Main content

Alert message

Qualifications:

  1. High school diploma
  2. Knowledge of DOS, Windows and/or other computer operating system
  3. Excellent keyboarding skills
  4. Ability to learn and demonstrate an understanding of braille in accordance with National Library Service standards

General Job Description:

The braillist/tactual materials specialist for children with visual impairments provides braille embossed materials as determined by the VI teacher and the classroom teacher.

Responsibilities:

  1. Braille classroom materials for the current and upcoming years, including:
    • textbooks for all subjects
    • teacher-made materials
    • pictorial layouts
    • math and science notations
    • workbooks for all subjects
    • tactile maps
    • music notation
    • foreign languages.
  2. Maintain inventory for VI department
    • brailled materials
    • ordering and maintaining equipment
    • repairing equipment
    • library of braille (tactual) materials.
  3. Order and maintain the supply of office products.
  4. Locate and obtain brailled textbooks and workbooks for students.
  5. Coordinate delivery of brailled (or other tactual) materials to the appropriate schools.
  6. Supervise clerical assistants, where appropriate:
    • material output
    • professional responsibilities
    • instruction
    • operation of computer systems
    • use of software
    • braille formatting
    • use of brailling equipment.
  7. Attend workshops/seminars for continuous upgrading of services and equipment.
  8. Participate in professional development opportunities to advance braille skills beyond basic levels. This may include participation in the braille program offered by the National Library Service
  9. Carry out braille basic formatting for literary, foreign language, and Nemeth code rules, except when modifications are requested by VI teacher to accommodate braille reading ability of individual students.

Evaluation

  1. Accurate and timely work to be evaluated by VI professional and special education administration in accordance with school board policy.

Professional Standards

  1. Complete job duties in a timely manner.
  2. Maintain an organized work area.

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma
  • Ability to type a minimum of 50 words per minute
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to learn and demonstrate an understanding of braille in accordance with National Library Service standards

Supervision Structure:

This position is supervised by the coordinator of the program for students with visual impairments.

Performance Responsibilities:

  • Participate in professional development opportunities to advance braille skills beyond basic levels. This may include participation in the braille program offered by the National Library Service at no charge to the participant.
  • Transcribe materials including books, workbooks, testing material, and classroom work for students with visual impairments
  • Maintain accurate records of all transcriptions
  • Maintain a properly labeled disk file on all materials, which should be retained for future use
  • Manage time so as to complete transcriptions as they are needed by consultants
  • Make necessary adaptations of materials for students with visual impairments in conjunction with VI teacher
  • Use the stereo copier for raised-line drawings when appropriate
  • Remain current in computer technology
  • Order and maintain an inventory of supplies needed for performance of job duties
  • Maintain a resource file for locating alternative sources of braille materials
  • Coordinate with consultant for students with visual impairment and/or classroom teachers to prepare transcribed materials during the summer
  • Help with activities for the ongoing maintenance of the program for students with visual impairments.

Evaluation:

  • Accurate and timely work to be evaluated by VI professional and special education administration to be performed in accordance with school board policy.

Professional Standards:

  • Complete job duties in a timely manner
  • Maintain an organized work area.

Population Served

  • This position provides support for teachers/consultants for students with visual impairments.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required:

  • Bachelor's and/or master's degree
  • AER/Academy certification.

Preferred:

  • Experience with school aged children
  • Experience with children with multiple impairments
  • Experience working as part of a team
  • Ability to travel between sites

SUPERVISED BY:

Director of Special Services

JOB GOALS:

Assist students with visual impairments to achieve maximum independence through instruction in safe, efficient travel within the home, school, and community. Services also include instruction in compensatory skills including daily living skills, self advocacy, and recreation or leisure skills as related to orientation and mobility. Students may range in ages from birth through 21. Students may be functionally blind or have low vision. Community-based instruction is a critical component of the orientation and mobility program.

PERFORMANCE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Participate in the referral and assessment process of visually impaired students
  • Conduct evaluations of the orientation and mobility needs of visually impaired students. Areas of evaluation may include:
    • concept development:
      • spatial-positional
      • temporal
      • environmental
      • body image and movement
    • orientation to the environment
    • techniques of effective and safe travel
    • use of low vision devices
    • sensory development
    • self-advocacy
    • personal safety
    • efficient use of vision for travel
  • Participate on the ARD committee:
    • Developing appropriate IEP/IFSP O&M goals and objectives
    • Recommend any modifications to program or specialized services needed based on the visual impairment.
  • Develop and implement an instructional plan based on identified student needs
  • Provide direct O&M instructional services to students with visual impairments and consultation to school staff, peers, and community
  • Order, distribute, and maintain canes and low vision devices related to travel
  • Team with vision teacher and other instructional and related services personnel
  • Consult with and advise school personnel on design and provision of safe efficient environments
  • Provide direct instructional services to students with visual impairment in accordance with the evaluation.

EVALUATION:

Performance on the job will be evaluated by supervisor. Evaluation should be completed by individual(s) knowledgeable in visual impairments.

Position Requirements:

Required:

  • Bachelor's and/or master's degree
  • AER/Academy certification

Preferred:

  • Experience with school aged children
  • Experience with children with multiple impairments
  • Experience working with team
  • Ability to travel between sites

Supervised by:

Special education director or special services coordinator

Job Goals:

Orientation and mobility is that part of the educational process that prepares the blind student to travel independently. The itinerant O&M specialist travels to the students' assigned schools and/or home to provide direct and/or consultative special education services relating to the vision loss. The O&M specialist is prepared to provide service to an array of students including infants, students with low vision and/or multiple impairments. These services enable the students to travel safely and independently in their home, school, and community environments. The students range in age from birth to 21. The students may have singular or multiple impairments. The cognitive levels of the students range from severely impaired to gifted and talented. Many students with visual impairments are totally mainstreamed in their home schools. Others are in special programs in their home schools or at various campuses throughout the district. Community-based instruction is a critical component of the O&M program.

Evaluation:

Performance on the job will be evaluated by a supervisor. Evaluation should be completed by individual(s) knowledgeable in visual impairments.

Specific Job Duties:

Assessment and Evaluation:

  • Perform orientation and mobility evaluations that focus on long- and short-term needs of the student on new referrals and on three-year re-evaluations
  • Include in the assessment report the needs and strengths of the student and an estimate of the length and frequency of service necessary to meet identified needs
  • Contribute to other appropriate portions of the IEP, such as goals and recommendations
  • Provide consultation and support services to parents, regular and special education teachers, other school personnel, and students' sighted peers
  • Confer regularly with parents, classroom teachers, physical education teachers, physical therapists, and other school personnel to assist in home and classroom modifications to ensure reinforcement of appropriate O&M skills that will encourage the visually impaired student to travel independently in these settings
  • Work with the teacher of students with visual impairments to conduct the functional vision assessment as it relates to independent travel
  • Evaluate the student's progress on an ongoing basis and keep progress notes on each student

Appropriate Learning Environments:

  • Instruct students with visual impairments in skills and knowledge that enable them to travel independently based on the IEP
  • Teach visually impaired students to travel with proficiency, safety, and confidence in familiar and unfamiliar environments
  • Prepare sequential and meaningful instruction geared to the students' assessed needs, IEP/IFSP goals and objectives, functioning level, and motivation level
  • Be responsible for the student's safety during O&M instruction and in other environments while fostering maximum independence during O&M lessons
  • Prepare and use equipment and materials such as tactile maps, models, distance low vision devices, adaptive mobility devices, and long canes for the development of O&M skills
  • Provide orientation of new school buildings and new class schedules to students with visual impairments as needed.

