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Texas Deafblind Outreach is actively involved in the development of materials specifically addressing issues about deafblindness for families and professionals.  Among the many materials available through Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Curriculum Department of special interest to staff serving individuals with deafblindness are these items.

Available from TSBVI Curriculum 

Documents and Articles (English)

Causes of Deafblindness

Syndromes/Conditions Associated with Deafblindness

Minimal Losses...Major Implications

Administrators

IEP Quality Indicators for Student with Deafblindness

Interveners for Students with Deafblindness in Texas

New to Deafblindness? Five Tips for Administrators

Assessment

Assessment of Biobehavioral States and Analysis of Related Influences

Assessment of Deafblind Access to Manual Language  Systems  (ADAMLS)

Assessment Resources for Vision and Hearing

Bringing It All Back Home: Family-Driven Assessment and Intervention for Children Who Are Deafblind

Home Talk: A Family Assessment of Children Who Are Deafblind

The van Dijk Approach to Child-Guided Assessment

Behavioral Challenges

Looking at Self-Stimulation in the Pursuit of Leisure or I'm Okay, You Have a Mannerism

Calendars, Routines and Interactions

Let Me Check My Calendar

Make it Routine

Supporting High Quality Interactions with Students who are Deafblind: Part 1 A Summary of Current Research

Supporting High Quality Interactions with Students who are Deafblind: Part 2 Research to Practice

Communication and Language

A Standard Tactile Symbol System- Graphic Language for Individuals who are Blind and Unable to Learn Braille

Learning to Communicate

What A Concept!

Expanded Core Curriculum Areas

Braille/Print Literacy Issues and the Learning Media Assessment

Orientation and Mobility Training for Students Who Are Deafblind: Going Beyond the Blue Book

Sexual Health Care -- Excerpts from Introduction to Sexuality Education for Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind and Significantly Developmentally Delayed

Strategies for Minimizing the Risk of Sexual Abuse

Toilet Training Children with Deafblindness- Issues and Strategies

What's Your Pleasure? Teaching Leisure Skills

Identification of Deafblindness

A Process for Identifying Students Who May Be At-Risk for Deafblindness

Early Identification of Hearing and Vision Loss is Critical to a Child's Development

How Well Can Your Child with Hearing Loss See?

Instructional Strategies

Education Protocol for Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

The Importance of Auditory Training for Children Who are Deafblind

Interveners

Intervener Competency Resources Matrix (.doc 272k)

Interveners for Students with Deafblindness in Texas

Intervener Portfolio Summary 

Portfolios for Interveners

For Families

A Trip to the Doctor Turns GOOD!Driving with Usher Syndrome

Planning and Supporting a More Active Life at Home

Parenting a Child with Deafblindness

Preparing Your Daughter for Her Menstrual Cycle

Brothers and Sisters: Strategies for Supporting Siblings Of Children who are Deaf Blind

Transition to Adult Life

Deaf-Blind Multiple Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Update

Transition To A Medicaid Waiver Program For Individuals Who Are Deafblind With Multiple Disabilities

Twelve Things You Can Do to Plan for Your Child's Future Today

I Love my Life, Swimming, and Texas Longhorns!

My First Scuba Diving Lesson

"Tuff" Love or Raising Laurie

When Planning for Adult Life, How is a "Life-style" Different than a "Program"?

 

Documents and Articles (EspanÕl)

Indicadores de Calidad del IEP para Estudiantes con Sordoceguera

Interventores para Alumnos con Sordoceguera en Texas

 ¿Qué tan bien puede ver un niño con pérdida de audición?

¿Qué tan bien puede ver un niño con pérdida de audición?

Protocolo de educación para niños que padecen del síndrome Cornelia de Lange

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired staff are continually writing and creating resources for parents, educators, community members and individuals with visual impairments. You will find some of our more popular items under "Selected Resources", but you may also search by keyword to find additional items of interest.

Request a Resource

We are continuously looking for and adding new resources to the TSBVI website for individuals who are interested in visual impairments and deafblindness.

If you have searched the site and were unable to locate a resource, please let us know by completing the brief form below. We will reply as soon as possible.

A Model of Individual Support to Provide Appropriate Access to Education for Students who are Deafblind

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Contents include:

Prepared by Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach, December, 2000

These documents have been designed to help families and school districts in Texas make decisions about using an intervener in the school setting for a student who is deafblind.

Based on original documents created by families, educators, and administrators at a series of Intervener Planning Meetings held in 1993-1994, co-sponsored by Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach and Texas Tech University.

For more information on interveners contact Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach.

Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Phone: (512)206-9103 (Voice)
(512)206-9188 (TTY)
FAX: (512)206-9320
Outreach - deafblind

Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach is located at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and is supported by grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), administered through the Texas Education Agency. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services.

What is an Intervener?

In educational settings, an intervener is a staff person who provides individual support to a student who is deafblind. The term "deafblind" refers to a combination of a vision impairment with a hearing impairment that affects the way a student is able to access information and function in the educational environment. Even mild impairments can have a profound effect when combined with another sensory loss. A student with deafblindness is defined by the state for educational purposes in 19 TAC §89.AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Special Education Services, §89.1040(c).

There is an array of instructional models regularly used within traditional general and special education settings that may potentially provide the unique instructional support needed for a child with deafblindness. However, when traditional models fail to provide access to appropriate services, another option for the IEP committee is to designate a support staff as an intervener assigned to the child.

An intervener is a paraprofessional with specialized skills and training who is designated to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness for all or part of the instructional day. The intervener supports the existing service delivery model in implementing the student's IEP. The decision to use an intervener is based on the level of support a student currently needs to effectively participate in his or her instructional environment. Additionally, if a student with deafblindness requires extensive and novel modifications to the existing educational model, the services of an intervener can be used to simplify the process for the other members of the educational team.

Though the use of interveners for students with deafblindness is relatively new in Texas, the effectiveness of the model has been validated through widespread use for many years in Canada, and more recently in Utah and several other states. On its web site, the Canadian Deafblind Rubella Association defines this kind of intervention as "the process that allows individuals who are deafblind to receive visual and auditory information that they are unable to gather on their own in a way meaningful to them such that they can interact with the environment and thus be enabled to establish and maintain maximum control over their lives."

In an article on Utah's program to provide interveners in schools, the following basic definition of an intervener is given. "An Intervener is specially trained to provide clear and consistent sensory information to an individual who is deafblind, compensating for both vision and hearing loss in such a way as to facilitate and enhance learning and interaction with the physical environment and with society. An intervener acts as the eyes and ears of the individual who is deaf-blind, making him or her aware of what is occurring and attaching language and meaning to all experiences. An intervener intercedes between the individual who is deafblind and the environment in such a way so as to minimize the affects of multisensory deprivation, and to empower the individual to have control over his or her life." (Henderson & Killoran, 1995.)

Understanding what an intervener is, and why this support model has evolved and is becoming more widely used, begins with understanding the needs of children and youth who are deafblind. Deafblindness, or the combination of visual impairment with hearing impairment, often presents unique challenges to educators and others working with a child. The role of the intervener is to join with the entire educational team to meet those challenges by providing individual support for the child.

(Paddi Henderson & John Killoran, "Utah Enhances Services for Children who are Deaf-Blind," Deaf-Blind Perspectives, Fall, 1995)

In summary, an intervener is defined as follows:

  • An intervener is one of an array of strategies and services which can be used to effectively meet the educational needs of a student who is deafblind;
  • An intervener is a paraprofessional with specialized skills and training in communication and other issues related to deafblindness, who works as an essential member of the student's educational team;
  • An intervener works individually with a student who is deafblind within any educational setting as determined by the IEP;
  • An intervener provides access to information, environments, and materials the student might otherwise be unable to access or understand due to sensory impairments;
  • An intervener communicates with a deafblind student using methods and strategies that are effective for the individual student;
  • An intervener guides the student through activities and hands-on exploration of materials as appropriate based on individual learning styles;
  • An intervener provides modifications to lessons as needed by the child and specified in the IEP.

The Unique Educational Needs of Children With Deafblindness

Individuals with deafblindness have unique life-long needs for support that must be addressed in order for them to function in a world driven by sight and sound. Consistent with this, they have unique needs within the educational system. The information that follows outlines some of these needs as well as services which impact quality education for students with deafblindness.

Around 700 school-aged children from throughout Texas were identified on the 1999 Texas Deafblind Census. Due to the low incidence of this disability, these students are generally unique among the population of students with developmental disabilities within a given community. Most districts understandably build programs and hire staff targeting the majority of children with disabilities in their particular area, without planning programs for students with unusual needs.

Assessment

From the beginning, the school system often finds its resources in deafblindness to be inadequate. Assessing the skills of these children can be difficult since assessment instruments are generally not normed for this population. It is often impossible to adapt these materials to test children with deafblindness without negating the test's validity.

Another problem in assessing skills and providing instruction to children with deafblindness is the difficulty in engaging them and drawing them outside of themselves. The need to feel safe in a world that alternately "comes at you" or "disappears in thin air" often sends these children inside themselves. They may be unresponsive during testing unless they are working with someone with whom they have bonded.

Unique Instructional Strategies

Instruction for students with visual impairments usually relies heavily on information received through the auditory channel. For example, a child with visual impairments learns to use sounds to supplement whatever visual information is present in order to identify places and things and move from place to place. However, a child who is also deaf can not use this technique to compensate for vision problems. For this reason, the ability to identify things, or even to be aware of things that are beyond arm's reach, is greatly reduced.

Similarly, instruction for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing relies heavily on the use of vision. For example, language development and instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing can involve sign, fingerspelling, speechreading, or spoken language. Accessing and understanding instruction depends on the ability to clearly see the hands and faces of other signers or the lips of other speakers. Even a child with a mild visual loss faces difficulty in trying to gather complete information.

Because instructional strategies for students who are blind or deaf are in many cases based on supplementing one sense with the other, those strategies are often ineffective for students who are deafblind. Working with a student who is deafblind requires the use of strategies that are different from the strategies used with students who are either blind or deaf, not simply a combination of those strategies.

Travel and Exploration of the Environment

Children with deaf-blindness have difficulty learning through observation or independent exploration. As a result, they are likely to have an experiential and conceptual base that differs significantly from typical children, or children with other disabilities.

A student's ability to become oriented within an environment and to travel through it independently is deeply affected by deafblindness. For example, a student with the single disability of a vision impairment is taught to use hearing to determine where he is or orient to the area he is approaching. Auditory techniques may not necessarily be safe or effective if a child has even a mild hearing loss. Alternate strategies for teaching a child to use different environmental cues are needed for students with dual sensory impairments.

Without enticement from sights and sounds, a child with deafblindness may also be less likely to explore and interact with the world. This has great impact on cognitive and social development, as well as language.

Adaptive and Assistive Devices

Children with deafblindness use a variety of adaptive/assistive devices. Knowing how to use and keep this equipment in working order is no small accomplishment. For example, a child may use one or all from a list of devices including a hearing aid, an FM auditory trainer, glasses, a monocular, and a cane. Students may use a vibrating alarm clock or braille watch. Communication devices range from a low-tech picture book to a high-tech braille notetaker or computer. The child and staff must all be trained to use these devices.

Access to Information

When the eyes and ears distort or omit incoming information altogether, a child may only perceive and comprehend fragments of any situation or experience. Children with deafblindness have difficulty learning through observation or independent exploration. As a result, they are likely to have an experiential and conceptual base that differs significantly from typical children, or children with other disabilities. Students who are deafblind must be supported in filling the information gaps that continuously result from sensory losses. They require additional time with carefully engineered "hands on" activities to access information that other children pick up incidentally from other people, objects, and the environment.

