, switches, deafblind-specific technology, etc.

 4

 1

PAGE TOTALS =>

4

1

Slide 28: Page 3

This slide shows the third page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.  This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI Service

Direct Instruction from TVI

 Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

Computer Access

 

 

Includes magnification, screen reading, alternative keyboards, keyboarding, etc.

 0

 0

Low-Tech Devices

 

 

Includes abacus, mechanical brailler, reading stand, optical devices, etc.

 0

 0

Social Interaction Skills

 

 

Includes gestures, facial expressions, conversation skills, body language, developing relationships, personal space, human sexuality, etc.

 0

 0

PAGE TOTALS =>

0

0

Slide 29: Page 4

This slide shows the fourth page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.  This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI Service

Direct Instruction from TVI

 Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

Independent Living Skills

 

 

Includes functional skills needed for personal care, time and money management, food preparation, clothing care, household maintenance, etc.

 0

 0

Career Education

 

 

Includes learning about jobs and work-related skills, assuming responsibilities, evaluating vocational interests, exploring and participating in work experiences, preparing for transition, etc.

 0

 0

Sensory Efficiency Skills

 

 

Includes teaching functional use of vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste

 7

 4

PAGE TOTALS =>

7

4

Slide 30: Page 5

This slide shows the fifth page of the VISSIT.  The scale is three columns wide, with column headings from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  This scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the heading descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.  This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI Service è

Direct Instruction from TVI

 Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area  V

   

Recreation/Leisure Skills

 

 

Includes investigating and experiencing recreation and leisure options, including games, sports, social events, and personal interests

 1

 1

  O&M Support From TVI

 

 

Includes collaborating with the O&M specialist to support basic skills (guide technique, protective techniques, alignment, sound localization) and orientation and monitoring student safety

 0

 0

PAGE TOTALS =>

1

1

Slide 31: Final Page

This slide shows the final page of the scale.  The scale is three columns wide, with column heading from left to right: ECC Skill Area, Direct Instruction from TVI, and Educational Team Support/Collaboration.  The final page of the scale is 15 rows deep.  The first row is the descriptions for each column.  The second through sixth row include scoring descriptions to be used for scoring student need for each ECC skill area.  Rows seven through nine include the ECC area of Self-Determination heading and the description of self-determination.  Columns ten and eleven are the Column Subtotals for columns with column headings labeled “Direct Instruction Column Subtotal” in column two and “Educational Team Support Column Subtotal” in column three.  Rows twelve through fourteen include contributing factors score boxes for both columns two and three, as well as the Additional Areas of Family Support Subtotal score box in column three.  Row fifteen includes the score box for the total scores for direct instruction from TVI in column two and educational team support/collaboration in column three. This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily. 

Type of TVI Service èDirect Instruction from TVI Educational Team Support/Collaboration

 

0=no need at this time

0=no need at this time

 

1=low need-occasional support and maintenance of skills

1=low need-teacher(s)/family needs infrequent support for established routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/curriculum

 

4=medium need-needs skills but lower priority; generalization and fluency development

4=medium need-teacher(s)/family needs some support for development and maintenance of routines/ IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

7=high need-priority; complete mastery of introduced skills

7=high need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support for established routines/ implementation of IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ curriculum

 

10=intense need-priority; acquisition of new skills

10=intense need-teacher(s)/family needs ongoing support to establish new routines/ implement IEP goals & objectives/ modeling/ use of curriculum

ECC Skill Area

 

 

SELF-DETERMINATION

 

 

Includes enabling student choice-making, self-evaluation, self-advocacy, and assertiveness

 0

 0

COLUMN SUBTOTALS

Direct Instruction Column Subtotal

Educational Team Support Column Subtotal

A

16

E

10

Contributing Factor: Transition

B

+10

F

+10

Contributing Factor: Medical Status/Condition

C

0

G

0

Additional Areas of Family Support Subtotal

 

H

22

TOTAL

D

26

I

42

Slide 32: AAFS

This slide shows the Additional Areas of Family Support (AAFS) Table.  This table contains two columns and eight rows.  The first column describes the areas of family need.  The second column contains the description of the value range of the scores used to score the areas of family need described in column one.  Row eight is the scoring box for the AAFS table.  This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily

Areas of Family NeedValue Range

 

 

There is a need for:

0=No Need
1=Low Need
4=Medium Need
7=High Need
10=Intense Need

Consistency of educational concepts across school and home settings (e.g., communication systems, behavioral techniques, routines, independent living skills, environmental adaptations, adapted toys/equipment, etc.).

