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Wisconsin National Agenda

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

from http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/dpi/een/pdf/2015.pdf

INSTRUCTIONS: To completed by a vision care specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist). Send a completed copy to the referring individual or to the child's school district.
TYPE OR PRINT
CONFIDENTIAL
COMPLETE BOTH PAGES

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

Student's Name ----
Sex ----
Date of Birth ----
Name of Parent ----
Address of Parent Street, City, County, State, Zip ----
Telephone Area/Number ----
Signature of Parent* ----
Date Signed ----

*Consent: Parent signature for Voluntary Release to county agency (if the child is B-3), local school district, Department of Public Instruction for purposes of educational programming and/or registry with the American Printing House for the Blind. This consent can be revoked at any time, cannot be redisclosed to others for any purpose, and is valid for three years from date signed.

II. REFERRAL

Name of Person Making Referral ----
Address Street, City, State, Zip ----
Telephone Area/Number ----

QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS BY REFERRING PERSON ----
PHYSICIAN RESPONSE ----

Were Low Vision aids recommended?
Yes ---- If Yes, please list.
No ----

III. Signatures

Name of Examiner Please Print ----
Date of Examination ----
Recommended Date For Next Exam ----
Signature of Examiner ----
M.D. ----
O.D. ----
Date Signed ----
Address Street, City, State, Zip ----
Telephone Area/Number ----

Student's Name: ----

IV. MEASUREMENTS

Measurements are:
Accurate ----
Approximate ----

Visual Acuity
Right Eye (O.D.)
Left Eye (O.S.)
Both Eyes (O.U.)
Distant Vision Without Correction With Best Correction
Near Vision in M Sizes Without Correction With Best Correction
Prescription Sph. Cyl. Axis Add
Instruments Used Preferential looking tests VEP (Visual Evoked Response) Lighthouse Feinbloom Snellen Lea Symbols HOTV Other

Is child determined to be legally blind (equivalent to 20/200 Snellen Acuity) for distance vision?
Yes ----
No ----

Field Loss
Tested Yes ---- No ----
If Yes Central ---- Peripheral----
Widest Diameter of Remaining Visual Field In Degrees
O.D. ----
O.S. ----

Is Child Legally Blind for field Restriction: 20 degrees or less
Yes ----
No ----

Does child exhibit deficits in:
Color Blindness ----
Depth Perception ----
Nightblindness ----
If unable to test, does the diagnosis suggest a visual acuity of 2/70 or less in the better eye after correction or a field restriction of 50 degrees or less?
Yes ----
No ----

V. CAUSE OF BLINDNESS OR VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Present ocular and/or cortical condition(s) responsible for vision impairment and Etiology.
Etiology: ----
Present Ocular Pathology:
O.D. ----
O.S. ----
O.U. ----
Cortical Visual:
Yes ----
No ----

VI. PROGNOSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Student's Vision Impairment
Stable ----
Degenerative ----
Uncertain ----
Potentially Degenerative ----
B. Recommended Treatment:
Patching ----
Drops ----
Pressure Checks ----
Low Vision Evaluation ----
Other Specify ----
C. Glasses Check all that apply:
Prescription ----
Tinted Lenses or Sunglasses ----
Safety Lenses ----
Not Needed ----
Worn constantly ----
Worn for distance viewing ----
Worn for close work ----
D. Physical Activities Is there a medical reason for limiting
participation in contact sports or physical education?
No ----
Yes ---- If yes, explain.

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Wisconsin National Agenda

December 30, 1999--Introduced by Representatives Brandemuehl, Olsen, Kestell, Nass, Musser, Ainsworth, Plale, Wood, Albers, Spillner, Sykora, M. Lehman, Freese, Stone and Gronemus, cosponsored by Senators Grobschmidt, Breske, Rosenzweig, Wirch, Baumgart and Schultz. Referred to Committee on Colleges and Universities.

AN ACT to create 20.235 (1) (cx) and 39.398 of the statutes; relating to: creating a loan program for teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils, granting rule-making authority and making an appropriation.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

This bill creates a loan program, to be administered by the higher educational aids board (HEAB), to defray the educational costs of Wisconsin residents who are enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program that prepares them to be licensed as teachers or as orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils. The maximum loan that a person may receive during any fiscal year may not exceed $10,000. After a loan recipient has completed his or her degree program, HEAB must forgive 25% of the loan's principal and interest for the first fiscal year, 25% of the loan's principal and interest for the second fiscal year and 50% of the loan's principal and interest for the third fiscal year that the loan recipient is licensed and employed full-time by a school district, the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired or a cooperative educational service agency as a teacher of students with visual impairments or an orientation and mobility instructor of the visually impaired.

For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as an appendix to this bill.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. 20.005 (3) schedule) of the statutes; at the appropriate place, insert the following amounts for the purposes indicated:

20.235 Higher educational aids boa (1) STUDENT SUPPORT ACTIVITI (cx) Loan program for teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils GPR 1999-00--0; 2000-01--100,000

SECTION 2. 20.235 (1) (cx) of the statutes is created to read:

20.235 (1) (cx) Loan program for teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils. The amounts in the schedule for the teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils loan program under s. 39.398.

SECTION 3. 39.398 of the statutes is created to read:

39.398 Teachers and orientation and mobility instructors of visually impaired pupils loan progra

(

(a) The board shall establish a loan program to defray the cost of tuition, fees and expenses for residents of this state enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program that prepares persons to be licensed as teachers of visually impaired pupils or as orientation and mobility instructors, as defined by the board by rule, at an accredited institution of higher education in this state or in a physically adjacent state, as defined in s. 175.46 (1) (d). To the extent possible, the board shall give preference, to persons who are likely to return to this state to work with visually impaired persons.

(b) The board shall make loans under this section from the appropriation under s. 20.235 (1) (cx). The maximum amount of a loan for a person during any fiscal year is $10,000. The maximum amount that a person may receive under this section is $40,

(

(a) After the recipient of a loan under sub. (1) has completed the degree program described in sub. (1), the board shall forgive 25% of the loan's principal and interest for the first fiscal year, 25% of the loan's principal and interest for the 2nd fiscal year and 50% of the loan's principal and interest for the 3rd fiscal year that the recipient is licensed and employed full-time as a teacher of pupils with visual impairments or as an orientation and mobility instructor by a school district, the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired or a cooperative educational service agency. The board may forgive loans on a prorated basis for persons employed less than full-time.

(b) The board shall promulgate rules to administer this section.

(END)

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Wisconsin National Agenda

Cover design shows an eye reflecting the image of an adult holding a child's hand; the child is holding a cane.

Cover Design: Vanessa Braasch, A 6th Grade Student, with a Visual Impairment, Cambridge, WI
5/2000

When Your Child's Diagnosis Is a Visual Impairment ...

  • "Our pediatrician has diagnosed our child as having a serious visual impairment. What does this mean? How will our child learn to do things?"
  • "My visually impaired daughter is afraid to walk by herself. How can I help her gain confidence?"
  • "My son holds things very close to look at them and sits right in front of the TV. Why does he do this even with his glasses on?"
  • "Our four-year old son who is blind has little interaction with others his age ... how can he learn the social skills he needs to make friends?"
  • " My daughter has multiple disabilities and I have just found out she is also legally blind, but I know that she sees her favorite large stuffed animal. How can this be?"

The purpose of this brochure is to provide information about where to seek assistance for a child who is blind or has a vision loss.

  • A visual impairment impacts all aspects of a child's life.
  • Most learning comes from seeing what is happening around us.
  • The earlier a child receives interventions and learning opportunities, the easier it will be for him/her to develop adaptive skills.

Making the Right Connections

Who Can Help?

There is a wide variety of people, services and agencies that can assist a child who is blind or visually impaired to learn and develop skills. Some are listed below.

Special Education Directors:

Your local school district has personnel that can assist you in locating programs that are appropriate for your child's age.

County Nurses:

These professionals can assist you in locating agencies, and in helping you understand medical information.

Teachers of the Visually Impaired:

  • These professionals are trained to work with you and your child.
  • They can assist you with understanding your child's vision loss and how it impacts his/her education.
  • They will work with your child to develop independence in their educational setting through the use of instructional adaptations and special materials.

Orientation and Mobility Instructors:

These professionals teach your child to develop an understanding of where they are in their environment and how to travel as safely and independently as possible within his/her home, school and community.

State Services:

Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

Ask for the Educational Consultant for Students with Visual Impairments

PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
1-800-441-4563 or 1-608-266-3522

Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Ask for the birth to 3 consultant or for the school age child consultant

1700 West State Street
Jnesville, WI 53546
1-800-832-9784

Wisconsin First Step

1-800-642-STEP (7837)

Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children

(Private Birth-5 Agency)

5600 West Brown Deer Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223
1-414-355-3060

County and Local Agencies

Child Find:

For children 3 years of age and older, contact your local school district office.

County Nurses:

For children of all ages, look in the directory under local government agencies for county nurses.

Local School District:

For school age children, ask for the special education director.

