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New Copyright Rules and Revised Braille System

New Precedent-Setting Copyright Rules Promote Access! and Revised Braille System Adopted in US! Copyright The Librarian of Congress recently announced a decision of significant import for the future of information access rights. Endorsing a favorable recommendation by the Registrar of Copyrights concerning a petition filed jointly by the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, the Librarian of Congress has determined that copyright protection measures built into ebooks and other electronic materials will no longer pose needless barriers to the materials' use by people who are blind or who otherwise have print disabilities. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it is unlawful to circumvent digital rights management or related technological protections built into a work, such as an ebook, unless the Librarian of Congress has established an exemption allowing circumvention in certain contexts. The exemption that the Librarian of Congress has established now allows individuals with...
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Need ACVREP Credits?

Need ACVREP continuing education credits?  Check out Perkins E-learning website. Perkins E-learning Website Kate Hurst, Statewide Staff Development Coordinator Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Outreach Programs
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Guest — Perkins eLearning
Perkins eLearning has a new address! Please visit http://www.perkinselearning.com/ for the full program. Earn ACVREP credits thr... Read More
Thursday, 01 November 2012 13:59
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Presidential Proclamation -- Blind Americans Equality Day, 2012

By joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964 (Public Law 88-628, as amended), the Congress designated October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day" to recognize the contributions of Americans who are blind or have low vision. Today, let us recommit to strengthening our Union and ensuring we remain a Nation where all our people, including those living with disabilities, have every opportunity to achieve their dreams. Read the full text of the presidential proclamation for all of the details. Cyral Miller
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Do you have the time?

Each year when a new school year begins, time becomes a topic in every conversation. You might hear the following phrases from teachers, administrators, students and parents: time management, not enough time in the day, time to get up, time to go to bed and from VI teachers, so many students, so little time.  We all have our favorite technology solutions to save us time, emails, voice mails, smart phones, notebooks, e-readers etc. Our students are taught technology to access information quickly,  increase their time management and productivity.  But what about our students who need more processing time? How do we slow down to allow them the time they need? How do we stay quiet and wait for them to learn?  Lilli Nielsen, Barbara Miles and Jan Van Dijk’s teaching strategies suggest they we take the time to become better observers of our students with unique processing and idiosyncratic communication patterns....
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Bring Your Boss to Work Week: November 5 - 9

One of the most common refrains among VI professionals is “I wish my supervisor knew what I was doing.”  In fact, in a recent survey on issues related to performance evaluations, the most common comment was “Ride with me, see what I do.” Again this year, TSBVI and TAER will partner to sponsor the Second Annual Bring Your Boss to Work Week, November 5-9. By encouraging your supervisor to spend a half-day with you will be able to increase his/her understanding of the scope of students and the range of their challenges and what it is like to be an itinerant VI professional. This experience can also provide you with a chance for informal and child-specific conversations about being an itinerant VI professional; about the importance of expanded core curriculum programming, professional development and a chance to demonstrate how VI-specific resources benefit students with visual impairments. In addition to the advantages...
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APH News

Your monthly link to the latest information on the products, services, and training opportunities from the American Printing House for the Blind. **Please visit our October issue, now posted on our website: http://www.aph.org/advisory/2012adv10.html **This Month’s Headlines: The Extra Mile is Getting Closer! Enter the APH Facebook "Like Us" Contest! Win a $250 APH Gift Certificate! North Carolina - Home of our Newest Unforgettable APH Video Stars We Need Your Assistance! Treasures from the APH Libraries ·         Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series ·         APH Travel Calendar ·         New Products from APH ·         The Braille Book Corner and much, much more…
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Sowell Center Lecture

The Texas Tech University Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities invites you to its 14th annual lecture series on Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. in Lubbock. The theme of the lecture is  Travel with Students with Visual Impairments in a Complex, Built Environment by Lucas Franck and Janet, M. Barlow. ACVREP credit is available for Orientation and Mobility Specialists. The lecture is intended to help participants gain useful information on: Effective strategies that persons with visual impairments can use to travel safely in their environments. Knowledge and teaching strategies that orientation and mobility specialists can use to assist travelers and students who have visual impairments. Ways to engage in effective consultative collaboration with traffic personnel, city planners and other professionals to advocate for changes in the infrastructure so as to ensure safety during travel for persons with visual impairments. Research-based evidence and practical experiences on techniques that can provide...
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Interaction and Bonding

