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Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 

(Revised 6/21//02)

ALABAMA

Teresa Lacy (prospective)
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
P.O. Box 698
Talladega, AL 35161
256/761-3237 FAX: 256/761-3337
Email:

Alaska

William McIver, Education Specialist
Special Education Service Agency
2217 E. Tudor Road, Suite 1
Anchorage, AK 99507
907/562-7372 FAX: 907/562-0545
Email:

Arizona

Jane Erin, Professor
Dept. of Special Education, University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210069
Tucson, AZ 85721
520/621-0945 FAX: 520/621-3821
Email:

Doris Senor Woltman, Ed.S.
Interim Superintendent
PO Box 88510
Tucson, AZ 85754
520-770-3233 (V/T)
520-770-3711 (Fax)
E-mail:
Web site: http://www.asdb.state.az.us

Arkansas

California

Sharon Sacks, Assistant Superintendent
CA School for the Blind
500 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA94536
510/794-3800 FAX:510/794-3813
Email:

Steve Goodman, Director
Pupil Personnel Services
CA School for the Blind
500 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA 94536
510/794-3800 FAX: 510/794-3813
Email:

Colorado

David Farrell, Principal
Education Services for the Blind
Colorado. School for the Deaf and the Blind
33 No. Institute Street
Colorado Springs, CO80903
719/578-2200 FAX:719/578-2239
Email:

Connecticut

Marybeth Dean
CT Board of Education and Services for the Blind
184 Windsor Avenue
Windsor, CT 06095
860/602-4180
Email:

Delaware

Charlene Dolgos, ActingEducation Supervisor
Division for the Visually Impaired
305 West 8th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
302/577-3333 FAX: 302/577-6100
Email:

District of Columbia

Florida

Michele Polland, Administrator
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 614
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
850/488-1106 FAX: 850/922-7088
Email:

Georgia

Kathy Segers-State Consultant-Visual Impairments
Georgia Department of Education
Georgia Academy for the Blind-GIMC
2895 Vineville Ave.
Macon, GA 31216
478-751-6208 FAX 478-751-6226

Hawaii

Jeanne G. Prickett
HI Center for the Deaf and the Blind
3440 Leahi Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
808/733-4999 FAX:: 808/733-4824
Email:

Idaho

Angel Ramos, Superintendent
Idaho School for the Deaf and The Blind
1450 Main Street
Gooding, ID 83330
208/934-4457 FAX: 208/934-8352
Email:

Illinois

Gene Huston, Manager
Illinois Instructional Materials Center
3031 Stanton
Springfield, IL 62703-4316
217/525-3300 FAX: 217/525-7916
Email:

Indiana

Judith Whyte, Director of Outreach
Indiana School for the Blind
7725 North College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46240
317/253-1481 FAX: 317/251-6511
Email:

Iowa

Karen Blankenship, Vision Consultant
Bureau of Children, Family and Community Services
Grimes State Office Bldg.
Des Moines, IA 50319
515/281-7972
Email:

Dotta Hassman, Coordinator
Instructional Materials Center
1002 G Avenue
Vinton, IA 52349
319/472-5221 Ext 1233 FAX: 319/472-4371
Email:

Ranae Jostad
Parent, Co-chair
115 West 9th Street
Vinton, IA 52349
319/472-3017 (H) 319/984-5712 (W)
Email:

Kansas

Bill Daugherty, Superintendent
Kansas School for the Blind
1100 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66102
913/281-3308 Ext 307 FAX: 913/281-3104
Email:

Kentucky

Linda Smith, State Coordinator
Educational Services for Visually Impaired Students
Kentucky School for the Blind
1867 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
502/897-1583 FAX: 502/897-2994
Email:

Louisiana

Joyce Russo, Supervisor of Programs for
Individuals With Deaf-Blindness
Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064
225/342-3641 FAX: 225/342-5880
Email:

Maine

Jean T. Small, Program Director
Education Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Children
1066 Kenduskeag Avenue
Bangor, ME 04401
207/941-2855 FAX: 207/941-2835
Email:

Maryland

Linda Starner, Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Baltimore County Public Schools
5116 Hillburn Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21206-4129
410/887-0836 FAX: 410/887-0834
Email:

Massachusetts

Karen Ross, Director
Special Education Itinerant Services
Carroll Center for the Blind
770 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02458
617/969-6200 x237 FAX: 617/969-6204
Email: ;

Tom Miller
Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
617/924-3434 FAX: 617/926-2027
Email:

Michigan

Kathy Brown, Director
Michigan School for the Blind
West Court and Miller Road
Flint, MI 48503
810/257-1420 FAX: 810/257-0500
Email:

Brunhilde Merk-Adam
29260 Franklin Rd #403
Southfield MI 48034
248 356-8615

Minnesota

Jean Martin, Director
Minnesota Resource Center: Blind/VI
615 Olof Hanson Drive
Faribault, MN 55021-0308
507/332-5510 FAX: 507/332-5494
Email:

Elaine Sveen, Superintendent
Minnesota State Academy for the Blind
P.O. Box 68
Faribault, MN 55021-0308
507/332-3226 FAX: 507/332-3631
Email:

Mississippi

Claudia Hollingsworth
Mississippi School for the Blind
1252 Eastover Drive
Jackson, MS 39211
601/984-8203 FAX: 601/984-8230
Email:

Missouri

Dr. Corinne Harmon, Superintendent
Missouri School for the Blind
3815 Magnolia Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
314/776-4320 Ext. 111 FAX: 314/772-1561
Email:

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

Kathy Downes, TBVI
SERESC
29 Commercial Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
603/434-0556
Email:

New Jersey

Herbert Miller, Administrator
St. Joseph's School for the Blind
253 Baldwin Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201/653-0578 FAX: 201/653-4087
Email:

New Mexico

Jennifer McClarin
New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped
1900 N. White Sands Boulevard
Alamogordo, NM 88310
505/437-3505 FAX: 505/439-4411
E-mail:

New York

Emily Leyenberger, Coordinator, Vision Specialist
NY State Resource Center for Visually Impaired
Richmond Avenue
Batavia, NY 14020
716/343-8100 FAX: 716/343-3711
Email:

North Carolina

Tom Winton, Consultant for Visual Impairment and Assistive Technology
NC Department of Public Instruction
Division for Exceptional Children
301 North Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC 276012825
919/715-2001
Email:

Judy Plymale, Outreach Director
Governor Morehead School
301 Ashe Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27606
919/733-6381 FAX: 919/733-9289
Email:

North Dakota

Carmen Suminski, Superintendent
North Dakota School for the Blind
500 Stanford Road
Grand Forks, ND 58203
701/795-2700 701/795-2727
Email:

Suzy Kartes
Email:

Ohio

Dr. Louis Mazzoli, Superintendent
Ohio State School for the Blind
5220 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214
614/752-1152 FAX: 614/752-1713
Email:

Oklahoma

Robert Warren, Principal
Parkview School
3300 Gibson Street
Muskogee, OK 74403
918/781-8200 FAX: 918/781-8300
Email:

Oregon

Marilyn Gense
Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97306
503/378-3600 ext. 2336 FAX: 503/373-7968
Email:

Pennsylvania

Sandy Finkel
Overbrook School for the Blind
6333 Malvern Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19151-2597
215/877-0313 FAX: 215/877-2466
Email:

Rhode Island

Clare Irwin, Coordinator
Vision Services Program
Rhode Island Department of Education
1 Corliss Park
Providence, RI 02908
401/222-3827
Email:

South Carolina

Linda Mackechnie, Principal
School for the Blind
South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind
355 Cedar Springs Road
Spartanburg, SC 29302
864/577-7600FAX: 864/585-3555
Email:

Suzanne Swaffield, Education Associate
Programs for Exceptional Children
South Carolina Department of Education
1429 Senate Street, Room 513
Columbia, SC 29201
803/734-8222 FAX: 803/734-8624
Email:

South Dakota

Marjorie Kaiser, Superintendent
SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
423 17th Avenue, S.E.
Aberdeen, SD 57401-7699
605/626-2580 FAX: 605/626-2607
Email:

Tennessee

Erika Andersen
Vanderbilt University
Box 328 Peabody College
Nashville, TN 37203
615/322-2249 FAX: 615/343-1570
Email:

Texas

Phil Hatlen, Superintendent
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
512/454-8631 FAX: 512/454-6305
Email:

Cyral Miller, Director of Outreach
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
512/206-9242 FAX: 512/206-9320
Email:

Utah

Lee Robinson, Superintendent
Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
742 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84404
801/629-4700 FAX:: 801/629-4896
Email:

Melanie Manwaring
Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
1460 So. 100 East
Orem, UT 84058
801/224-6872
Email:

Vermont

Stephanie Bissonette, Supervisor
Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
37 Elmwood Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
802/863-1358 Ext 25 FAX: 802/863-1481
Email:

Virginia

Barbara McCarthy, Director
VA Library and Resource Center for the Blind
395 Azalea Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227-3623
804/371-3661 FAX: 804/371-3508
Email:

Washington

Dean Stenehjem (temporary contact)
Washington State School for the Blind
2120 East 13th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661
360/696-6321 Ext. 185
Email:

West Virginia

Donna See, Director
Instructional Resource Ctr. for Visually Impaired
301 East Main Street
Romney, WV 26757
304/822-4890 FAX: 304/822-4898
Email:

Wisconsin

Samantha Hoffman
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 537077841
Email:

Lisa Tomberlin, Teacher of Students with VI
312 North Main Street
Rosendale, WI 54974
920/324-2901 or 5591 FAX: 920/324-0440
Email:

Wyoming

Gary Olson (prospective)
Services for the Visually Impaired
Wyoming Department of Education
Hathaway Building, 2nd Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0050
307/777-6257 FAX: 307/777-6234
Email:

Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 

Parent Co-Chairs: Donna Stryker & Brunhilde Merk-Adam
Professional Co-Chairs: Steve Goodman & Karen Blankenship

(Revised 8/1/2005)

Dr. Karen E. Blankenship
Consultant for Visual Disabilities
BCFCS
Grimes State Office Bldg.
Des Moines, IA 50319
515.281.7972
Email:

Dr. Anne Corn, Professor of Special Education
Peabody College
Vanderbilt University
P.O. Box 328, Nashville, TN 37203
615/322-2249 FAX:615/343-1570
Email:

Stephen A. Goodman
Director of Pupil Personnel Services
California School for the Blind
500 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 794 3800
FAX (510) 794 3993
Email

Dr. Phil Hatlen, Superintendent
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
512/454-8631 FAX: 512/454-6305
Email:

Susan LaVenture
National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
800/562-6265 FAX: 617/972-7444
Email:

Donna McNear
Rum River Special Education Coop
315 7th Lane NE
Cambridge, MN 55008
612/689-3600 FAX: 612/689-3601
Email:

Brunhilde Merk-Adam
29260 Franklin Rd #403
Southfield, MI 48034
248/356-8615
Email:

Dick Pomo, Executive Director
Wisconsin Council of the Blind
354 West Main Street
Madison, WI 53703-3115
608/255-1166 FAX: 608/255-3301
Email:

Mary Ann Siller
Project Manager, Professional Development Department
American Foundation for the Blind
260 Treadway Plaza
Dallas, TX 75235
214/352-7222 FAX: 214/352-3214
Email:

Dr. Susan Spungin
American Foundation for the Blind
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
212/502-7631 FAX: 212/502/7773
Email:

Donna Stryker
15554 Space Murals Lane
Las Cruces, NM 88011
505/373-2596 FAX: 505/524-8080
Email:

Dr. Karen Wolffe
2109 Rabb Glen Street
Austin, TX 78704
512/707-0525 FAX: 512/707-8227
Email:

Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 

Download the survey in Word

During the 2003-2004 school year, education consultants and itinerant teachers completed a survey regarding the Expanded Core Curriculum and how vision teachers are presently meeting the needs of students in Connecticut. The goal of the survey was to find out what is currently happening specifically with regard to Goal #8 of the National Agenda, not necessarily what should happen or will happen in the future. Answers reflected what vision teachers were currently doing with their caseload.

In Connecticut, there are two models for delivery of services to visually impaired students. Education consultants work out of one centralized state agency, Board of Education Services for the Blind (BESB). Contractors who work for Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) are similar to BESB education consultants where they are hired by an agency not a town. For the purposes of the survey, BESB education consultants and CREC contractors have been grouped together. The second group in our survey is made of teachers of the visually impaired who are itinerant teachers hired directly by a town or a group of towns.

Comparisons were made between the two groups of teachers throughout the survey to determine if differences were evident between the two models.

Amount of Time in IEP

BESB/CREC Teachers for Braille Students

Elementary School
Direct: 3 hours weekly
Consult: 2 hours weekly
Middle School
Direct: 2 hours weekly
Consult: 1 hour weekly
High School
Direct: 1 hour weekly
Consult: 1 hour weekly

Itinerant Teachers for Braille Students

Elementary School
Direct: 4 hours weekly
Consult: 2.6 hours weekly
Middle School
Direct: 3.2 hours weekly
Consult: 2.3 hours weekly
High School
Direct: 3.3 hours weekly
Consult: 2 hours weekly

Direct Services Activities for Print and Auditory Readers

Six Activities with Highest Percentages
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Functional Vision 28 Adaptive Equipment 24
2 Low Vision Aids 15 Tutoring 15
3 Adaptive Equipment 14 Organization Skills 9
4 Transition 11 Low Vision Aids 8
5 Organization Skills 10 Functional Vision 8
6 Social Skills 4 Transition 8
Six Activities with Lowest Percentages
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Tape Recorder 4 Social Skills 6
2 Tutoring 3 Listening Skills 5
3 Listening Skills 2 Tape Recorder 5
4 Daily Living Skills 1 Daily Living Skills 5
5 Handwriting 1 Handwriting 4
6 O&M 1 O&M 3
Consultation Activities for Print and Auditory Readers
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Consult w/ staff 38 Consult w/ staff 24
2 Observing student 26 Observing student 17
3 Para Training 12 Lesson Preparation 15
4 Consult w/ Parents 11 Consult w/ parents 14
5 In-service Training 7 Materials Preparation 12
6 Lesson Preparation 6 Para Training 12
  Materials Preparation 1 In-service Training 7

Direct Service Activities for Braille Readers

Direct Service Activities for Braille Readers
Six Activities with Highest Percentages
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Teaching Braille 54.33 Teaching Braille 38.5
2 Adaptive Tech 16.6 Tutoring 16.21
3 Organizational Skills 7.25 Adaptive Tech 11.71
4 Vision Portfolio 5.09 Organizational Skills 6.21
5 Social/Recreation 5.09 Listening Skills 5.85
6 Daily Living 4.6 Transition 5.38
Direct Service Activities for Braille Readers
Five Activities with Lowest Percentages
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Transition 3.72 Social/Recreation 5.38
2 Tutoring 3.5 Tape Recorders 3.92
3 Tape Recorders 3.4 Daily Living Skills 3.8
4 O&M 2.11 O&M 3.33
5 Listening Skills .22 Vision Portfolio 2.5

 

Consultation Activities for Braille Readers

Consultation Activities for Braille Readers
  BESB/CREC % ITINERANT %
1 Para Training 32.75 Consult w/ Staff 24
2 Consult w/ Staff 22.25 Materials Prep 21.21
3 Lesson Prep 14.25 Lesson Prep 18.38
4 Observation 13.81 Para Training 17.53
5 In-service Training 7.27 Consult w/ Parents 10
6 Consult w/ Parents 6.25 Observation 9.85
7 Materials Prep 6.22 In-service Training 8.66

Expanded Core Curriculum

BESB education consultants answered a series of questions regarding the services their students receive in different areas of the expanded core curriculum. These questions addressed the following: orientation and mobility, social skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure, technology, and career education.

In the area of orientation and mobility, 83% of BESB consultants and 53% of itinerants reported they have students receiving O&M instruction. About 50% of respondents in both groups reported they have students who probably need mobility, but currently are not receiving the services.

More than 80% of consultants and itinerants reported they assist in writing social goals and 85% of respondents refer their students to other social resources. 17% of BESB consultants and 11% of itinerants feel there are social resources their students need but they do not have access to them.

Regarding independent living skills, 17% of BESB consultants felt their professional preparation program provided them with the skills and techniques necessary to teach them, 40% of itinerants felt they received adequate training. 75% of both groups reported that they assist in writing ADL goals. 67% of respondents in both groups also report parents participate in ADL instruction and about 80% reported other team members also assist in this instruction.

In the area of recreation and leisure, 33% of BESB consultants routinely assess these skills while 53% of itinerants reported they do. The same percentage of BESB respondents reported their students have recreation and leisure goals and 40% of itinerants reported their students also have similar goals.

There was a large discrepancy in responses regarding technology. Only 17% of BESB consultants feel qualified to teach adaptive technology, whereas 73% of itinerants do. 78% of education consultants and 100% of itinerants feel their students have access to a qualified technology instructor. 42% of BESB consultants and 80% of itinerants reported they teach touch typing skills to their students.

Regarding career education, more than 80% of itinerants and education consultants reported their students are receiving transition services. 100% of BESB respondents and 73% of itinerants reported their transition age students have transition goals in their IEPs. One half of BESB respondents and 27% of the itinerants reported their transition age students have participated in at least one job shadowing experience. Out of those respondents, the BESB consultants reported 80% of their students have had job shadowing experiences through vocational rehabilitation and the school/community and the itinerants reported 75% of their students have done it through vocational rehabilitation and 50% through the school/community.

BESB consultants and itinerant teachers were also asked to answer a list of questions regarding outside resources used to assist with meeting students needs.

All BESB consultants and 40% of itinerant teachers reported they use the Perkins Outreach and Carroll Center programs. 92% of consultants and 53% of itinerants utilize the services of outside evaluators with expertise in blindness. 83% of consultants and 33% of itinerants have enrolled support staff in the Braille class for paraprofessionals. Nearly all consultants and itinerants have utilized the BESB in-service trainings for teachers and paraprofessionals.



Introduction

Annotated Bibliography of Curricular Materials Related to The Core Curriculum for Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities

Developed for the National Agenda by
Nancy Levack, Curriculum Coordinator
(512) 206-9183
FAX (512) 454-6305
e-mail:

Order from:

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas 78756

100 pp. - Order #59420ABP or textfile - Order #59420ABD - $5.00 (18 oz.)

Information about curricula and resources written within the last 20 years and specifically for this population

This bibliography attempts to give information about the resources that are available when planning the curriculum for children and youth with visual impairments, including those students with multiple disabilities. Determining what to include was not an easy task. I tried to develop some hard and fast criteria, but you will soon find that I sometimes overlooked my own advice. The criteria included:

  • Choose only material that was written specifically for this population.
  • Include only materials that were written within the last 20 years, unless there was nothing written more recently on this topic.
  • Focus on the materials that were pragmatic and usable by instructors and parents for immediate decisions about programming.
  • Try not to leave anything out.