Communication

Communication is one of the main areas which is critically affected by deafblindness, and is usually the highest priority in their educational programming. These children's communication systems typically contain a variety of forms which can include signals, tactile sign language, object symbols, tactile symbol systems, Braille, and many others. Each child's system must be individually designed and used with a high degree of consistency across the day. The development of good communication strategies and systems for students with deafblindness frequently requires training for those working with the child since few have preparation for or experience with this population.

Each child's [communication] system must be individually designed for him and used with a high degree of consistency across the day.

Behavior

To address the underlying cause of these behaviors, one must have an under-standing of the ongoing effects of sensory deprivation and an ability to modify the child's instruction to offset these effects while building additional skills.

Frequent stress and frustration that may be experienced by children due to the effects of deafblindness can result in behavior that becomes either withdrawn and passive or volatile and potentially combative. Additionally, abusive or disruptive behavior may serve as the only effective communication strategy for a child who does not know more acceptable ways to communicate. To address the underlying cause of these behaviors, one must have an understanding of the ongoing effects of sensory deprivation and an ability to modify the child's instruction to offset these effects while building additional skills.

Additional Disabilities

Many children have other disabilities along with deafblindness, so consideration must be given to different or additional needs and strategies for support. For example, a combination of factors may cause children to dislike being touched, limiting their ability to gather information tactually. Some medication can affect vision and hearing. Ongoing medical problems may make vision or hearing loss progressively worse.

Consistency and Routine

Children with deafblindness learn best when information is presented in a consistent fashion from person to person, place to place, and over time. Using consistent activity routines with many opportunities for practice and repetition is essential. This places some additional burdens on the staff, who must work together closely in order to provide consistency and coordinate support. Planning time as a group is critical. Additionally, information and input from the family is vital to a well-coordinated program.

Roles in the Educational Team

Typically, staff who may serve a child with deafblindness include: teacher of the visually impaired; teacher of the hearing impaired; orientation and mobility instructor; intervener; classroom teacher (general education and special education) and instructional aide; behavior specialist; diagnostician; and often occupational and physical therapists as well as other related service staff such as a speech/ language therapist and audiologist. Often finding adequate time for the staff and the family to meet together, share information, and plan is quite difficult. This may result in communication breakdowns, not only between the staff and family, but also between the various staff members. To further complicate a difficult situation, each year new staff may become involved with the child.

Children with deafblindness learn best when information is presented in a consistent fashion from person to person, place to place, and over time.

Professional Expertise

Most educational staff have had few if any prior opportunities for specific training in the area of deafblindness. It is rare to have a teacher certified or explicitly trained in deafblindness within a local school district. There is no recognized certification or endorsement through the Texas Education Agency in the area of deafblindness. There is only one university program in Texas offering course work specific to the area of deafblindness. Furthermore, because there are few jobs specifically in the area of deafblindness, the state's ability to utilize these graduates as well as recruit trained individuals from other states is greatly reduced.

Often districts can not meet the unique learning needs of a child with deafblindness without additional training to make appropriate program modifications. In order to design and provide the necessary modifications and supports, most school districts look to outside consultants on deafblindness to provide training to their staff through an inservice model. Districts may utilize assistance from the Regional Deaf-Blind Specialists located at each of the Education Service Centers, or Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach is a training project funded by the Texas Education Agency through a Federal IDEA grant on deafblindness.

Conclusion

Although children with deafblindness present unique challenges to those who are charged with providing them appropriate education, it is important to state that these children can learn. If these children and the educators working with them are given the proper supports, they can make terrific strides. Using appropriate strategies and proven models of support can enable a student who is deafblind to make the most of educational opportunities and be prepared for an enjoyable and productive life.

How Interveners Differ From Other Typical Support Staff

Different job titles are used to describe staff members who support students receiving special education services. The "intervener" is a title exclusively used for a paraprofessional who specifically supports a student with deafblindness. Due to the unique nature of support needed by a child who is deafblind, the responsibilities, expectations, schedule, and training of an intervener differ from what is more commonly seen in other special education staff assignments.

Contrasting an intervener with an instructional aide

  1. The intervener is trained in communication and support strategies unique to students with deafblindness.
  2. Because the intervener must have specialized knowledge and skills to implement the IEP of an individual student who is deafblind, the intervener must be released from duties to participate in training related to deafblindness. This may encompass training provided on-site, and workshops held off-campus, as well as out of town.
  3. The intervener's primary responsibility is to implement the child's IEP by providing access to information, materials, and environments. The intervener may not be pulled to perform other duties (lunchroom or bus duty, substituting for other aides or teachers who are absent, etc.) if it interferes with implementing the IEP.
  4. Because the intervener receives training to perform specialized tasks, and students who are deafblind have difficulty trusting and understanding new people, the intervener must not be considered interchangeable with other paraprofessionals when making duty assignments. One intervener consistently works with a student across different settings, and over a long period of time.
  5. The intervener is present and participates in all staffings and IEP meetings related to the child with deafblindness. This may involve preparing reports, as well as participating in discussions when the team formulates and evaluates programming.
  6. The intervener needs scheduled preparation time which may be used for: observation of general education classes to prepare for the inclusion of the student; making or purchasing adaptive materials; lesson planning; reviewing and recording data; preparing reports; reviewing training materials; or meeting with related service staff and IEP team members.

Contrasting an intervener with a sign language interpreter

  1. A child with deafblindness may or not need the services of a certified interpreter, based on factors such as language ability, instructional arrangement, and IEP goals. For example, a student who uses sign fluently in an academic program requires an interpreter, while a student whose use of sign is emerging is served appropriately with a staff member proficient in sign, but not necessarily certified. Some students with deafblindness use communication forms other than sign altogether, such as speech or tactile symbols. 
    Please note: In cases when a certified interpreter is required, the student's needs related to deafblindness may require the use of skills and strategies in addition to those of a typical interpreter in order for the child's IEP to be fully implemented. In these cases, an interpreter with additional training, skills, roles, and responsibilities is acting as an intervener.
  2. Rather than relying on one uniform communication form or language, such as sign, an intervener must know the individual student's unique communication system. Students who are deafblind may use sign, tactile sign, speech, braille, picture symbols, tactile symbols, objects, gestures, signals, or some combination of these and other communication forms. The intervener must be well versed in the student's individual forms of communicating both receptively and expressively.
  3. When a student who is deafblind uses sign language, it may be modified from sign typically used for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Signs may need to be presented within a few feet from the student in order to remain within the his or her visual range. The signs used may need to be reduced so they can be entirely seen within a very narrow visual field. The student may need to receive sign tactually. Signs may need to be paired with other communication forms for clarity. Making these modifications may be unfamiliar to a typical interpreter.
  4. A student with deafblindness may miss a significant amount of environmental information in addition to what is being said by others. For this reason, the intervener does much more than interpret what is being said. The intervener supplies additional information about what is happening around the student.
  5. Because a student who is deafblind misses significant environmental information, he or she may not have as complete a conceptual understanding of topics being discussed as someone who has complete use of one or both distance senses. Consequently, the intervener supplies conceptual background information to supplement what is being said in class.
  6. An intervener must be familiar with basic orientation and mobility strategies such as sighted guide, and take responsibility for assisting the student in moving from place to place when necessary.
  7. Students who are deafblind have difficulty trusting and understanding new people, so interveners are not interchangeable. One intervener consistently works with a student across different settings, and over a long period of time.
  8. The intervener is present and participates in all staffings and IEP meetings related to the child with deafblindness. This may involve preparing reports, as well as participating in discussions to formulate and evaluate programming with the team. Interpreters do not typically have this role.
  9. In contrast to a typical interpreter, the intervener needs preparatory time which may be used in the following ways: observation of general education classes to prepare for the inclusion of the student; making or purchasing materials; lesson planning, reviewing and recording data; telephone follow-up related to the student's needs; preparing reports; reviewing training materials; or meeting with related service staff and IEP team members.

Who Should Have an Intervener?

The foundation of appropriate educational support for a student with deafblindness is a strong IEP that addresses unique needs related to deafblindness and outlines necessary instructional modifications. The question of using an intervener should be addressed by examining the student's progress with the IEP and the ability of available personnel to supply appropriate modifications within any potential instructional arrangements being considered.

The nature of supports and modifications necessary for an individual student with deafblindness to benefit from instruction are based on two things:

  1. the needs of the individual child; and
  2. the potential for the child to access instruction within available educational settings and instructional models.

An intervener is a staff person designated to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness for all or part of the instructional day. The intervener supports the existing service delivery model in implementing the student's IEP. The decision to use an intervener is based on the level of support a student currently needs to effectively participate in his or her instructional environment. Additionally, if a student with deafblindness requires extensive and novel modifications to the existing educational model, the services of an intervener can be used to simplify the process for the other members of the educational team.

The question of an intervener should only be addressed after the child is assessed, the IEP is developed, and the available service delivery options are reviewed.

The following considerations will assist school districts and families in deciding the level of instructional support that would be most helpful in the child's learning process.

Variables in deciding appropriate level of support with regard to individual student needs:

  1. Social/emotional needs of the child. Example: Some children with deafblindness have extreme difficulties in relating to or responding to people in general. They may become accustomed to isolation when reduced sensory information separates them from others. In such cases, a child may turn inward and withdraw from human contact, or in some cases become combative when another person approaches. Some seem to recognize a few, but not most of the people who interact with them. Sometimes limiting the number of staff who work with the child is helpful. Giving a child the opportunity to build a strong relationship with one person can provide a base for gradually accepting others.
  2. Degree and complexity of sensory loss. Example:If a child is completely without sight and has a hearing loss that causes great distortion of sound, he or she relies heavily on the sense of touch to gain information. In this situation, a person to carefully guide the student through hands-on experience with new activities is frequently needed.
  3. Student's overall instructional profile. Example: Can the student learn in a group none/some/all ofthe time? Does the child require a high degree of consistency in learning that prohibits numerous people working with the student on the same task? Does the student need to become comfortable with a particular task or lesson taught by one person, before others can begin to provide support on the same lessons?

Variables in deciding the need for additional support with regard to educational settings and resources:

  1. Existing special education services are appropriate for the other children with disabilities on the campus, but not a good match for the one child with deaf-blindness in the district. Example: The child with deafblindness is in a classroom with one teacher and ten teenagers who read on a 5th grade level, can learn in a large group, and go alone to some general education classes. The teacher feels that she cannot serve the child with deafblindness without additional staff.
  2. The programming recommended by the IEP committee places such demands on the staff for inservice training and material adaptation/preparation, that the IEP is at risk for not being implemented. Example: The child is served by eight people who are unfamiliar with van Dijk methodology, calendar systems and adaptive listening devices, all of which play a large role in her programming. The amount of inservice it would take to build adequate skills across the group is prohibitive in light of their other duties. The calendar system will take hours to develop and no one has time or is really sure how to start.

Suggested Job Description

Position: Intervener for Student with Deafblindness

An intervener is a staff position designated to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness for all or part of the instructional day as determined by the student's Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The decision to designate an intervener is based on the level of support needed by a student to participate effectively in his/her instructional environment(s) as described by the IEP. The intervener works cooperatively with parents and a variety of direct service providers and consultants including: classroom teachers; teachers of children with hearing impairments, visual impairments, or severe disabilities; speech therapists; occupational and physical therapists; orientation and mobility instructors; and other professionals as well as paraprofessionals.