National Parent Organizations:

(These people can refer you to your local chapters.)

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC)

1800 Johnson St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
1-410-659-9314, ext. 360

National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)

PO Box 317
Watertown, MA 02471
1-800-562-6265

Final Note:

Remember that your child will need to see his/her eye care specialist regularly.

Ophthalmologist/Optometrists:

These professionals help by making sure your child's eyes are healthy and can see as well as possible through eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, special visual aids and other services.

Developed by The Wisconsin National Agenda Committee. This and other documents may be found www.dpi.state.wi.us/dpi/dlsea/ wcbvi/index.html

This brochure may be photocopied as needed.

Braille or large print copies of this brochure may be obtained from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired 1-800-832-9784

2/2001

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Wisconsin National Agenda

THE WISCONSIN COMMITTEE FOR THE NATIONAL AGENDA PRESENTS:

A 2 or 3 credit graduate class offered through the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. DPI clock hours available. Cost: per credit pay scale UW Whitewater; about $210/cr.; no cost for clock hours except for cost of one book (approximately, $50 00) August 2-5,1999. Those taking the class for two credits will attend class in August, with one possible evening class. In addition to the August dates, those taking the class for three hours will need to return for follow-up classes which include a day of clinical on site assessments in Sept. at WSVH and a day for case study analysis on either November 6th or 20th. Those taking the class for two credits who wish to come to the follow-up classes may do so for clock hours. Instructional site: The Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped, 1700 W. State street, Janesville, WI.

Lodging: WI National Agenda funds will be available to provide lodging at a local hotel and the lunch meal will be provided each class day.

Applications by July 23, 1999.
Class size: limited; applicants will be accepted on a first come first serve basis

Prerequisite: Preliminary course work in Structure and Function of the Eye
Instructor: Dr. Susan Hunt, Ed.D., F.A.A.O.

Course Outline

  1. Taking Visual Acuities, Distance and Near
  2. Taking Other Vision Measurements (Contrast, Color, Field)
  3. Making Use of Ophthalmic Information
  4. Finding Magnification Solutions with Telescopes, Hand and Stand Magnification
  5. Finding Solutions in Glare Reduction, Contrast Enhancement or medication
  6. Communicating Findings, Making Recommendations
  7. Training Students to Use Adaptive Lenses and Equipment
  8. Networking with the Ophthalmic Community

Included in the course will be guest speakers; hands-on, practical low vision assessment and applications; case studies and evaluation and summary of the course.

Textbooks and Materials:

The Art and Practice of Low Vision. Freeman & Jose (1991)

Low Vision. A Resource Guide with Adaptation or Students with Visual Impairments. Levack, (1994)

Student evaluation: All students will be evaluated in a variety of ways. These will include but are not limited to: participation in class, knowledge of ophthalmic and low vision terminology, case studies of students, ability to interpret medical/ophthalmic records, and an essay regarding some aspect of low vision care.

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Wisconsin National Agenda

NATIONAL AGENDA WISCONSIN
For the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments,
Including Those with Multiple Disabilities

Wisconsin National Agenda
Families, Professionals and Community Working Together for Positive Change

The "Wisconsin National Agenda" is a statewide committee whose sole purpose is to improve services for students who are blind or visually impaired. The Wisconsin National Agenda is a subcommittee of the "National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities", a national project aimed at accomplishing goals to improve the quality of education for students who are visually impaired. The national project, which was started in 1993, encourages each state to organize itself into committees to carry out he goals of the National Agenda within their own state. In Wisconsin, a group of over 50 concerned parents, administrators, teachers, consumers and other interested parties are actively involved in committee work designed to accomplish the goals of this very important movement. They have worked to raise awareness of the needs of students with visual impairment and to effect change in our state to ensure quality services for these students and their families. Thousands of people around the state have received direct and ongoing information through mailings, conferences, brochures and inservices. The various projects of the Wisconsin National Agenda have been supported and sponsored by a collaboration of local education agencies, CESAs, private funding and state discretionary grants. Together we can make a difference!

Goals of the Wisconsin National Agenda

  1. Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual, impairment.
  2. Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the educational process.
  3. 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.
  4. Service providers will determine caseloads based on the needs of students and will require ongoing professional development for all teachers and orientation & mobility instructors.
  5. Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of placement options.
  6. Assessment of students will be conducted, in collaboration with parents, by personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments.
  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.
  8. Educational and developmental goals, including instruction, will reflect the assessed needs of each student in all areas of academic and disability-specific core curricula.
  9. Transition services, will address each developmental and educational phase in order to assist students with visual impairments and their families in setting goals and implementing strategies through the life continuum.
  10. Local education agencies and CESAs will participate in a self-evaluation process designed specifically for vision programs to ensure that students who are blind or visually impaired will receive comprehensive, quality educational services.

While we, have accomplished much, there is much left to do. The work of the Wisconsin National Agenda Project is not done. We need your support and involvement in order to accomplish our goals. If you would like more information or would like to become more involved, please contact one of the persons listed below.

Mark Riccobono
Center Director Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
(WCBVI)
1700 W. State Street Janesville, WI 53546-3599
Phone 800-832-9784

Samantha Hoffman
Educational Consultant for Students With Visual Impairment
Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
PO Box 125 Madison, WI 53707
Phone 608-266-3522

Lisa Tomberlin
National Agenda Committee
Waupun High School
801 E. Lincoln Street Waupun, WI 53963
Phone 920-324-5591, Ext. 2947

Additional copies of this brochure can be obtained by contacting:

Regional Support Specialists

CESA 1:
Marilyn Rubio
414-546-3000, Ext. 453

CESA 2:
WCBVI - Dan Wenzel
800-832-9784

CESA 3, 4, 5:
Vacant
648-742-8814, Ext. 225

CESA 6, 7:
Norm Hanson
920-236-0584

CESA 8, 9:
Kay Glodowski
715-453-2141, Ext. 244

CESA 10, 11, 12:
Penne Freyberger
715-986-2020, Ext. 2135

Braille copies of this document may obtained from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Phone 800-832-9784 Please feel free to photocopy this document as the need arises.

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Wisconsin National Agenda

The Wisconsin National Agenda Work Group continues to make strides to improve services for students who are blind or visually impaired, their families and schools. This year was devoted to revising and updating our state plan which was originally written in 1996. The Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired has included our Wisconsin National Agenda Project in their budget this year. We are currently finalizing plans for our Spring Conference which will be held in Wisconsin Dells, WI. focusing on assessment. In addition to these activities the individual goal groups are working on a variety of projects as indicated below.

Goal 1: Prompt Referrals

  • "Looking for Connections" brochure distributed to all special education directors, eye care specialists, Birth to 3 coordinators
  • Power Point developed that goes along with the brochure
  • Future Plans video and inservice developed for eye care specialists that explains the special education process

Goal 2: Parent Participation

  • Continues to support existing parent support groups
  • Provide panel discussion at 2002 spring conference that includes all parent organizations and parent support groups
  • Future plans include recommending_/nominating more parents of blind or visually impaired students for the state superintendents council on special education and making parents aware of events going on in the state through the WCBVI website, newsletter, etc.

Goal 3: University Training Program

  • Expanding a resource file of all programs in US for training of teachers of the visually impaired or orientation and mobility instructors
  • Goal leader site on the Advisory Board for the Silver Lake College program and provides input to the brochure for the program
  • Future plans: develop an inservice kit for high school and undergraduate career day events and contact each University training program in neighboring states to encourage use of loan forgiveness program

Goal 4: Caseloads and Continuing Education

  • Developing a program called NET, Network Extension for Teachers, in which VI teachers and O&M instructors connect with a peer who has expertise in a certain area
  • Future Plans: Support the development, of a comprehensive system of continuing education and advocate for appropriate caseloads for professionals in the field.

Goal 5: Placement Options

  • Revising the Placement Options Brochure
  • Development of a calendar with pictures of various placement options
  • Future Plans: Advocate for sufficient funding for summer school programs

Goal 6 & 8: Assessment and Curriculum

  • Preparing spring conference which focuses on assessment
  • Assisted the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in completing an assessment guidelines booklet to correspond to the new eligibility Criteria
  • Future plans: Develop a document that explains the guidelines for state standardized testing accommodations and alternative testing, as well as, update our directory of assessment and curriculum resources.