Direct Instruction in the Unique Curriculum:

  • Concept development
  • Gross motor skills
  • Visual efficiency skills (with and without low vision devices)
  • Pre-cane skills
  • Cane skills
  • Map skills
  • Outdoor
    • Residential
    • Semi-business
    • Business.

Support Services:

  • Provide assistance to the students with visual impairments in understanding their attitudes and those of others concerning their visual impairments
  • Emphasize social integration with peers and provide opportunities for interaction.

Administrative/Record Keeping Duties:

  • Submit requests for instructional materials, conferences and reference materials
  • Be knowledgeable of community-based resources that may be available to the VI student.
  • Provide inservice training to regular and special education personnel, administrative personnel, sighted peers, and parents concerning the O&M needs of the student and appropriate methods for interacting with the VI student so as to foster maximum independence and safety
  • Participate in parent conferences and meetings as well as teacher staffings regarding the VI student
  • Maintain adequate records on all assessment, IEPs, and progress reports
  • Provide progress reports to parents
  • Arrange and prepare paperwork as appropriate and attend all ARDs on students with visual impairments as they relate to O&M.
  • Communicate with specialists in low vision, ophthalmologists, and optometrists concerning exams, and attend exams when appropriate.

Liaison Between Community and School:

  • Provide information about the vision and O&M programs to the schools and community.

Professional Standards:

  • Maintain a reference library of current professional materials.
  • Acquire information about current research, development, and technology by attending conferences and workshops and by reading journals in the field of visual impairment.

Qualifications:

  • A bachelor's degree from a college or university.
  • Texas certification for teachers of students with visual impairments.
  • The ability to travel between sites.

Job Summary:

The itinerant teacher for students with visual impairments travels to the students' assigned schools to provide direct and/or consultative special education services relating to vision loss. These services enable the students to learn in a variety of settings. Services for infants may be provided in the infants' homes or child care settings. The students range in age from birth through 21 and may have only a visual impairment or additional disabilities. The cognitive levels of the students range from severely impaired to gifted and talented.

Major Responsibilities and Duties:

Assessment and Evaluation

  1. Perform functional vision and learning media assessments on new referrals and three-year re-evaluations
  2. Interpret eye medical reports as they relate to educational environments
  3. Contribute to the development of the IEP/IFSP with goals, modifications, learning styles.
  4. Recommend appropriate specialized evaluations as needed, such as low vision, orientation and mobility, psycho-social, and adaptive physical education
  5. Consult with diagnosticians, classroom teachers, students, and parents concerning appropriate evaluations, modification, and test administration
  6. Obtain modified standardized testing materials (NAPT, ITBS, TAAS, SAT, ACT) and administer or assist in the administration of the test as needed
  7. Work as liaison with other agencies in the vocational assessment process
  8. Administer various other tests as appropriate (Oregon Project, Insite, Hawaii, Boehme, LAP, E-LAP)
  9. Participate in team assessments for students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities
  10. Provide screening and referral procedures to appropriate personnel.

Appropriate Learning Environment

  1. Assist in determining and procuring classroom equipment and materials necessary for the student with visual impairments to learn (brailler, low vision devices, assistive technology, computer) including ensuring necessary room modifications and lighting changes
  2. Provide the classroom teacher with information regarding the specialized strategies needed to teach a VI student
  3. Consult with other instructional staff to provide information to incorporate the expanded core curriculum into the entire instructional setting
  4. Provide modified materials to the classroom teacher
  5. Provide braille, recorded/enlarged materials, and tactual symbols as appropriate for each child.

Direct Instruction in the Unique Curriculum

  1. Monitoring the students' progress in academic subjects and provide instruction in compensatory skills as needed in the areas the students may have difficulty with as a result of the visual impairment (This does not include tutoring in subject areas once materials and methods have been modified to accommodate the vision loss)
  2. Braille reading and writing
  3. Low vision devices
  4. Abacus
  5. Typing/keyboarding
  6. Adaptive devices (e.g., computers, note takers, tape recorders)
  7. Listening skills
  8. Visual efficiency
  9. Concept development (especially for infants and early childhood students)
  10. Daily living/self-help skills
  11. Career readiness
  12. Leisure and recreation skills
  13. Social skills
  14. Organizational and study skills
  15. Self-advocacy.

Support Services

  1. Provide assistance to students with visual impairments in understanding their attitudes and those of others concerning their visual impairment
  2. Facilitate social integration and interaction with peers
  3. Provide training and support to parents of students with visual impairments to enhance their children's independence
  4. Provide the teachers, staff, and family of students with visual impairment with information regarding their individual needs, methodology, and strategies
  5. Participate with other school personnel and agencies to secure job-related experiences for students
  6. Participate in transition planning.

Administrative/Record Keeping Duties

  1. Provide updated pupil information (VI registration, deafblind census, textbook projections)
  2. Submit requests for instructional materials, conferences, field trips, and personnel needs
  3. Inform various special education and campus personnel of progress and needs of the students with visual impairment on a regular basis
  4. Identify and set up a work and storage space at each school to be used by the VI teacher to instruct students as necessary
  5. Provide input into students' schedules, planning for all special services, such as direct instruction and orientation and mobility
  6. Maintain adequate record of all assessments, IEPs, ARD papers, progress reports and signed parental release forms for things such as photographs and registration with various agencies
  7. Provide 6-week, 9-week, or 12-week progress reports as indicated by school policy on students with visual impairment in regular education classes and follow up with teacher and/or parent conferences as appropriate
  8. Register students with visual impairments with appropriate agencies such as Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, and the Texas State Library, and assist with referral to the Texas State Commission for the Blind
  9. Prepare paperwork as appropriate and attend ARDs and IFSP meetings on students with visual impairments
  10. Distribute information to parents concerning workshops, conferences, and equipment acquisition
  11. Communicate with low-vision specialists, ophthalmologists, and optometrists concerning exams, and attend exams when appropriate
  12. Supervise material preparation and acquisition.

Liaison Between Community and School

  1. Provide information about district and/or regional vision programs to the schools and community.
  2. Provide information concerning recreational and summer programs to parents and students and assist with application forms and procedures. Such activities might include Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired summer school, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) summer work programs, or Lion's Club Summer Camp.

