Educating Students with Visual Impairments:. Agenda Goals, Guidelines and Standards, & Concepts With thanks to Chrissy Cowen TSBVI. The N ational Agenda. The National Agenda began with 8 goals and has been revised to include 10 goals
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Educating Students with Visual Impairments: Agenda Goals, Guidelines and Standards, & Concepts With thanks to Chrissy Cowen TSBVI
The National Agenda The National Agenda began with 8 goals and has been revised to include 10 goals • Referral - Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment. Teachers of students with visual impairments and orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors will provide appropriate quality services. • Parent Participation - Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process.
The National Agenda • Personnel Preparation - Universities with a minimum of one full-time faculty member in the area of visual impairment will prepare a sufficient number of teachers and orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists for students with visual impairments to meet personnel needs throughout the country. • Provision of Educational Services - Caseloads will be determined based on the assessed needs of students.
The National Agenda • Array of Services - Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of service delivery options. • Assessment - All assessments and evaluations of students will be conducted by or in partnership with personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments and their parents.
The National Agenda • Access to Instructional Materials - Access to developmental and educational services will include an assurance that textbooks and instructional materials are available to students in the appropriate media and at the same time as their sighted peers. • Core Curriculum - All educational goals and instruction will address the academic and expanded core curricula based on the assessed needs of each student with visual impairments.
The National Agenda (update) • Transition - Transition services will address developmental and educational needs (birth through high school) to assist students and their families in setting goals and implementing strategies through the life continuum commensurate with the students' aptitudes, interests, and abilities. • Professional Development -To improve students' learning, service providers will engage in ongoing local, state, and national professional development.
Programming Standards • Eligibility is determined by an individualized family service plan (IFSP) or an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee (aka IEP Meeting). It is based upon a medical report, functional vision evaluation, and a learning media assessment. • Vision professionals provide expertise specific to visual impairments prior to and during the full and individual evaluation • Evaluations of all areas of the expanded core curriculum are used to determine individual student programs.
Programming Standards • Appropriate instructional time, accommodations, and modifications are provided to meet all identified areas in individual student programs • Certified teachers of students with visual impairments perform required evaluations and instruction • Certified orientation and mobility specialists perform required evaluations and instruction in orientation and mobility.
Programming Standards • Written job descriptions identify comprehensive roles of Para educatorssupporting instruction of students with visual impairments, including deafblindness • Families are active members of the educational team. • Vision professionals are members of the instructional team for all birth - two year old children with visual impairments and available for services 48 weeks a year • An array of services and placement options are available based on individual student needs
Programming Standards • Times for specialized instruction by certified teachers of students with visual impairments and by certified orientation and mobility specialists are supported by appropriate evaluation in all areas of the expanded core curriculum for each student. • Caseload guidelines are used to evaluate caseloads of vision professionals
Placement • Follows the IEP/IFSP • Least Restrictive Environment • “Natural Environment”=settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disability, including settings in which child lives, learns, and plays, and places in which the child spends time on a daily basis
Placement according to OSERS 2000 • Placement based on IEP that address the child’s unique needs • Placement must be determined on an individual basis • To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled • Decision is made by a group that includes parents • Placement from a range of options
Placement Options • Natural environment (home, day care) • PPCD classroom • Pre-school • TSBVI or State School • Private schools • Public school • Home school w/ itinerant TVI & COMS • Resource room (very few of these left)
Placement Options (cont.) • “Life skills” classroom • Inclusion model • General education classroom • General education with support from content mastery classroom
Modifications and Accommodations • Modifications = Indicates that What is being taught is modified • Accommodations = Indicates changes to How the content is taught, made accessible, and/or assessed
Accommodations • "...Accommodations are changes to the education program and assessment procedures and materials that do not substantially alter the instruction level, the content of the curriculum or the assessment criteria. An accommodation for a writing assessment, for example, might consist of changes in the format of materials, such as using a laptop computer instead of paper and pencil. Accommodations also include changes to the classroom arrangement, scheduling or timing; for example giving a student extra time to complete the assessment. (Cohen & Spenciner (2007), p. 4)
Accommodation Types • Providing materials in designated media • Using assistive technology t0 complete tasks • Adapting the environment (light, color, contrast, space, and time) • Additional time • ECC instruction
Modifications • On the other hand, modifications refer to changes or adaptations made to the educational program(s) or assessment(s) that alter the level, content, and/or assessment criteria, For example, a modification to an assessment might include reading a condensed version of the paragraph or completing half of the assessment items." (Cohen & Spenciner (2007), p. 4)
Modifications • Completion of a fewer number of problems once mastery is determineddue to increase in time to produce work • Elimination of activity that is visual and substituting an alternative activity or assignment
Working with Para educators Your must • Define role • Provide training • Precautions • Over use • Over dependence • Resentment • Communication Issues • Power
Working with Para educators Your Role • Appropriate activities: transcribing classroom materials, describing videos, explaining visual events, reinforcing newly introduced skills, as an intervener with a student who is deafblind • Inappropriate activities: sitting near student, fetching materials, talking to student while the teacher is teaching, serving as a guide for the majority of the time, making educational decisions without TVI/COMS input
It Takes a Team • Vision Professionals – COMS and TVI • Working with other service providers - Transdisciplinary teaming • Working with general education and special education teachers • Role Release