Since I am quite certain that I erred most spectacularly on the last objective, I have included multiple ways of contacting me, if you have suggestions for other materials that need to be added.

This bibliography may be copied and shared as you see fit. It is also available on the TSBVI web page at www.tsbvi.edu. Feel free to download it from there. We have also included directions for adding your suggestions directly to the site. From time to time these suggestions will be included if they reflect the criteria listed above.

The organization reflects the subjects that have been identified in the National Agenda. Programming for students with multiple disabilities has been incorporated within the subject areas. However, materials that relate specifically to preschool students have been collected under the heading Early Childhood with hope that they can be easily found

I particularly want to thank Frances Mary D'Andrea, Karen Wolffe, Jeanne Church, Sharon Kirchner, Debby Oppel Holzapfel, Frank Irzyk, and Mark Steciw who generously contributed suggestions to the list. Brigitte Starkey created the layout and design and Linda Donovan and Diane Nousanen hunted down the books. - From Nancy Levack, former Curriculum Department Head at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

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Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

 

Phil Hatlen, Superintendent
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
(presented at "Getting In Touch With Literacy Conference" Dec. 4, 2003)

I have begun this presentation 12 times, 4 on paper and 8 in my head, and each time it has a different beginning. So, this may or may not be the final draft. My problem is that I have several topics I want to include, and it's difficult to know where to begin. I really should begin with the Expanded Core Curriculum and Literacy, since that is what I promised Cay I would do. But I am moved to talk with you about what I consider a fundamental issue relating to literacy, and what I have to say about the ECC and literacy requires that I begin with another topic.

I will begin and end with three challenges that you and I face in our profession, and a call to you to become active in addressing these challenges. They are:

  1. Make certain that every blind and visually impaired child has access to assessment and instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum.
  2. Examine your definition of literacy, and consider using adjectives to differentiate various types of literacy.
  3. Tap your creativity and those around you so that we may find ways of presenting braille materials in a usable, reader-friendly multi-media format.

As some of you know, I have long had a problem with the generally accepted definition of literacy. Because those with whom I've discussed my issues have suggested that I challenge myself on this topic, I'm going to share some thoughts with you.

What is it to be literate? If one can read and write print or braille, is one literate? If one cannot read print or braille, is one illiterate? What follows is a presentation I gave at my school recently:

I firmly believe that every child has the capability of becoming literate. If we are creative enough, if we are imaginative enough, if we persevere enough, every child at TSBVI will become literate. It all depends on how we define the term. And I maintain that the definition must take into account the unique characteristics of blind and visually impaired children.

I have close friends and colleagues who say to me that to be literate means to be able to read and write, either in print or Braille. They can point to most dictionary definitions of literacy to support their position. I have a very big problem with this, for two basic reasons. First, when one or more sensory input systems are impaired, then that definition needs to change. Second, if the term "illiterate" continues to carry a terribly negative connotation, then those among us who will not read or write print or Braille are relegated to a status we don't deserve.

I remember, early in my experience as a teacher of students with visual impairments, discovering that a high school Braille reader has no chance of keeping up with her sighted peers, using Braille materials only. A simple fact comes into play. Braille, by its very nature, will be read more slowly than print. A reasonably good Braille reader will read at a rate of around 100 words per minute. A reasonably good print reader will read at a rate of 250 to 300 words per minute. Thus, the sighted high school reader will cover three times as much material in the same period of time as a Braille reader. This is not a condemnation of Braille, it reflects the differences between visual reading and tactual reading. Therefore, most blind high school students use recorded books or live readers as a supplement to braille in order to cover the amount of reading material they are assigned in a regular school. Braille will, in most cases, remain the medium of first choice, and most competent Braille users will continue to use it in all reasonable situations. They will supplement it by "reading by listening". Do you buy that? Do you think of listening to a text or a novel as a form of literacy? For those of you who think this is a slam-dunk, let me tell you it's one of the most controversial topics in our profession. Let me quote what one writer said about reading by listening:

"There are two important reasons why listening is not literacy. First, to say that a person who reads through listening is literate would require a change in the operational definition of literacy. Sighted persons who cannot read print are considered illiterate. Such persons may have exceptional skills in reading by listening, but these skills are not a part of the traditional definition of being literate. Second, the definition of literacy involves the ability to both read and write. There is no assurance that persons who claim to have achieved literacy through listening can write at all."

Well, so much for one person's narrow-minded position on literacy. But wait, who was the author? It says his name is Hatlen!! Sure enough, I wrote this for a Point/Counterpoint column in 1996. (Point/Counterpoint, Is Listening Literacy, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, vol 90, pp. 173-175, 1996). I took that position because the other wasn't available. A man named Dean Tuttle wrote in support of listening being literacy. This is what he said:

"Is listening literacy? As a blind person, my answer is a resounding yes! For me, much of each day is filled with auditory reading of Talking Books, email correspondence, news programs on a local radio reading service, and on-line databases at the library."

I think Dean Tuttle makes his point very clearly, and I think that it's time for us, as educators of blind and visually impaired students, to strongly support the position that, for our students, literacy can be achieved through print, braille, or through listening.

And so we have a task before us. We must re-define literacy for the students with whom we work. Our new definition must take into consideration a variety of ways to become literate. Of course, one is reading and writing print. Another is competence in reading and writing braille. But then we enter a gray area"one that we must define. We must take into consideration the characteristics of the person in determining whether print alone, braille alone, or a combination of the two alone, will achieve complete literacy for the blind or visually impaired person. The answer, according to Dean Tuttle, is a resounding "no". For Dean and most other blind persons, literacy through listening must be added. So I say to teachers and parents that the judicious use of recorded material you use with high school students is clearly a dimension of literacy for them.

And what about a deafblind student at TSBVI? What if she will not be a print or braille reader, and will not learn through listening. Is she destined to be labeled illiterate? If you were the child's teacher or parent, I'll bet you wouldn't want this child to carry that stigma! Is signing a form of literacy? Are tactile symbols a form of literacy? Are calendar boxes a form of literacy? I propose to you that they all are, and because we have the creativity and flexibility to take into consideration the strengths and skills of each individual student, every child at TSBVI has the capacity to become literate, and the staff of TSBVI has the capability to teach literacy to every child!!

The other day I asked my secretary to find some definitions of literacy on the internet. She uncovered what I believe to be a very profound concept. At least it's profound to me, because I hadn't heard it before. There are literacy experts out there in the world who have developed the concept of "Media Literacy". Listen to this:

"for 500 years, we've taught our children to read words.
The time has come to teach them also to read the powerful
images and sounds of their multi-media world."

Yes, all of us live in a multi-media world. A simple, but graphic, example are new textbooks being written for sighted students. They don't contain simple lines of print any more. There are colored words, italicized words, bold words, boxes, columns, pictures, graphics, and all sorts of variations that are intended to make the visual page more exciting to read. More than that, much of the learning experienced by sighted students using these books come from non-printed information.

As learned people have expanded "Print Literacy" to "Media Literacy", so also must we accept the concept that literacy encompasses far more than the ability to read and write print and/or braille.

Is "illiterate" a dirty word? I think so. It is often used in a demeaning, prejudicial way. It closes doors. It stigmatizes. It labels. It serves no positive purpose to label a child as "illiterate". But if we accept, adopt the traditional definition of "literacy", then we have relegated many wonderful, talented, precious children to being illiterate.

While I believe there are many reasons to advocate for a broad definition of literacy, even perhaps embrace the concept of "media literacy", perhaps the most pursuasive reason is that no child at TSBVI will ever, ever, live under the stigma of being illiterate.

Now you know where I stand on the topic of literacy.

Listen to this definition developed by the Center for Media Literacy:

Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a variety of forms " from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.

While there is nothing specific in this definition to suggest that it would cover a blind child with severe additional disabilities who uses tactile symbols and a calendar box for receptive and expressive communication, I maintain to you that this is simply because the authors don't know the same children that I do.

What if I suggest to you that the definition of Media Literacy is the ability to communicate needs, thoughts, and responses, and receive information, through the effective utilization of remaining senses?

The founders and advocates of Media Literacy have something entirely different in mind. They view this as an expansion of print literacy, combining all sources for receiving and producing media in this high tech, electronic world. But I say we steal their term and give it our own meaning, and relegate every blind and visually impaired child to the level of Media Literacy through creative, systematic, and inspired instruction!!

I propose to you that we stop using the term "Literacy" and agree that the word must have a defining adjective preceeding it. Let's get used to using Print Literacy, Braille Literacy, Tactile Literacy, Auditory Literacy, or Media Literacy when describing the various paths that lead to a system to receive and give information.

I must share with you what I consider the down side of Media Literacy. I believe that modern textbook publishers have become experts at using multi-media in the production of textbooks. I have regular opportunities to review new textbook adoptions in Texas, with the task of evaluating formats to be used in transcribing them into Braille. It is ironic that, in these days of increasing inclusion of blind students into the regular classroom and curriculum, the instructional materials they receive are becoming ever more difficult to use. On a single print page, there are now sidebars, boxes, graphs, pictures, bolded words, colored words, words of all different sizes, some italicized, and charts. What was once a simple print page consisting of words written in uninterrupted lines has now become an exciting multi-media production for the sighted student. I'm sure there is data to support that these eye-catching books assist in the learning of sighted students. The book becomes similar to the multi-media world in which young people live today.

