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Wisconsin National Agenda

The Wisconsin National Agenda Work Group continues to make strides to improve services for students who are blind or visually impaired, their families and schools. This year was devoted to revising and updating our state plan which was originally written in 1996. The Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired has included our Wisconsin National Agenda Project in their budget this year. We are currently finalizing plans for our Spring Conference which will be held in Wisconsin Dells, WI. focusing on assessment. In addition to these activities the individual goal groups are working on a variety of projects as indicated below.

Goal 1: Prompt Referrals

  • "Looking for Connections" brochure distributed to all special education directors, eye care specialists, Birth to 3 coordinators
  • Power Point developed that goes along with the brochure
  • Future Plans video and inservice developed for eye care specialists that explains the special education process

Goal 2: Parent Participation

  • Continues to support existing parent support groups
  • Provide panel discussion at 2002 spring conference that includes all parent organizations and parent support groups
  • Future plans include recommending_/nominating more parents of blind or visually impaired students for the state superintendents council on special education and making parents aware of events going on in the state through the WCBVI website, newsletter, etc.

Goal 3: University Training Program

  • Expanding a resource file of all programs in US for training of teachers of the visually impaired or orientation and mobility instructors
  • Goal leader site on the Advisory Board for the Silver Lake College program and provides input to the brochure for the program
  • Future plans: develop an inservice kit for high school and undergraduate career day events and contact each University training program in neighboring states to encourage use of loan forgiveness program

Goal 4: Caseloads and Continuing Education

  • Developing a program called NET, Network Extension for Teachers, in which VI teachers and O&M instructors connect with a peer who has expertise in a certain area
  • Future Plans: Support the development, of a comprehensive system of continuing education and advocate for appropriate caseloads for professionals in the field.

Goal 5: Placement Options

  • Revising the Placement Options Brochure
  • Development of a calendar with pictures of various placement options
  • Future Plans: Advocate for sufficient funding for summer school programs

Goal 6 & 8: Assessment and Curriculum

  • Preparing spring conference which focuses on assessment
  • Assisted the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in completing an assessment guidelines booklet to correspond to the new eligibility Criteria
  • Future plans: Develop a document that explains the guidelines for state standardized testing accommodations and alternative testing, as well as, update our directory of assessment and curriculum resources.

Goal 7: Access to Instructional Materials

  • Members are involved in national committees dealing with issues related to materials accessibility.
  • Working with the Wisconsin Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Materials Productions Services to improve efficiency of book ordering and exploring funding of options for technology.
  • Future Plan: Develop a brochure that explains the importance of timely book orders and another brochure that will be sent to all state agencies on file process for obtaining materials in alternative formats

Goal 9: Transition

  • Developed a Phase Chart that depicts how the expanded core curriculum can be addressed in each phase of the child's life
  • Connected with our Statewide Transition Initiative Project, presenting a session on transition at our 2001 Wisconsin National Agenda Conference
  • Future Plans: Develop a list of practical skills and solutions that lead to planning for transition and develop a list of options for alternative programming in regular education to earn credits for high school students

Goal 10: Quality Programs for VI Students

  • Advocated for development, funding, and staffing of a QP/VI (Quality Programs for students with Visual Impairment) pilot project in two districts or CESAs in Wisconsin during the 2001-2002 school year.
  • Informed parents, special education directors, teachers of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility instructors about the purpose and process of QP/VI by having Nancy Toelle speak at our 2001 conference.
  • Future plans: Develop a brochure for LEAs/CESAs to explain purpose of QP/VI and continue to sit on the advisory board for the QP/VI project.