Rationale: A child who is deafblind needs to have the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with a person who will consistently be available to interpret the world for the child. The child must have continual access to a person who communicates effectively so that the individual can develop a sense of trust and security that will enable the child to learn. Many students with deafblindness require extensive and novel modifications to an existing educational model. The services of an intervener can be used to individualize the process. An intervener serves as a bridge to the world for a child who has deafblindness.

Qualifications: Experience with and/or desire to work with students with sensory impairments. Must be willing to participate in ongoing training in the area of deafblindness.

Reports to: Appropriate administrative staff

Supervises: None

Responsibilities: The intervener assists a student with deafblindness to actively participate in activities and provides a supportive and effective environment in which the student can learn. The intervener provides this service within the guidelines of the school, as set forth in its policies and procedures. The intervener works under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher, and participates as a full educational team member in developing and implementing the student's IEP.

Specific Duties Include: The Intervener's specific duties will be individualized according to the needs of the child and the profile of the current educational placement. Typically, duties may include:

  • Has the primary responsibility to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness during all or part of a school day as part of an educational team, and as indicated in the student's IEP;
  • Follows the student's IEP and the modifications and instructional techniques recommended by related service staff;
  • Become proficient in students' individual communication methods and strategies;
  • Creates instructional materials as needed;
  • Accompanies and supports the student during community-based instruction;
  • Visits or provides instruction in the student's home as deemed appropriate by the IEP committee;
  • Maintains communication between home and school, and keeps a daily log of information about the student and his or her activities;
  • Participates in IEP meetings and student staffings;
  • Participates in the assessment of the student and in the preparation of IEPs, progress reports, behavior plans, data collection, and other documentation for program monitoring;
  • Participates in site-based, regional, and statewide training in the area of deafblindness;
  • Works to attain proficiency in all items listed on the "Intervener Portfolio Summary" self-assessment;
  • Serves as a resource to other staff on issues related to deafblindness.

Work Attitudes:

  • Feels comfortable working in close physical proximity to students while frequently using touch to communicate with and instruct students who are primarily tactile learners;
  • Demonstrates emotional maturity, stability, ability to perform under stress, and frustration tolerance;
  • Shows ability to exercise good judgment, cooperation, tact, and discretion in dealing with the student, family, and others;
  • Shows interest in developing additional knowledge and skills;
  • Follows team decisions, established policies and procedures, and designated lines of communication and authority.

Important Issues for Schools Using an Intervener

Roles of the educational team

  1. Because the intervener should receive special training on issues related to the education of a student with deafblindness, he or she becomes a valuable member of the educational team. Through the course of close daily contact with the student, the intervener also becomes an expert on communication and support for the individual student. For this reason, professionals from certain disciplines may want to seek information from as well as collaborate with the intervener in some situations. At first, these professionals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with this role while working with a paraprofessional. All members of the team should learn about interveners and plan how to best make use of the intervener's unique qualifications and position.
  2. The intervener will be working as part of a transdisciplinary team, which will be needed to plan an appropriate program for a student with dual sensory impairments. This team might include the intervener, the student and family, general and/or special education teachers, consulting/related service staff, general education administrators, special education supervisor, etc.
  3. This team should include professionals such as a teacher of the visually impaired, orientation and mobility specialist, and deaf educator, as well as therapists based on any additional disabilities or needs.
  4. The intervener is a critical part of the team, and should be included in team planning. Since the intervener usually is the consistent person across educational environments, he or she is in a unique position to both provide and disseminate information about the student. The intervener will be responsible for carrying out recommendations made by consulting professionals, and making continuous adaptations to lessons throughout the day. For this reason, the intervener must meet directly with team members on a regular basis.

Support and Supervision

  1. A decision must be made about who will be the intervener's direct supervisor. This may not be obvious if the student changes classrooms or settings during the day. Possible supervisors might include the classroom teacher, resource teacher, special education coordinator, counselor, etc. Lack of a clear chain of supervision can make the intervener feel powerless and unsupported.
  2. The intervener will need on-going support in implementing modifications, obtaining adaptive aids, coordinating with the educational team, interpreting recommendations from consulting staff, brainstorming activities and strategies, finding training opportunities, and many other situations throughout the school year. This would also include emotional support during difficult or frustrating periods. This support could come from a variety of sources, but because the intervener is often isolated, he or she should know where to go when in need of any of these kinds of support.
  3. The position of intervener may be unique on a campus or in a district. This intensifies the feeling of isolation. For that reason, it is helpful if the intervener has the opportunity to be in contact with other paraprofessionals serving in this role at other locations. Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers annual meetings or workshops with strands designed for interveners.

Training

  1. The intervener will need specialized skills and knowledge in order to effectively do his or her job. "Intervener Portfolio Summary ", a document developed to plan training in Texas, can provide guidance in assessing an intervener's skills and training needs. The skills needed center around communication forms used by the student and providing meaningful access to information from the environment.
  2. Training can be provided through a variety of sources, and in a variety of formats. Each regional Education Service Center has designated Deaf-Blind Specialist. This person should be able to inform the district of upcoming training opportunities. Workshops and consultation may be available locally. Other workshops sponsored by Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach may be available on a regional or statewide basis. Some training materials are available in print or video.
  3. The district should expect to set aside some funds to provide access to training for the intervener. Some financial assistance is available from Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach to facilitate training an intervener working with a student listed on the Texas Deafblind Census.

Intervener Certification

  1. In Canada there are university training programs providing coursework leading to certification for interveners. No formal system of certification currently exists in the USA. However, several states are taking steps toward formalizing intervener preparation. College credit courses for interveners are offered or planned in Minnesota and Utah. Ski*Hi Institute in Utah has produced an extensive intervener training manual and has mandatory attendance at monthly intervener training courses funded by the state.
  2. Plans have been made to allow interveners in Texas to access coursework from other states through distance education. Colleges in Texas may in the future offer classes such as these. In the future it may be possible for districts to locate skilled individuals certified to be interveners for students with deafblindness. Until that time, Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach, the regional Education Service Centers, and school districts must work together to provide numerous in-service opportunities to ensure that interveners have the skills needed to work effectively with students who are deafblind.

The Intervener's Schedule

  1. The intervener's schedule is based on the needs of the student. An intervener should be available to the student whenever necessary to insure that the IEP is implemented and the student has access to the information present in the environment. This may be for all or part of the school day as decided by the IEP committee, based on the nature of the educational settings and activities called for in the IEP.
  2. The intervener's work schedule should include time for planning as often as necessary. For example, the intervener needs time to gather and assemble modified materials. Additionally, time may be spent meeting with other members of the educational team, accompanying team members on home visits, and recording data for the team's review.

Broadening the Student's Social and Support Circle

  1. Unlike traditional models in which staff make efforts to fade, giving way to natural support in the classroom and other school environments, in many situations it may be inappropriate for the intervener to fade. The intervener is the communication link between the student and others in the environment. When others are unfamiliar with the student's language or other communication forms, the intervener must be close at hand to interpret.
  2. Because it is necessary for the intervener to be so closely involved in interactions, there is danger that the intervener will become a barrier to social exploration for the student. The intervener must be aware that his or her role is to facilitate interaction by acting as a bridge between the student and others, rather than insulating the student from peers, other professionals, and community members.
  3. The intervener should attempt to expand the student's allies among other professionals by providing information about deafblindness and facilitating communication.

Financial Considerations

  1. Because an intervener may be a necessary support for students who are deafblind, school districts should consider the number of students identified on the deafblind census when planning budgets.
  2. Interveners require specialized skills and training to be effective. Consistency, or lack of employee turnover, is also a concern since students who are deafblind have issues with trust and unique learning styles. For this reason, districts should consider a salary step that will aid recruitment and retention of quality interveners.
  3. Interveners have a unique role with a low incidence student population. Training needed may not be available locally. Districts should be prepared to budget or seek funds for on-going training opportunities for the intervener. One source of financial assistance for intervener training is Texas Deaf-Blind Outreach
  4. Interveners frequently need supplies to make materials for curricular adaptations so the student can have access to instruction. These may be common items (such as velcro strips for making tactile symbols), or more unusual items (such as a potted plant for a student to explore tactually while the rest of the class learns through pictures and lecture.) The intervener should have access to a supply budget to provide these adaptive materials.

Substitutes

  1. Students who are deafblind need consistency in order to trust, understand, and communicate effectively with a person providing support. For this reason, interveners should not be reassigned or pulled for alternate duty without good cause.
  2. However, the role of the intervener requires him or her to be away from regular duties from time to time. For example, interveners need to attend IEP planning meetings and training.
  3. For times that the intervener must be away from the student, an appropriate back-up plan must be in place. Someone else in the school, or a readily available substitute, should receive training in the student's communication style and support needs. The alternate(s) should be trained and introduced to the child by the intervener, especially when trust and bonding is an issue.

Administrative Checklist

When Assigning an Intervener

Student: ______________________________

Intervener: ____________________________

The following considerations should be addressed before the intervener begins working with the student.

____ 1. The intervener's skills have been assessed, and an individual training plan developed for the intervener. (See "Intervener Portfolio Summary.")

____ 2. The chain of supervision is clear, and all members of the student's educational team are aware of their own roles, and the role of the intervener.

____ 3. The intervener knows where to go for all kinds of support and assistance when needed.

____ 4. The intervener has a schedule which accommodates the student's needs, and provides the intervener with time to plan and meet with other team members as often as necessary.

____ 5. The intervener has access to funds for needed instructional materials.

____ 6. There is a procedure for the intervener to gather and share information with other people and broaden the child's base of support.

____ 7. The intervener is familiar with procedures to collect data and demonstrate the child's progress.

____ 8. Adequate back-ups have been identified, oriented, and made available for times the intervener is not present.

Bibliography of Additional Materials on Interveners

Alsop, L. (Ed.). (in press). Understanding Deafblindness: Issues, Perspectives, and Strategies. Logan, UT: Ski-Hi Institute.

This two volume manual is a comprehensive training resource designed interveners and families of children with deafblindness. Among the twenty-four units on topics related to deafblindness, "The Intervener" covers training needs, responsibilities, attitudes, and effective strategies for working with children.

Alsop, L., Blaha, R., & Kloos, E. (2000). The Intervener in Early Intervention and Educational Settings for Children and Youth With Deafblindness. Monmouth, OR: NTAC.

This NTAC Briefing Paper was developed and reviewed by people from throughout the country, and provides the first national statement on the use of interveners in schools and early intervention settings. Available online  through DB-LINK at 1-800-438-9376.

Deafblindness and the Intervener (1998) Logan, UT: Utah State University.

This videotape shows interveners working with students who are deafblind, and has interviews with parents, educators, administrators, and interveners. Available from Hope Publishing, Incorporated; (435)752-9533; www.hopepubl.com/.

Henderson, P. & Killoran, J. (1995). Utah Enhances Services for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind. Deaf-Blind Perspectives, 3(1), 3-6.

This article focuses on the needs of students with deafblindness, and advocacy leading to legislation providing funds for intervener services in Utah.

Watkins, S., Clark, T., Strong, C., & Barringer, D. (1994). Effectiveness of an Intervener Model of Services for Young Deaf-Blind Children American Annals of the Deaf, 139(4), 404-409.