Interaction that naturally occurs between infants and their parents may not occur with the same frequency when a child is born with multiple disabilities because of factors such as prolonged hospital stays, medical needs, and the strain of adjusting to having a child with multiple disabilities.  These interactions are integral to emotional and cognitive development, and may need to be provided by instructional staff during the child's educational career. In searching for more information on this topic, I came across "Parent–Infant Synchrony:Biological Foundations and Developmental Outcomes" by Ruth Feldman. This article provides a summary of research that supports strategies for teachers to use to address the needs of children with severe to profound impairments. Further training on these strategies can be found in the Interaction and Bonding section of "Communication for Children with Deafblindness, or Visual and Multiple Impairments.
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Lesson Plan Template for the Expanded Core Curriculum and National Agenda

This came across a TVI listserv in West Virginia; posted by Trina Britcher. It’s definitely worth sharing. I wanted to share with you a link to a lesson plan template for the Expanded Core Curriculum and National Agenda that is on the Harrison County Schools website. This is much more relevant to our profession than templates based on the Common Core. You are free to access and use it if you would like. http://wvschools.com/harrisoncounty/lpt/visiontemplate.xls The nine areas of the expanded core are in capital letters. If you click in the white space below the broad area, a drop down menu will show which lists a variety of goals. These were taken from the Iowa document and used in West Virginia with the permission of Karen Blankenship. The remaining four blanks can be personalized to meet the teacher's needs. Simple and easy. Just what I like:) Our computer guru, Janet Benicosa, was...
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Federal Quota Program Survey

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education seeks input from vision professionals on the effectiveness of products and services provided through the Federal Quota Program, which is administered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). We gather this feedback through a brief on-line survey available on the APH website. This survey includes one open-ended question designed to provide input for our staff in their product development planning. The 2012 survey is now available on the APH website, and you are encouraged to respond based on your experience with APH products provided through Federals Quota funds.  The brief, 11-question survey is available at http://www.aph.org/products/gpra.html through Thursday, September 21, 2012. Your honest input does make a difference. We DO listen! Feel free to contact me at  if you have questions or require assistance.
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New Article in the CVI Section of APH's Website

From the APH newsletter: New Article in the CVI Section of APH's Website A popular section of the APH website is dedicated to disseminating information about the vital topic of Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). We've just posted a new manual by Donna Shaman, Occupational Therapist, Highline School District in Burien, Washington. Entitled A Team Approach to CVI in Schools, this manual strives to help children with CVI to better understand their visual world and increase their school participation through skillful and collaborative teaching strategies of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Find this article much more information about CVI in our CVI section.
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Independence Science Access Blog

Back to school again...it's always a mess.  One difficult problem involves Science, since participation depends on how accessible the labs and curriculum are for students with a visual impairment. So when you manage to get the accessible science lab equipment, then what, you then have to learn how to use the equipment, right?  Here is a link to the Independence Science Access Blog. Cary Supalo Ph.D. along with Dr. Greg Williams and the Independence Science researchers have developed lab safety and preparation videos to help a student and TVI become familiar with their lab environment.  Enjoy the  Independence Science Blog.
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Study Funded by the U.S. Department of Education

We are seeking Special Education Teachers and Speech-Language Pathologists to participate in an interesting study funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Participants must: Currently serve at least one student with complex communication needs at any grade level, including early intervention/early childhood special education. Be responsible for developing communication-related IEP/IFSP goals for one student, as described above. NOT currently use the Communication Matrix to evaluate students. Participants will receive an honorarium ranging from $200-$350 depending on the group they are assigned to. If you are interested in further details about this study, please email . Grant #H327A110010 U. S. Dept. of Education Dr. Charity Rowland, P. I.
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U.S. Department of Education Mathematics Instructional Materials