What do we do with the braille version of these books? Well, we haven't yet discovered how to make braille multi-media. Braille is braille, designed to be read in a horizontal fashion across a page without interruption. Remember, the braille reader knows little about the page except what has been read and is under the fingers.

I have seen some heroic and some mis-guided examples of how to present multi-media print material to the braille reader. I know transcribers who, without the wise counsel of a teacher, have produced amazing replicas of the print book. I know what a stair-step chart is, and I have yet to figure out how a braille reader is supposed to read it with understanding. Teachers and transcribers are doing the best they can, often demonstrating wonderful creativity. However, I suggest to you that these multi-media books, when transcribed into braille, are infinitely more difficult to read.

I recently reviewed a primer, a very beginning reading book. In the print copy, key words were presented in color. The braille copy used appropriate and approved transcription methods to indicate the colored words, making this beginning reader far more difficult for fingers that cannot easily "read over" anomalies among the letters.

Now, I don't begrudge our media literate sighted students these multi-media reading materials. But I can't help but worry about the braille reader, sitting in a regular classroom, trying to figure out the layout of the transcribed page without the help of the TVI, who won't be there until next week!!

I also challenge you to explore ways in which to present multi-media books in braille. You say to me "that's impossible", and I say to you that that is my first reaction, too. But we're a profession that doesn't use the word "impossible". Instead, we have been a profession that, for years, has discovered how to solve impossible tasks, how to use the creativity that permeates our profession, how to think so far out of the box that we amaze our friends and colleagues!

Now I'm ready to deal with my topic for the day.

I'd like to begin by sharing with you some of the history of the development of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). I'm sure there are many professionals and parents who discovered, long before me, that there are unique educational needs shared by blind and visually impaired students. Forget the term, and look back in literature dating back to the late 19th century, and you'll find references to various portions of the ECC.

It is my contention that we set aside any emphasis on the ECC in our zeal to make inclusion work, beginning in the 1950s. We were very reluctant to admit any differences in educational needs between sighted students and visually impaired pupils. To do so, we thought, would surely undermine our efforts toward inclusive education. So we used phrases such as "She's just like sighted children, except she can't see", or "He's first of all a child, and only secondarily a blind child". Good and noble words, but words that may have taken us off track for a number of years.

As we became painfully aware of the differences in blind and visually impaired students, we began using terms such as "unique curriculum", or "specialized needs". The first of these to receive public attention was, I believe, orientation and mobility. An obvious need, but for those of us who were hell-bent on inclusion, on removing the child from the regular classroom for as little time as possible, orientation and mobility needs became our first taste of reality. Additional pull-out time would be necessary in order to teach the vital skill of independent travel, and we wept inwardly as we watched our "included students" being taken out of the regular classroom for more time.

The next term popularized was "disability-specific curriculum", and that lasted in my vocabulary until someone said to me that there is nothing disability-specific about instruction in independent living skills"many groups of disabled students needed this instruction. So I sighed, and said, "Okay, what I mean is disability-specific methodology".

One day a dear friend of mine, whom some of you know, named Jack Hazekamp, told me that California was developing a new "Core Curriculum" for all students in the state. He urged me to write about the contents of a core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students. Well, like so many times in my life, time and other priorities got in the way, and I never took Jack's suggestion. But I never forgot it, either.

The actual formal birth of the ECC happened with the development of the National Agenda in 1993, and the ECC became Goal 8. While few parents and professionals disagreed with the concept of unique educational needs for blind and visually impaired students, real commitment to the ECC has taken years. I once stated that the three stages needed for the ECC was acknowledgement of the need, commitment to the principle, and implementation. Acknowledgement occurred almost immediately. Commitment to the principle took longer, and actual implementation is only now gaining momentum. Some states, provinces, and regions immediately began working toward implementation, but the most difficult problem has been changing service delivery systems so that teachers have time to teach the ECC.

In the early years, as I preached ECC, I know I left the impression that all blind and visually impaired students needed all areas of the ECC. I sounded like those fine, but misguided colleagues of ours who promoted full inclusion with the phrase "All means all". My tendency to not make exceptions was noticed by some of my colleagues, notably by Susan Spungin, who wisely helped me understand the error of my ways. Now my message to all teachers is to assess every area of the ECC. You might well discover that there are students who are sufficiently competent in one or more areas that you don't need to address them, at least not at the moment.

  1. The first area of the ECC has to do with compensatory skills, including communication modes. This has always been known as a unique need for blind and visually impaired students, and has been an area of instructional responsibility for teachers of students with visual impairments (TVI). Literacy and its prerequisites are deeply imbedded in this ECC area of unique need. Mastery of these skills will ensure access to the regular education core curriculum. With the addition of media literacy to our definition, we have the opportunity to provide every blind and visually impaired child with literacy skills appropriate to their needs and abilities.
  2. Orientation and Mobility Doesn't everything about orientation and mobility have to do with media literacy? If the use of touch is media literacy, then the grip, the tactile response of the cane to an object, location of a surface warning strip with the feet, identification of a landmark while trailing, and the reading of tactile maps are all literacy skills that enhance independent travel. If using air pressure and echoes, listening to traffic flow, using auditory cues, both natural and human-made are all listening skills, and listening is a part of our definition of media literacy, then these skills are literacy skills. If use of low vision greatly enhances the mobility skills of a student, then this, too, is a part of literacy.I must add that I have had a problem with the professional skills of orientation and mobility specialists because, from the outset of the profession, I have believed that they should know Braille and know how to teach it. The last time I explored this, I didn't find any O&M preparation programs that required Braille.
  3. Independent Living Skills As we explore the areas of the ECC and relate them to our expanded definition of literacy, it becomes apparent that all of the ECC is dependent on a level of literacy in order to become an integral part of one's life. I used to define "Independent Living Skills" as everything in the daily routine of a blind or visually impaired student, from personal hygiene to financial management. Tooth-brushing is an independent living skill, and it involves recognition of toothbrush and toothpaste, a literacy activity. Bathing requires knowing hot from cold, location, identification, and cleansing of body parts"sounds like media literacy to me. In fact, any intended, purposeful action, that results in a positive outcome, will require some form of media literacy.I'm not certain where the teaching of independent living skills stands in local school programs, but it has become a major instructional program in many, if not all, schools for the blind. At TSBVI, over 1/3 of our enrollment consists of students over 18 years of age. In discussing reasons for referral from local districts, the two major concerns of local educators and parents are in the areas of independent living skills and career education. This implies to me that the local school districts are having a difficult time delivering these areas of the ECC. More on this later.This talk is becoming a bit redundant, largely because my expanded definition of literacy leaves almost all learning in the areas of the ECC dependent on media literacy. So I'll say just a few words about the remaining curricular areas.
  4. Social Interaction Skills Media literacy permeates this area of the ECC, especially auditory information. The student must learn to be a careful listener, for tone, volume, and emphasis will change the meaning of spoken words.
  5. Recreation and Leisure Skills What first comes to mind are the many table games that require literacy in order to play. Goal ball, beep baseball, even bowling require auditory skills in order to participate.
  6. Career Education Interacting with fellow employees and employers is essential to success in employment. Thus, the basic level of literacy needed for employment is auditory and expressive ability to communicate, a skill that I maintain falls under the definition of media literacy.
  7. Technology Of course, I'm aware of the fact that those who have developed and are promoting the concept of media literacy had in mind the marvelous contributions of technology to our access for information. But I would maintain that the child with severe disabilities who learns to use switches, the child who learns from Intellitools, are also participating in media literacy.
  8. Visual Efficiency Skills Does it seem to you that those of us who strongly believe in helping children achieve the maximum utilization of low vision are having, once more, to strongly support our position? I can remember when the monumental work of Natalie Barraga so dramatically changed our profession. It was not an easy sell in those days, and now we seem to be having to defend utilization of low vision again. Do I need to explain the link between Visual Efficiency Skills and Literacy? I think not.
  9. Self-Determination What's this, you say? You thought there were eight curricular areas in the ECC, and now Hatlen presents a number nine! Some very wise people, especially Karen Blankenship, suggested that self-determination belongs in the ECC. It was not difficult to convince me! Remember, the litmus test for inclusion in the ECC is if it is a skill or knowledge that is learned differently by sighted and by visually impaired students. Do you believe that many of the skills and knowledge that result in self-determination are learned casually and incidentally by sighted children? Do you believe that blind and visually impaired children will need to learn self-determination in a systematic and sequential manner? Do you observe self-determination as being a problem with some, or many, blind and visually impaired students?Many years ago, I read a book by Martin Seligman entitled "Helplessness" (W.H. Freeman and Company, 1975). It came out at about the same time as Robert Scott's book, "The Making of Blind Men". These two publications had a profound effect on me. Scott described his research (some called it his perceptions) of the manner in which agencies for the adult blind fostered a dependency on them among their clients. Thus, the number of clients always grew, since no client ever "graduated".Seligman's book is about learned helplessness. And reading his book became my first initiation to the term. It has been used widely to describe many conditions since the book was published, but I think Seligman had it right. As I read this publication, I realized that the author never mentioned blindness, but the book was all about blindness. This is what it made me realize:We now have systems in place that deliver services to blind and visually impaired persons, birth to death. It is likely that the blind infant will follow a relatively seamless process from infancy, to preschool, to school, to rehabilitation, to aging, in which there are professional services available at every step. While this is to be desired when used appropriately, it can result in severe learned helplessness. Seligman points out that when decision-making and choices are taken away from persons, it can result in severe reactions, even destruction of the will to live. He cites many examples when intervention was needed that literally gave back to persons their own lives.Do you agree that we run the risk every day of creating an environment of learned helplessness? I can think of so many examples!! It isn't just taking away opportunities for making choices or making decisions, what we as professionals need to consider is if we need to create opportunities for blind and visually impaired children and youth to make choices, to make decisions.One of the most unforgettable stories I have ever heard was from a TVI in rural Northern California. One day a blind third grader ate her lunch in the resource room. She finished half her sandwich, then announced that she would leave the other half on her desk, unwrapped, to eat for lunch the next day. The teacher could hardly contain herself, wanting to explain what the sandwich would be like the next day. But she said nothing, and the child came back the next day to a hard, inedible sandwich. This is allowing the child to make a choice, and to live with the consequences of the choice.A rehabilitation counselor told me, many years ago, that most of the visually impaired young people who came into his office would result in a conversation something like this:
    • Rehab counselor: What can I do for you?
    • Client: Find me a job.
    • Rehab counselor: Oh, what would you like to do?
    • Client: I don't know. Just find me a job.
    • Rehab counselor: What are you good at?
    • Client: I don't know. Just find me a job.