Goal 7: Access to Instructional Materials

  • Members are involved in national committees dealing with issues related to materials accessibility.
  • Working with the Wisconsin Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Materials Productions Services to improve efficiency of book ordering and exploring funding of options for technology.
  • Future Plan: Develop a brochure that explains the importance of timely book orders and another brochure that will be sent to all state agencies on file process for obtaining materials in alternative formats

Goal 9: Transition

  • Developed a Phase Chart that depicts how the expanded core curriculum can be addressed in each phase of the child's life
  • Connected with our Statewide Transition Initiative Project, presenting a session on transition at our 2001 Wisconsin National Agenda Conference
  • Future Plans: Develop a list of practical skills and solutions that lead to planning for transition and develop a list of options for alternative programming in regular education to earn credits for high school students

Goal 10: Quality Programs for VI Students

  • Advocated for development, funding, and staffing of a QP/VI (Quality Programs for students with Visual Impairment) pilot project in two districts or CESAs in Wisconsin during the 2001-2002 school year.
  • Informed parents, special education directors, teachers of the visually impaired and orientation and mobility instructors about the purpose and process of QP/VI by having Nancy Toelle speak at our 2001 conference.
  • Future plans: Develop a brochure for LEAs/CESAs to explain purpose of QP/VI and continue to sit on the advisory board for the QP/VI project.
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National Agenda Goal Statements

  1. Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment.
  2. Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of placement options.
  6. Assessment of students will be conducted, in collaboration with parents, by personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments.
  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.
  8. Educational and developmental goals, including instruction, will reflect the assessed needs of each student in all areas of academic and disability-specific core curricula.

The National Agenda goal statements apply to all children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. Parents, teachers, and adults with visual impairments identified these goals as critical outcomes to insure that children with visual impairments receive a quality education and these goals are the focal point of the National Agenda effort.

The goals in the National Agenda represent a wide spectrum of issues that have an impact on the quality of services provided to students in educational programs. Some goals have a direct relationship to teachers, such as Goal #4 (caseload management and continuing education), Goal #6 (assessment), Goal #7 (access to instructional materials), and Goal #8 (importance of teaching the expanded core curriculum). Other goals have an indirect relationship to teachers such as Goal #1 (timely referral) and Goal #3 (personnel preparation). Regardless of the relationship, your interest and involvement is important in achieving all of the National Agenda goals.

The National Agenda is designed to help support teachers and parents as they work to assure a quality education for children and youth through the school years. What teachers know and do has great impact on student progress and achievement. As a teacher of students with visual impairments, you play a pivotal role in the long-term success of your students. The purpose of this document is to provide you with information about the importance of the National Agenda and to identify how you can effectively embrace its mission and improve the lives of children and youth who are blind or visually impaired.

Implementation of the National Agenda

Role of Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs)

As a teacher of students with visual impairments, you play a key role in the overall functioning of the school program and you are in contact with a wide range of school personnel and your students' families and support systems. Specialized activities of a teacher of students with visual impairments include performing assessment and evaluation of students, mediating the learning environment and adapting the curriculum, providing guidance and counseling to students, communicating with administrators, providing supervision to instructional assistants, record keeping, and maintaining school community relations (Spungin & Ferrell, 1991). In addition to these supportive activities, TVIs provide direct instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum content areas. Although teachers of students with visual impairments teach in a variety of settings such as general education classrooms as itinerants, resource rooms, residential schools, and so forth, their presence is essential to the educational process for their students. The National Agenda supports your role and responsibility as a teacher. In addition, families, administrators, and your professional colleagues can more easily understand the unique needs of students with visual impairments when you use the goals of the National Agenda to structure your involvement.

Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) have a challenging job. In many states, they are isolated from their colleagues in the field of blindness and low vision, because they are often the only teacher in their district or even county. They often work on their own, providing crucial services on a daily basis with little time to focus on issues outside of their sphere of influence. For these reasons, it is important that TVIs connect with the larger community of professionals serving students with visual impairments in efforts such as implementing the National Agenda. The following are suggestions for helping you gain and maintain knowledge about the goals of the National Agenda:

  1. Obtain copies of the National Agenda publications for distribution and ongoing reference. Most publications can be obtained by downloading them from the National Agenda web page.
  2. However, some of the hardcopies of publications are available from the American Foundation for the Blind and other organizations. See the resources section at the end of this document for specifics and contact information.
  3. Review the National Agenda web page periodically for updates and general information on how to contact your state coordinator or National Agenda Steering Committee Members. The
  4. National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities
  5. Use the eight goal areas of the National Agenda as a way to evaluate your school program or services provided statewide.
  6. Discuss your state's progress towards achieving the goals of the National Agenda with colleagues and parents of students with whom you work.
  7. Use the eight goals of the National Agenda as a framework for in-service training or for presentations at local parent or professional groups.
  8. Attend conference sessions that focus on updating teachers about the progress of the National Agenda.

Communicating with Parents, Administrators, and Colleagues

The National Agenda presents a framework for improving services to children and youth with visual impairments. This framework allows for the development of concrete issues to be identified, strategies to be implemented and a distinct message to be delivered to the public concerning the needs of children with visual impairments. The National Agenda is a set of priorities, stated as goals, which have been advanced by a unique network of state coordinators (Corn & Huebner, 1998). No less significant is the powerful grassroots base that supports the efforts of the National Agenda. The focus at the grassroots level emphasizes the power of individuals to have an impact on local, regional and national changes that impact the education of students who are blind or visually impaired.

The National Agenda offers you a valuable communication tool. Parents, administrators, and other school personnel view TVIs as the primary resource for ideas and information related to working with students who have visual impairments. The National Agenda materials (see the resource section at the end of this document for a listing of materials available) provide recognized documentation to assist educators in defining best practices in education and the provision of instructional services to students with visual impairments. Because many states have adopted state plans and have active committees working to implement the goals of the National Agenda, there are teams ready to give you support and supply you with additional, local resources.

The following are suggestions for how you can participate in this important effort by communicating with parents, administrators, and colleagues.

  • Learn if your state has an active National Agenda working group. If such a group is available, communicate with the state coordinator(s) about opportunities to participate.
  • If your state does not have an active National Agenda working group, work with colleagues in your state to develop and implement a state agenda that includes relevant National Agenda goals. Examples of state agendas are available for review on the National Agenda web site. The state agendas typically focus on specific local needs.
  • Make sure that parents, administrators, and colleagues are aware of the goals of the National Agenda and the benefit of applying the framework of the National Agenda to educational plans for individual students.
  • Use the framework of the National Agenda to communicate the necessary essential elements for educating children and youth who are blind or visually impaired. By using this framework, you are building a common base of understanding among parents and professionals.
  • Use the framework of the National Agenda to organize IEP objectives for parents and students. For example, you might begin IEP meetings by providing a list of the expanded core curriculum areas (see Appendix A) and moving through each of the areas while discussing the student's strengths and needs.
  • Provide information to administrators and professional colleagues about the National Agenda and how its structure provides support for communicating the importance of specialized services to parents and policy makers. (You may want to use the flyer designed for administrators that describes the National Agenda and tells how they can support it.)
  • Coordinate local partnerships among people involved in the education of students with visual impairments to advocate for high quality services as outlined in the National Agenda.
  • Structure your argument for adding new professionals to your school district or cooperative team around the National Agenda. Provide policy makers with a list of areas of the expanded core curriculum to point out the necessity for ongoing, intense support and direct instruction from qualified teachers of students with visual impairments.
  • Be instrumental in recruiting parents, administrators, and other teachers to join your state and local National Agenda committees.
  • Develop a master list of your favorite web sites related to goals of the National Agenda and areas of the expanded core curriculum and share it with your colleagues, students, and their families.
  • Make time to regularly speak to your students and their families about issues related to the shared goals of the National Agenda and opportunities for addressing the expanded core curriculum.
  • Use consistent language regarding the Expanded Core Curriculum at every opportunity so that students and families have a clear understanding of the assessed needs and instruction provided.
  • Respond to questions and concerns posted on listservs based on your experiences and reference the National Agenda.
  • Write articles for local, state or national newsletters or journals, including those for parents and focus on at least one of the eight goal areas.

Caseload Management

Teachers of students with visual impairments are often in a position to provide information to parents and administrators that will have an impact on decisions that are made about caseloads and hiring qualified teachers. In many cases, teachers are in school districts as the single person employed to address the needs of students with visual impairments. When this is the case, it may be difficult for a teacher to advocate for additional qualified personnel because such an argument may seem self-serving. In fact, advocating for appropriate levels of service for students with visual impairments is a professional responsibility.

In 1998, there were approximately 93,600 children and youth with visual impairments age 0-21 who received special education services. Of that number, it is estimated that 32,700 (35%) had a visual impairment as their only disability and 50,100 (53%) who had at least one additional disability (except deafness). In addition, 10,800 (12%) of these students were diagnosed as deaf-blind (Mason, Davidson, & McNerney, 2000).

It is difficult to determine the actual number of teachers of students with visual impairments needed nationwide, since the number of teachers is dependent on the unique needs of individual students. However, if the student:teacher ratio of 8:1 is used as an estimate, then for the approximately 93,600 children, 11,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers are needed. The current estimated number of FTE specialized teachers (visual impairment and deaf-blindness combined) is 6,700, leaving a deficit of 5,000 (Mason, Davidson, & McNerney, 2000).