U.S. Department of Education Encourages Use of New Guidelines for Accessible Math & Science Instructional Materials On June 22, 2012 the U.S. Department of Education released a “Dear Colleague” letter encouraging states and local education agencies to request that textbook publishers use the most recent version of the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) Structure Guidelines when providing accessible instructional materials to students who are blind or who have print disabilities. According to the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Center (Center), use of the new MathML3 guidelines will improve the accessibility of mathematical and scientific content in core instructional materials for students who are unable to access traditional print materials.
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iPad Calculator Apps and the Order of Operation

calculator thumbnailWhen deciding on a calculator app for students with visual impairments, you have to consider a few features.  Some of the considerations are: Size of the numbers and operations on the keys (for low vision users) Color contrast between the keys and background Reflow resolution when using Zoom (screen magnification feature) How well it works with VoiceOver for users needing screen readers That is all good if you are keeping this in mind, but here is just one more glitch concerning calculator apps.  It's called "Order of Operation".  So what does this mean? A math problem that does not have any parenthesis in the equation yet contains addition and multiplication operations, the order of operation rule states that the multiplication operation is solved first before addition. Huh? Let's take a math problem like 2+3x4=n.  If you solve this problem from left to right, the answer will be 20.  If you solve...
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Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans

Alliance of and for Visually Impaired Texans – Information about their listserv: The 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature begins January 8, 2013 and ends May 27, 2013.  The Alliance of and for Texans (AVIT) is trying to grow its email listserv to ensure fast notification to those interested in its upcoming legislative efforts. Many legislative actions have very short notice, so fast communication is critical. This AVIT Listserv will be the primary means of sending information related to a bill AVIT is working on requiring O&M evaluations for all students being considered for eligibility as visually impaired.    Sometimes we have less than 24 hours notice that an action is about to occur.  In addition, the AVIT Listserv provides a way to communicate on a variety of issues related to consumers and professionals who are visually impaired, blind, or deafblind. If you would like to be added to the AVIT Listserv, please...
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Roundtable on Social Skills Issues at TAER 2012

In a session on Social Skills at TAER 2012, the participants were asked to brainstorm activity and lesson ideas to help incorporate social skills lessons into their instruction.  In 10 minutes, they came up with  a whole exciting range of proposals.  Maybe these ideas will help spur your creative thinking! Miscellaneous: Table etiquette, social obligations, hosts Make tactile placemat with spoon, knife and fork placement. Have students set table. Go to restaurant (or set up in your classroom). Practice etiquette at the table (e.g. table setting, ordering, manners, tip, pouring, passing food around). Plan a game night. Make phone calls. Invitations. Shopping. Passing food – Utensil placement. Family style serving. Practice polite conversation, contacting a friend. Practice appropriate manners (e.g. utensil use/accessibility, closed mouth while chewing, not everything is finger food, napkin in lap, perhaps pulling out chair for friend) Payment arrangements Phone etiquette Role play in cafeteria Dating: Expresses interest...
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New Information for Tactile Maps

In case you had not heard already, or have not had a chance to review it yet, The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) has finalized and published their Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics.  It is now available on their Web site for download as a PDF and is an excellent resource in planning and producing tactile graphics for working with students and clients.  The direct link to the site is http://www.brailleauthority.org/tg/index.html Of particular interest for orientation and mobility is Unit 8 that details considerations and strategies for maps tailored to the student's travel environment.  The initial Units of the document provide wonderful templates and other specific areas to consider for determining materials to be used and specifying the goal of the tactile graphic or map to ensure that the main goal of your work is adequately represented as the emphasis of the final product.  Also, immediately preceding the specific orientation...
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Liz Egan Blog

A former Texas TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired) from the Houston area who is now a TVI in Washington state has developed a blog.  Her energy and devotion to the field has been sorely missed in Texas but every once in a while she would send out bits of information that let's us know that she is thinking of us here and we appreciate her and all she does for students with visual impairments. Her blog (that I just discovered)  is called "Traveling VI"  at travelingvi.com .  Check it out.
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CVI Webcast from Perkins School for the Blind

If you haven't checked out Perkins new video webcast on CVI, you should.  I really thought this webcast did a great job of explaining the basics of CVI and offering strategies.  I could see TVIs and COMS using this with other educational staff, parents and administrators who need to understand some of the basics of Cortical Visual Impairments.  Another great product from Perkins! Perkins CVI webcast
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Guest — Sohail
Thanks for sharing great news on the basics of CVI, surely it will help to all of us.
Thursday, 08 March 2012 02:40
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