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A Publication about Visual Impairments and Deafblindness for Families and Professionals

TX SenseAbilities - Summer 2017

By Nina Wibbenmeyer, M.Ed., Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Short-Term Programs Department, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Abstract: In this article Ms. Wibbenmeyer shares what is new in the Short Term Programs.

Key Words: Short Term Programs, TSBVI, Google Classroom, individual instruction

Have you been wondering what we’ve been up to? In addition to our on-campus classes, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s (TSBVI) Short-Term Programs (STP) department is offering new and exciting opportunities for students to receive the individualized instruction they need in academics and in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC). Through online learning and individualized instruction classes, teachers are serving students and collaborating with teachers of students with visual impairment (TVI’s) in a whole new way:

Online Classes

Students can now choose from several different online classes that they can take at their own pace. These classes are offered through our STP Google Classroom site. You can register for these classes by referring your student to our programs in much the same way you would for our on-campus classes. Examples of our current classes include:

  • Using the Orion TI-84+ calculator
  • Google Classroom and VoiceOver
  • Google Classroom and JAWS

Note this new summer 2017 offering:

Summer Book Club! This will be a great way for students from across the state to connect! Students will read A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel, at their own pace. However, there will be a structured timeline for students to complete each chapter. One of the awesome features of this class is that the students participate in group discussions and share with each other using the online forum!

More online classes will be introduced next school year!

Individualized Instruction

Last year, we decided that if “you want it, you got it!” You can now refer your student to STP and we will work with you to design a program for your student that fits your and your student’s needs. For example, one way that we have been serving some students is through a videoconferencing tool called Zoom. Zoom is easy to use. There’s nothing for you to install. All you need is a computer with a webcam and audio capability. The STP teacher sends a Zoom link, you open it, and we begin our lesson with your student, all from the comfort of your own district!

We’ve also had students come for individualized instruction on our campus and we’ve even visited local students. Bottom line, we’ll work with you to come up with a solution that works.

Social Media

We can’t escape from social media! So, in our department, we’re harnessing it and broadening how we use it. We’re posting instructional strategies, tips on how to create tactile tools, and ways you can incorporate the ECC into your lessons. Sign up for the following:
Facebook page: TSBVI Short-Term Programs
Pinterest site: TSBVI Short-Term Programs
Twitter: @TSBVI_ShortTerm