I can imagine the client thinking to himself, "What's with this guy? He wants me to make a decision, or thinks I've already made a decision. The system has done all my thinking for me until now. Why doesn't this guy be a part of the system?"

This same rehab counselor told me that he longed for the day when a young man, right out of high school, came into his office and said:

"I understand you will help me with my future plans. You need to know that I already know my strengths and weaknesses, and what I would like to do. As long as you guide and support me, we'll be okay. But you will not take over my life!"

Isn't this what all of us want for our students and clients? We want them to have the knowledge, skills, and literacy ability to own their own lives. And this is why I support adding self-determination to the ECC.

Before I close, I must remind you that the Expanded Core Curriculum is not an option, and it is not a second-level curriculum. Every child, every student, must be assessed in every area of the ECC, and must receive instruction in those areas that are needed.

I recently had a conversation with some people who suggest that the TVI is not necessarily responsible for the teaching of the expanded core curriculum, but is responsible for seeing that all areas are taught. The real challenge is to assemble others who have the time and can do the teaching. I have heard this many times, and most of the time the conversation then identifies people such as parents, rehab teachers, recreation teachers, classroom teachers, adaptive technology teachers, volunteers in the community, etc. This brings up a concern about whether or not the teacher(s) of the expanded core curriculum subjects must be skilled as teachers of students with visual impairments. I think so. The specific knowledge and skills of TVIs are more needed for the developmental and adaptive requirements of the expanded core curriculum than they are for the regular core curriculum.

  • Should we suggest that the parents must be the teachers of independent living skills and social skills?
  • Should we suggest that the vocational teacher be the teacher of career education?
  • Should we suggest that the p.e. teacher or recreation teacher be the teacher of leisure and recreation skills?
  • Should we suggest that the p.e. teacher be the orientation and mobility specialist?
  • Should we suggest that the general technology teacher be the teacher of technology?

I think not.

The very reason the expanded core curriculum exists is that the skills and knowledge are so unique, so specialized to blind and visually impaired persons, that the generalist will have no idea how to adapt and adjust teaching to this population.

No, we need our best and most highly trained TVIs to teach the expanded core curriculum!!

Is it safe to say that less than half the blind and visually impaired students in the U.S. are receiving instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum? Is it correct to say that this does not reflect the philosophy of the teachers, but rather the structure of the job? Let me share with you my concept of the future of instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum.

  1. University preparation programs must give more emphasis to the expanded core curriculum. This will help ensure that new teachers will have some basic skills in every area of the curriculum. If you agree with me that, for example, social skills are as important as reading skills, then should not the university preparation curriculum reflect this?
  1. Before there was an Expanded Core Curriculum, itinerant teachers were running as hard as they could. Then two things happened. With further emphasis on inclusion, itinerant teachers found themselves stretched even more, as their caseloads and geographic areas increased. Second, teachers were told that they were expected to teach the subjects included in the expanded core curriculum. Not only were they expected to teach them, they were expected to assess all areas of the expanded core curriculum and write IEP goals to meet them.
  1. Sharing the Responsibility:If I assume that teachers of students with visual impairments are working as hard as they can, and that emphasis on the expanded core curriculum is impossible to add, then I'm left with only one option: someone else has to do at least part of the work.I suggest that perhaps it's time that we, you and I, begin to think about the education of a blind or visually impaired student to be a shared responsibility between the local district and the state or regional school for the blind. Suppose that, instead of either or, it became both. Suppose we all sat down together, parents, local district personnel and representatives from the school for the blind, and planned the educational life of a child together? Suppose this led us to the conclusion that much of the Expanded Core Curriculum should be taught at the school for the blind, and that the child should have the privilege of moving back and forth between programs, depending on current needs?

A major flaw in our philosophy and approach to education for blind and visually impaired students is that there is one system that has primary responsibility for the education of each child. I am suggesting that we abandon this position, and explore how we might better meet all the needs of every individual child by having two systems share primary responsibility for the child. Consider the load taken off teachers of students with visual impairments in local districts. Think of the advantages to many, many children in making available to them the expertise of the staff at schools for the blind. Likewise, think of the advantages that local school education offers to students who might otherwise be destined to spend all of their school years at a school for the blind. So you see, such a partnership will need to work both ways. Every child should be able to access the benefits of both her local school and her regional school for the blind. Of course, there will be students for whom continuous attendance at a school for the blind will be most appropriate, and there will be students who spend their entire educational lives attending their local school.

My fervent hope for the future is that all decisions regarding delivery of educational services to blind and visually impaired students will consist of informed decisions made mutually by parents, local districts, and schools for the blind. Can you imagine a meeting of these representatives of a child, all informed advocates, where short- and long-term decisions will be made regarding placement? As soon as appropriate, the student himself will join this team, and together this group will plan her future education.

I envision a day when teachers and administrators from local school districts, together with parents, will sit at the table with representatives of schools for the blind. I envision a time when such a meeting will not generate any defensiveness, suspicion, hostility, or territoriality. I envision a time when neither local schools nor residential schools will "own" a child. Instead, the family will "own" the child, and the two educational systems will work together, as equal partners, to provide the very best educational program for every individual child. Should we settle for any less?

I leave you today with three challenges:

  1. Make certain that every blind and visually impaired child has access to assessment and instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum.
  2. Examine your definition of literacy, and consider using adjectives to differentiate various types of literacy.
  3. Tap your creativity and those around you so that we may find ways of presenting braille materials in a usable, reader-friendly multimedia format.
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In varying ways, and to various degrees, the existing core curriculum is essential to the learning of blind and visually impaired learners. This fact has been generally accepted in the profession of educators for visually impaired learners and by parents of visually impaired students. Of equal importance is the acceptance of the expanded core curriculum as being necessary for blind and visually impaired students. Assuming this second level of acceptance has occurred, what must be done next is to determine how the expanded core curriculum will be provided for visually impaired learners.

The Expanded Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students will be difficult to complete in 12 years of education, especially for students who are high academic learners. Several approaches for fitting the Expanded Core Curriculum into a normal education career have been suggested. One possibility that has been used is to depend on the infused competencies contained in the Existing Core Curriculum for providing the additional skills and knowledge needed by the visually impaired learner.

While it appears as though many of the competencies reflected in the expanded core curriculum might be achievable when infused within the existing, traditional curriculum, there is compelling evidence that infusion is risky and does not provide the appropriate urgency and emphasis to the expanded core curriculum. These students learn differently, in ways that are not intuitively obvious to individuals who rely on their visual sense for 80% of all that they learn and understand. Because blind and low vision youngsters often do not bring the same visual experiences to the learning environment, it is very likely that all of their curriculum needs will not be met without planned, sequential, direct instruction by individuals who understand their learning style.

At this time, no single, simple method has been developed that assures visually impaired students of accessing both traditional and expanded core curricula within the same time frame as their sighted peers. This remains a significant, but attainable challenge.

For too many years educators behaved as though they were unaware of the unique and specialized needs of blind and visually impaired students. The outcome has become a modern tragedy, with too many products of our educational efforts living isolated, troubled lives. For too many years educators have known the content of the curricula needed by blind and visually impaired learners that would equalize education by neutralizing the effects of visual impairments on incidental learning. And for too many years educators have found reasons not to implement the expanded core curriculum.

The additional learning experiences contained in the expanded core curriculum are not easy to implement. They require time to teach, and the need for them does not diminish with age or competency. The professionally prepared teacher of visually impaired students must be responsible for assessment, instruction, and evaluation in unique and specialized curricular areas. This educator needs to teach the skills and knowledge necessary or to orchestrate the teaching through utilization of other community resources.

The competencies that result in an expanded core curriculum require that educational time be allocated to teach these skills. Programming that appropriately addresses all of the educational needs of blind and visually impaired students must assume that most students will need sizable periods of time in order to master the competencies required in the expanded core curriculum. If the profession does not demand that this time be made available, it has done a disservice to students with visual impairments, and may disable them in their efforts to successfully transition from school to adulthood.

The expanded core curriculum must become the unifying issue among educators for visually impaired students. It must first be adopted by the profession as the education needed by blind and visually impaired students. Once the profession has adopted the expanded core curriculum, it then takes on the enormous task of carrying the curriculum message to parents, administrators, and the public at large. The message must transcend fiscal issues, conflicting philosophical and political positions, and the doubts and misgivings of educators and parents. The spotlight must be on the individual child, and must begin with a thorough assessment of the child, one that covers every area of the expanded core curriculum. Using assessment results and invaluable information from parents, goals and objectives must be developed for the individual child, based on assessment. If assessment has truly covered every area of the expanded core curriculum, then there will likely be goals and objectives for each area. Someone must meet, or orchestrate the meeting of, all goals and objectives. This will be the professional teacher for visually impaired children. Decisions must be made on placement, on priorities, and on frequency and duration of instruction. Care must be taken that the competencies contained in the expanded core curriculum receive equal attention to academic competencies, as stressed in the existing curriculum.

