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Winter 2009 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

By Suzy B. Scannell, Education Specialist,
Region 4 Education Service Center

Abstract:  this article reviews the InFocus with Low Vision Kit and the book, Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Days and other materials included in the kit.

Key Words: blindness, low vision, optical device, visual skills, InFocus with Low Vision Kit, Ben and Buzzy Bee, visual efficiency, Suzanne Scannell, Karen Crone, Dr. Randy Jose


Meet Ben, a bee with low vision, his brother Buzzy, and their Mother, Beatrice Bee. Coming soon, the InFocus with Low Vision Kit, available through Region 4 Education Service Center, is a kit of materials to assist TVIs and COMS as they instruct young students to develop visual efficiency and to use optical devices.  The kit includes a children’s book, Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Days, an activity book, Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Book, the Teacher’s Guide, and near and distance training charts.  The same characters appear in all materials.  Some TVIs and COMS may recognize some of them!  Look for Miss Natalie, Ben’s teacher, and Dr. Randy, a kindly old buzzard!  Students become familiar with the characters, which assists with successful learning and refining of visual skills.  The children’s book has wonderful colorful pictures and tells the story of a bee with low vision, illustrates some of the behaviors typical of children with low vision, helps prepare young children for an eye exam, and introduces optical devices to students.  Every page has a lady bug pictured somewhere on the page to encourage scanning.  Multiple opportunities to use vision and reinforce basic concepts are included in the story and graphics.  The activity book affords many opportunities for students to practice near visual skills.  Tasks vary in difficulty from simple to complex and include matching, dot to dot, word searches with differing contrast, mazes, coloring pages and some other surprises.  Both the children’s book and the activity book are suitable for all children in early elementary grades.

The Teacher’s Guide instructs TVIs and COMS to work with students to learn and increase visual skills of localization, fixation, tracing, scanning and tracking using the near and distance charts and picture cards included in the kit.  Suggestions are offered for additional activities to practice skills and for data collection.

Written by Suzanne Scannell, Karen Crone and Dr. Randy Jose, the InFocus with Low Vision Kit is scheduled for publication in early spring, 2009.  The cost of the entire kit is $180, and includes the Teacher’s Guide, near and distance training charts, 3 copies of Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Days, and 5 Copies of Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Book.  Currently available for purchase separately are the children’s book, Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Days ($20.00) and activity book, Ben and Buzzy’s Busy Book ($25.00).  A little bee told us these would be great gifts!  Shop  the Region 4 Store at: or , or by  phone at 713-744-6302.