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New TEA Approved Courses

New innovative courses submitted by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired's Curriculum Department, Braille Reading and Writing, Orientation and Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments I, II, III, and IV, and General Employability Skills have been approved for use as innovative courses beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. We appreciate the hard work that you and your staff contributed toward the creation of these courses. The course Braille Reading and Writing will remain in effect until the English language arts and reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills are revised.  The course Orientation and Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments I, II, III, and IV will remain in effect until the physical education Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills are revised.  The course General Employability Skills will remain in effect through the 2015-2016 School year. Please note that the approved courses may serve as state graduation elective credit only and are not approved to substitute for...
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Parent Training "Pay it Forward"

Are you a seasoned parent that has been in the trenches for a few years? If so, you are probably frustrated with at least one of the systems that provide services for your child and family. These services are based on policies developed by politicians and administrators that have little if any experience raising a child with a disability. You may want to challenge some policies and procedures and advocate for changes that would benefit your child as well as others with disabilities but don’t know where to start.   Participants in the Texas Advanced Leadership and Advocacy Conference (TALAC) learn where to start, how to advocate successfully and have the chance to practice these skills with policymakers. You will become confident and competent in your ability to make a difference in your community and statewide. If you are regularly giving support and information to others new to disability, then I encourage you...
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Neuroscience and Writing

While preparing a workshop on writing by students with visual impairments, I found a general education web site about writing.  This was the National Writing Project at www.nwp.org One of the articles at this web site was about how writing can impact the brain.  That article is “Writing and the Brain: Neuroscience Shows the Pathways to Learning” at http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3555 As I read the article, I thought about the need for students with visual impairments to write more and to write as part of a collaborative effort.  Logistics may make that harder for students who use Braille but I think it behooves us as teachers of students with visual impairments to think of ways to make that happen. Jim Durkel APH Materials Coordinator
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