Professional Standards

  1. Maintain a reference library.
  2. Acquire information about current research, development, and technology by attending conferences, workshops, and area meetings and by reading journals in the field of visual impairment.

Evaluation

Performance on the job will be evaluated by a supervisor. Evaluation should be completed by individual(s) knowledgeable in visual impairments.

Why do VI professionals need a mentor program?

When and for how long is a VI professional assigned a mentor?

Who can be a mentor?

What is the application process to become a mentor?

How are mentors and proteges matched?

How will a protege benefit from having a mentor?

How do experienced VI professionals benefit from being a mentor?

What support does a school district need to provide to mentors and proteges?

Why do VI professionals need a mentor program?

Pre-service training for VI and O&M certification provides a strong background in theory and practice. The mentor program is designed to support that training by introducing the participants to the unique intricacies and challenges of being an itinerant VI professional and to assist in the transition from learner to VI professional. For example:

  • VI professionals work with students with a wide range of both cognitive and visual abilities as well as ages from birth to 21.
  • VI teachers or O&M specialists are often the only VI professionals employed by small and rural districts. Consequently, they may be isolated from peers who could provide knowledgeable support.
  • VI professionals must also be able to interact frequently and successfully with parents, other teachers, and professionals serving their students and administrators in numerous buildings.
  • In order to successfully serve students and meet the demands of the job, well-developed organizational and people skills are a must.

In the past people have completed the course work necessary to become a VI teacher or O&M specialist only to discover that they do not like the varied and demanding role of working with a diverse population of students scattered over a large service area. Some found that they had the necessary skills to work with students, but wanted more assistance gaining skills in the consultative and/or assessment responsibilities of the job. The mentor program was designed to provide support to new VI professionals so that they would feel less isolated and also have an opportunity to learn how experienced VI teachers and O&M specialists handle the many challenges inherent in their jobs.

The Texas Legislature and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) are currently considering plans to provide mentors to all new educators in Texas. The mentor program for VI professionals is at the forefront of this progressive development in education.

When and for how long is a VI professional assigned a mentor?

A student entering one of the training options to become a VI professional is assigned a mentor during the first semester of coursework or as soon as one is available. The mentor relationship continues through the protege's training and extends through the protege's first year of employment as a VI professional in Texas schools. In general, the commitment to act as a mentor is for two years.

Who can be a mentor?

  • General personal qualifications include good communication skills, a solid understanding of professional knowledge, high standards for self and others, a desire for continued professional growth and an ability to nurture the growth of others.
  • Mentors for VI teachers must have a minimum of four years of experience and written administrative approval and support.
  • O&M mentors must be ACVREP certified and have a minimum of three years of experience providing O&M instruction to children with varying levels of visual impairment and cognitive abilities.
  • Applications are reviewed and approved by Outreach staff and appropriate ESC consultants.

What is the application process to become a mentor?

Those who meet the minimum number of years' experience can begin the application process. This process includes:

  • completing an application (which includes information about the applicant and a recommendation and statement of support from the supervisor or director)
  • securing letters of support from the ESC and other knowledgeable professionals
  • submitting a resume (required for O&M specialists only)
  • attending a 1.5 day training (at no expense to the mentor or district).
  • Completing the TSBVI on-line Mentor Training Course

How are mentors and proteges matched?

Prior to completing the match, various parties are consulted, including the mentor and the vision consultants at the ESC. If no preference exists, the mentor coordinator will make the match. Once a match is identified, all parties involved need to agree to the pairing of the mentor/protege team.

Ideally, the mentor will be from a district that is geographically close to the protege's home district as this facilitates interaction between the pair. However, if a nearby mentor is not available, the protege may be assigned to a statewide mentor who will travel to the protege's district for regular visits, provided the protégé is assigned a VI caseload.

In rare instances the only VI professional available to the protégé is their mentor. In this situation the mentor may also assume the role of the intern supervisor, provided both the protégé (intern) and the mentor are comfortable with this arrangement. Prior approval by the mentor coordinator for this type of arrangement is required.

How will a protege benefit from having a mentor?

A mentor is a source of information and support for a protege-UCSC4a guide to a new profession. Some activities a mentor may provide include:

  • Opportunities for the protege to observe the mentor in situations such as conducting evaluations, attending ARD meetings, providing direct instruction and consultations, writing IEP goals, scheduling daily plans, and keeping records
  • Introductions to sources for VI-related professional development such as workshops, conferences, web sites, and publications
  • Informal observations of the protege working with students during the first year of employment for the purpose of providing supportive feedback
  • Networking opportunities with other professionals in the field of visual impairment.

How do experienced VI professionals benefit from being a mentor?

Tangible benefits include two days of all-expense-paid training to learn how to support a protege's professional growth. Additional training and opportunities for networking will be offered at professional conferences. In recognition of their time, travel, and expenses, a small stipend is paid to all mentors assigned to proteges. Serving as a mentor can provide the benefits listed below.

  • A unique opportunity for professional development and a recognized activity for the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) and ACVREP recertification credit for O&M specialists
  • An excellent contribution to the field by helping to ensure the continued quality of VI teachers and O&M specialists
  • A profound sense of personal satisfaction and professional renewal
  • Opportunities for new bonds and connections with professionals at various levels of professional development.

What support does a school district need to provide to mentors and proteges?

Upon application to the mentor program, all mentors must complete a TSBVI Mentor Training course online and attend a one-time face-to-face training that lasts 1.5 days. Training sessions are conducted once a year, in Austin. All expenses for the training are paid for by the mentor program. Professional release time to attend the training would be helpful.

Once a mentor has been assigned to a protege, regular contact between the mentor and protege is needed to foster a supportive relationship. Contact can be made by phone, e-mail, letters, videotape exchange and face-to-face visits.

For the purposes of onsite observations or shadowing, occasional release time may be needed by either the mentor or the protege. If it will be necessary for the protégé's school to hire a substitute for time spent observing the mentor, there are limited funds available for this purpose. Prior approval by the mentor coordinator for using these funds will be required. If the mentor and protégé are not employed in the same district, it may be possible for observation days to be scheduled when one district has a professional development day. Since districts often do not have VI-related workshops available for O&M specialists and VI teachers and since mentoring is a recognized activity for the PDAS teacher evaluation process, the time spent mentoring can provide for professional growth and meet criteria for PDAS. Using professional development days also eliminates the problem of not providing scheduled services for VI students on regular school days.