The following are activities in which the use of the aforementioned demographic data might be helpful to advocate for appropriate services or to solicit additional funding to support your efforts:

  • Provide rationale to administrators and/or school boards for services, manageable caseload sizes, qualified teachers, orientation and mobility specialists, and braille transcribers based on the assessed needs of students.
  • Advocate for program emphasis on provision of services in areas of the expanded core curriculum (instruction in braille reading & writing, use of low vision devices, assistive technology, social skills, O&M, career education, activities of daily living, etc.).
  • Document the need to purchase optical devices or assistive technology (electronic note takers, speech and or braille output devices for computers, screen enlargement programs, etc.); and adaptive tools (audible levels, talking scales, beeping athletic equipment, brailled measuring devices, and so forth).
  • Communicate information to parents and students about the population of students with visual impairments, emphasizing the need for parents and students to reach out to the broader community to connect with others who have the same needs and interests.
  • Study the effectiveness of local, state or regional programs, especially the level of specialized services available to children and youth with visual impairments. (This type of accountability requires performance-based measures that are tied to student achievement.)
  • Provide the local media with accurate information about students' unique programs, accomplishments and capabilities.
  • Involve the local community in support of summer employment opportunities, volunteerism, or related activities.
  • Solicit assistance (fiscal or volunteer) from service organizations such as Lions' Clubs, Delta Gamma, and others.
  • Write grant proposals requesting additional monies, resources, or innovative programming.

Assessment

The most important result of the National Agenda will be the provision of timely, quality educational services for students with visual impairments. A critical component for assuring the success of the goals is ongoing assessment of students to determine their unique educational needs. By conducting appropriate assessments, teachers of students with visual impairments identify students' specific needs related to the general curriculum and the content areas identified in the expanded core curriculum and their progress in each area. The following suggestions can help you prepare for this important role:

  • Conduct ongoing specialized assessments including functional vision assessments, learning media assessments, assessments in the content areas of the expanded core curriculum, and assistive technology assessments.
  • Support assessment of concept development and travel skills by certified Orientation & Mobility Instructors.
  • Engage in diagnostic teaching activities designed to determine effective strategies for teaching specialized skills;
  • Communicate results of assessments to parents and school administrators to gain support for appropriate services.

Timely Access to Instructional Materials

Students with visual impairments need to have accessible materials available in a timely manner in order to make steady progress in school. Given the often lengthy process of preparing or developing adapted or modified instructional materials, it is important for the teacher to take direct steps to assure that students have the materials at an appropriate time. These steps may include the following:

  • Use the results of both clinical and functional vision assessments as well as a Learning Media Assessment to determine the types of instructional materials students need.
  • Begin the process of ordering appropriate media for your students (adapted textbooks in large print, recorded format, electronic format, or braille) as early as possible in the school year.
  • Facilitate in securing appropriate nonoptical and electronic low vision devices as well as prescribed optical devices for students with low vision.
  • Collaborate with a local braillist to assure that braille textbooks and other instructional materials are prepared appropriately and in a timely manner. If a qualified braillist is not available and if one is needed, work with school administrators to train or hire such an individual.
  • Follow closely the work of the Solutions Forum, a working group of professionals and adults with visual impairments who advocate nationally for the provision of accessible educational materials.
  • For information on the Solutions Forum, visit the American Foundation for the Blind web site (www.afb.org).

Importance of Teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum

Although states differ in policy and practice, there is a model for broad programming that reaches beyond state borders"the National Agenda's expanded core curriculum (Hatlen, 1996). The expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments describes the skill areas necessary for students to develop and be prepared for a successful adult life. This disability-specific curriculum goes beyond the academics skill areas and emphasizes an expanded learning base that is needed by every student with visual impairments. The expanded core curriculum offers the IEP team a base to review students' strengths and weaknesses.

The expanded core curriculum includes:

  • Compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes;
  • Orientation and mobility;
  • Social interaction skills;
  • Independent living skills,
  • Recreation and leisure skills;
  • Career education;
  • Technology; and
  • Visual efficiency skills.

Compensatory or functional academic skills include learning experiences such as concept development and spatial awareness, organizational skills, using braille or optical devices to read and write, using alternative communication systems such as sign language or the use of calendar systems, using recorded materials, and so forth.

Orientation and Mobility training focuses on alternatives to using sight for safe and independent travel purposes. In this instructional area, children are taught the use of the long cane and techniques for using any remaining vision that they may have such as the use of optical devices such as telescopes or monoculars.

Social interaction skills must be taught to children with visual impairments because they are unable to casually observe how people interact and socialize with one another. They must be taught when and how to smile, frown, nod, wink, shrug, and the many other nonverbal communication skills.

Independent living skills are the chores people perform, according to their abilities, which enable them to manage their homes and personal lives. These chores include grooming, eating and preparing meals, taking care of household chores, money and time management, and so forth.

Recreation and leisure skills may include traditional as well as adapted physical education activities. However, as with social interaction skills visually impaired children need help identifying the array of choices available to them in this area and must be taught how to perform leisure skills that most children learn through observation.

Career education for students with visual impairments needs to begin as early as possible and include self-awareness and career exploration activities, job seeking skills instruction, information about job keeping, and encourage opportunities for gaining work experience.

Instruction in the use and maintenance of assistive technology is needed in the curriculum for students with visual impairments. Assistive technology enables blind and visually students to access and store information from libraries around the world and the Internet. In addition, students with visual impairments can use assistive technology for notetaking, studying for tests, research and a variety of other academic uses.

Visual efficiency skills are those skills that children with impaired, but good remaining vision use to make the most use of their remaining sight. Instruction in this area may focus on the use of optical devices such as magnifiers, bioptic aids, telescopes, closed circuit televisions, reading spectacles, and so forth.

The following are things you can do to focus on the expanded core curriculum areas in the work you do with your students:

  • Make sure that all the expanded core curriculum areas needed by each student are included in his or her IEP.
  • Make sure that appropriately qualified professionals (TVIs/COMS) teach the expanded core curriculum to students with visual impairments.
  • Memorize the areas of the expanded core curriculum and be able to "rattle them off" at a moment's notice when an administrator, classroom teacher or parent asks "What exactly do you do?"
  • Use materials from the Annotated Bibliography of Curricular Materials Related to the Core Curriculum for Children and Youths with Visual Impairment, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities (Levack, 1997) and add to the bibliography as you discover additional relevant materials. This resource can be downloaded from the National Agenda web site.
  • Develop new and different approaches to teaching the expanded core curriculum and share them with your peers in professional journals and monographs, through conference presentations, and organizational newsletters.

Summary

The goals in the National Agenda represent a wide spectrum of issues that have an impact on the quality of services provided to students in educational programs. The National Agenda's success in bringing attention to the need to achieve these goals has occurred as a result of the shared roles, responsibilities and commitments of professionals, parents, and consumers throughout the United States (Corn & Huebner, 1998).

Your knowledge, skills, and experiences as a teacher of students with visual impairments provide a perspective that is critical to forming and implementing solutions to all of the National Agenda goals. The following practical strategies summarize how you can promote a teacher's voice in the National Agenda effort:

  • Read and reflect on the goals of the National Agenda. Develop your own positions and discuss the issues with colleagues.
  • Periodically visit the National Agenda website to stay current on the National Agenda issues and materials. Copy and distribute key information to administrators, general educators, parents, policymakers, and other interested parties.
  • Participate in your state on committees or task forces that promote or support the National Agenda initiatives.
  • Encourage discussion of the National Agenda goals and promote and implementation of the goals at local and state professional meetings.

Thank you for your interest in the National Agenda and welcome.

Publications authored by members of the National Agenda working groups include a flyer for administrators, which describes the National Agenda and how an administrator can support the effort; a booklet for parents, The National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities: A Parent Perspective; and this booklet, The National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities: A Teacher Perspective. These publications are all available on-line at the National Agenda web page.

Power Point presentations are also available to download on the National Agenda web site to facilitate your efforts in presenting information about the National Agenda effort to parents, administrators, and other concerned professionals. Use them or modify them for your own presentations.

References

Corn, A. L., Hatlen, P., Huebner, K. M., Ryan, F., Siller, M. A. (1995). The national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. NY: American Foundation for the Blind.

Corn, A. L., & Huebner, K. M. (1998). A report to the nation: The national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. New York: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

Hatlen, P. (1996). The core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, including those with additional disabilities. RE:view 28, 25-32.

Levack, N. (1997). Annotated bibliography of curricular materials related to the core curriculum for children and youths with visual impairment, including those with multiple disabilities. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Spungin, S. J., & Ferrell, K. A. (1991). The role and function of the teacher of students with visual handicaps. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Resource List

There are a number of documents available to you that support practical application of the National Agenda. Although many of these materials are listed below, including publications that were generated as an outgrowth of National Agenda activities, this is not an inclusive list. Please continue to add to this list and share it with others.

Benoff, K., Lang, M. A., & Beck-Viisola, M. (2001). Compendium of instruments for assessing the skills and interests of individuals with visual impairments or multiple disabilities. New York: Lighthouse International.

Corn, A. L., Hatlen, P., Huebner, K. M., Ryan, F., & Siller, M. A. (1995). Developing the national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual disabilities, including those with multiple disabilities. RE:view, 28(1), 5-15.