10

Connecting family members to outside agencies and support services (e.g., family organizations, state and local community resources including related agencies, camps, respite, etc.).

7

Facilitating active family participation in special education meetings and medical visits (e.g., training on special education laws and guidelines, interpreting medical information, accompanying family to medical visits).

4

Assistance in overcoming cultural/language differences.

0

Strategies to support family members in bonding and interactions with their child.

1

SUBTOTAL

H

22

Slide 33: The VISSIT: Recommended Direct Service Time Range Form

This slide shows the recommended schedule of service minutes for direct service time.  The table contains four columns and fourteen rows.  The first column is the list of the score ranges on the TOTAL direct service score on the VISSIT.  The second column includes the recommended service time ranges for each score range.  The third column is the space where the actual total from the VISSIT  direct service time need is recorded.  The fourth column is the space where the actual recommended direct service time will be recorded. This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily.

DIRECT SERVICE TIMETOTAL (box D) from direct service columnYOUR Recommended AMOUNT OF DIRECT SERVICE TIME
(MINUTES PER WEEK)

Score on rubric

Suggested service time

 

 

106+

600 or more minutes/wk

 

 

97 - 106

480 - 600 minutes/wk

 

 

86 -96

360 - 480 minutes/wk

 

 

75 - 85

270 - 360 minutes/wk

 

 

60 -74

180 - 270 minutes/wk

 

 

45 - 59

120 - 180 minutes/wk

 

 

38 – 44

90 - 120 minutes/wk

 

 

29 – 37

60 - 90 minutes/wk

 

 

17 –  28

30 - 60 minutes/wk

26

60 minutes per week

10 - 16

15 - 30 minutes/wk

 

 

0 – 9

0 - 15 minutes/wk

 

 

BASED on a 2400-minute/per week system --- 2400 minutes in a school week (includes a 7 hour, 15 minute school day, plus 45 minutes for lunch [lunch time can be used for instruction])
2400 min per week = 480 minutes per day available for instruction

Slide 34: The VISSIT: Recommended Educational Team Support/Collaboration Service Time Range Form

This slide shows the recommended schedule of service minutes for educational team support/collaborative service time.  The table contains four columns and fourteen rows.  The first column is the list of the score ranges on the TOTAL collaborative consultation service score on the VISSIT.  The second column includes the recommended service time ranges for each score range.  The third column is the space where the actual total from the VISSIT educational team support/collaboration service time need is recorded.  The fourth column is the space where the actual recommended educational team support/collaboration service time will be recorded. This table is filled in with the scores given to the sample student, Lily.

Educational Team
Support/Collaboration Time
TOTAL (box I) from the educational team support/
collaboration column
YOUR Recommended AMOUNT OF EDUCATIONAL TEAM SUPPORT/COLLABORATION SERVICE TIME
(MINUTES PER WEEK)

Score on rubric

Suggested service time

 

 

112+

600 or more minutes/wk

 

 

101 - 111

450 - 600 minutes/wk

 

 

91 - 100

300 - 450 minutes/wk

 

 

81 - 90

150 - 300 minutes/wk

 

 

69 - 80

110 - 150 minutes/wk

 

 

58 - 68

70 - 110 minutes/wk

 

 

47 – 57

30 - 70 minutes/wk

 

 

40  –  46

15 - 30 minutes/wk

42

30 minutes per week

27 – 39

10 - 15 minutes/wk

 

 

14 - 26

5 - 10 minutes/wk

 

 

0 – 13

0 - 5 minutes/wk

 

 

Slide 35: Questions?  Comments?