In this study, interveners were shown to help children develop interactive behaviors instead of isolated, defensive, or self-stimulatory behaviors. Quantitative and qualitative data support the effectiveness of intervener services for young children who are deaf-blind.

You and Me: A Five Part Video Series About Educating Children Who Are Deaf-Blind. (1995). Monmouth, OR: Teaching Research.

Though this video uses the term "interpreter-tutor", the function of the support model used is parallel to an intervener. The video shows an intervener working with a student who is deafblind in an inclusive setting.

 

compiled by TSBVI Deafblind Outreach Staff

Testing the hearing and vision of some children may be very difficult if the child does not respond in traditional ways to clinical assessment. To assist the ophthalmologist, optometrist, otologist or audiologist obtain good testing results on these children it is often helpful to conduct informal assessment prior to or in conjunction with their formal assessments. This type of informal assessment may be carried out by the educational staff and parents. Texas Deafblind Outreach has compiled a variety of assessment tools which we hope will help parents and educational staff gather functional information that may then be shared with these doctors to aid them in making a definitive determination of hearing or vision loss. These materials include those which will: guide observations and organize that information to share with medical staff; expand the range of questions to explore with the professionals to get good testing results; and help prepare the student for more formal testing procedures. Additionally, we have included materials which will aid the educational staff in determining modifications to improve programming for the child in the classroom.

These materials are in no way meant to supplant formal testing done by ophthalmologists, optometrists, audiologists or otologists. Law and common sense dictates that formal testing must be done. Rather it is meant to aid in getting good testing results on hard to test children. If you need some help using these materials, the Texas Deafblind Outreach staff is also available to help. You may request their assistance by contacting Cyral Miller, Outreach Director, at (512) 206-9242.

Your region may know of other useful vision and/or auditory assessments. TSBVI Outreach would love to share your resources! 

 

STUDENT CATEGORY DEFINITIONS

FI = FULL INDEPENDENCE

These students are expected to achieve full Independence in adult living roles. They will probably be assessed using TAAS at their appropriate grade level. They may have additional impairments so long as they function within 2 grade levels of their chronological peers. Post high school education for these students is likely to be college, trade school, or vocational programs.

SEMI-I = SEMI-INDEPENDENCE

These students are expected to be able to live independently without direct or constant assistance. They are likely to be assessed using either the TAAS or release TAAS. These students have reading, math, and writing skills at least 2 grade levels below their chronological peers. They can complete tasks which require a moderate degree of abstraction, but they must first have a very concrete learning foundation. Post high school education for these students is likely to be a trade school or vocational program. It is expected that these students will be able to participate in competitive employment in the general job market with only minimal assistance or support.

FS = FUNCTIONAL SKILLS

These students are in 6th grade or above. If this student category is being considered for a K-5 student, assign the student to the Semi-Independent category. These students will be assessed using an alternative instrument (as opposed to TAAS). They are not expected to read, write, and/or perform mathematical computations beyond the second grade. The appropriate curricular focus for these students is on helping them to develop practical skills necessary for living as independently as possible. Their educational program is typically community based, concrete, and action oriented. These students learn best when they can practice what they are learning in age-appropriate settings which provide experience with the tasks of daily living (e.g. cooking, counting money, etc.). They are able to generalize concepts from one environment to another. The expected outcome for these students is that they will be able to participate in competitive employment with assistance, and that they will be able to live with consistent support (e.g. supported living facility, etc.).

SUP-I = SUPPORTED INDEPENDENCE

These students are expected to require continuous ongoing support as adults. They will be assessed using alternative assessment procedures. Educational programs for these students are typically community based and emphasize routines and calendar systems. These students have difficulty generalizing from one environment to another. Instructional domains typically include domestic, vocational, and recreation/leisure skills. Social competence, social interactions, emotional development, and organization skills are the emphasis of these students' instructional programming.

P = PARTICIPATION

These students have multiple impairments, which usually include severe cognitive delays, the inability to generalize from one environment to another, and the inability to use meaningful verbal communication. They are typically assessed with alternative assessment procedures which could include portfolio and biobehavioral state assessment. As adults, they are expected to require extensive ongoing support. The emphasis of their instructional program should be placed on environmental awareness and appropriate forms of communication

References used in developing these definitions include the Assessing Unique Needs (AUEN) , Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired's Continuum of Service document, and the Regional Student Performance Indicators (RSPI)


 

Assessment Resources for Vision and Hearing

Assessment Resources for Vision and Hearing

Compiled by Jenny Lace, Texas Deafblind Outreach in 2009

Assessment Area Editor / Order Type Student Categories

ABC Checklist for Vision Observation and History - It's as Simple as A, B, C

Vision

Modified by Tani Anthony: VIBRATIONS Newsletter of Colorado Services for Children who are Deafblind, Winter 2000 Edition

Checklist

FI, SEMI-I

A G Bell Speech & Hearing Checklist

Auditory

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

www.agbell.org

Checklist

Infant

Assessing Basic Auditory Skills

Auditory

J.C. Durkel, TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

 

All

Assessing Children's Vision: A Handbook

Vision

Colorado Services for Children who are Deafblind, Lending Library, Sheryl Ayresm, CDE, 201 E. Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203

Book

Unknown

Assessing Young Children with Dual Sensory & Multiple Impairments (Ages Birth-Five) Assessment Guidelines Volume 1

Vision

Auditory

By: Ellin Siegel-Causey, Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1996 GLARCDB, 665 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Columbus, OH, 43229

Instrument

Infant-Preschooler, SUP-I, P

Assessment and Instructional Resources

Vision

Auditory

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Website

Website

All

Assessment of Auditory Functioning

Auditory

By: D. Gleason, 1984; found in appendices from VIMI, M. Smith & N. Levack; order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, TX. 78756

Guide

SEMI-I, FS,SUP-I, Preschooler

Assessment of Auditory Functioning of Deaf-Blind / Multihandicapped Children

Auditory

By: Deborah Kukla & Theresa Thomas Connolly, 1978, South Central Regional Center for Services to Deaf-Blind Children, Dallas Texas

Guide

FS, SUP-I, P

Assessment of Biobehavioral States & Analysis of Related Influences

Vision

Auditory

By: M. Smith & S. Shafer, based on Crib, Simeonsson & Project Able, Guy. Found in Appendices from VIMI, M. Smith & N. Levack; order from TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas 78756

Guide

P

Assessment of the Visually Impaired

Vision

By: Nan Bulla, M.Ed., 1996; order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Guide

All

Audiological Assessment of Individuals w/ DeafBlindness Utilizing Behavioral Methods

Auditory

By: Moore, John Mick; Connix, Frans. 1996; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link 

http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Paper

FS, SUP-I

Audiometric Procedures Commonly Used to Identify Potential Hearing Loss

Auditory

J.C. Durkel, TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Chart

All

Auditory Assessment & Programming for Severely Handicapped Deaf-Blind Students

Auditory

By: L.Goetz & B.Utley; order from: The Association of the Severely Handicapped, 7010 Roosevelt Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115; Words & Pictures Corporation, PO Box 1001, Parsona, KS 67357

Manual

FS, SUP-I, P

Auditory Assessment of the Difficult to Test

Auditory

By: Robert T. Fulton & Lyle Lloyd; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link

Book

FS, SUP-I, P

Auditory Brainstem Response & Otoacoustic Emissions

Auditory

ASHA Let's Talk, Apr. 1994

Article

All

Auditory Development - Objectives for Child

Auditory

Infant Hearing Resource, Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, 1015 N.W. 22nd Ave., Portland, Oregon 97210

Checklist

Infant-Preschooler, ALL

BAR- Beyond Arms Reach

Vision

By: Audrey Smith, Ph.D. & Lizbeth O'Donnel, M.S., Pennsylvania College Of Optometry Press, 1200 Godfrey Ave., Philadelphia, Penn. 19141

Instrument

FI, SEMI-I, FS

Basic Vision Skills

Vision

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45thSt., Austin, TX 78756

Packet

All

Callier Azuza Scale, The

Vision

Auditory

By: Robert Stillman, 1978; order from: University of Texas at Dallas, Comm. Disorders, 1966 Inwood Rd., Dallas, Tx. 75235

Instrument

SEMI-I, FS, SUP-I,P

Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD)

Auditory

By: Judith W. Paton

LDOnLine http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/process_deficit/capd_paton.html

Article

FI, SEMI-I, FS

CAPD Handout for Parents & Teachers

Auditory

Web site- ABC's of LD/ADD; The Audiology & Speech Pathology Clinic at Wilford Hall Medical Center, The United States Air Force hospital at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX

Handout

All

Central Auditory/ Vision Processing Disorders

Vision

Auditory

Search websites: ABC's of LD/ADD

http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/process_deficit/pro_deficits.html

Article

All

Characteristics of Students with Auditory Processing Problems That May Be Observed in the Classroom

Auditory

By: Susan Bell, The Speech Bin, Catalogue No.1545 from "What is Auditory Processing?"

Article

All

Checklist for Deaf-Blind Census of Texas

Vision

Auditory

By: Roseanna Davidson, Ed.D., Texas Tech University, Deafblind Census of Texas, College of Education, PO Box 41071, Lubbock, TX. 79409

Checklist

All

Children with Dual Sensory Impairments Series Guidelines for Determining Functional Hearing in School-Based Settings

Auditory

by: Flexer, Baumgarner, Wilcox, 1990. Order from: M. Jeanne Wilcox, Ph.D., Family Child Learning Center, 90 West Overdale Dr., Tallmadge, OH 44278

Module

All

Children with Dual Sensory Impairments Series: Guidelines for Determining Functional Use of Vision in School-Based Settings

Vision

By: Cambell, Ph.D., Baumgarner, Wilcox 1989 Order from: M. Jeanne Wilcox, Ph.D., Family Child Learning Center, 90 West Overdale Dr., Tallmadge, Ohio, 44278

Module

All

Comparison of the Frequency & Intensity of Various Environmental & Speech Sounds

Auditory

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Graph

All

Conditions with Hearing Loss & Retinitis Pigmentosa Different from Usher Syndrome

Vision

Auditory

By: Davenport, Sandra, M.D., Sensory Genetics/Neurodevelopment, 5801 Southwood Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437-173

Table

All

Considerations for Detecting Hearing Loss in Infants

Auditory

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Article

Infant

Cortical Visual Impairment

Vision

By: Jan, Groenveld, Sykanda, Hoyt, 1987

 Article

 All

Cortical Visual Impairment - An Overview of Current Knowledge

Vision

contact Tanni at: Colorado Dept.of Education, State Office, Bldg. 201 E., Denver, CO 80203

Article

All

Cortical Visual Impairment Presentation. Assessment and Management. Monograph Series Number 3.