For additional information or to relay comments or ideas, please contact:

Chrissy Cowan, TSBVI Outreach Services
Mentor Coordinator
1100 W. 45 th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
(512) 206-9367

,T1*]S' ,ATTITUDES ,T[>DS ,BRL3
,! ,IMPACT ( ,T1*] ,PREP>,N 9 ! #IJ'S
 
,/U>T ,WITT5/E91 ,$4,D4
,SUP]9T5D5T1 ,CALI=NIA ,S*OOL =! ,BL
,FREMONT1 ,CALI=NIA
 
,%EILA ,AMATO1 ,$4,D4
,T1*] (! ,VISU,Y ,IMPAIR$
,EA/PORT ,S\? ,MANOR ,S*OOL ,4TRICT1
,NEW ,YORK
 
,PRES5T$ AT ! #BJJB ,,AER ,9T]N,NAL
,3F];E
,JULY #AG-BA1 #BJJB
,TORONTO1 ,CANADA
 
,R,NALE = ,/UDY
99 8,BL *N >E N 2+ TAU<T BRL 2C ! T1*]S
:O >E SUPPOS$LY TRA9$ 6D S !MVS D N "K !
BRL CODES SU6ICI5TLY1 M* LESS ! T1*+
ME?ODOLOGY40 ,SPUNG91 #AIHI1 9 ! ,J\RNAL
( ,VISUAL ,IMPAIR;T & ,BL;S
99 8,A LL H"O/ REFLEC;N AB ? SITU,N
7DECL9E 9 BRL LIT]ACY7 SU7E/S T ! R1L

CULPRIT "H IS ! 9ADEQUATE &           #B
9APPROPRIATE $UC,N (! SPECIAL $UC,N
T1*]S :O >E N -PET5T OR 3FID5T !MVS 9
US+ ,BRL & :O AL 2LIEVE T _! /UD5TS %D N
2 EXPECT$ 6-PETE SU3ESS;LLY 9 S*OOL OR 9
LIFE40 ,IANUZZI1 #AIIB 9 ,BRL ,MONITOR
 
,BRL ,TRA9+ ,GR\PS
7Z SELECT$ 0RESPOND5TS7
,GR\P #A -- TRANSCRIP;N1 RULE K1 =MATT+1
PRO(R1D+
,GR\P #B -- SAME Z ABV PLUS "S 7#AJ@3P (
CLASS "T7 ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ ( BRL R1D+
,GR\P #C -- SAME Z ABV PLUS AN EMPHASIS
7M ?AN #AJ@3P7 ON ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ (
BRL R1D+
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #A3 ,BRL ,TRA9+ ,GR\PS        #C
#AIIA
,GR\P #A -- TRANSCRIP;N1 RULE K1 =MATT+1
PRO(R1D+2 #DB.I@3P
,GR\P #B -- SAME Z ABV PLUS "S 7#AJ@3P (
CLASS "T7 ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ ( BRL
R1D+2 #CE.I@3P
,GR\P #C -- SAME Z ABV PLUS AN EMPHASIS
7M ?AN #AJ@3P7 ON ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ (
BRL R1D+2 #BA.B@3P
 
,FIGURE #B3 ,ATTITUDES ,AF ,TRA9+
,BRL ,SKILLS ,V4 ,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y
,GR\P #A ,BRL ,SKILLS #FG.G@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #BH.F@3P
,GR\P #B ,BRL ,SKILLS #HJ.F@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #EJ.A@3P
,GR\P #C ,BRL ,SKILLS #HF.D@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #GD.E@3P
 
 
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #C3 ,CURR5T ,ATTITUDES        #D
,BRL ,SKILLS ,V4 ,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y
,GR\P #A ,BRL ,SKILLS #FA.G@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #EJ.A@3P
,GR\P #B ,BRL ,SKILLS #GA.B@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #FI.C@3P
,GR\P #C ,BRL ,SKILLS #GC.I@3P
,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y #GI.J@3P
 
,FIGURE #D3 ,3FID;E 9 ,BRL ,SKILLS
,AF ,TRA9+ ,V4 ,CURR5T
,GR\P #A ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #FG.G@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #FA.G@3P
,GR\P #B ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #HJ.F@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #GA.B@3P
,GR\P #C ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #HF.D@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #GC.I@3P
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #E3 ,3FID;E -- ,T1*+          #E
,ABIL;Y
,AF ,TRA9+ ,V4 ,CURR5T
,GR\P #A ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #BH.F@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #EJ.A@3P
,GR\P #B ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #EJ.A@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #FI.C@3P
,GR\P #C ,3FID;E ,AF ,TRA9+ #GD.E@3P
,CURR5T ,ATTITUDE #GI.J@3P
 
,FIGURE #F3 ,T1*] ,ATTITUDES ,T[>DS ,BRL
,5JOY T1*+ BRL
#GC.G@3P YES2 #D.I@3P NO
,TE*NOLOGY %D N REPLACE BRL
#HI.D@3P YES2 #B.F@3P NO
,BRL IS N IMPORTANT
#A.A@3P YES2 #IF.H@3P NO
,TE*NOLOGY MAKES BRL UNNEC
#B.G@3P YES2 #IA.C@3P NO
 
 
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #G4 ,MO/ ,LIKELY ,DECL9E =    #F
,BRL ,LIT]ACY
,9CR1SE 9 ,MULTIPLY-H&ICAPP$ POPUL,N
#ED.A@3P
,RELI.E ON TE*NOLOGY #DJ.A@3P
,CASELOADS/IT9]ANT MODEL #BG.G@3P
,EMPHASIS ON VI.N UTILIZ,N #BA.J@3P
,9ADEQUATE T1*] PREP>,N #AH.E@3P
,T1*] ATTITUDE #AD.D@3P
,T1*] 9COMPET;E #H.F@3P
,-PLEX;Y ( BRL #H.C@3P
 
,FIGURE #H4 ,BRL ,TRA9+ ,GR\PS #BJJA
,GR\P #A -- TRANSCRIP;N1 RULE K1 =MATT+1
PRO(R1D+ #CC.J@3P
,GR\P #B -- SAME Z ABV PLUS "S 7#AJ@3P (
CLASS "T7 ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ ( BRL R1D+
#DJ.D@3P
,GR\P #C -- SAME Z ABV PLUS AN EMPHASIS
7M ?AN #AJ@3P7 ON ME?ODOLOGY 9 ! T1*+ (
BRL R1D+ #BF.F@3P
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #I4 ,A ,-P>ISON ( ,GR\PS      #G
0,YE>
#AIIA ,GR\P #A #DB.I@3P
,GR\P #B #CE.I@3P
,GR\P #C #BA.B@3P
#BJJA ,GR\P #A #CC.J@3P
,GR\P #B #DJ.D@3P
,GR\P #C #BF.F@3P
 
,FIGURE #AJ4 ,RCVD ,BRL ,TRA9+
#AIIA "UGRADUATE #CD.A@3P
GRADUATE #FA.F@3P
#BJJA "UGRADUATE #AI.I@3P
GRADUATE #HB.A@3P
 
,FIGURE #AA4 ,BRL ,TRA9+ Z ,"P ( ,DEGREE
,PROGRAM
#AIIA "P ( DEGREE #FI.E@3P
#BJJA "P ( DEGREE #DB.H@3P
 
 
 
 
 
 