Slide 36:  Contact Information
Rona Pogrund, Ph.D., Texas Tech University –
Cyral Miller, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired –
Michael Munro, Stephen F. Austin State University –
Shannon Darst, Ph.D., Texas Tech University –

TSBVI is committed to helping ensure that all students are instructed in their appropriate literacy media.  Literacy instruction needs to be based on reliable data, consistent with IDEA-B regulations.  Here are guiding principles that we believe should be considered in the evaluation of literacy medium for each student:

  1. To be an efficient reader and to prepare for a competitive work force, individuals with low vision or blindness must acquire a combination of literacy tools to use in a wide variety of settings and situations.  These tools might include hard-copy print, text that can be manipulated on electronic devices as print, braille or audio, braille (paper or electronic), audible materials, and any combination of these.  Students should receive explicit instruction and adequate practice with all relevant literacy tools.
  2. Literacy involves a complex interaction among multiple skill sets, including visual skills for print and tactile skills for braille.  For students with visual impairment who struggle with literacy, it can be difficult to determine whether the cause is primarily related to visual or tactile issues, or reading problems related to word identification, comprehension, and/or fluency.  Evaluation of literacy skills and decisions regarding literacy media should be a collaborative process involving a certified teacher of students with visual impairments, a qualified reading teacher, and sometimes, a certified reading specialist.  
  3. According to IDEA (300.304(b)(1)), local districts must use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information needed to develop an individualized educational program.  IDEA (300.304(b)(2)) specifies that no one evaluation tool should be used as the entire basis for educational programming considerations.  
  4. For students with visual impairments, many factors must be considered in evaluating the most efficient tools for literacy.  Factors include:
    • Visual diagnosis and prognosis
    • Functional use of vision, including fatigue and stamina during visual tasks
    • Evaluation in the use of assistive technology
    • Documentation of reading instruction using braille or print and including use of prescribed optical vision devices where indicated
    • Adjustment of environmental factors such as lighting and ergonomics
    • Documented progress in literacy skills, including reading fluency
  5. Once effective accommodations are identified, they must be provided in both learning and testing environments (300.323(d)(II)(ii)).  They should be based on evaluation of the student's disability, and documented in the individualized education program.  The Texas Education Agency states  that "...accommodation needs related to a disability or disabling condition ... are intended to provide students effective and equitable access to grade-level or course curriculum and assessments" Therefore, use of documented accommodations in literacy activities should be included in an evaluation of a student's literacy skills.

From the Texas Education Agency Accommodation Resources website: http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/accommodations/
 

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You must register on the site. You'll then get unrestricted access to 4,924 free patterns with more added every week!

Here are the steps:

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2. type in a pattern number
3. once the page comes up click on Free Pattern and the option for embossers or refreshable braille displays can be found.

Do:

  1. Encourage independence
  2. Encourage leisure skills (both personal and group types)
  3. Learn survival skills (handling money, traveling, etc.)
  4. Practice reciprocal conversation./li>
  5. Learn acceptable manners
  6. Learn to manage temper
  7. Learn the difference between assertiveness and aggression
  8. Learn the basics of good grooming
  9. Develop a knowledge of the world of work
  10. Develop helping skills
  11. Learn coping strategies ("What do I do if...)
  12. Learn to show appreciation and reciprocal behaviors
  13. Learn the vernacular
  14. During the learning period, keep anxiety at a minimum by making social situations brief.

Don't:

  1. Teach skills in isolation; they must be transferable.
  2. Expect to be like someone else; each person is unique.
  3. Over schedule activities; hurrying creates confusion.
  4. Monopolize conversations; listening is important.
  5. Expect special privileges; "belonging" means fitting in.
  6. Expect others to solve your problems; learn to problem solve independently.
  7. Confuse aggressive and assertive; one feels angry, while the other is calm.
  8. Expect perfection; Rome wasn't built in a day!
  9. Accept withdrawal; social means interaction.
  10. Try to joke too early; humor is a useful tool, but can be embarrassing if used inappropriately.

Tips For Parents:

  1. Teach acceptable manners, in various situations.
  2. Teach practical skills.
  3. Encourage problem-solving.
  4. Encourage independence.
  5. Encourage the development of interests/talents/capabilities.
  6. Discuss social situations, before and after...
  7. Provide structured activities that practice social skills.
  8. Encourage group participation.
  9. Help your child dress as his/her peers do.
  10. Explain visual cues/body language.
  11. Don't accept inappropriate behavior - EVER!
  12. Give family responsibilities, and expect performance.

The child with visual impairments has only others to teach appropriate social skills; silence does not teach these skills.

Adapted from a presentation about social skills at the CEC Conference in San Francisco, April 3-7, 1989.

Presentor was Olivia Schoenberger, Vision Consultant, ESC Region 19, El Paso

This document is a resource for the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC).