Vision

By: Heather Crossman, 1992, The Royal New South Wales Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. North Rocks Press, Australia: http://www.ridbc.org.au/index.asp

Monograph Series

All

CTEVH XXXII Annual Conference: Cortical Vision Impairment, Delayed Visual Maturation, Cortical Blindness

Vision

By: Takeshita, Bill, 1996 Center for the Partially Sighted, Director of Children's Services, 720 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Handout

All

DAP - Diagnostic Assessment Procedure

Vision

APH, PO Box 6085, Louisville, KY 40206-0085

Instrument

FI, SEMI-I, FS

DB-LINK Assessment Bibliographies

Vision

Auditory

Website: http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Website

All

Deaf-Blind Infants and Children: A Developmental Guide

Vision

Auditory

By: McInnes & Trefrey, University of Toronto Press, 1982

Guide

Infant -KDG., FS, SUP-I, P

Deafness and Vision Disorders: Anatomy and Physiology, Assessment

Procedures, Ocular Anomalies, and Educational Implications

Vision

Auditory

By: Johnson, Donald D., Order from: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD.,  www.ccthomas.com

email: 

Book

All

Diagnostic Patching Regimen for the Profoundly Multiply Handicapped,

Vision

By: Freeman, O.D. & Jose, O.D.; Journal of Behavioral Optometry, 1995

Article

SUP-I, P

Early Identification of Deaf-Blindness

Vision

Auditory

By: Davenport, Sandra L. H. 1993; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Outline

Infant-Preschooler

Early Identification of Hearing Loss in Infants & Young Children

Auditory

www.hsdc.org/hrgloss

Checklist

Infant

Educating Young Children A Developmental Approach

Vision

Auditory

S. G. Garwood, E. pg 235-281 Rockville, Md. Aspen Systems Corp 1983; "Working with Sensorily Impaired Children," Rebecca Fewell

Book

Infant-Preschooler, P

Educational Methods for Deaf-Blind and Severely Handicapped Students, 1980

Auditory

Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress, Austin, Texas 78701

Article

Birth-6YRS.

Effective Practices in Early Intervention - Infants Whose Disabilities Include Both Vision & Hearing Loss

Vision

Auditory

By: Deborah Chen, Ph.D., California State University, Northridge

Guide

Infant, P

Every Move Counts - Sensory Based Communication Techniques

Vision

 Auditory

Therapy Skill Builders, 3830 E. Bellevue, PO Box 42050, Tucson, AZ 85733

Manual, Video

Infant, SUP-I, P

Functional Auditory Assessment

Auditory

By: Gee, Kathy. San Jose State University, 1996; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link nationaldb.org

Packet

All

Functional Hearing Assessment

Auditory

By: Peggy Miller Tarver, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Handout

Infant

Functional Skills Screening Inventory

Vision

 Auditory

Functional Resources, 3905 Huntington Drive, Amarillo, TX 79109-4047

Instrument

SEMI-I, FS, SUP-I

Functional Vision & Media Assessment (2nd Edition) for Students who are Pre-Academic or Academic & Visually Impaired in Grades K-12

Vision

By Vision Consultants, Larhea Sanford & Rebecca Burnett, 1996; PO Box 8594, Hermitage, TN 37076 ph: (615)885-0764

Instrument

K-12TH GRADE, FI, SEMI-I, FS

Functional Vision Assessment & Interventions

Vision

Topor, Irene L. 1996; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link 

Packet

All

Functional Vision Assessment Birth to Three Years & Multihandicapped Recording Form

Vision

By: Kathleen Appleby, 1996; Vision Associates, 7512 Dr Phillips Blvd., Orlando, FL.

Form

BIRTH-3YRS., SUP-I, P

Functional Vision Evaluation

Vision

Region VIII Education Service Center, PO Box 1894, Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456-1894

Instrument

All

Functional Vision Screening

Vision

By: Beth Langley & Rebecca Dubose

Instrument

All

Gathering Information for Programming for the Student with the Most Profound Disabilities: Information Packet, 1997

Vision

Auditory

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Outreach, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, TX 78756-3494

Packet

P

Getting the Most out of Clinical Low Vision Evaluations & Ophthalmologic Evaluations for the Student w/ Deafblindness

Vision

Tarver, Peggy Miller; Blaha, Robbie 1996; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link

http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Packet

All

Great Lakes Area Regional Center for Deafblind Education Assessment Guidelines

Vision

Auditory

University of Dayton/UDRI Project #93985, Assessment Guidelines, GLARCDBE, Poste Lake Building, Suite 100, 665 East Dublin-Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43229

Guide

Infant-Preschooler; Ages 6-15; Young Adults- SEMI-I, FS, SUP-I

Guide for Observing Auditory Responses

Auditory

By: Karen Wright, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Guide

All

Hearing Observation Form

Auditory

By: TSBVI Outreach, 1995, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, TX 78756

Chart

All

HELP (Hawaii Early Learning Profile)

Vision

Auditory

Vort Corporation, PO Box 60132, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Instrument

Infant-Preschooler, P

Here's Looking at You Kid - The Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Blind & Visually Impaired Children, 1993

Vision

Order from: Diane McConnell & Bill Mckeown, The Canadian National Institute for the Blind, 12010 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5K 0P3

Paper

All

How is All the Information From a Functional Vision Assessment Put Together?

Vision

Indiana Deaf-Blind Services Project Information Updates.5. Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN; 

Unknown

Unknown

How to Read an Audiogram

Auditory

By: Sandra Davenport, M.D., Sensory Genetics/Neuro Development, 5801 Southwood Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437

Article

All

Informal Assessment of Listening Skills

Auditory

TSBVI - Curriculum, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756, ph: (512) 454-8631

Assessment KIT Listening

Infant-Preschooler

Informal Auditory Observation Form

Auditory

By: Robbie Blaha & Stacy Shafer; TSBVI Outreach, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin,

TX 78756

Informal

All

INSITE

Vision

Auditory

Project INSITE, Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind, 846 20th St., Ogden, UT 84401 order: HOPE INC. 55 E. 100 North, Suite 203, Logan, Utah 84321

Manual, Video

Infant-Preschooler, P

Issues Regarding the Assessment of Vision Loss in Regard to Sign Language and Fingerspelling for the Student with Deaf-Blindness

Vision

Auditory

By: Robbie Blaha; Order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Tx. 78756

Article

F-, SEMI-I, FS, SUP-I

Learning Media Assessment of Students with Visual Impairments - A Resource Guide for Teachers

Vision

By: Alan Koenig & M. Cay Holbrook, 1993; Order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Guide

All

Low Vision - A Resource Guide with Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments

Vision

By: Nancy Levack, 1991; Order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Guide

All

Low Vision: A Resource Guide w/ Adaptations for Students w/ Visual Impairments

Vision

By: Levack, Nancy; Stone, Gretchen; Bishop, Virginia 1996. Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired (TSBVI) 1100 West 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756-3494

Guide

All

Making Choices in Functional Vision Evaluations: "Noodles, Needles and Haystacks"

Vision

By: V. Bishop, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. 82, 94-98;  http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ368869&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ368869

Article

All

Making the Most of Early Communication

Vision

Auditory

VIDEO By: Deborah Chen and Pamela Schachter; Order from: AFB Press

Video

Infant-Preschooler

Michigan Severity Rating Scales for Students with Visual Impairments,

Vision

Michigan School for the Blind Outreach Department, 1996-1997

Packet

All

New Methods for Evaluating Vision

Vision

By: Cress, Pamela J. & Spellman, Charles R. 1991; Assessment Bibliography from DB Link  http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Article

Infant-Preschooler P

Nonhearing World, The; Understanding hearing Loss

Auditory

Films for the Humanities, INC, Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543-2053

Video

All

Oregon Project

Vision

Auditory

Jackson County Education Service District, 101 N. Grape St., Medford, OR 97561

Instrument

Birth-6 Yrs.FI, SI, FS

Parent Checklist

Auditory

By: Peggy Miller Tarver, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Checklist

Infant-Preschooler

Peabody Model Vision Project: Functional Vision for the Multiply & Severely Handicapped

Vision

By Beth Langely, 1980; order from: Stoelting Co., 1350 S. Kostner Ave., Chicago, IL 60623

Manual

SEMI-I, FS, SUP-I

Possible Indicators of Persons Who May Not Be Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Auditory

By: Peggy Miller Tarver, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Checklist

All

Procedures Commonly Used for Determining Potential Hearing Loss

Auditory

By: Jim Durkel, TSBVI-Outreach 1100 W, 45th. St., Austin, TX 78756

Chart

 

Reactions Frequently Reported by Hard of Hearing People

Auditory

TSBVI-Outreach 1100 W, 45th. St., Austin, TX 78756

List

All

Screening for Hearing & Vision Loss

Vision

Auditory

Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind-ASDB Tucson, AZ. Assessment Bibliography from DB Link  http://nationaldb.org/ISLibrary.php

Article

Birth-6 Yrs.

Sensory Assessment Manual

Vision

Auditory

By: Cress, Pamela. Monmouth,1989 OR: Oregon State System of Higher Ed. Teaching Research Division, 345 N Monmouth Ave. 97361

Manual

FI, SEMI-I

Sounds of Texas: Can Your Baby Hear Them

Auditory

Texas Department of Health http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/audio/sotbroch.htm

Checklist

Infant

South Carolina Functional Vision Assessment

Vision

South Carolina Department of Education, 1429 Senate St., Columbia, SC 29201

Instrument

All

Steps in Preparing the Functional Vision Assessment for Students with Multiple Disabilities

Vision

From Foundations of Low Vision: Clinical & Functional Perspectives By:: Corn & Koenig; From Foundations of Low Vision: Clinical & Functional Perspectives.

Book

P

Suggestions for Parents in Preparing a Childe for Audiologicals

Auditory

By: Karen Wright & Peggy Miller Tarver Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704 ph: (512) 462-5353

Article

All

Systematic Procedures for Eliciting and Recording Responses to Sound Stimuli in Deafblind Multihandicapped Children

Auditory

By: Susan M. Kershman & Deborah Napier

Article

Toddlers, SUP-I, P

Teachers Guide to the Special Educational Needs of Blind and Visually Handicapped Children - Functional Vision Checklists-pg..37-44

Vision

American Foundation for the Blind, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, NY, NY 10001

Book

FI, SEMI-I, FS

Teaching Students with Visual & Multiple Impairments

Vision

Auditory

By: M. Smith & N. Levack; Order from: TSBVI, 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Guide

All

Team Approach to Audiological Assessment

Auditory

VIDEO: Infant Hearing Resource/Hearing & Speech Institute, 3515 SW Veterans Hospital Rd., Portland, OR 97201

Video

Infant

Test of Auditory Perceptual Skills

Auditory

Morrison F. Gardner (for ages 4-13); order from: Stoelting Co., 620 Wheat Lane, Wood Dale, IL 60191; ph: 630-860-9700; fax: 630-860-9775; www.stoeltingco.com

Kit

FI, SEMI-I

Texas Early Childhood Intervention Vision & Auditory Forms

Vision

Auditory

Contact your local ECI program

FORM

Infant, SUP-I, P

The Nonhearing World; Understanding Hearing Loss

Auditory

VIDEO: Films for the Humanities, Inc., Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543-2053

Video

All

Things to Consider: Preparing for an Eye Exam of your Child

Vision

By: Tani Anthony CDE, 201E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO.