,REQUIRE;TS ,: ,7 ,9CLUD$ 9 ,BRL      #H
,TRA9+
,PROFICI5CY ) BRLWRIT]
,ABIL;Y 6R1D BRL
,K ( BRL R1D+ ME?ODOLOGY
,PROFICI5CY ) SLATE & /YLUS
,PROFICI5CY 9 ,NEME? ,CODE
,DEVELOP;T ( T1*] MADE MAT]IALS
,WRITE LESSON PLANS
,PRES5T SAMPLE LESSONS
,EVALUATE CURRICULA
,REVIEW J\RNAL >TICLES
 
,FIGURE #AB4 ,OBS]V$ ,*ANGES 9
,REQUIRE;TS = ,BRL ,TRA9+
,PROFICI5CY ) SLATE & /YLUS
#AIIA #CI.F@3P2 #BJJA #FE.H@3P
,PROFICI5CY 9 ,NEME? ,CODE
#AIIA #EJ.B@3P #BJJA #FG.G@3P
,DEVELOP;T ( T1*] MADE MAT]IALS
#AIIA #EC.I@3P2 #BJJA #FE.C@3P
,K ( BRL R1D+ ME?ODOLOGY
#AIIA #EJ.D@3P2 #BJJA #EF.J@3P
 
 

,FIGURE #AC4 ,T1*] (! ,BL             #I
,C]TIFIC,N
#AIIA #IC.H@3P YES2 #F.B@3P NO
#BJJA #HI.B@3P YES2 #AJ.H@3P NO
 
,FIGURE #AD4 ,RESPOND5T'S ,SELEC;N (
,T1*+ ,ASSIGN;TS
RESID5TIAL S*OOLS
#AIIA #BF.C@3P2 #BJJA #BH.J@3P
SELF 3TA9$ CLASSROOM
#AIIA #E.B@3P2 #BJJA #I.H@3P
RES\RCE ROOM
#AIIA #I.G@3P2 #BJJA #G.B@3P
IT9]ANT
#AIIA #DB.E@3P2 #BJJA #DC.C@3P
3SULTANT
#AIIA #AJ.C@3P2 #BJJA #AJ.C@3P
E>LY 9T]V5;N
#AIIA #B.D@3P2 #BJJA #H.A@3P
O!R #AIIA
#C.G@3P2 #BJJA #AC.D@3P
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #AE4 ,TOTAL ,NUMB] (         #AJ
,/UD5TS ON ,CASELOAD
#A-AJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #CI.G@3P2 #BJJA #DB.A@3P
#AA-BJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #CD.D@3P2 #BJJA #BH.I@3P
#BA-CJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #AD.F@3P2 #BJJA #AA.G@3P
#CA-DJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #F.D@3P2 #BJJA #C.H@3P
M ?AN #DJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #D.I@3P2 #BJJA #D.H@3P
 
,FIGURE #AF4 ,NUMB] ( ,/UD5TS ON
,CASELOAD ,:O ,USE ,BRL
#A-E /UD5TS
#AIIA #HA.G@3P2 #BJJA #EH.G@3P
#F-AJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #AA.G@3P2 #BJJA #F.C@3P
#AA-AE /UD5TS
#AIIA #D.C@3P2 #BJJA #B.C@3P
#AF-BJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #A.D@3P2 #BJJB #A.J@3P
M ?AN #BJ /UD5TS
#AIIA #A.J@3P2 #BJJA #A.H@3P

,FIGURE #AG4 ,TOTAL ,NUMB] ( ,YE>S   #AA
,T1*+ ,EXP]I;E
#A-AJ YE>S
#AIIA #CB.G@3P2 #BJJA #FG.F@3P
#AA-BJ YE>S
#AIIA #DG.G@3P2 #BJJA #BB.F@3P
#BA-CJ YE>S
#AIIA #AE.I@3P2 #BJJA #I.J@3P
M ?AN #CJ YE>S
#AIIA #C.G@3P2 #BJJA #.JE@3P
 
,FIGURE #AH4 ,PRIM>Y ,R1D+ ,MODE
,BRL #AIIA #B.D@3P2 #BJJA #A.B@3P
,PR9T #AIIA #IF.I@3P2 #BJJA #IH.A@3P
,TAPE #AIIA #A.B@3P2 #BJJA #.G@3P
 
,FIGURE #AI4 ,ATTITUDES ,AF ,TRA9+ ,BRL
,SKILLS ,V4 ,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y
,BRL SKILLS SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #GF.C@3P2 #BJJA #GD.I@3P
,ABIL;Y 6T1* SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #DF.A@3P2 #BJJA #DD.E@3P
 
 
 

,FIGURE #BJ4 ,CURR5T ,ATTITUDES      #AB
,BRL ,SKILLS ,V4 ,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y
,BRL SKILLS SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #FG.G@3P2 #BJJA #EI.F@3P
,ABIL;Y 6T1* SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #FC.A@3P2 #BJJA #EB.B@3P
 
,FIGURE #BA4 ,3FID;E 9 ,BRL ,SKILLS ,AF
,TRA9+ ,V4 ,CURR5T
,BRL SKILLS SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #GF.C@3P2 #BJJA #GD.I@3P
,CURR5T SKILLS SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #FG.G@3P2 #BJJA #EI.F@3P
 
,FIGURE #BB4 ,3FID;E -- ,T1*+ ,ABIL;Y
,AF ,TRA9+ ,V4 ,CURR5T
,ABIL;Y 6T1* SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #DF.A@3P2 #BJJA #DD.E@3P
,CURR5T ABIL;Y SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #FC.A@3P2 #BJJA #EB.E@3P
 
 
 
 
 

,FIGURE #BC4 ,AGREE;T ) ,/ATE;TS     #AC
,REG>D+ ,BRL ,-PET5CY
,K ( ,NEME? ,CODE IS SATISFACTORY
#AIIA #CE.H@3P2 #BJJA #DJ.G@3P
,SLATE & ,/YLUS %D 2 TAU<T
#AIIA #GJ.D@3P2 #BJJA #FC.B@3P
 
,FIGURE #BD4 ,LEGISL,N ,REQUIR+ ! ,T1*+
( ,BRL
,AGREE #AIIA #BA.I@3P2 #BJJA #CE.I@3P
,NEUTRAL #AIIA #AI.C@3P2 #BJJA #CJ.D@3P
,4AGREE #AIIA #EH.G@3P2 #BJJA #CC.E@3P
 
,FIGURE #BE4 ,MO/ ,LIKELY ,CAUSE (A
,DECL9E 9 ,BRL ,LIT]ACY
,9CR1SE 9 MULTIPLY H&ICAPP$ POPUL,N
#AIIA #ED.A@3P2 #BJJA #DE.I@3P
,VI.N UTILIZ,N
#AIIA #BA.J@3P2 #BJJA #AJ.H@3P
,L>GE CASELOADS
#AIIA #BG.G@3P2 #BJJA #CH.D@3P
,9ADEQUATE T1*] PREP>,N
#AIIA #AH.E@3P2 #BJJA #BE.H@3P
 
