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Scott Baltisberger and Chrissy Cowan, TSBVI Outreach Programs.

Illustration by Scott Baltisberger.

Abstract: The authors describe a new book and video available as free downloads from the Publications page of the TSBVI website. Created for elementary students, Tomas relates how a young student uses his low vision devices to join friends in the search for his missing dog. Teaching strategies and accessible drawings are also provided. 

Keywords: optical device, low vision device, magnifier, monocular, low vision, elementary

A line-drawing of a smiling young man wearing glasses. He is next to his dog.

Caption: Tomás and his dog, Luna.

Inspired by the Monocular Mac booklet created by Dr. Anne Corn in the 1970’s, Tomás and the Case of the Mysterious Missing Dog is an illustrated narrative story intended to inspire students with low vision to explore the many possibilities in which their optical devices and strategies can be helpful, not only in the classroom, but in real-life settings and situations. Intended for elementary readers, the tale relates the adventures of Tomás and his friends as they search for his beloved dog who has escaped the yard.  Tomás is able to fully participate in this adventure with the magnifier and monocular skills he has learned from his TVI and COMS.

Forty-two cleverly detailed ink-pen drawings by Scott Baltisberger are visually accessible to students with low vision and bring the story to life. Teachers can use the booklet as a teaching device, guiding students through the process of using a magnifier to locate some of the picture details mentioned in the story, and expanding on the concept of monocular use in their own community.

The book is available for free download in digital format, with an accompanying dramatic reading production (video) of the complete story. Lowell Bartholomee with TSBVI Outreach produced the video, directing students from TSBVI through an upbeat and lively performance of the story, complete with lots of expression and sound effects.  The book and video can be found on the Publications page of the TSBVI website https://www.tsbvi.edu/publications/6025-tomas. The original webinar presentation from May 2019 with Scott and Chrissy describing the project and the actual video performance can be found at  https://library.tsbvi.edu/Player/18691.