Checklist

All

Things to Know Before You Go To the Audiologist

Auditory

By: Stacy Shafer, Robbie Blaha, 1997. order from: TSBVI, 1100 West 45th St., Austin, TX 78756 ph: (512) 454-8631

Packet

All

Things to Think About When Looking at CAPD

Auditory

By: Jim Durkel, TSBVI Outreach 1100 West 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Handout

Infant

Understanding Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory

By: Dorothy A. Kelly; Order from: Communication Skill Builders

Guide

FI, SEMI-I, FS

Understanding Low Vision

Vision

by: Randal T. Jose, Ed., 1989; American Foundation for the Blind

Book

All

Usher Syndrome Screening Checklist

Vision

Auditory

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Checklist

FI, SEMI-I

Usher's Syndrome Adolescent

Vision

Auditory

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

SCREENING FORM

Adolescent, FI, SEMI-I

VIISA (Resources for Family Centered Intervention for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Who Are Visually Impaired)

Vision

SKI*HI Institute, Utah State University, Department of Communication Disorders, Logan, UT 84322-1900; order: HOPE INC., 55 East 100 North, Suite 203, Logan, Utah 84321

Manual

Infant-Preschooler

Vision Assessment and Program Manual for Severely Handicapped and/or Deaf-Blind Students

Vision

Eric [document Reproduction Service No. ED 250-840] Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children

Unknown

Unknown

Vision Associates

Vision

7512 Dr Phillips Blvd., #50-316, Orlando, FL 32819 

Checklist, Instrument, Kit, Video, Book

All

Vision Questionnaire - For Teaching Parents / Teachers Usher)

Vision

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Questionnaire

Usher, FI, SEMI-I

Vision Screening for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Students

Vision

Auditory

Minneapolis Children's Medical Center, 2525 Chicago Ave-South, Minneapolis, MN 55404; Sensory Genetics/Neuro-development, 5801 Southwood Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437

Questionnaire

All

Vision Test for Infants

Vision

By: Chen, Deborah California State University order: AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind, Eleven Penn Plaza, New York, NY 1001

Video

Infant

Visual and Auditory Processing Disorders

Vision

Auditory

National Center for Learning Disabilities, 381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1420, New York, NY 10016

Variety

All

Visual Impairment and Learning Disabilities

Vision

By: Bulla, 1997 TSBVI 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Article

FI, SEM-I, FS

What Can Baby Hear?

Auditory

VIDEO By: Deborah Chen, Ph.D., California State University, 1997; Order from: AFB Press

Video

Infant

What Can Baby See?

Vision

VIDEO By: Deborah Chen; Order from: AFB Press

Video

Infant

What is Usher Syndrome? How to Recognize the Combination of Hearing Loss and Retinitis Pigmentosa

Vision

Auditory

DRAFT - Indiana Deaf-Blind Services Project http://www.indstate.edu/blumberg/

Guide

FI, SEMI-I, FS

What's Functional About a Functional Vision Assessment?

Vision

By: I. Topor (with Penny Rosenblum) (1994), Indiana Deaf-Blind Services Project Information Updates. 5., Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN; 

http://www.indstate.edu/blumberg/

Article

Unknown

When Families & Staff Go to the Ophthalmologist or Audiologist

Vision

Auditory

By: Blaha, Robbie 1995 TSBVI Outreach 1100 West 45th St. Austin, TX 78756

Article

All

Why is it Important to Screen for Usher Syndrome?

Vision

Auditory

TSBVI- Outreach 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Article

FI, SEMI-I, FS

Developed by Chrissy Cowan, TVI

 

Magnifier Lesson 1: Orientation to a Handheld Magnifier

Procedure

  1. Have on display a variety of objects to investigate with a magnifier.  Examples include feathers, leaves, cloth, seeds, money, coral, paper wasp nest, and sticker burrs.  (a lamp may be needed if lighting is insufficient)
  2. Allow the student to investigate the materials without the magnifier.  Introduce a handheld magnifier in order to see the finer details of the objects on display.  Demonstrate how to hold the magnifier to get the clearest image.  Introduce the term “focal distance”, or the distance between the magnifier lens and the object being viewed. 
  3. Optional activities to stretch this activity:
  • Draw  pictures of what you see
  • Look up the object in a field guide
  • Go for a walk to investigate objects found outside

4.   Ask the student if there are things up close he would like to be able to see better.  Make a list.

Additional Activities:

 

Magnifier Lesson 2: Orientation to a Stand Magnifier

Procedure

  1. Explain the difference between a handheld and stand magnifier.  (refer to p. 170 in Looking to Learn) Be sure to mention the types of materials and situations in which you would use each kind of magnifier.
  2. Play a game using the stand magnifier to read fine print.  Examples of games include Monopoly (read the spaces on the board, the real estate cards, and the Chance/Community Chest cards); Trivial Pursuits; any board game that includes small cards to read.
  3. Look at photographs you and your student bring from home of family, pets, etc. 
  4. Compare finger prints.  

Additional Activities:

 

Magnifier Lesson 3: Positioning, Stabilizing Material, Stabilizing the Hand, Adjusting Head-to-Lens Distance

Procedure

  1. These skills are the “ergonomics” of using a magnifier.  They will enable the student to read for extended periods of time with less back, neck, and arm strain.  Use a 3-ring binder tilted toward the student on which to set (flat) material.  Both feet should be flat on the floor, the head to lens distance should be comfortably maintained, and the hand holding the magnifier should be stabilized.  There are slightly different techniques for the two different styles of magnifier (refer to pages 174-176 in Looking to Learn)
  2. Place materials to be viewed on the binder to practice with the magnifier.  Be sure to use materials which may be of interest to your student.  Examples include CD music case, lyrics of a song, jokes, magazines, Nintendo magazine, photo album.
  3. Practice moving smoothly across the material being viewed, keeping a comfortable posture and supporting the hand/arm holding the magnifier.  Ask the student to describe what he sees.

Additional Activities:

 

Magnifier Lesson 4: Reading on a Flat Surface / Reading a Variety of Formats

Procedure

  1. Examples of materials for this lesson include books, letters, workbooks, worksheets, newspapers, and magazines.  For this lesson, however, be sure the materials are spaced evenly (not single spaced, as this is too difficult just yet), and arranged in a systematic order on the page. 
  2. Encourage correct positioning of the body and materials (refer to the previous lesson).
  3. Demonstrate the correct scanning technique:  Start in the upper left corner.  Move across the top, then backtrack and move down.  Repeat to the bottom right corner.  Ask your student to tell you the format that was used on this page (columns, boxes, continuous text)
  4. Ask the student to read or describe the content of the page.
  5. Follow this lesson with examples of a variety of formats.  (refer to page 177-178 in Looking to Learn for ideas on more formats)  Be sure to include a sample of the student’s own handwriting.

Additional Activities:

 

Magnifier Lesson 5: Tracking at Reading Speed

Procedure

  1. Before starting this lesson, the student must be experienced at stabilizing materials and using positioning that enables him to read for longer periods of time.  This lesson also assumes that the student has some fluency in reading. 
  2. Two modifications which may help the student stay on the line include a ruler (to hold under the line being read when using a handheld magnifier) or placing a Post-It note along the middle of the bottom of the stand magnifier.
  3. Start by asking the student to smoothly track across each line of print, but don’t read just yet.  Use materials that are double spaced.
  4. The object is to track while staying on the line with the magnifier.  Reinforce smooth left to right, up to down movements  
  5. Ask the student to read out loud.  Ask one or two comprehension questions when he is finished. 
  6. As you continue with this type of lesson, introduce a stop watch for the student to time himself.  Keep a chart noting the date, # of words read in 5 minutes, the # of miscues (mistakes), and the percentage of comprehension questions he answered correctly.  Keep the time frame to 5 minutes until it is relatively easy for your student.  Gradually you will increase this time to up to 20 minutes.
  7. To perfect this skill, the student will need to practice at least 3 times a week for 5-15 minutes each time.  This will mean either assigning work to be done at home, or to be done in another setting at school.

Additional Activities:  (or ideas for reading materials)

 

 

Magnifier Lesson 6: Using the Magnifier for Classroom Assignments

Procedure

In order to use the magnifier successfully in class, your student will have to be proficient at positioning, tracking, and adjusting to different formats.  Start by selecting one class or subject area (or ask your student to select one) in which to integrate reading with the magnifier.  Discuss your objective with the classroom teacher, including a reinforcement system to be used.  Ultimately, the classroom teacher will have to encourage and reinforce usage of the magnifier in your absence.

Observe the class on a typical day to see the type of (near) reading required of your student (e.g. text book, worksheets, taking notes).  Select one reading task to reinforce (the shortest or easiest). 

  1. Discuss your objective with the student:  To use the magnifier to read in at least one class.  Review the reinforcement system you and his classroom teacher have decided upon. 
  2. Ask him to begin today (or tomorrow) in one class (or subject area).  Remind him that you will be observing during this class time next week.
  3. On the following week, step into the class to observe how the magnifier is being used, but avoid using this time to correct your student if this would be intrusive.
  4. At your next lesson, discuss your observations.  Give tips, if necessary, on techniques which may increase speed or stamina.
  5. Ask your student to select a second class in which to use the magnifier.  Continue to add classes.

Additional Activities:

 

Magnifier Lesson 7: Using the Magnifier for Life Skills

Procedure

Life skills reading with a magnifier includes the day to day reading that we all do outside of school.  This includes medicine bottles, menus, bills, inserts on CD’s, cans, maps, charts, recipes, oven dials….the list is endless. 

  1. Give your student a sheet of paper and ask him to list all the things in his house he sees people reading.  Or, he can ask each person in his house what they have read today. 
  2. When he brings this list back to school, review it with him.  Ask him to mark the things he can read well without magnification.  Ask him if there are any things not on the list that he would like to be able to see better (things using near vision).
  3. Collect as many of these items as you can for the next lesson.
  4. On the next lesson, practice reading these items.  They may require different types of magnifiers, so be prepared by having both stand and handheld magnifiers available.  As he is able to access each item, put a check next to it on the list.  Add the names of items he discovers he can read more easily with the magnifier.

Additional Activities:

  

 

Goals and Objectives For Magnifiers 

The following goals and objectives are purposely not written in measurable terms in order to enable the teacher of students who are visually impaired to customize them to individual students.

GOAL:  To demonstrate skills for magnifier maintenance

OBJECTIVES:  The student will be able to:

  1. Hold the magnifier properly
  2. Communicate the purpose of the magnifier
  3. Clean the magnifier appropriately
  4. Assume responsibility for the magnifier
  5. Store the magnifier in a convenient location for quick retrieval
  6. Initiate the use of the magnifier

GOAL:  To demonstrate skills for magnifier use

OBJECTIVES:  The student will be able to…

  1. Position self for optimal viewing
  2. Stabilize the reading material/object
  3. Stabilize the hand using the magnifier
  4. Adjust the head-to-lens distance
  5. Coordinate the hand, head, and eye movements specific to the type of magnifier
  6. Use the magnifier to read on a flat surfaces
  7. Read a variety of print formats
  8. Track at a speed which allows for reading commensurate with reading level
  9. Develop stamina for the duration of an age- or grade-appropriate assignment
  10. Select the appropriate magnifier for the task
  11. Use the magnifier for nonprint activities

Lesson 1: Copying Single Symbols

Procedure

  1. Introduce today’s lesson by saying you will be working on copying with the monocular.  For copying lessons, the student will need to be seated comfortably positioned and facing the chart, feet resting on a surface.  He will need to have a piece of paper, pencil, and colored pencils or markers on his desk.
  2. Copying with the monocular requires constant looking, placing the monocular down, and writing on paper.  The monocular can either be worn around the neck, or placed on the desk so that it won’t roll off.  A thick rubber band looped around the monocular will slow it from rolling, or use a “rollbuster” for this purpose (available from APH).
  3. Ask the student to number his paper to correspond with the chart* activity you have prepared.  Place the chart far enough away that the student has to use his monocular.  Ask the student to focus on the chart, scan it and tell you what the format is.
  4. Depending on the age and level of your student, he should begin looking at #1, and copying what he sees onto his paper.  This can be single letters/numbers/shapes, or short words.  Introduce the word “peek”.  Encourage the student to take one peek per symbol or word, try to remember it, and copy it down on their paper without taking a second peek at the same item.  (you are building visual memory, which will be necessary for copying longer information passages)
  5. After the student has completed #1, instruct him to now take another peek at the #1 on the chart.  Is his the same?  He should make any corrections if needed at this time.
  6. Continue in this manner until he finishes copying everything on the chart.