 

,REF];ES                             #AD
,AMATO1 ,S4,S4 7#BJJB7 ,/&>DS & ,CRIT]IA
= ,-PET;E 9 ,BRL ,LIT]ACY ,)9 ,T1*]
,PREP>,N ,PROGRAMS 9 ! ,UNIT$ ,/ATES &
,CANADA4 ,J\RNAL ( ,VISUAL ,IMPAIR;T &
,BL;S4
,SPUNG91 ,S4,J4 7#AIHI74 ,BRL LIT]ACY3
,ISSUES = BL P]SONS1 FAMILIES1
PROFES.NALS1 & PRODUC]S ( BRL4 ,NEW
,YORK3 ,AM]ICAN ,F.D,N =! ,BL4
,WITT5/E91 ,S4,H4 7#AIIC74 ,BRL TRA9+ &
T1*] ATTITUDES3 ,IMPLIC,NS = P]SONNEL
PREP>,N4 ,,RE3VIEW1 #BE1 7#C74 #AJC-AAA4
,WITT5/E91 ,S4,H4 7#AIID74 ,BRL LIT]ACY3
,PRES]VICE TRA9+ & T1*]S' ATTITUDES4
,J\RNAL ( ,VISUAL ,IMPAIR;T & ,BL;S1 #HH
7#F74 #EAF-EBD4
,WITT5/E91 ,S4,H41 & ,P>DEE1 ,M4,L4
7#AIIF74 ,T1*]S' VOICES3 ,-;TS ON BRL &
LIT]ACY F ! FIELD4 ,J\RNAL ( ,VISUAL
,IMPAIR;T & ,BL;S -- ,SPECIAL ,ISSUE ON
,LIT]ACY #IJ 7#C74 #BJA-BJI4
,SEE AL 8,BRL LIT]ACY0 ,SPUNG91 ,S4,J4 &
,D',&REA1 ,F4,M4 7#BJJA7 9 ,LIBR>Y (
,3GRESS1 ,BRL 96! NEXT MILL5NIUM1 PP4

#DDD-DDF4                            #AE
,SEE AL ,JUNE1 #AIHI SPECIAL ISSUE ON
LIT]ACY (! ,J\RNAL ( ,VISUAL ,IMPAIR;T &
,BL;S4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Everett Hill, Ed.D.
Peabody College for Teachers
Vanderbilt University

Orientation and mobility (O&M) is an important and integral part of the curriculum in the comprehensive delivery of services to children with visual impairments in the public school settings. The O&M teacher serves as a member of the multidisciplinary team in developing and implementing individualized education programs for children with visual impairments. This concept was reinforced with the enactment of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.

Orientation is the process of using sensory information to establish and maintain one's position in the environment; mobility is the process of moving safely, efficiently, and gracefully within one's environment. The ultimate goal of O&M instruction is for visually impaired persons to be able to travel in any environment as independently as possible. To reach this goal, O&M instruction must begin at the earliest possible age.

Position

Orientation and mobility in public school settings should be broadly conceived and involve a coordinated team approach in order to meet the needs of a diverse population of children with visual impairments. The delivery of O&M services should not be limited to totally blind children. Infants and preschool children, children with multiple impairments, and children with low vision can also profit from O&M instruction. Likewise, O&M instruction should not be taught in isolation, nor should it be limited to the teaching of only formal O&M skills and techniques. Sensory skills, concept development, motor development, and environmental and community awareness are all integral components of the orientation and mobility process. Orientation and mobility instruction should be related to and an integral part of cognitive, perceptual, social, self-help, personality, and language development.

Assessment

The O&M teacher is responsible for developing and conducting an orientation and mobility assessment for all children with visual impairments in order to determine the nature and extent of services needed. An initial assessment is conducted to determine each child's present level of functioning. The O&M teacher takes the lead role in assessing formal orientation and mobility skills and serves in a cooperative role with the teacher of students with visual impairments in assessing the areas of concept, motor, and sensory skills development. Other professionals such as the regular class teacher, physical education teacher, occupational therapist, or physical therapist should be consulted and involved in the assessment process when appropriate. Short- and long-term goals are developed (with input from the parents and other members of the multidisciplinary team), and reasonable time limits are specified for completing the goals.

Direct Instruction

The role of the O&M teacher is to teach formal orientation and mobility skills to those children with visual impairments for whom they are appropriate. Formal mobility skills include such areas as

  1. skills in movement with a sighted guide,
  2. protective techniques,
  3. indoor cane skills,
  4. outdoor cane skills,
  5. street crossings, and
  6. use of public transportation systems.

Formal orientation instruction is highly dependent upon maximum development and use of the senses. It entails such skill areas as the following: (a) ability to identify and make use of landmarks and clues; (b) knowledge and use of compass directions; (c) knowledge and use of indoor and city numbering systems; (d) ability to align the body to objects and with sounds for the purpose of establishing and/or maintaining a straight line of travel; (e) use of systematic search patterns to explore novel objects and environments (self-familiarization); (f) recovery skills; and (g) knowledge and use of where, when, and how to solicit aid.

The O&M teacher provides direct instruction in concept development, environmental and community awareness, and motor development. The O&M instructor should also serve as a team member and consultant to the teacher of students with visual impairments, the regular class teacher, other school personnel, and parents in the instruction and reinforcement of concept development, sensory skill development, and motor development. The development of good gross and fine motor abilities, spatial and environmental concepts, and maximum use of the senses are important prerequisites for formal orientation and mobility instruction.

Often because of time and liability concerns, it is common practice for the O&M teacher to be responsible for advanced orientation and mobility skills training, such as cane instruction and street crossings.

It is also the responsibility of the O&M teacher to provide students with visual impairments and their parents information about alternative systems (other than the cane) of independent travel such as dog guides and electronic travel aids (ETAs).

Inservice Education

The O&M teacher is responsible for designing and implementing ongoing inservice education activities in the areas of orientation and mobility for teachers, other professionals, paraprofessionals, and administrators. Inservice activities should serve to educate other school personnel about the role of the O&M teacher and the goals of the O&M program. Orientation and mobility inservice activities should also focus on the roles of all appropriate school personnel in the development and reinforcement of concept development, sensory skills training, motor development, and elementary formal orientation and mobility skills. To be maximally effective, O&M training should be integrated as much as possible into school curricula and activities.

Family Education

Orientation and mobility instruction will have very little impact on children with visual impairments if parents and family members are not involved in the process. In addition to working cooperatively with family members in developing realistic goals, the O&M teacher must develop specific activities that parents and family members can implement in the home setting in order for continuity of instruction to occur. Orientation and mobility activities should be designed so that parents and other family members can carry them out in the context of their daily routine through daily living activities, recreational activities, and so forth.