All students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities, have a fundamental right to an expanded core curriculum that emphasizes the students' "...opportunities to be equal and right to be different...".

The Advisory Council of the National Agenda calls all professionals and parents to action on this issue. Action includes knowledge, familiarity, acceptance, commitment, and implementation. Knowledge means that educators and parents know that the expanded core curriculum must be offered. Commitment means that educators and parents are ready and willing to make sacrifices and change beliefs in order to make it happen. Implementation means that our lives as professionals and parents will be dramatically changed. Implementation means that parents and professionals will become partners in preparing their children for a rich and fulfilling adult life. And, finally, implementation means that the blind and visually impaired students to whom we have committed our love, our talents, our hopes, and our gifts for teaching will enjoy a full, exciting, and productive life.
Return to Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

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Approved by the National Agenda Steering Committee

Revised November 2007

(*The term "including those with additional disabilities" will not be repeated, as it should be assumed under the definition of "blind and visually impaired students.")

 


Preface

Some years ago, a reporter asked a prominent blind woman, "What is it that blind people would want from society?" The woman replied, "The opportunity to be equal and the right to be different."

As Lowenfeld so graphically portrayed in The Changing Status of the Blind: From Separation to Integration (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, 1975), opportunities for equality grew tremendously in the 20th Century.

"In the field of education then the move from separation to integration is evident. Educational provisions for blind children, the administration of these educational provisions, and teacher preparation, all moved from special or separated arrangements to integrated ones. This move has been consistently spearheaded and supported by legislation...". (Lowenfeld, 1975, p. 117.)

It was Lowenfeld's belief that the American Creed (all of us are equal under the law) has resulted in educational integration for blind and visually impaired students. Integration with their sighted peers, which, for visually impaired students, began at the turn of the century, has provided these students with the opportunity to be equal.

All of us - parents, consumers, professionals, and others - continue to promote equal opportunities for blind persons. But how do we feel, and how do we react, to "...the right to be different...?" What did this woman mean by two remarks that seem diametrically opposite? Perhaps she meant that print and braille are equal, but very different; that the need for independent travel is similar for sighted and blind persons, but the skills are learned very differently by blind people; and that concepts and learning that occur for sighted people in a natural, spontaneous manner require different learning experiences for blind persons. Perhaps she was emphasizing that blind persons should have the opportunity to learn the same knowledge and skills as sighted people, but that their manner of learning will be different.

Historically, many educators behaved as though they did not believe that blind and visually impaired students had "...the right to be different." The integration (soon to be called "mainstreaming," then "inclusion") of blind students into regular classrooms in great numbers, beginning in the 1950s, brought with it an era of belief that the only need a visually impaired student had was adapted academic material so that she/he could learn in the regular classroom. The only difference acknowledged by many teachers (indeed, the profession itself), was the media and materials used for learning.

Few, if any, changes or additions were made to the curricula offered these students. Therefore, early efforts to include visually impaired students in regular classrooms sometimes attempted to provide "...the opportunity to be equal..." without recognizing the student's "...right (and need) to be different..."

It has been demonstrated that curriculum developed for sighted students is available for, and success in its mastery is achievable by, visually impaired students. If the educational system provides students who have a necessary foundation of experiential learning with appropriate educational materials, and if there are excellent support services, including qualified and credentialed teachers of students with visual impairments and orientation and mobility instructors, then the existing curriculum for sighted students will provide the visually impaired student the "...opportunity to be equal...".

However, "...the right to be different..." clearly implies that there is more to education for visually impaired students than the exact same curriculum provided to sighted students. This added curriculum that is specific to visually impaired students is also well-known, but has not been diligently implemented. Could it be that parents and professionals have no problem with the "...opportunity to be equal...", but have difficulty with "...the right to be different..."?

It has not been an easy transition for professionals in education for visually impaired learners to accept the concept that visually impaired students have educational needs that are in addition to curriculum required for sighted students. Many factors have made this transition difficult. Some professionals are loathe to give up the belief that there is any difference between the educational needs of sighted students and visually impaired students. Others have difficulty accepting the idea that an expanded curriculum is the responsibility of educators. Still others find it impossible to add to their teaching responsibilities because of time and/or size of caseload.

Though our profession has documentation and ample evidence of the need for a "Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Children and Youths, Including those with Additional Disabilities," it has not been uniformly recognized, accepted, or implemented. Goal 8 of the National Agenda will directly address this issue and bring educators and parents together to ensure the blind and visually impaired children and youths of the nation an appropriate education based on this expanded core curriculum.


What is a Core Curriculum?

Educators define "core curriculum" as the knowledge and skills expected to be learned by a student by high school graduation. Generally, the core curriculum consists of knowledge and skills related to academic subjects. Mastery of the core curriculum is what both parents and teachers stress as essential for academic success in school, and later in life. In most states, opportunities are provided for students to meet other criteria in cases when those students cannot meet the academic demands of the core curriculum.

There are many versions of the core curriculum. In our country, each state assumes responsibility for minimum standards for high school graduation. This core curriculum becomes the foundation for almost all learning, from kindergarten through high school.

With respect to blind and visually impaired students, the existing core curriculum, as developed for sighted students, is entirely appropriate and generally available. Because educators of visually impaired students have developed expertise in curriculum adaptation, it should be possible to take any curriculum that has been developed and make it readily available for visually impaired learners. If blindness or visual impairment presents only the problem of accessibility to learning materials, then the issue of education of visually impaired students is solved by adaptation of the existing core curriculum.

Some educators of visually impaired students believe that it is true that the child in a regular classroom who has access to all curricular materials is as equally prepared to learn as her sighted classmates. But most professionals hold a strong position that there is an expanded core curriculum for visually impaired students that requires additional areas of learning.

There are experiences and concepts casually and incidentally learned by sighted students that must be systematically and sequentially taught to the visually impaired student. The core curriculum for visually impaired students is not the same as for sighted students. Indeed, it is much larger and more complex.

The concept of a core curriculum for visually impaired learners has been discussed by professionals and parents for many years. It has been called many things. It has been referred to as the specialized curriculum, or specialized needs, the unique curriculum, or unique needs, the non-academic curriculum, the dual curriculum, and most recently, the disability-specific curriculum.

These other terms are sometimes a distraction to the important issue. The term core curriculum has been used to define the basic educational needs of sighted students for many years. It is proposed that the term core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students be used to define the basic educational needs for this population. It conveys the same message as the original core curriculum. Words like specialized, unique, and disability-specific are not needed, and, indeed, may give an erroneous connotation to basic educational needs. The terms imply two separate lists of educational needs for visually impaired students. One list contains the elements of a traditional core curriculum. The other is a list of "disability-specific" needs. Two lists provide educators with options, such as one list being required and the other consisting of electives. There should be only one list, and that should consist of the required core curriculum for visually impaired students.

The existence of special needs, or a unique core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, has been known for years. References to the subject of grooming skills date back as far as 1891. The need for social interaction skills appears in the literature in 1929 and again in 1948. Between the years 1953 and 1975, there are more than two dozen references to books and articles written about daily living skills and visually impaired students. Many more articles and documents have been written about orientation and mobility and career education. The expanded core curriculum now being promoted is not new--its need has been known for decades.

Although states determine the content of the core curriculum individually, most states demand that competencies in basic subjects be mastered. The following example incorporates these basic subjects and adds the expanded core curriculum for visually impaired students:

The Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Children and Youths

The Existing Core Curriculum

  • English language arts other languages, to the extent possible
  • mathematics science
  • health physical education
  • fine arts social studies
  • economics business education
  • vocational education history

The Expanded Core Curriculum

  • Assistive technology/technology
  • Career Education
  • Compensatory/Access Skills
  • Independent Living
  • Orientation & Mobility
  • Recreation & Leisure
  • Self-Determination
  • Sensory Efficiency
  • Social Interaction

A short description for each of these areas of expanded core curriculum follow:

Compensatory/Access Skills

(Note: for this area of the expanded core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, a distinction must be made between compensatory skills and functional skills. Compensatory skills are those needed by blind and visually impaired students in order to access all areas of core curriculum. Mastery of compensatory skills will usually mean that the visually impaired student has access to learning in a manner equal to that of sighted peers. Functional skills refers to the skills that students with multiple disabilities learn that provide them with the opportunity to work, play, socialize, and take care of personal needs to the highest level possible.)

Compensatory and functional skills include such learning experiences as concept development, spatial understanding, study and organizational skills, speaking and listening skills, and adaptations necessary for accessing all areas of the existing core curriculum. Communication needs will vary, depending on degree of functional vision, effects of additional disabilities, and the task to be done. Children may use braille, large print, print with the use of optical devices, regular print, tactile symbols, a calendar system, sign language, and/or recorded materials to communicate. Regardless, each student will need instruction from a teacher with professional preparation to instruct students with visual impairments in each of the compensatory and functional skills they need to master. These compensatory and functional needs of the visually impaired child are significant, and are not addressed with sufficient specificity in the existing core curriculum.