*Charts typically used are called 1” Ruled Chart Tablets.  The 24”x16” sized spiral is most convenient for the itinerant teacher.  When preparing materials in charts, leave a blank page between pages for easier viewing.  Write on charts using a dark marker with a wider point, such as the Mr. Sketch markers. 

 

Lesson 2: Copying Words and Short Phrases

Procedure

  1. Check the condition of the monocular.  Is it stored safely and conveniently?  Is it in good condition?  Ask your student if he had the opportunity to use the monocular during the week.  If so, what did he use it for?
  2. Today you will introduce a reinforcement system for correct and frequent use of the monocular.  For now you will only be concerned with speed and accuracy, and the frequency of use will be measured once the student knows how to copy up to approximately 5 words per peek.  Your reinforcement system should include:
  • list of (monocular) behaviors you want to reinforce
  • list of things the student enjoys (is willing to work toward)
  • “price list” of what each privilege will cost
  • record of points earned and exchanged
  • progress sheet of speed and accuracy
  • record of things the student can see at a distance with and without the monocular
  1. For this activity, use a chart prepared with one numbered column of words.  The words can be reading vocabulary, spelling words, or similar words used within the context of the classroom and/or expanded core curriculum.  The words list you prepare could also consist of words that apply to a hobby the student has, such as the names of baseball players, collecting cards, etc.
  2. Instruct the student to first scan the entire chart, tell you what the format is, then number his paper to correspond to the chart.  He should then proceed to copy the words, one peek per word.
  3. At this point you will introduce proof reading his work.  When he is finished copying the list, ask him if he thought he missed any words.  Encourage him to compare the work on his paper with the words on the chart.  Count the number of words correct, and reinforce.
  4. Write down the number of words correct on the new reinforcement and progress chart.  Start counting points for this paper.

 

Lesson 3: Copying Words and Short Sentences or Phrases

Procedure

  1. Prepare riddles on a chart, with the answer to the riddle hidden under a flap.  The student should number his paper to 10 (or for however many riddles you have prepared on your chart).  He should scan the page to find the general layout of the information, then begin by reading all the way through the first riddle.  Once he has read it, he should return to the beginning of the line and start to copy, one word at a time (or more than one word if he is capable of doing this).  He should turn his paper over to write the answer to the riddle.  Younger children enjoy making and illustrating their own riddle book to read to a friend.
  2. When he has finished copying the sentence/phrase, ask your student to check his work and make any corrections before you check it for accuracy.
  3. Continue in this way until he has copied about 5 riddles.
  4. Fill in the progress chart for this assignment.

 

Lesson 4: Copying Longer Sentences and Paragraphs

Procedure

  1. Prepare a chart with a poem you think the student might enjoy.  Shel Silverstein tends to be a popular choice.  Limericks also work nicely, as well as tongue twisters. For older students, use materials of interest, such as the lyrics to a popular song (find these at web sites).
  2. Instruct the student to scan the entire page to get an idea of the format, and then to read the entire poem/lyrics out loud.
  3. Tell the student that today you are going to see how many words he can copy with the fewest amounts of peeks.  To do this, he must read, remember, then write down as much as he can.  (Try to make this sound like it will be great fun!)  Watch as he copies, and note the number of words he copies per peek.  What happens when he comes to longer, more complex words?
  4. When he is finished, provide him with feedback on how many words he was copying per peek (average).  Ask him to proof and correct his work.  Enter the information (words per peek) on his progress chart.
  5. As the student gets better at copying sentences, you may want to introduce a stopwatch and allow him to time himself as he completes a copying assignment.  The goal is to decrease the amount of time it takes to copy as many words as possible.  Times can be entered on the progress sheet.

 

Lesson 5: Copying Math Formats

Procedure

  1. Prepare a chart with math problems that you know will not be difficult for the student.  One format that works well is the one in which each answer provides a letter of the alphabet that then leads toward the answer of a riddle (for younger students).
  2. Instruct the student to scan the entire page to get an idea of the format, and then number his page to correspond to the chart.
  3. Since copying numbers is typically slower because there are no context clues, do not stress copying with fewer and fewer peeks. The student should proceed to copy and answer the math problems and check his work.
  4. Many classrooms use an overhead projector to demonstrate how to work math problems.  Arrange for this type of practice in an empty classroom, if possible, as it can be much harder for students with some types of etiologies to copy from a source that is emitting light.

by Stacy Shafer, Reprinted from VISIONS newsletter, Volume 3, No. 2, June 1995

Dr. Lilli Nielsen has worked as special education adviser at Refsnaesskolen, National Institute to Blind and Partially Sighted Children and Youth in Denmark since 1967. She was trained as a preschool teacher and psychologist. She has performed research in the area of spatial relations with infants who are congenitally blind and has written several books and articles about educating children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities. Dr. Nielsen's approach is called Active Learning. She has presented week-long training sessions on developing the full potential of young children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities in countries around the world. We were very fortunate that she presented in Dallas, Texas, May 1994. 1 was asked to write about some of, the information she has shared with us.

All young children learn through play. They need to be encouraged to explore their environment and objects in their environment. Dr. Nielsen believes that all very young children learn by being active, rather than passive recipients of stimulation. We need to observe typical children to see how they learn to move their own bodies (raising their heads, reaching for objects, sitting up, etc.); use their bodies to explore their surroundings (including any and all objects within their surroundings); and actively participate in interactions with other people. A visual impairment prohibits a child from having enough opportunities to develop these abilities and have these experiences without intervention. She encourages the adults to set up the child's environment so that he can do this.

Here are a few of Dr. Nielsen's recommendations when developing the child's environment:

  • Observe the child. It is imperative that we know what the child can do, what activities s/he enjoys, what type of objects does s/he like, etc. Assessing the child's existing skills and preferences is the first step in programming. Observation will help you note the current developmental skills the child has. A child's preferences are indicators of the underlying strengths of his system. These preferences can guide you in the selection of objects and activities. You need to know a child's repertoire so you can notice change and improvement.

  • Provide the child with more activities and objects that are similar to those he enjoys. This will encourage the child to explore and experience new things and broaden his knowledge base. Young children with visual impairments need to be encouraged to explore not only toys from the toy store, but also every day objects around the house.

  • Give the child opportunities to practice and/or to compare. As adults, we are often tempted to remove materials as soon as the child shows that s/he can use them. We all relate new information to things we already know. For example: The first time you successfully drove a car around the block, you still needed lots more experiences driving in different environments, on different types of roads and highways, different vehicles, different times of the day and night, in different types of traffic, with the radio on and off, with friends in the car, etc. before you really mastered all the skills and concepts about driving. When a child begins to bang one object on another one, he needs to be given the opportunity to bang lots of different objects on lots of different surfaces. (The sound produced when banging a metal spoon on the couch is much different than banging it on the coffee table or a metal mixing bowl.) Children need to be able to repeat an action many, many times; in order to learn.

  • Provide a few materials and activities that are at a slightly higher developmental level to provide a challenge for the child, so he doesnt become bored. You only model these activities for the child. You do not expect him to imitate.

  • Do not interrupt a child by talking when s/he is actively engaged in play. Most of us have had the experience of talking to an infant who is busily kicking her legs and having the child stop kicking to listen to our voice. When a child is exploring or playing with an object or practicing a new movement, we need to wait to talk with the child about what he was doing until he turns to us to share his experience, or at least until he takes a little break in the activity. This does not mean that we need to stop talking to our young children with visual impairments, just that we need to pick our moments.

  • Slow down, when interacting with a child. We must be willing to wait and give the child time to take a turn in the interaction. When playing with a child, Dr. Nielsen tells us to give the child time to explore an object alone, rather than jumping in and showing her/him how to use it. At a conference during a child demonstration, Dr. Nielsen offered a battery operated facial brush to a child. She let him explore the brush in his own way. He held the brush against various body parts, moved it from hand to hand, turned it over, put it on a tray, moved it against other objects on the tray, picked it back up, put it to his lips, and did many other things with it. Then he turned to Dr. Nielsen to share the experience. That was the moment she talked with him about the facial brush and the things he had done while playing with it.

  • Let the child have control of her/his own hands. Dr. Nielsen feels it is important when we are interacting with a child who has a visual impairment, that we not take her/his hand and bring it to the materials. Instead, we need to develop alternate strategies for presenting objects to the child (e.g., gently touching the toy to the child's arm or leg to alert her/him of the object's presence, making noise with the object to arouse her/his curiosity to encourage her/him to reach out, placing several objects that are touching the child's body or very close to it so any movements s/he might make will bring her/his body in contact with an object, etc.)

  • Dr. Nielsen has developed several pieces of equipment to provide children with visual impairments the opportunities to actively participate with their environment. One of these "special environments" is the "Little Room". The "Little Room" consists of a metal frame supporting three side panels and a Plexiglas ceiling from which a variety of objects are suspended which the child finds interesting and enjoyable. This gives the child the opportunity to experience the properties of objects, to compare different objects, and try out different things to do with the object on his own without adults interpreting that experience for him. Since the objects are stable, it allows the child to repeat his actions with an object as many times as he needs to, at one to two second intervals, without dropping and losing it. The immediate repetition enables the child to store the information gained from the experiences in his memory.

Dr. Nielsen has given us lots of information about ways to encourage a child with a visual impairment to learn and develop. She will be conducting a week long training in Novi, Michigan June 19-23, 1995. For more information about Dr. Nielsens Active Learning, contact the Consultant for the Visually Impaired at your Education Service Center or call Outreach Services at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

References:

Nielsen, Lilli. Environmental intervention for visually impaired preschool children with additional disabilities, VIP Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 3.
Nielsen, Lilli. The blind childs ability to listen, VIP Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 3.
Nielsen, Lilli. Active learning, VIP Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 1.
Nielsen, Lilli. Space and Self, SIKON, 1992.
Nielsen, Lilli. Early Learning Step by Step, SIKON, 1993.
Nielsen, Lilli. Are You Blind?, SIKON, 1990.
Notes taken from lectures given by Dr. Lilli Nielsen at conferences in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September of 1992, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in October 1993, and Dallas, Texas, in May 1994.

By Terri Bohling, TVI

Originally published in the TX SenseAbilities in 2009.

Each week he would cut out his real object and paste it onto a piece of braille paper. At the end of the year, I put the pages in a large-ring binder. It was a wonderful book for him.