The O&M teacher must keep parents informed of their child's progress and to instruct them in how to integrate and reinforce orientation and mobility skills in their day-by-day routines. Parents should be encouraged to be actively involved in their child's program and encouraged to observe O&M lessons whenever possible.

Public Education

Because a great deal of O&M instruction takes place in the community, it is the one aspect of the total curriculum that is most visible to the general public. Frequently, the O&M teacher has the opportunity to educate the general public regarding the capabilities of visually impaired persons. Establishing community relationships through O&M instruction may dispel the many misconceptions that the general public often has about blindness and people with visual impairments.

Some Perspectives for the Delivery of O&M Services

School districts should employ qualified O&M teachers; they should not use teachers of students with visual impairments or other school personnel in lieu of a qualified O&M teacher in the delivery of orientation and mobility services. Although the O&M profession has experienced rapid growth in children with visual impairments in public school settings, there is still a great need for these services throughout the country in all settings and geographical areas.

Rosanne K. Silberman
Hunter College of the City University of New York

Sharon Sacks
San Jose State University 

All students with multiple disabilities including visual impairments are entitled to the services of a trained teacher of students with visual impairments. Students with multiple disabilities can be found in a variety of service delivery systems including residential school programs and special day classes in both public and private schools. In many cases, these students are served in a program with other children and youth with severe disabilities and are taught by a teacher who has generic training and certification. Therefore, it is essential for an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments to provide consultant services to the classroom teacher and other transdisciplinary staff at the school as well as to provide direct services to the student with a visual impairment. Due to the increasing numbers of these students, educators of students with visual impairments should expand their roles, functions, and competencies. Many teachers are currently expected to serve children who have visual impairments in addition to a broad range of other disabilities including cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, mental retardation, and various neurological syndromes. Meeting the complex educational needs of these children and youth with visual impairments who also have severe/multiple disabilities in a wide variety of settings offers a unique challenge, which is the focus of this position paper.

It is the position of DVI that all teachers of students with visual impairments have the competencies outlined in Spungin and Ferrell (in progress). These competencies include the areas of:

  1. Assessment and Evaluation
  2. Educational and Instructional Strategies: Learning Environment
  3. Educational and Instructional Strategies: Adapting the Curriculum
  4. Guidance and Counseling
  5. Administration and Supervision
  6. School Community Relations

Moreover, additional specific competencies now should be added to take into account the needs of students with visual impairments who also have severe/multiple disabilities.

In the first two competency areas identified above, Assessment and Evaluation and Educational and Instructional Strategies, it is the primary responsibility of the professionals in the field of education of students with visual impairments, especially teachers, to assess and enhance functional vision skills in all students with multiple disabilities regardless of the severity or multiplicity of impairments. Specifically, it is important that teachers of students with visual impairments demonstrate competence in Assessment and Instructional Strategies that include:

  1. Knowledge of the common types of visual functioning difficulties in various populations with disabilities.
  2. Knowledge of the effects of visual loss on the performance of functional vision tasks, e.g., feeding activities, vocational tasks, manual communication skills, and scanning of communication boards.
  3. Ability to perform and interpret functional vision assessments for students with visual and multiple impairments.
  4. Ability to design visual enhancement training in functional contexts, e.g., feeding, play time, vocational tasks, mobility.
  5. Ability to communicate specific visual needs of students with visual and other multiple disabilities to other professionals serving this population.
  6. Knowledge of effects of visual loss on movement patterns.
  7. Knowledge of appropriate positioning and handling techniques for students with multiple disabilities that enhance efficient use of vision.
  8. Knowledge of the effects of visual loss on language, social, and cognitive development.

While certain subject areas in which teachers of students with visual impairments should be trained are enumerated in the DVI position paper developed by Spungin and Ferrell (in progress), the emphasis of these competencies is dramatically different when the focus is on education of students with visual and other multiple disabilities. These differences are particularly evident in the following areas:

  1. Educational Assessment and Diagnosis
  2. Leisure and Recreation
  3. Human Sexuality
  4. Motor Development
  5. Cognitive Development
  6. Social Adjustment Skills
  7. Career and Vocational Education

Areas of additional knowledge that all teachers need who serve students with visual impairments and other multiple disabilities include:

  1. Early childhood development with specific emphasis on normal and abnormal motor, language, social, and cognitive development.
  2. Informal assessment techniques: Ecological inventories, task analysis, discrepancy analysis, functional daily routines.
  3. Augmentative communication systems.
  4. Principles of behavior management.
  5. Community-referenced curriculum.
  6. Systematic instruction utilizing domain format: Self-management/home living, general community functioning, recreation/leisure, vocational.
  7. Supported work models.
  8. Transition programming to enhance adult living, employment and recreation/leisure options.

Students with visual impairments and other multiple disabilities are participating more frequently in diverse educational service delivery models and living successfully in various types of community facilities including their home, group homes, and residential schools. Therefore, additional relevant competencies needed by all teachers who serve students with visual impairments and other multiple disabilities are:

  1. Types, advantages, and disadvantages of alternate service delivery models.
  2. Organizational skills
    1. Time management
    2. Scheduling
    3. Use of space
  3. Appropriate utilization of support personnel, e.g., teacher assistants, child care or residence workers.
  4. Understanding and implementation of transdisciplinary team functioning.

Teachers of students with visual impairments should be able to function as an integral part of a transdisciplinary team in meeting the complex needs of students with visual impairments who also have severe/multiple disabilities. They will need to know and understand the roles and functions of the various disciplines including, but not limited to, medicine; education; social work; psychology; occupational, physical and speech therapies; and vocational rehabilitation. They must be knowledgeable in the terminologies utilized by each. Operating as part of such a team and offering direct and/or consultative services affords the teacher of students with visual impairments the opportunity to be both a teacher and learner as he/she demonstrates his/her expertise and, in turn benefits from the knowledge and skills of the other team members from various fields, all on behalf of students with visual and other severe/multiple disabilities. The teacher of students with visual impairments and other team members need to acquire an understanding of the unique needs of this population which are directly attributable to their visual impairment. It also affords the teacher of students with visual impairments the opportunity to be an advocate for the student who also has multiple impairments and his/her family.

Also critical for a teacher is an understanding of the needs of families of students with visual impairments who have severe/multiple disabilities, as well as strategies for helping them to meet those needs. The ability to provide resources and information to families, to serve as an advocate for and with them, to establish counseling and support mechanisms, and to train them to assist in the development and implementation of their child's program are all facets of the teacher's role in a comprehensive family participation program.