Corn, A. L., Hatlen, P., Huebner, K. M., Ryan, F., & Siller, M. A. (1995). The national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual disabilities, including those with multiple disabilities. New York: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

Corn, A. L., & Huebner, K. M. (1998). A report to the nation: The national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. New York: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

Hatlen, P. (1996). The core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, including those with additional disabilities. RE:view, 28(1), 25-32.

Levack, N. (1997). Annotated bibliography of curricular materials related to the core curriculum for children and youths with visual impairment, including those with multiple disabilities. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Mason, C., Davidson, R., & McNerney, C. (2000). National plan for training personnel to serve children with blindness and low vision. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Pugh, G. S., & Erin, J. (Eds.). (1999). Blind and visually impaired students: Educational service guidelines. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.

Stryker, D., Huebner, K., & Hatlen, P. (1999). National agenda: A call to action. Unpublished paper presented at the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute.

Wolffe, K. (2001). National agenda implementation in action. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 95(5), 308-310.

Printed with financial support from the American Foundation for the Blind and CEC Division on Visual Impairments.

Notes:

Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

National Agenda Logo

Verano de 2002
AGENDA NACIONAL

MIEMBROS DEL COMITÉ ORIENTADOR

Obtener version RTF (64k)
Obtener version PDF (62k)

Padres:

Donna Stryker & Brunhilde Merk-Adam

Profesionales:

Kathleen M. Huebner & Karen Wolffe

Dr. Anne Corn, Nashville, TN

Dr. Phil Hatlen, Austin, TX

Dr. Kathleen M. Huebner, Elkins Park, PA

Susan LaVenture, Watertown, MA

Donna McNear, Cambridge, MN

Brunhilde Merk-Adam, Southfield, MI

Dick Pomo, Madison, WI

Mary Ann Siller, Dallas, TX

Dr. Susan Spungin, New York, NY

Donna Stryker, Las Cruces, NM

Dr. Karen Wolffe, Austin, TX

Qué es la Agenda Nacional?

La Agenda Nacional para los Niños y Jóvenes con Discapacidad Visual, Incluyendo Aquellos con Múltiples Inhabilidades (Corn, Hatlen, Huebner, Ryan, Siller, 1995) constituye un esfuerzo básico para cambiar la forma como los discapacitados visuales y niños ciegos están siendo educados. Incluso con la implementación de IDEA (Ley sobre Educación en Individuos con Discapacidad  por sus siglas en Inglés) y FAPE (Educación Pública Apropiada por sus siglas en Inglés) permanece el hecho que los niños con discapacidad visual, no siempre aprenden lo suficiente en las escuelas para lograr un trabajo y que puedan vivir independientemente después de su graduación.

La Agenda Nacional es el resultado logrado por los padres, profesores y administradores, que trabajando como socios han hecho posible cambios para los estudiantes con discapacidad visual. Estos socios han enfocado las cosas necesarias más importantes para hacer que la educación sea mejor orientada a los niños ciegos y con discapacidad visual. Se han logrado extraer ocho metas para la Agenda Nacional. Creemos que trabajando en la consecución de estas metas, se puede lograr una gran diferencia en las vidas de los estudiantes con discapacidad visual.

Porque es la Agenda Nacional tan importante para los padres de los estudiantes con discapacidad visual o ceguera?

La Agenda Nacional es importante porque en muchas ocasiones pasan meses y hasta años antes que alguien, usualmente un profesor o un padre, se dé cuenta que el niño no ve bien. Puede pasar aún más tiempo antes que el niño reciba el tipo de servicio que se necesita para un buen aprendizaje. Los niños con ceguera o visualmente discapacitados pueden recibir una educación inferior porque no existen profesores y especialistas suficientes en el logro de éstas necesidades especiales. Frecuentemente, los niños con discapacidad visual son colocados en salones de colegio que no son los más apropiados para ellos, sin consideración sobre que es lo que se necesita para que puedan lograr un mejor aprendizaje.

Como padres, creemos que el uso de la Agenda Nacional puede ayudar a un niño para que aprenda lo que necesita saber para que sea exitoso. Cuando los padres, profesores y administradores de escuelas usen la Agenda Nacional y sus ocho metas, los niños ciegos o con discapacidad visual recibirán entonces la educación apropiada.

Las ocho metas de la Agenda Nacional, seguidas por preguntas que los padres puedan hacerse, siguen en el programa. Aunque algunas respuestas están incluidas, la nuestra no es una lista completa y usted y su familia pueden requerir consultar a un especialista local para obtener información adicional.

Objetivo 1: Los estudiantes y sus familias serán remitidos a un programa de educación apropiado dentro de los 30 días siguientes al diagnostico de una discapacidad visual.

  • Si usted tiene un niño (de 5 años de edad), ha sido usted referido a un programa educacional?
  • Le dieron a usted una lista de alternativas con relación a las opciones de colocación?

Padres Nuevos  Si la respuesta es NO a ambas preguntas, usted querrá contactar al Servicio de Intervención Temprana de Educación Especial del Departamento de Estado (EIS  por sus siglas en Inglés) ... tome nota del número telefónico:

=>________________________________________

Padres con experiencia Usted podrá apoyar a nombre de otros padres y sus hijos en búsqueda de servicios de intervención temprana o simplemente respirar tranquilo porque no necesita preocuparse por éste asunto.

Objetivo 2: Se implementarán políticas y procedimientos para asegurar el derecho de todos los padres a participar totalmente en el proceso de educación.

  • Recibió usted información acerca de la participación de los padres con profesionales que están trabajando con su hijo?
  • Siente usted que está en igualdad de condiciones como socio de su hijo en un proceso de educación formal? Si no, que haría usted para cambiar esto? Que tendrá que ser cambiado en el sistema?
  • Se le proporcionó información acerca de los recursos que existen por fuera del sistema de educación especial, tales como grupos de soporte de padres, organizaciones de soporte de consumidores, etc ? Si no, por favor tome nota de los recursos existentes al final de éste documento.

En un proceso de educación formal (ej, durante reuniones IEP, planificación de transición, etc.) los papeles de igual participación pueden cambiar en la medida que el niño crezca  con padres de niños más jóvenes, los padres se pueden involucrar de manera más directa, con los estudiantes más jóvenes, los estudiantes se convierten en socios o compañeros).

Con el fin de ser un socio en igualdad de condiciones, en un proceso de educación formal, los padres deben involucrarse en la totalidad del proceso educativo desde el momento de la evaluación inicial y su planificación hasta su implementación y posterior evaluación.

Objetivo 3: Universidades, que tengan por lo menos una facultad de tiempo completo en el área de discapacidad visual, prepararán un número suficiente de educadores para estudiantes con discapacidad visual para cumplir con los las necesidades de personal a lo largo del país.

  • Está usted consciente de la escasez crítica de profesores para la orientación sobre discapacidad visual, la orientación de y movilidad de instructores a lo largo del país?
  • Su departamento o provincia tiene un programa a nivel universitario que prepare a profesores en el tratamiento y orientación sobre discapacidad visual?
  • Su colegio de distrito contrata profesores certificados con preparación en orientación de estudiantes con discapacidad visual (TVI  por sus siglas en inglés) y en la orientación y movilidad de especialistas (COMS  por sus siglas en ingles)?

Usted puede ayudar a dirigir esta escasez crítica  por favor contacte a su coordinador de la Agenda Nacional o la organización de padres a nivel regional, enfatizando en las necesidades de los niños con discapacidad visual.

Objetivo 4: Los proveedores de servicios determinarán las cargas de servicio basados en las necesidades de los estudiantes y requerirán del desarrollo profesional en todos los profesores y orientación de instructores.

  • Siente usted que su niño recibe servicios específicos sobre discapacidad de un profesor para estudiantes con discapacidad visual (TVI) y/o orientación certificada de un especialista en movilidad (COMS) con la debida frecuencia?
  • Cuantos estudiantes tiene a su cargo el profesor que atiende a su hijo con discapacidad visual?
  • A cuantos estudiantes tiene que enseñar el instructor O&M de su hijo?
  • Hay un limite sobre cuantos estudiantes tiene que tener a su cargo el profesor de su hijo?

Objetivo 5: Los programas de educación local asegurarán que todos los estudiantes tengan acceso completo a toda una gama de opciones de colocación.

  • Recibió usted información acerca de la escuela actual de su hijo, incluyendo todas las opciones de colocación que estaban disponibles para usted? Conoce usted los pros y los contras de cada una de ellas?
  • Siente usted que su hijo puede disfrutar de las opciones de colocación que usted considera más apropiadas?
  • Siente usted que puede cambiar las opciones de colocación de acuerdo a las necesidades de educación de su hijo a medida que vaya creciendo?

Objetivo 6: La evaluación de los estudiantes será conducida con la colaboración de los padres, con personal que tenga experiencia en la educación de estudiantes con discapacidad visual.

  • Ha evaluado a su hijo personal del distrito escolar? Tenía el equipo de evaluación experiencia con niños como el suyo?
  • Estuvo usted involucrado en el proceso de evaluación?
  • Tiene su Estado o autoridad local los recursos para llevar a cabo la evaluación, o tiene personal experimentado en evaluar estudiantes con discapacidad visual, incluyendo múltiples inhabilidades?