Orientation and Mobility

As a part of the expanded core curriculum, orientation and mobility is a vital area of learning. Teachers who have been specifically prepared to teach orientation and mobility to blind and visually impaired learners are necessary in the delivery of this curriculum. Students will need to learn about themselves and the environment in which they move - from basic body image to independent travel in rural areas and busy cities. The existing core curriculum does not include provision for this instruction. It has been said that the two primary effects of blindness on the individual are communication and locomotion. The expanded core curriculum must include emphasis on the fundamental need and basic right of visually impaired persons to travel as independently as possible, enjoying and learning from the environment through which they are passing to the greatest extent possible.

Social Interaction Skills

Almost all social skills used by sighted children and adults have been learned by visually observing the environment and other persons, and behaving in socially appropriate ways based on that information. Social interaction skills are not learned casually and incidentally by blind and visually impaired individuals as they are by sighted persons. Social skills must be carefully, consciously, and sequentially taught to blind and visually impaired students. Nothing in the existing core curriculum addresses this critical need in a satisfactory manner. Thus, instruction in social interaction skills becomes a part of the expanded core curriculum as a need so fundamental that it can often mean the difference between social isolation and a satisfying and fulfilling life as an adult.

Independent Living Skills

This area of the expanded core curriculum is often referred to as "daily living skills." It consists of all the tasks and functions persons perform, in accordance with their abilities, in order to lead lives as independently as possible. These curricular needs are varied, as they include skills in personal hygiene, food preparation, money management, time monitoring, organization, etc. Some independent living skills are addressed in the existing core curriculum, but they often are introduced as splinter skills, appearing in learning material, disappearing, and then re-appearing. This approach will not adequately prepare blind and visually impaired students for adult life. Traditional classes in home economics and family life are not enough to meet the learning needs of most visually impaired students, since they assume a basic level of knowledge, acquired incidentally through vision. The skills and knowledge that sighted students acquire by casually and incidentally observing and interacting with their environment are often difficult, if not impossible, for blind and visually impaired students to learn without direct, sequential instruction by knowledgeable persons.

Recreation and Leisure Skills

Skills in recreation and leisure are seldom offered as a part of the existing core curriculum. Rather, physical education in the form of team games and athletics are the usual way in which physical fitness needs are met for sighted students. Many of the activities in physical education are excellent and appropriate for visually impaired students. In addition, however, these students need to develop activities in recreation and leisure that they can enjoy throughout their adult lives. Most often sighted persons select their recreation and leisure activity repertoire by visually observing activities and choosing those in which they wish to participate. The teaching of recreation and leisure skills to blind and visually impaired students must be planned and deliberately taught, and should focus on the development of life-long skills.

Career Education

There is a need for general vocational education, as offered in the traditional core curriculum, as well as the need for career education offered specifically for blind and visually impaired students. Many of the skills and knowledge offered to all students through vocational education can be of value to blind and visually impaired students. They will not be sufficient, however, to prepare students for adult life, since such instruction assumes a basic knowledge of the world of work based on prior visual experiences. Career education in an expanded core curriculum will provide the visually impaired learner of all ages with the opportunity to learn first-hand the work done by the bank teller, the gardener, the social worker, the artist, etc. It will provide the student opportunities to explore strengths and interests in a systematic, well-planned manner. Once more, the disadvantage facing the visually impaired learner is the lack of information about work and jobs that the sighted student acquires by observation.

Because unemployment and underemployment have been the leading problem facing adult visually impaired persons in the United States, this portion of the expanded core curriculum is vital to students, and should be part of the expanded curriculum for even the youngest of these individuals.

Asssistive Technology/Technology

Technology is a tool to unlock learning and expand the horizons of students. It is not, in reality, a curriculum area. However, it is added to the expanded core curriculum because technology occupies a special place in the education of blind and visually impaired students. Technology can be a great equalizer. For the braille user, it allows the student to provide feedback to teachers by first producing material in braille for personal use, and then in print for the teacher, classmates, and parents. It gives blind persons the capability of storing and retrieving information. It brings the gift of a library under the fingertips of the visually impaired person. Technology enhances communication and learning, as well as expands the world of blind and visually impaired persons in many significant ways. Thus, technology is a tool to master, and is essential as a part of the expanded core curriculum.

Sensory Efficiency Skills

The visual acuity of children diagnosed as being visually impaired varies greatly. Through the use of thorough, systematic training, most students with remaining functional vision can be taught to better and more efficiently utilize their remaining vision. The responsibility for performing a functional vision assessment, planning appropriate learning activities for effective visual utilization, and instructing students in using their functional vision in effective and efficient ways is clearly an area of the expanded core curriculum. Educational responsibility for teaching visual efficiency skills falls to the professionally prepared teacher of learners with visual impairments.

Bringing together all of these skills learned in the expanded core curriculum produces a concept of the blind or visually impaired person in the community. It is difficult to imagine that a congenitally blind or visually impaired person could be entirely at ease and at home within the social, recreational, and vocational structure of the general community without mastering the elements of the expanded core curriculum. What is known about congenitally blind and visually impaired students is that, unless skills such as orientation and mobility, social interaction, and independent living are learned, these students are at high risk for lonely, isolated, unproductive lives. Accomplishments and joys such as shopping, dining, attending and participating in recreational activities are a right, not a privilege, for blind and visually impaired persons. Responsibilities such as banking, taking care of health needs, and using public and private services are a part of a full life for all persons, including those who are blind or visually impaired. Adoption and implementation of a core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, including those with additional disabilities, will assure students of the opportunity to function well and completely in the general community.

The components of the expanded core curriculum present educators with a means of addressing the needs of visually impaired children with additional disabilities. The educational requirements of this population are often not met since the lack of vision is considered "minor", especially when the child is severely impacted by cognitive and physical disabilities. Each area in the expanded core curriculum can be further defined to address the educational issues facing these children and assist parents and educators to fulfill their their needs.

This expanded core curriculum is the heart of the responsibility of educators serving visually impaired students. These areas are not adequately addressed by regular classroom teachers, nor should they be, for this is the core curriculum that is essential only to blind and visually impaired students, and it epitomizes their "...right to be different..."


The Delivery of the Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

In varying ways, and to various degrees, the existing core curriculum is essential to the learning of blind and visually impaired learners. This fact has been generally accepted in the profession of educators for visually impaired learners and by parents of visually impaired students. Of equal importance is the acceptance of the expanded core curriculum as being necessary for blind and visually impaired students. Assuming this second level of acceptance has occurred, what must be done next is to determine how the expanded core curriculum will be provided for visually impaired learners.

The Expanded Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired Students will be difficult to complete in 12 years of education, especially for students who are high academic learners. Several approaches for fitting the Expanded Core Curriculum into a normal education career have been suggested. One possibility that has been used is to depend on the infused competencies contained in the Existing Core Curriculum for providing the additional skills and knowledge needed by the visually impaired learner.

While it appears as though many of the competencies reflected in the expanded core curriculum might be achievable when infused within the existing, traditional curriculum, there is compelling evidence that infusion is risky and does not provide the appropriate urgency and emphasis to the expanded core curriculum. These students learn differently, in ways that are not intuitively obvious to individuals who rely on their visual sense for 80% of all that they learn and understand. Because blind and low vision youngsters often do not bring the same visual experiences to the learning environment, it is very likely that all of their curriculum needs will not be met without planned, sequential, direct instruction by individuals who understand their learning style.

At this time, no single, simple method has been developed that assures visually impaired students of accessing both traditional and expanded core curricula within the same time frame as their sighted peers. This remains a significant, but attainable challenge.

For too many years educators behaved as though they were unaware of the unique and specialized needs of blind and visually impaired students. The outcome has become a modern tragedy, with too many products of our educational efforts living isolated, troubled lives. For too many years educators have known the content of the curricula needed by blind and visually impaired learners that would equalize education by neutralizing the effects of visual impairments on incidental learning. And for too many years educators have found reasons not to implement the expanded core curriculum.

The additional learning experiences contained in the expanded core curriculum are not easy to implement. They require time to teach, and the need for them does not diminish with age or competency. The professionally prepared teacher of students with visual impairments must be responsible for assessment, instruction, and evaluation in unique and specialized curricular areas. This educator needs to teach the skills and knowledge necessary or to orchestrate the teaching through utilization of other community resources.

The competencies that result in an expanded core curriculum require that educational time be allocated to teach these skills. Programming that appropriately addresses all of the educational needs of blind and visually impaired students must assume that most students will need sizable periods of time in order to master the competencies required in the expanded core curriculum. If the profession does not demand that this time be made available, it has done a disservice to students with visual impairments, and may disable them in their efforts to successfully transition from school to adulthood.

The expanded core curriculum must become the unifying issue among educators for visually impaired students. It must first be adopted by the profession as the education needed by blind and visually impaired students. Once the profession has adopted the expanded core curriculum, it then takes on the enormous task of carrying the curriculum message to parents, administrators, and the public at large. The message must transcend fiscal issues, conflicting philosophical and political positions, and the doubts and misgivings of educators and parents. The spotlight must be on the individual child, and must begin with a thorough assessment of the child, one that covers every area of the expanded core curriculum. Using assessment results and invaluable information from parents, goals and objectives must be developed for the individual child, based on assessment. If assessment has truly covered every area of the expanded core curriculum, then there will likely be goals and objectives for each area. Someone must meet, or orchestrate the meeting of, all goals and objectives. This will be the professional teacher for visually impaired children. Decisions must be made on placement, on priorities, and on frequency and duration of instruction. Care must be taken that the competencies contained in the expanded core curriculum receive equal attention to academic competencies, as stressed in the existing curriculum.