Although not all qualified teachers of students with visual impairments will work with students with visual and other multiple impairments, those who do will need to have the additional competencies as described in this paper which would enable them to appropriately serve this population. Teacher preparation programs and inservice training options exist. These options could include the following:

  1. Specialized graduate level training programs for teachers of students who are deaf-blind and/or teachers of children and youth with severe/multiple disabilities.
  2. Courses designed to provide information and techniques for working with students with visual impairments and other severe/multiple disabilities.
  3. Summer inservice workshops on various topics related to the student with visual and other severe/multiple disabilities, e.g., assessment, behavior management, alternative communication systems.
  4. Utilization of consultants from the field of education of students with visual impairments and from other disciplines on a regular basis.
  5. Provision of ongoing after-school topical workshops in areas such as vision assessment and enhancement, feeding, motor development, language development.
  6. Opportunities for visitations to exemplary programs serving children and youth with visual impairments and other severe/multiple disabilities.
  7. Utilization of available inservice training packages developed to train staff working with students with severe disabilities.
  8. Training modules specifically designed to train teachers of students with visual impairments and other severe/multiple disabilities.
  9. Encouragement for teachers of students with visual impairments to take additional courses in other disciplines.

Planning for the future offers exciting challenges and presents us with the need to change. The expansion of the roles, function, and competencies of the teacher of students with visual impairments will enable us to provide the best possible services to students with visual impairments who also have severe/multiple disabilities, and it will guarantee that our field will remain in the forefront of special education in the years to come.

Reference

Spungin, S. J. & Ferrell, K. A. (In progress). The role and function of the teacher of students with visual impairments. Reston, VA: Division on Visual Impairment/Council for Exceptional Children.

The Professional Preparation Advisory Group met on November 11, 2008 to determine future priorities and actions.  The PPAG was divided into 4 groups to work on the domains listed below.  Once developed, the work of each group was presented to the large group and priorities were voted on.  Then, in an effort to acknowledge that some actions can be readily accomplished, and others need more time, the members were asked to identify those items which were important and how easy or quick it could be accomplished.  Below is the data developed by the PPAG, the number of priority votes received and whether it would be easy, medium, or hard to accomplish.  Please note that Item 1 in the Programming domain and Item 2 in the Miscellaneous domain were essentially the same.  The votes for both items have been combined.

What can WE do to make a change?  What/How can we leverage our resources to make that change?

  • Please reflect on all the information presented.
  • Information provided must be realistic and within the scope of this group.
  • Groups may brainstorm as part of their process, but they should develop solid statements.
  • Statements should be action-oriented and do-able.
  • Please be careful about indicating responsible party.  This is an advisory committee.  You will not be committing anyone to action, but it should be something that they can/will do.

Domain: Programming

Sub-domain: Increase support for new VI teachers
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1.

Provide a new VI teacher training package in all 20 regions.

Replicate model from ESC 4 on a 2 –year cycle.

  • 5 meetings/sessions per year
  • Supporting materials and personal library
  • Outside speakers
  • Minimal travel reimbursements
  • Content to include information related to:
    • FVE and LMAs
    • Infant and toddlers
    • Itinerant teaching logistics
    • Abacus
    • Tactile graphics
    • CVI
    • Nemeth
    • AT evaluations
  • Build into network plan

VI consultants at ESCs

Model adapted by ESC 4 consultants

ESC consultants

Fall 09 30 4 easy
6 med
2 hard
Sub-domain: Communicate scope of job
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1
  • Provide all ESCs with a recommended listing of training topics for O&M service providers that specifically address evaluation and intervention for infants, toddlers, MIVI, low vision students and students with additional disabilities.
  • Develop and provide students and ESC consultants with a list of speakers and materials to support #1 above.
Sub-group of PPAG (university faculty, O&Ms, TSBVI outreach staff) May 09 16 6 easy
Sub-domain: Job shadowing during training for O&M specialists and VI teachers
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Infuse more observation and job shadowing into university courses. Universities   10 9 easy
2 ESC will provide university programs with names of VI professionals willing to be shadowed by students. ESC consultants May 10 0 0

Domain:  Miscellaneous

Sub-domain: Supporting a coordinated system of professional preparation
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Increase notification of new students in the university programs to VI professionals at ESCs.  VI staff can then start to build relationships with pre-service VI professionals and those with a temporary credential (emergency permit or probationary certificate).
  • University faculty will assign students to get in touch with VI professionals at the ESC. 
    • The assignment should be such that the student can’t just get information off the internet and submit it.
    • It was suggested that the student email the ESC, possibly with some questions.  The VI professional would then respond to the questions, and turn in that email as the assignment.

Chrissy Cowan

University faculty

May 08 19 20 easy
2 Explore “new teacher “program training through ESCs and offer it statewide. Olga Uriegas See Note in introduction.
3

Explore updating the RECC to include web-based accessible training.

Pass out RECC bookmarks, and other activities to increase marketing the RECC.

Julie Prause (RECC)

KC Dignan (RECC)

  0

4 easy

1 med.

Sub-domain: Certification issues for students who are deafblind
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 PPAG will stay current on the plans to provide an associates degree through Utah State and the Hadley School for the Blind.  The programs will be provided on-line and will be appropriate for VI paraprofessional and deafblind interveners.  Information will also include how to advertise this program throughout the state. Cyral Miller   0

1 easy

3 med.

2 Gather current information on certification for deafblind professionals and paraprofessionals through the ACVREP certification.  Present information to the  PPAG. Cyral Miller May 08 0

1 med.

3 hard

Sub-domain: O&M evaluations for ALL VI students
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Work towards finding a sponsor for the legislation developed by AVIT.
(Since the meeting, a sponsor has been found.)
Marjie Wood (AER)
Marty Murrell
Immediately 10 5 med.

Domain: Recruitment and retention

Sub-domain: Collaborative recruitment and funding stream
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Develop FAQs for ESCs and district special education administrators on “How to Homegrow your Own TVIs and O&M Specialists”.
  • Document to be short; perhaps 1-2 pages long.
  • Disseminate through ESC and on the TSBVI website.
Sub-committee from PPAG May 09 19 13 easy
Sub-domain: Identify strategies to retain VI professionals
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Increase caseload analysis in an effort to retain VI professionals by reducing caseloads. ESC, TETN by TSBVI Outreach staff   15 6 easy
4 med.
5 hard
Sub-domain: Determine why new VI professionals leave the field
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1 Query protégées on Mentor Program Update form on reasons for either withdrawing from program or leaving the job. Mentor Coordinator May 2009 9 5 easy

 Domain: Funding

Sub-domain: Collaborative recruitment and funding stream
Item Number Action Responsible person, agency, or entity Timeline Priority Votes Ease or Time Needed
1. Explore Medicaid funding to pay for O&M and VI services. KC Dignan   2 2 hard
2. Encourage local school districts to pay the ESC “building use fee” generated by using the TETN system for training.  This is done for the SLP program.     2 0
3. Encourage parents to advocate for vision services by a qualified and certified VI professional.     0 1 med.
4. Encourage special education administrators to hand pick personnel to become university students.  This may save money in the long run since these staff members are more likely to stay in the position.     0 0
5. Develop co-ops within co-ops to deliver shared VI and O&M services     2 0
6. Continue to seek a variety of funding streams for university programs (ESCs, school districts, federal and state funds, grants, private funding.)     0 1 med.

Go to Top of Page