La evaluación incluye: 1) evaluación inicial para determinar la elegibilidad a los servicios de educación especiales, 2) evaluaciones para determinar servicios específicos, 3) evaluaciones de rutina en clase (incluyendo eficiencia en Braille, velocidad de lectura en Braille, uso de ábaco, etc), y 4) pruebas estandarizadas.

Objetivo 7: Acceso a desarrollo de servicios educativos que incluyan el aseguramiento de materiales de instrucción y su disponibilidad para los estudiantes en los medios apropiados, en las mismas condiciones que sus compañeros con buena visión.

  • Recibe su hijo los textos y material de instrucción en el medio apropiado (por ejemplo, en Braille o en caracteres grandes)?
  • Recibe su hijo sus textos y material de instrucción en la misma medida que sus compañeros sin discapacidad visual?
  • Tiene su hijo el equipo de adaptación apropiado (por ejemplo, circuito cerrado de televisión (CCTV), computador con ayuda de dictado o impresión en grandes caracteres, software apropiado, dispositivos de ayuda y medición táctil, equipo para ciencia fácil de manipular, etc.) para que pueda participar activamente en las clases?

Usted podrá solicitar que tanto los textos como el material de instrucción, incluyendo técnicas de asistencia, tales como dispositivos electrónicos de toma de notas o de reconocimiento de voz en internet, estén disponibles para su hijo.

Objetivo 8: Las metas de desarrollo educativo, incluyendo instrucción, reflejarán las necesidades de evaluación de cada estudiante para todas las áreas académicas y planes de estudio específicos para personas con inhabilidades.

  • Siente usted que el programa escolar de su hijo está enfocado a sus necesidades especificas de inhabilidad (por ejemplo, uso de dispositivos para poca visión, Braille, O&M, asistencia técnica, instrucción en lenguaje de signos, terapia ocupacional, terapia física, habilidades sociales, actividades sobre el diario vivir, educación de carrera)?
  • Su distrito, región o Estado ordena que los niños con discapacidad visual reciban instrucción sobre habilidades especificas de discapacidad, lo mismo que contenido académico estándar?
  • Ha oído usted de planes de estudio extendidos para estudiantes con discapacidad visual, y los usa usted en el desarrollo de las metas del Plan Individualizado de Educación (IEP por las siglas en Inglés) de su hijo?

Aunque la Agenda Nacional para Niños y Jóvenes con Discapacidad Visual, incluyendo aquellos con Múltiples inhabilidades, actualmente contiene solo las ocho metas que aquí se revisan, muchos padres y profesionales creen en la inclusión de otra meta relacionada con las necesidades de los Servicios de Transición también debe ser considerada. En algunos Estados, los participantes locales han añadido ésta otra meta en sus agendas Estatales. Ciertamente es una opción para su Estado si usted y otros padres consideran que pueden fortalecer sus esfuerzos y los de los estudiantes con discapacidad visual.

La importancia crítica del plan de estudios extendido para estudiantes con discapacidad visual

El Plan de Estudios Extendido (Hatlen, 1996) constituye el núcleo del conocimiento y las habilidades requeridas por los estudiantes con discapacidad visual, debido a sus necesidades específicas de inhabilidad. Los estudiantes con discapacidad visual necesitan del Plan de Estudios Extendido (ver abajo) además del Plan de Estudios normal de educación general.

Plan de Estudios académico

  • Artes del Idioma Inglés
  • Otros idiomas en la medida que sea posible
  • Matemáticas
  • Salud e higiene
  • Ciencia
  • Educación física
  • Estudios sociales
  • Historia
  • Economía
  • Educación en negocios
  • Artes finas
  • Educación vocacional

Plan de Estudios Extendido

  • Habilidades académicas compensatorias, incluyendo modos de comunicación
  • Orientación y movilidad
  • Habilidades de interacción social
  • Habilidades de vida independiente
  • Habilidades de recreación y diversión
  • Educación de carrera
  • Uso de tecnologías de asistencia
  • Habilidades de eficiencia visual

Las habilidades compensatorias o académicas funcionales, incluyen experiencias de aprendizaje tales como conceptos de desarrollo y conciencia sobre espacios, habilidades de organización, uso de Braille o de dispositivos para baja visión para lectura y escritura, uso de sistemas de comunicación alternativos tales como lenguaje de signos, o el uso de sistemas de calendario con materiales grabados, etc.

El entrenamiento en movilidad y orientación se centra en las alternativas al uso de la visión para desplazamiento y viajes independientes. En ésta área de instrucción, el niño recibe enseñanza en el uso del bastón y técnicas para el uso de la visión remanente que pueda tener, así como el uso de dispositivos ópticos tales como binoculares o telescopios.

Las habilidades de interacción social deben ser enseñadas a los niños con discapacidad visual porque ellos no están en condiciones de observar de manera casual con cuanta gente pueden interactuar y socializar en un momento dado. Al alumno se le debe enseñar cuando y cuanto sonreír, ceñir el rostro, asentir, negarse, etc, así como muchas otras habilidades de comunicación no verbal.

Las habilidades de vida independiente constituyen el núcleo del desarrollo personal, de acuerdo a sus habilidades, lo que les permitirá manejar sus hogares y sus vidas personales. Lo anterior incluye participar, compartir, destrezas para comer y preparar sus comidas, cuidar del hogar, manejo del dinero y de su tiempo, etc.

Las habilidades de recreación pueden incluir aquellas que son tradicionales así como otras que se adaptan a sus actividades de educación física. Sin embargo, al igual que las habilidades de interacción social en los niños con discapacidad visual, necesitan ayuda en la identificación de todo un rango de alternativas disponibles para ellos en ésta área y deben ser ensañados sobre como llevar a cabo sus habilidades de recreación ya que la mayoría de los niños aprenden de la observación.

La educación de carrera para estudiantes con discapacidad visual debe comenzar lo antes posible y debe incluir el aspecto de concientización sobre sí mismo y actividades de exploración de carrera, habilidades para la búsqueda de empleo, información sobre la conservación de empleo y fomentar las oportunidades para ganar experiencia en el trabajo.

En el Plan de Estudios se requiere instrucción en el uso y mantenimiento de tecnologías de asistencia para los estudiantes con discapacidad visual. La tecnología de asistencia habilita a los estudiantes ciegos a tener acceso a la información de bibliotecas de todo el mundo y del internet. Además, los estudiantes con discapacidad visual pueden usar tecnologías de asistencia en la toma de notas, estudios para exámenes, investigación y toda una variedad de otras aplicaciones académicas.

Las habilidades de eficiencia visual son aquellas habilidades que los niños con discapacidad visual, pero que aún tengan alguna visión remanente relativamente buena, usan para sacar el mayor provecho de su visión remanente. La instrucción en ésta área se enfoca en el uso de dispositivos ópticos tales como lupas, lentes de aumento, ayudas bió-opticas, telescopios, circuitos cerrados de televisión, etc.

Como puede la Agenda Nacional impactar su vida, la de su familia y la de su hijo?

El conocimiento es poder. El conocimiento ganado por padres y profesionales alrededor de los Estados Unidos, para el soporte y desarrollo de las ocho metas de la Agenda Nacional, puede ser usado por usted como herramienta de trabajo con su hijo, en su distrito, con los administradores escolares, profesores y personal de soporte para garantizar que el programa educativo de su hijo llene sus necesidades. Las ocho metas de la Agenda Nacional suministran lineamientos para considerar el éxito en el resultados educativos de su hijo.

Puede parecer que algunas de las metas no están relacionadas con su hijo o con su situación. Sin embargo, considere éste ejemplo. Su hijo es ciego y necesita instrucción en Braille; el distrito no puede suministrar un profesor especializado en discapacidad visual, porque aunque se ha publicitado su búsqueda, ha habido dificultad en localizar a alguien capacitado como profesor para discapacitados visuales. El objetivo 3 es la preparación de profesores; lo anterior lo afecta a usted, a su hijo y a su situación porque su hijo no está recibiendo los servicios que necesita. Tal vez, desde una perspectiva más grande, usted pueda afectar el cambio en su hijo presentando este asunto a los representantes de Estado y Senadores, o ante la Junta de Educación Estatal (SBOE).

REFERENCES

Corn, A. L., Hatlen, P., Huebner, K. M., Ryan, F., Siller, M. A. (1995). La Agenda Nacional para la educación de niños y jóvenes con discapacidad visual, incluyendo aquellos con múltiples inhabilidades. NY: American Foundation for the Blind.

Hatlen, P. (1996). El Plan de Estudios para los estudiantes ciegos o con discapacidad visual, incluyendo aquellos con inhabilidades adicionales. RE:view 28, 25-32.