As an outgrowth of that list, I expanded to a listing of real objects that would fit in a manipulative tub. From there, I added body parts, actions, animals, concepts of position, foods and things (too big for a book or tub). Terri Bohling - 

Download Alphabet chart in RTF (465k)

Alphabet Book Objects, Manipulatives and Other Things
LetterObject BookManipulative TubDemonstrate
        Body PartActionAnimalPositionConceptFoodThing
A Aluminum Abacus Apricot Arm   Ant     Apricot Ashes Airplane
Arrow Acorn Apple Ankle         Asparagus Ax April
  Airplane Asparagus           Apple August  
  Ax                  
B Bean Book Bowl   Bow (motion) Bird       Boat Bread
Bag Ball Box     Butterfly       Beard Brick
Bandaid Banana Bow (tie)     Bat       Bike Brush
Barrette Basket Bone     Bear          
Book Bell Block     Bugs          
Button Berry Beanbag                
  Bag                  
C Comb Candle Can   Crawl Cricket   Corner Cake Clock  
Cotton ball Cassette Candy   Cry Cat       Computer  
Candle (b-day) Camera Cap   Cut Cow       Compact disc  
Cardboard Clay Car   Clap         Cover  
Crayon Cookie Corn   Cough         Claw  
  Crown Cup             Calendar  
D Dot Dice Dinosaur   Draw Deer       Door Drag
Diamond (shape) Dog collar Dollar   Drink Dog       Day Drawer
  Dress Daisy   Drop Dolphin       Desk Drip
  Doll     Dig Donkey       Dirt Drill
          Duck       Drum December
                  Dust  
                  Doctor  
E Envelope Egg   Ear Exercise Eagle   Edge Egg    
Eggshells     Elbow Echo  Eat Elephant          
8     Eye Empty            
F Feather Film Flag Face Fall Fish Front Flat Flour Family February
Fork Flashlight Flower Foot Fast Fly   Full Food Fat Friday
4 Football Frame Finger Find Frog       Farm  
5 Fur   Fist Fill Fox       Field  
      Fingernail Fold         Fire  
        Fly         Floor  
        Float         Fence  
        Follow         Fence  
        Freeze         Freeze  
        Frown            
G Gum Gift Glue   Gallop Goose       Game Ground
Glasses Glove Grape   Giggle Goat       Garage Guitar
Glove Grapefruit     Give         Gate Grass
                  Girl Garden
                  Glad  
H Hair Hammer Hat Hand Hang Hen High Half Hamburger Hall Hole
Heart Helicopter Helmet Head Hear Hippo   Hard Honey Handle Hill
Hanger Horn   Heel Hide Horse   Heavy   Happy Helicopter
      Hip Hurry         Heat  
I In Ivy Iris Iris Imitate Iguana Inside Inch Ice Cream Ink Incline
Ivy       Imagine Insect   Inside   Iron Ivory
Inch       Inhale         Infant  
        Itch         Indian  
J Jellybean Jar Jacket Jaw Jog       Jam Jeans  
        Jump       Jelly January  
        Jerk       Jellybean June  
        Join         July  
K Key Kernel     Kick Kangaroo     Ketchup Kite  
        Kiss Kitten     Kiwi Kindergarten  
          Koala       Kitchen  
L Lace Lock Lime Leg Laugh Lamb Layer Large Licorice Love Lump
Leather Leash Lollipop Lip Lay Ladybug Left Loud Lemon Ladder Lullaby
Lavender Licorice Lily Lap Lead Leopard Line Light Lettuce Lake Lens
Leaf Lemon Lilac   Listen Lion Last Little Lime Lamp Ledge
  Lettuce     Lean Lizard   Long Lollipop Lid Lunch
        Leave Llama   Loose Lunch Lawn Library
        Lick     Less   Leaf Letter
        Lie     Little   Loaf  
M Macaroni Magnet Mouth Muscle Measure Monkey Middle Many Milk Melt  
Match Marble Mask   Mix Mouse   Most Marmalade Metal  
Marshmallow Magazine Mail   Move Moose   Much Melon Model Mustache
Mitten Marigold Moccasin   March Mosquito     Mint Month Map
  Mint Mug   Mash Mule     Muffin Mud Monday
    Mustard     Mole     Mustard Music Mat
                  March May
N Nail Newspaper Nut Neck Nod Nest Next Narrow Nut Name New
Needle Net Nylons Nose Noisy   Near None Nutmeg Night No
Name Badge 9   Navel Nap         November  
Noodle     Nostril Nibble            
Napkin                    
O Oval Overalls       Octopus Over Open Omelet Oil October
Oatmeal Oak leave       Ostrich Out Other Onion Office Old
          Otter   Off Orange Opera Outdoors
          Owl   On Oatmeal Organ Outline
          Orangutan   Old   Oak tree Oven
          Opossum   One   Orchid  
          Ox   Only      
          Oyster          
P Pebble Paper Plate Palm Pass Panda   Pair Peach Page Pants
Pen Pocket Puppet   Pat Parrot   Pile Pancake Paint Pajamas
Pin Purse Puzzle   Peel Peacock     Pea Pan Petal
Paper Powder Pipe   Pet Penguin     Peanut Picture Plant
Paintbrush Plug     Pick Pig     Pepper Poem Pot
Paperclip       Play Polar Bear     Pie Parachute Pattern
Patch       Please Pony     Pizza Pedal Piano
Peg       Point Puppy     Popcorn Pillow Playground
Pencil       Pull Parakeet     Potato Pole Powder
Penny       Press Paw     Pudding Pansy Petal
Postcard       Push       Pumpkin Pipe Police
Putty       Pour       Pickle Pulse  
        Pump       Prune    
Q Quarter Quilt     Quiet Quail       Quack  
        Quick         Question  
R Rectangle Radio     Race Rabbit Right Rough Radish Refrigerator Rain
Ribbon Ring     Raise Rat   Round Raisin Rake Road
Rice Rope     Run Reindeer   Row Raspberry Robot Rhyme
Rock Ruler     Reach Reptile     Rhubarb Room Rose
Ruler Rattle     Read Rhino       Rubber Rug
Ring Racket     Rest Robin       Ramp Razor
Rubber Band Rose     Ride Rooster       Recess Recipe
        Roar Raccoon          
        Roll Ram          
        Run            
        Rub            
        Rip            
S Seed Saucer     Swallow Seal Second Sharp Salad    
Shell Scarf   Shoulder Sit   Say Shark Side Short Salt Sail School
Soap Scissors   Skin Skip  Sew Sheep   Shut Sandwich Shelf Sand
Spoon Shoe   Skull Scratch Snail   Slow Soup Screen Shirt
Star Sock     Scream Snake   Small Spaghetti Scale Season
Square       Search Spider   Smooth Snickerdoodles Sign Seat
Stick       Shake Sweep Squirrel   Soft Squash Seesaw Sink
Straw       Share  Sort Swan   Square Sour Shade Sheet
String       Shout  Sing     Straight   Skirt Shower
6       Sleep  Spill         Slice Song
7       Slide  Smell         Sour Stairs
        Smash         Step Statue
        Smile  Spin         Stem Store
        Sneeze         Story Stove
        Splash         Street Student
        Squash         Summer Sum
        Squeeze         Sunshine Sweater
        Stand         Sweat Saturday
        Statue-game         September Sunday
        Stay  Swing            
        Stop  Stretch            
T Triangle Tongs Train Teeth Talk  Tap Tail Third Tall Tomato Table Teacher
Tissue Tweezers Timer Tears Tear  Tie Tiger Through Thin Tangerine Television Temperature
Terri Telephone Thread Thumb Tired Toad Toward Tiny   Thirsty Time
2 Towel Toy Toe Trip  Taste Turtle   Top   Tent Tire
10 Tub Tube Tongue Tiptoe     Thick   Tree Trumpet
Tape T-shirt Tennis ball   Turn  Twist     Tight   Trunk Teepee
Twig Tape recorder Tie   Taste     Together   Tower Tuesday
  Tissue     Throw         Thursday  
U Umbrella Umbrella Undress     Unicorn Under     Unhappy Uncomfortable
Under   Undo       Up     Underground United States
    Unfold       Upside down        
    Unload                
    Untie                
V Valentine Vase Video                
Velvet Vine Visor           Vanilla Volume (sound) Vending Machine
Velcro Veil Vest           Vegetable VCR     Van Violin
                Vinegar Violet Vacation
                  Vitamin Vacuum cleaner
W Wax Wool Web Waist Wait  Wrap Whale   Wet Waffle Wagon Warm
Wire Wallet Whistle   Wake Wolf   Wide Walnut Wall Water
Watch Walnut     Whisper Worm   Whole Watermelon Weather Week
        Wave  Wind Weasel     Wheat Wheel Wheelbarrow
        Wash  Walk Whisker       Win Wind
        Weigh Wing       Wish Window
        Whistle Woodpecker       Wing Wood
        Write         Winter Wednesday
        Weave            
        Wind            
X   Xylophone               Xerox X-ray
Y Yarn Yardstick Yo-yo   Yawn Yak   Yesterday Yolk Yellow Yes
        Yell     Yard Yeast You Year
        Yodel       Yogurt    
Z Zipper       Zip Zebra   Zero Zucchini Zinnia  
Zigzag       Zoom            

 

Developed by Chrissy Cowan, TVI

 

A telescope is a small telescope which enables a student with a visual impairment to see print, pictures, diagrams, maps, faces and demonstrations when (s)he is seated at his/her desk. The following are some facts and adaptations which need to be considered if a telescope is being used:

  1. A telescope severely restricts the visual field.  The student will be taught by the TVI (teacher of students with visual impairments) to scan to pick up all visual information and increase visual memory so (s)he can copy more quickly and efficiently.
  1. A telescope is typically used for distance tasks only.
  1. Copying while using a telescope is laborious, and it will take the visually impaired child longer to copy from the board/charts, etc.  You can adapt by modifying the length of the assignment.  Some ways of doing this include:
    1. assigning even or odd numbers of problems
    2. allowing the student to write only the answers to questions rather than re-copy entire sentences, questions, and/or paragraphs
  1. When a student is using a telescope, walking up to the board/chart should be discouraged.  This annoys other students and severely hinders speed, continuity of thought, and proficiency when reading or completing an assignment.
  1. Singling out a visually impaired student’s desk (to place him/her closer to the board) is discouraged due to social reasons.  A telescope will enable the child to sit within the group at all times.
  1. Telescopes break easily and should be worn around the neck when in use (EXCEPT in physical education and/or while on the playground) and stored in a case otherwise. Please encourage your children to keep their telescope out of sight when the room is empty.
  1. Encourage the student to take the telescope to other school events, e.g. assemblies, film presentations, athletic games.
  1. Do not allow other children to handle the telescope.
  1. Do not allow the telescope to be taken home with the student unless arrangements have been made with the TVI.
  1. A student who is using a telescope should be seated facing the boards/charts to allow straight-on viewing.  This also enables the child to rest his/her elbow on the desk while he is looking through the telescope.

 Adapted from:

Cowan, C. & Shepler, R. (2000). Activities and games for teaching children to use monocular telescopes. In F. M. D’Andrea and C. Farrenkopf (Eds.) Looking to Learn: Promoting Literacy for Students with Low Vision (pp. 137-161). New York, AFB Press.

 

Goal: The student will demonstrate skills for monocular telescope maintenance.

Objective:  The student will:

  1. hold the device properly.
  2. communicate the purpose of the device.
  3. clean the device appropriately.
  4. assume responsibility for the device.
  5. store the device in a convenient location for quick retrieval.
  6. initiate use of the device.

Goal: The student will demonstrate skills for the use of a monocular telescope.

Objective:  The student will:

  1. position self for optimal viewing.
  2. scan the environment and locate stationary objects without the telescope.
  3. locate stationary objects with the telescope.
  4. focus on a stationary object.
  5. identify objects with device.
  6. identify pictures with the device (e.g., line drawings, photos).
  7. scan on a horizontal plane, using landmarks to find stationary objects.
  8. adjust the focus for objects at varying distances.
  9. copy familiar symbols.
  10.  remember and copy up to 5 words per glance through the telescope.
  11. scan with the device to locate sings/symbols/objects in a variety of planes.
  12. track movement at a consistent focal distance.
  13. develop a systematic scanning technique to locate a moving object by incorporating landmarks when available

incorporate