All students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities, have a fundamental right to an expanded core curriculum that emphasizes the students' "...opportunities to be equal and right to be different...".

The Advisory Council of the National Agenda calls all professionals and parents to action on this issue. Action includes knowledge, familiarity, acceptance, commitment, and implementation. Knowledge means that educators and parents know that the expanded core curriculum must be offered. Commitment means that educators and parents are ready and willing to make sacrifices and change beliefs in order to make it happen. Implementation means that our lives as professionals and parents will be dramatically changed. Implementation means that parents and professionals will become partners in preparing their children for a rich and fulfilling adult life. And, finally, implementation means that the blind and visually impaired students to whom we have committed our love, our talents, our hopes, and our gifts for teaching will enjoy a full, exciting, and productive life.

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The following formula was created by the Connecticut Association of Teachers of the Visually Impaired and the State of Connecticut: Board of Education and Services for the Blind. The formula is based on a scale used by teachers of the visually impaired in the states of Colorado and North Dakota. For more information contact David Banigan-White or Catherine Summ at 860-602-4154.

Rating Scale

The individual student is assigned a rating of 0 to 4 in each of the following areas: medical, reading medium, compensatory skill needs, and environmental/instructional adjustments. The total points offer a baseline in the amount of vision-related service that the individual might need from a teacher of the visually impaired.

Medical

0 Points:

  • Visual acuity between 20/20 and 20/60 with full visual field
  • No significant pathology

1 Point:

  • Possible progressive disease, but one eye still within normal limits
  • Mild nystagmus
  • Bilateral strabismus, which cannot be corrected: pre/post eye surgery
  • Other severe temporary eye treatments, such as patching; significant bilateral field loss

2 Points:

  • Acuity 20/70 to 20/200 in best eye after correction
  • A visual field of more than twenty degrees
  • Cortical visual impairment

3 Points:

  • Acuity 20/200 to object perception in best eye after correction
  • A visual field of twenty degrees or less

4 Points:

  • Object perception to total blindness
  • A visual field of ten degrees or less

Primary Reading Medium

0 Points:

  • Regular print with no modifications
  • Nonreader
  • Grade 1 braille reader mastery level

1 Point:

  • Regular print with occasional magnification (i.e. CCTV, handheld magnification) in addition to correction

2 Points:

  • Regular print with consistent use of magnification in addition to correction
  • Grade 2 braille reader mastery level
  • Tape or large print

3 Points:

  • Grade 1 braille reader instructional level

4 Points:

  • Grade 2 braille reader instructional level

Compensatory Skill Needs/Adaptive or Developmental Training

0 Points:

  • Needs no compensatory skills instruction.

1 Point:

  • Needs compensatory skills consultation in fine and gross motor areas, PE/recreational activities, basic concept development/sensory awareness, augmentative communication devices, and/or functional life skills for supported living and work environment.
  • Large print computer user, mastery level.

2 Points:

  • Needs compensatory skill consultation and/or instruction in use of residual vision and low vision aids, calculator usage, pre-vocational skills, and/or use of adaptive equipment.
  • Large print computer user, instructional level.

3 Points:

  • Needs compensatory skill consultation and/or instruction in computer/typing, map reading, geographical and science concepts; and/or competitive career and vocational training
  • Auditory computer user, mastery level

4 Points:

  • Needs compensatory skill instruction in tactual development, abacus, slate and stylus, and/or independent daily living skills
  • Screen Reader computer user, instructional level
  • Tactual development: raised line drawing, abacus

Environmental Instructional Adjustments

0 Points:

  • Needs no adaptations of instructional materials or presentations

1 Point:

  • Needs some adapted written materials, special seating, some magnification and/or adaptive lighting
  • Consultation regarding best vision use with augmentative communication and/or positioning

2 Points:

  • Classroom teacher needs some consultation/support in materials modifications
  • Needs some adaptation of maps/graphs, frequent magnification
  • Points:
  • Paraprofessional needs minimal consultation regarding tactile modifications/enlargement, adaptation of maps/graphs, pictures, and Braille production
  • Needs all curricular materials in Braille and/or tactual format
  • Points:
  • Paraprofessional needs significant support/instruction in material modifications and Braille production

Interpretations

0-1 Total Points: This individual may be monitored by their optometrist or ophthalmologist. No services from a vision teacher are necessary.

2-6 Total Points (Minimal Service): This is an individual with mild needs who will benefit from a low degree of consultation services provided by a teacher of the visually impaired to an individual, education personnel, and parents.

7-9 Total Points (Light Service): This is an individual who has moderate needs. This individual needs a higher amount of consultation services and may benefit from direct instruction from a teacher of the visually impaired.

10-12 Total Points (Moderate Service): This is an individual who needs direct instruction from a teacher of the visually impaired and a moderate amount of curricular adaptations.

13-16 Total points (Heavy Service): This is an individual who will need intense direct instruction from a teacher of the visually impaired and extensive adaptations in multiple specialized areas (Braille, daily living skills, technology, careers and orientation and mobility).

When determining an appropriate caseload, a number of variables have been determined within the guidelines. These variable include direct instruction, consultation time to staff and parents, securing and adapting materials, attending PPTs, and writing reports.

Points to Consider When Assigning a Caseload

The type and quantity of service provided to a student with a visual impairment will be based on the results of comprehensive assessment and recommendations by the student""s planning team. When assigning students to a teacher, the following should be considered:

  • There should not be more than three academic Braille students assigned to one teacher of the visually impaired.
  • Travel time must be taken into consideration when developing a caseload.

Caseload Formula Chart

Name LEA Grade Medical Reading

Comp Skills

Environ

Total Points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Total:

 

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Updated: June 28, 2006

Goal 1: Referral

Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment.

National Goal Leader: Foundation for Blind Children
1235 East Harmont Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(602) 331-1470 FAX (602) 678-5819
E-mail:
Contact: Chris Tompkins


Goal 2: Parent Participation

Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process.

National Goal Leader: National Association For Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI)
P.O. Box 317
Watertown, MA 02272-0317
(617) 972-7441 1 (800) 562-6265 FAX (617) 972-7444
Email:
Contact: Susan LaVenture


Goal 3:Personnel Preparation

Universities, with a minimum of one full-time faculty member in the area of visual impairment, will prepare a sufficient number of educators of students with visual impairments to meet personnel needs throughout the country.

National Goal Leader: Division 17, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
c/o Florida State University
205 Stone Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-3024
850 644-8409 FAX 850 644-8715
Email:
Contact: Dr. Sandra Lewis


Goal 4: Provision of Educational Services

Service providers will determine caseloads based on the needs of students and will require ongoing professional development for all teachers and orientation and mobility instructors.

National Goal Leader: Association of State Education Consultants for the Visually Impaired
c/o Iowa Braille School
1002 G. Avenue
Vinton, Iowa 52349
319 472-5221 Ext. 1209 FAX 319 472-4371
E-mail:
Contact Person: Rex Howard


Goal 5: Array of Services

Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of placement options.

National Goal Leader: Council of Schools for the Blind
New York Institute
999 Pelham Pkwy
Bronx, NY 10469
718 519-7000 FAX 718-231-9314
E-mail:
Contact: Bernadette Kappan


Goal 6: Assessment

Assessment of students will be conducted, in collaboration with parents, by personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments.

National Goal Leader: The National Center for Vision and Child Development
The Lighthouse Inc.
111 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 821-9490 FAX (212) 821-9707
E-mail:
Contact: Dr. Mary Ann Lang


Goal 7: Access to Instructional Materials

Access to developmental and educational services will include an assurance that instructional materials are available to students in the appropriate media and at the same time as their sighted peers.

National Goal Leader: Association of Instructional Resource Centers for the Visually Impaired
c/o Florida Instructional Materials Center for the Visually Impaired
4210 W. Bay Villa Avenue
Tampa, FL 33611
E-mail:
Contact: Suzanne Dalton


Goal 8: Core Curriculum

Educational and developmental goals, including instruction, will reflect the assessed needs of each student in all areas of academic and disability-specific core curricula.

National Goal Leader: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 454-8631
FAX (512) 454-6305
Contact: Dr. Philip Hatlen
E-mail:

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All of the following goal statements apply to infants, children, and youths who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities:

  1. Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment. Appropriate quality services will be provided by teachers of the visually impaired. (Foundation for Blind Children, Phoenix, AZ).
  2. Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process. (National Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired).
  3. Universities with a minimum of one full-time faculty member in the area visual impairment, will prepare a sufficient number of teachers and O&M specialists for students with visual impairments to meet personnel needs throughout the country. (Division 17, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired).
  4. Caseloads will be determined based on the assessed needs of students. (Association of State Education Consultants for the Visually Impaired).
  5. Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of service delivery options. (Council of Schools for the Blind).
  6. All assessments and evaluations of students will be conducted by and /or in partnership with personnel having expertise in the education of student with visual impairments and their parents. (The Lighthouse, Inc., New York City).
  7. Access to developmental and educational services will include an assurance that instructional materials are available to students in the appropriate media and at the same time as their sighted peers. (Association of Instructional Resource Centers for the Visually Handicapped).
  8. All educational goals and instruction will address the academic and expanded core curricula based on the assessed needs of each student with visual impairments. (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired).
  9. Transition services will address developmental and educational needs (birth through high school) to assist students and their families, in setting goals and implementing strategies through the life continuum commensurate with the student's aptitudes, interests, and abilities.
  10. To improve student learning, service providers will engage in on-going local, state, and national professional development.