Notas:
Siglas de interés para los padres (Siglas en Inglés)

ACB Consejo Americano de Ciegos

ADA Ley sobre Americanos con inhabilidades

AER Asociación para la Educación & Rehabilitación de Diegos y Discapacitados Visuales

AFB Fundación Americana para los Ciegos

APH Editores Americanos para los Ciegos

AT Tecnologías de Asistencia

CEC Consejo para Niños Excepcionales

COMS Especialistas certificados O&M

DVR División de Rehabilitación Vocacional

ECI Intervención temprana en la niñez

FAPE Libre Apropiación en la Educación Pública

FERPA Ley sobre derechos educativos en la familia & privacidad

IDEA Ley sobre Individuos con inhabilidades

IFSP Plan sobre servicios familiares individualizados

ILS Habilidades para vivir independientemente (AKA ADL & DLS)

ISD Distrito de colegios independientes

ITP Plan de transición individualizado

LEA Agencia de educación local

LRE Ambientes menos restrictivos

NAPVI Asociación nacional para padres de los visualmente discapacitados

NFB Federación nacional de ciegos

NLS Servicio nacional de bibliotecas

NOPBC Organización nacional de padres de niños ciegos

O&M Orientación & movilidad

OSEP Oficina de política de educación especial

OT Terapia ocupacional

P&A Protección y apoyo

Para Para - profesional (asistencia)

PAC Consejo de soporte de padres

PT Terapia física

RFB&D Registro de ciegos & Disléxicos

SEA Agencia Estatal de Educación

S&L Vocabulario & lenguaje

Sección 504

SSA Administración de seguridad social

TCVI Consultoría para profesores de discapacitados visuales (ver TVI)

TVI Profesor de discapacitados visuales (ver TCVI)

VRC Consejero vocacional de rehabilitación

VRT Profesor vocacional de rehabilitación

Lista de recursos

Concejo Americano para Ciegos (ACB)
Concejo de Familias con Problemas Visuales
1515 15th Street N.W. Suite 720
Washington, DC 2005
(800) 424-8666
(202) 467-5081
Fax (202) 467-5085
URL: http://www.acb.org

Fundación Americana de Ciegos (AFB)
11 Penn Plaza
Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
(800) 232-5463
(212) 502-7600
URL: http://www.afb.org

Imprenta Americana para Ciegos (APH)
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
(800) 223-1839
(502) 895-2405
FAX (502) 895-1508
URL: http://www.aph.org

Servicio de Video Descriptivo, WGBH (DVS)
125 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 492-2777 x 3490
URL: http://www.wgbh.org/dvs

Escuela Hadley para Ciegos
700 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
(800) 323-4238
(847) 446-8111
URL: http://www.hadley-school.org

Centro Nacional Helen Keller Para Jóvenes y Adultos Sordos y Ciegos
111 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050
(516) 944-8900
TDD (516) 944-8637
FAX (516) 944-7302
URL: http://www.helenkeller.org

Asociación Nacional de Padres de Personas con Problemas Visuales (NAPVI)
PO Box 317
Watertown, MA 02272-0317
(800) 562-6265
(617) 972-7441
URL://www.napvi.org

Federación Nacional de Ciegos (NFB)
Organización Nacional de Padres de Hijos Ciegos
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314
URL: http://www.nfb.org

Servicio de Biblioteca Nacional para los Ciegos y Personas con Problemas Físicos (NLS)
Biblioteca del Congreso
1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20542
(800) 424-8567
URL: http://lcweb.loc.gov/nls/html

Grabaciones para Ciegos y Disléxicos. (RFB&D)
20 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
(800) 221-4791
(609) 451-0606
FAX (609) 987-8116
URL: http://www.rfbd.org

En el espacio de abajo, escriba los nombres e información de contacto de individuos en su Departamento que puedan ayudar a implementar la Agenda Nacional.

Impreso con el soporte financiero de la Fundación Americana para Ciegos y la Asociación para Educación y Rehabilitación de las Personas Ciegas y con Problemas Visuales.

Hosted by Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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Summer 2002

NATIONAL AGENDA

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Parent Co-Chairs:

Donna Stryker & Brunhilde Merk-Adam

Professional Co-Chairs:

Kathleen M. Huebner & Karen Wolffe

Dr. Anne Corn, Nashville, TN

Dr. Phil Hatlen, Austin, TX

Dr. Kathleen M. Huebner, Elkins Park, PA

Susan LaVenture, Watertown, MA

Donna McNear, Cambridge, MN

Brunhilde Merk-Adam, Southfield, MI

Dick Pomo, Madison, WI

Mary Ann Siller, Dallas, TX

Dr. Susan Spungin, New York, NY

Donna Stryker, Las Cruces, NM

Dr. Karen Wolffe, Austin, TX

What is the National Agenda?

The National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities (Corn, Hatlen, Huebner, Ryan, Siller, 1995) is a grassroots effort to change the way visually impaired and blind children are being educated. Even with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) the fact remains that children with visual impairments do not always learn enough in school to get a job or live independently after graduation.

The National Agenda is the result of parents, teachers, and administrators working as partners to make changes for students with visual impairments. These partners have looked at the most important things needed to make education better for visually impaired and blind children. These things make up the eight goals of the National Agenda. We believe that working toward these goals can make a difference in the lives of students with visual impairments.

Why is the National Agenda important to parents of students with visual impairments or blindness?

The National Agenda is important because sometimes months or years go by before someone, usually a parent or teacher, realizes that a child can't see well. More time may go by before the child receives the kinds of services that are needed to learn well. Children with blindness or visual impairments may receive an inferior education because there are not enough teachers and specialists who can meet their special needs. Often children with visual impairments are placed in schools or classrooms that are not right for them, without thought to where the child might learn best.

As parents, we believe using the National Agenda will help our children learn what they need to know to be successful. When parents, teachers, and school administrators use the National Agenda and its eight goals, blind and visually impaired children will receive an appropriate education.

The eight goals of the National Agenda, followed by questions parents may want to ask themselves, follow. Although some answers are included, ours is not an inclusive list and you and your family may want to consult local resources for additional information.

Goal 1: Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment.

  • If you have a young child (birth through age 5) have you been referred to an educational program?
  • Were you given a range of choices regarding placement options?

New Parents-- If answer is no to either question, you may want to contact your State Department of Special Education Early Intervention Services (EIS)....make a note of the telephone number below:

________________________________________

Experienced parents-- You may want to advocate on behalf of other parents and their children for early intervention services or simply breathe a sigh of relief that you no longer need worry about this point.

Goal 2: Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process.

  • Did you receive information about parent involvement from professionals working with your child?
  • Do you feel that you are an equal partner in the formal educational process as it applies to your child? If not, what would you do to change that? What would have to change in the system?
  • Were you given information about resources outside of the special education system such as parent support groups, consumer advocacy organizations, and so forth? If not, please see resources at the end of this document.

In the formal educational process (i.e., during IEP meetings, transition planning, etc.) equal partnership roles may change as the child gets older-- with younger children, parents are more directly involved, with older students, the student becomes the partner).

In order to be a full and equal partner in the formal education process, parents must be involved in the entirety of the educational process from initial assessment and planning through implementation and continuing assessment.

Goal 3: 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.

  • Are you aware of the critical shortage of Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Instructors throughout the country?
  • Does your state have a college or university program that prepares Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation & Mobility Instructors?
  • Does your school district hire certified Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and Orientation & Mobility Specialists (COMS)?

You can help address this critical shortage : please contact your state National Agenda Coordinator or state parent organization, addressing the needs of children with visual impairments.

Goal 4: 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.

  • Do you feel your child receives disability-specific services from a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and/or a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) frequently enough?
  • How many students does your child's Teacher of the Visually Impaired have to teach?
  • How many students does your child's O&M Instructor have to teach?
  • Is there a limit on how many children your child's teachers have?

Goal 5: Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of placement options.

  • Did you receive information from your child's current school about alternative placement options available to you? Do you know the pros and cons of each?
  • Do you feel that your child can enroll in the placement option you feel is most appropriate?
  • Do you feel you can change the placement option according to the educational needs of your child as he or she gets older?

Goal 6: Assessment of students will be conducted, in collaboration with parents, by personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments.

  • Have school district personnel assessed your child? Did the assessment team have experience with children like yours?
  • Were you involved in the assessment process?
  • Does your State have resources for assessment or have staff experienced in assessing students with visual impairments including those with multiple disabilities?

Assessment includes: 1) initial assessments to determine eligibility for special education services, 2) assessments to determine specific services, 3) routine classroom assessments (including Braille proficiency, speed of Braille reading, use of the abacus, etc.), and 4) standardized testing.

Goal 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.

  • Does your child receive his or her textbooks and instructional materials in the appropriate medium (for example, in Braille or large print)?
  • Does your child receive his or her textbooks and instructional materials at the same time as sighted peers?
  • Does your child have the correct adaptive equipment (for example, closed circuit television set (CCTV), computer with speech or enlarged print, or adaptive software, tactile measuring devices, manipulative and accessible science equipment etc.) to participate fully in classes?

You may need to advocate for both textbooks and instructional materials, including assistive technology such as electronic note takers or speech access to the Internet for your child.