Self Determination Daily Dozen Do's and Don'ts
Do'sDon'ts
Engage your child in daily family contributions and  responsibilities (chores, timelines, etc.). Hold back on giving your child responsibilities.
Give your child daily opportunities to make choices, so they will understand strengths and needs. Make all your child’s decisions.
Teach your child about his/her needs related to visual impairment. Shelter your child from who they are.
Allow your child to experience natural consequences for poor choices as well as good choices. Be afraid to let your child make a poor choice (unless it’s unsafe to your child or others).
Teach and encourage your child about planning for the future: next day, next year, summer, “What do you want to do in 1 year to post school? Underestimate your child’s ability to think about and make plans for his/her future.
Help your child find opportunities to earn money. Assume that your child is too young or incapable to earn money.
Take your child shopping and give guidance on how to manage money. Miss out on opportunities for your child to have experiences with money.
Help your child be involved with health medical care. Underestimate your child’s ability to talk about and ask questions regarding his/her health.
Help your child explore hobbies and leisure activities that interest him/her, as well as clubs and organizations. Try to limit your child’s interest based on his/her abilities.
Teach your child about age appropriate sexuality and safety precautions. Assume your child is not interested or worried about sexuality just because he/she hasn’t asked you questions.
 
Help your child learn about community supports that are available to him/her now and in the future. Wait too long to explore community supports and resources because you think your child may not need them.
Teach your child about changing technology applications and corresponding safety. Assume that your child is incidentally learning and applying new technology and safety skills.

Compiled by Judy Babcock, William Daugherty, Tara Fusilier, Fred Martinez, Lauren Newton, Juan del Rosario, Olga Uriegas -Texas Advisory Committee for the Education of Students with Visual Impairments ~ October 2012

(Developed by C.M. Cowan, Education Service Center, Region XIII)

Evaluating Classroom Functions

  • Organization of materials, furniture, extra workspace, walkways, desk layouts, maps, placement of educational "prompts" (e.g.: alphabet, number line, colors, periodic chart of elements), class rules, placement of chalkboards, overhead screen.
  • Discipline: are rules clearly posted, does teacher have a system of discipline, does teacher follow the system with all students, particularly the VI student, are students respectful of the system.
  • Classroom (group) behaviors: are students on task, can most keep up, are more than just a few "fooling around" when they shouldn't be, do students get up to turn in papers, get materials, go to the bathroom, do they wait for cues from the teacher to move from one activity to another or do they do so independently, are most attentive during the teacher's presentations, is the activity in the room constructive.

Evaluating An Activity

  • Does the teacher present or introduce lessons or is there an established routine that is more auto-tutorial?
  • Are tangible objects used to demonstrate concepts where applicable?
  • Does everyone need to follow along in a book?
  • Do students have to read aloud?
  • Does the activity involve a concept which is very visual in nature, e.g.: adding with carrying?
  • Are visual materials used, e.g.: maps, charts, diagrams?
  • Is the chalkboard or overhead screen used frequently?
  • Is a dictionary used by students?
  • Is the pace fast, slow, medium?
  • What do students do when the activity is completed?
  • How many "handouts" are used and what is their quality?
  • Are materials brailled for an activity?

Observing Student Functioning

  • Is student on task?
  • Does student look in teacher's general direction?
  • Is student able to get out all materials on time?
  • Is student using low vision devices, or other necessary apparatus s/he's been taught to use?
  • Is student attending?
  • In what condition is the student's desk?
  • Does the student know how to access the educational "prompts" posted around the room?
  • Is the student organized?
  • Can the student maintain the pace of the lesson presented?
  • Does the student get up to get his/her own materials?
  • Do other students help the student in any way?
  • Could the student be acting more independently than s/he is?
  • Does the student raise his/her hand to participate and ask questions?
  • Does the student interrupt inappropriately?
  • Does the student have any distracting mannerisms?
  • How does the student ask for and accept assistance from peers and others?
  • How do peers relate to the student; how is he treated?
  • Is the student displaying age-appropriate skills; use graded skills checklist?

Observing Teacher Behaviors

  • Does the teacher move about the room or remain fairly stationary?
  • Does the teacher's voice carry well?
  • Are chalkboard/overhead screen/charts used frequently, does the teacher read aloud what she's writing?
  • Will a student teacher be taking the class?
  • How does the teacher handle misbehavior and off-task behavior?
  • Does the teacher check for understanding and how does she do this with the VI student?
  • If brailled materials are to be handed out, is the teacher organized enough to have the materials ready?
  • Can the teacher communicate her concerns and observations of the VI student during a conference: beware the teacher who always reports that everything's "just fine"?