Goal 8: Educational and developmental goals, including instruction, will reflect the assessed needs of each student in all areas of academic and disability-specific core curricula.

  • Do you feel your child's school program addresses his or her disability-specific needs (for example, use of low vision devices, Braille, O&M, assistive technology, instruction in sign language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social skills, activities of daily living, career education)?
  • Does your district, region or state mandate that children with visual impairments receive instruction in disability-specific skills as well as standard academic content?
  • Have you heard of the expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments and do you use it when developing your child's IEP goals?

Although the National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Impairments currently contains only the eight goals reviewed above, many parents and professionals believe another goal concerning the importance of Transition Services needs to also be considered. In some states, the local stakeholders have added such a goal to their state agendas. This is certainly an option in your state if you and other parents and professionals believe it can strengthen your efforts on behalf of students with visual impairments.

The critical importance of the expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments

The expanded core curriculum (Hatlen, 1996) is the body of knowledge and skills that are needed by students with visual impairments because of their unique disability-specific needs. Students with visual impairments need the expanded core curriculum (see below) in addition to the core academic curriculum of general education.

Core Academic Curriculum

  • English language arts
  • Other languages to the extent possible
  • Mathematics
  • Health
  • Science
  • Physical education
  • Social studies
  • History
  • Economics
  • Business education
  • Fine arts
  • Vocational education

Expanded Core Curriculum

  • Compensatory academic skills, including communication modes
  • Orientation and mobility
  • Social interaction skills
  • Independent living skills
  • Recreation and leisure skills
  • Career education
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Visual efficiency skills

Compensatory or functional academic skills include learning experiences such as concept development and spatial awareness, organizational skills, using braille or low vision devices to read and write, using alternative communication systems such as sign language or the use of calendar systems, using recorded materials, and so forth.

Orientation and Mobility training focuses on alternatives to using sight for safe and independent travel purposes. In this instructional area, children are taught the use of the long cane and techniques for using any remaining vision that they may have such as the use of optical devices such as telescopes or monoculars.

Social interaction skills must be taught to children with visual impairments because they are unable to casually observe how people interact and socialize with one another. They must be taught when and how to smile, frown, nod, wink, shrug, and the many other nonverbal communication skills.

Independent living skills are the chores people perform, according to their abilities, which enable them to manage their homes and personal lives. These chores include grooming, eating and preparing meals, taking care of household chores, money and time management, and so forth.

Recreation and leisure skills may include traditional as well as adapted physical education activities. However, as with social interaction skills visually impaired children need help identifying the array of choices available to them in this area and must be taught how to perform leisure skills that most children learn through observation.

Career education for students with visual impairments needs to begin as early as possible and include self-awareness and career exploration activities, job seeking skills instruction, information about job keeping, and encourage opportunities for gaining work experience.

Instruction in the use and maintenance of assistive technology is needed in the curriculum for students with visual impairments. Assistive technology enables blind and visually students to access and store information from libraries around the world and the Internet. In addition, students with visual impairments can use assistive technology for notetaking, studying for tests, research and a variety of other academic uses.

Visual efficiency skills are those skills that children with impaired, but good remaining vision use to make the most use of their remaining sight. Instruction in this area may focus on the use of optical devices such as magnifiers, bioptic aids, telescopes, closed circuit televisions, and so forth.

How can the National Agenda impact the lives of you, your family, and your child?

Knowledge is power. With the knowledge that parents and professionals from all over the United States developed and support the eight goals of the National Agenda, you can use them as tools when working with your child, in your district, with school administrators, teachers and support staff to guarantee that your child's educational program meets his or her needs. The eight goals of the National Agenda provide guidelines to consider for your child's successful educational outcomes.

Some of the goals may not seem related to your child or your situation. However, consider this example. Your child is blind and needs Braille instruction; the district cannot provide a teacher of the visually impaired because although they have advertised, they are having difficulty finding a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired. Goal 3 is Teacher Preparation; this does affect you, your child and your situation because your child is not receiving services. Perhaps in the larger picture you can affect change for your child by bringing this issue to your state representatives and senators, or your State Board of Education (SBOE).

References

Corn, A. L., Hatlen, P., Huebner, K. M., Ryan, F., Siller, M. A. (1995). The national agenda for the education of children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. NY: American Foundation for the Blind.

Hatlen, P. (1996). The core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students, including those with additional disabilities. RE:view 28, 25-32.

Notes:

Acronyms of Interest to Parents

ACB American Council of the Blind

ADA Americans with Disabilities Act

AER Association for Education & Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired

AFB American Foundation for the Blind

APH American Printing House for the Blind

AT Assistive Technology

CEC Council for Exceptional Children

COMS Certified O&M Specialist

DVR Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

ECI Early Childhood Intervention

FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education

FERPA Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP Individualized Education Program

IFSP Individualized Family Services Plan

ILS Independent Living Skills (AKA ADL & DLS)

ISD Independent School District

ITP Individualized Transition Plan

LEA Local Education Agency

LRE Least Restrictive Environment

NAPVI National Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired

NFB National Federation of the Blind

NLS National Library Service

NOPBC National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

O&M Orientation & Mobility

OSEP Office of Special Education Policy

OT Occupational Therapy

P&A Protection & Advocacy

Para Paraprofessional (aide)

PAC Parent Advisory Council

PT Physical Therapy

RFB&D Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

SEA State Education Agency

S&L Speech & Language

Section 504

SSA Social Security Administration

TCVI Teacher Consultant for the Visually

Impaired (see TVI)

TVI Teacher of the Visually Impaired (see TCVI)

VRC Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

VRT Vocational Rehabilitation Teacher

Resource List

American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Council of Families with Visual Impairments
1515 15th Street N.W. Suite 720
Washington, DC 2005
(800) 424-8666
(202) 467-5081
Fax (202) 467-5085
URL: http://www.acb.org

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
11 Penn Plaza
Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
(800) 232-5463
(212) 502-7600
URL: http://www.afb.org

American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
(800) 223-1839
(502) 895-2405
FAX (502) 895-1508
URL: http://www.aph.org

Descriptive Video Service, WGBH (DVS)
125 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 492-2777 x 3490
URL: http://www.wgbh.org/dvs

Hadley School for the Blind
700 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
(800) 323-4238
(847) 446-8111
URL: http://www.hadley-school.org

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults
111 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050
(516) 944-8900
TDD (516) 944-8637
FAX (516) 944-7302
URL: http://www.helenkeller.org

National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI)
PO Box 317
Watertown, MA 02272-0317
(800) 562-6265
(617) 972-7441
URL://www.napvi.org

National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314
URL: http://www.nfb.org

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
Library of Congress
1291 Taylor Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20542
(800) 424-8567
URL: http://lcweb.loc.gov/nls/html

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, Inc. (RFB&D)
20 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
(800) 221-4791
(609) 451-0606
FAX (609) 987-8116
URL: http://www.rfbd.org

In the space below, write in the names and contact information for individuals in your state who can help you implement the National Agenda.

Printed with financial support from the American Foundation for the Blind and the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Download color version of this document

The Facts

  • Although you may have only a few children with visual impairments in your school district, you are obligated to serve them appropriately under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • IDEA mandates that a continuum of placement options be made available to all students with visual impairments and that districts make students and their families aware of those options.
  • Early intervention can improve the educational outcomes for these children.
  • Visually impaired students need to learn disability-specific skills such as reading and writing with braille or using low vision devices, travel skills, career education, and independent living skillsfrom specially trained and certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS).
  • Access to instructional materials in appropriate formats is critical to assuring educational progress.

What Must Be Done?

  • Offer an array of service delivery options for children with visual impairments.
  • Support opportunities for partnerships among parents, the medical community, and school personnel that address early detection and services for children with visual impairments.
  • Ensure that a person with expertise in visual impairments is available to all students including those in early intervention programs.
  • Support the efforts of higher education facilities that train teachers to work in the field of visual impairments and hire their graduates.
  • Ensure that teachers who work with children with visual impairments have reasonable caseloads so that special skills can be taught to support educational programming.
  • Be aware of community resources, including rehabilitation agencies, consumer and parent organizations, as well as businesses, that can supplement your educational offerings.
  • Know the professionals in your area who have expertise in visual impairmentsand use them!
  • Provide in-service training opportunities for staff who may work with visually impaired children.
  • Require efforts to provide timely access to quality materials in braille, large print, and taped formats.
  • Ensure that children with visual impairments receive comprehensive assessments under the guidance of personnel trained in visual impairments.
  • Require the teaching of disability-specific skills to students with visual impairments.

How Can You Get More Information?

Visit National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities (includes contact information for your state coordinator and the OSEP Policy Guidance Paper).

Contact your state's special school for the blind or visually impaired. If you are unsure of how to reach a special school, call Dr. Phil Hatlen at 512/206-9133; e-mail: .

This material was prepared by participants in the National Agenda effort, which is endorsed by the American Foundation for the Blind, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the American Printing House for the Blind, the Council of Schools for the Blind as well as numerous other organizations of and for the blind throughout the United States.