Observation Tips

  • At the initial conference with the teacher, generally during the first week of school, give her a sheet with your schedule, telephone number, objectives for the student, and a statement on why you will be observing. e.g.:  “Observations will be scheduled so that I can see how Nathan functions in a variety of situations and also to determine if my objectives are transferring to your classroom".
  • Does the student use his/her time wisely?
  • What does s/he do when work is finished?
  • Does the student interact appropriately with peers in the room, on the playground, in the cafeteria?
  • How does the student get around?
  • How does the student go through the cafeteria line and to the table?
  • What are the students eating skills?
  • Does the student's appearance blend with the groups?
  • Does the student have friends?
  • What does the student do during free time and on the playground?
  • Does the student speak before the class, such as in show & tell?
  • If the student fails to complete his/her seatwork, is it due to lack of understanding, poor work habits, or inability to keep up with the pace?
  • How does the general quality of the student's work compare to peers?
  • Does the student talk too much to neighbors?
  • Are the student materials placed so as to be accessible to him?
  • Are games, toys, and materials available for the student to use in interactive play during free time?
  • Are lighting and desk location appropriate?
  • Are any of the student's materials or equipment inconveniencing another student?
  • Can the student fully operate any equipment given to him/her?
  • Is a system in place for the student to correct malfunctioning equipment?
  • Can the student manage equipment and/or materials through class changes?
  • Always call or send a letter a few days in advance with the message that you will be coming to observe at a particular date and time. The teacher should call if the date and time are not convenient.
  • Observe an entire activity; don't arrive late and leave early.
  • Sit quietly and unobtrusively, away from your student.
  • Take notes.
  • Do not interact with the students. If they ask for your assistance, shake your head "no" and act as if you're writing.
  • Be sure to write down problems you see with your VI student so you can address them later. Also write down any ideas you may have on supplementing a concept if it seems particularly visual and difficult for the VI student.
  • If students are given time to complete a written assignment independently, get up and slowly circulate through the room looking at ail the student's work. Avoid the temptation to stop too long at the VI student's desk as this is embarrassing to them.
  • This in not an instructional opportunity.
  • Resist any urge you may have to make remarks to the teacher concerning her lesson or presentation. Keep remarks focused on student's behaviors, e.g.: expectations the teacher has, is the student's behavior typical of his normal behavior, what problems does the teacher see, etc.
  • Never interrupt a teacher when you are coming or going.
  • Keep in mind the fact that many teachers are unclear as to your role and that the act observing can be very threatening to them. You want to assure the teacher by your actions before, during, and after an observation that you are there as a partner in an effort to help the VI student perform successfully in the classroom and school.
  • If something needs to be discussed, leave a message on the teacher's desk or in her box on your way out.
  • If the teacher has been complaining about your VI student's behavior, observe that behavior as well as what the other students are doing. Observe how the teacher applies behavioral methods to see if she applies the same methods to the VI child.
  • If you see a concept being taught for which you have tangible learning materials, offer to loan these to the teacher -leave a note.
  • Save your notes as documentation.
  • Discuss your observations with the student during your next visit with him/her, then see if together you can come up with some solutions.
  • Don't discuss your observations with other school staff
  • If you're concerned about a teacher behavior, think it through carefully before discussing it with the principal. When talking with a principal, it is beneficial to avoid blame or criticism. You may start by saying, "I'm having difficulty communicating with Ms. X, could you give me some suggestions on how I can best work with the situation?" Keep your comments focused on your student and the problems he's having within the classroom.
  • Don't overdress, especially if the teacher dresses casually.

This document is a Resource for the Expanded Core Curriculum. Please visit the RECC.

  • Direction of gaze
  • Relaxed but erect body stance
  • Positive initiations
  • Expansion of conversation topics
  • Sharing in group of activities
  • Turn-taking in conversations or interactions
  • Repertoire of play activities that promote inclusion into activities
  • Appropriate dress and grooming
  • Eating etiquette
  • Facial expressions
  • Interpreting verbal and non-verbal cues
  • Expectations for situational behaviors for play, school, and work experiences
  • Decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Complimenting and empathy skills
  • Ability to draw upon past experiences

Dr. Sharon Sacks