Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBE-Q 63.4 Fall 2018

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/1033568

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Page 66 of 74

66 VIDBE-Q Volume 63 Issue 4 Amy T. Parker, Ed.D., COMS O&M Program Coordinator Portland State University Sometimes one is allowed to be around at the beginning of a journey. True beginnings are rare as almost always the seeds of ideas are carried on the winds of time in the minds of people from one place to another- traveling to places where they may find fertile ground from germination to realization. The origin of the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program at Portland State University (PSU) began long before its first cohort of students started courses in the Fall of 2017. It was developing long before its current faculty members even arrived. Local partners in the Pacific Northwest Community and Dr. James "Blue" Bickford conceived of an O&M program at PSU that could meet regional needs and developed a program of study proposal that was rooted in the foundation of the well- established teacher of the visually impaired, or Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) program. When Blue retired in 2014 and Dr. Holly Lawson was hired as VIL Program Coordinator, she began collaborating with members of the Pacific Northwest Consortium of Vision Educators (PNWCVE) to assess regional needs. Shortly after Dr. Kathryn Botsford was hired at PSU, Holly and Kathryn began working through Blue's original program of study, seeking advice from leaders in the O&M field, like Dr. Laura Bozeman at the University of Massachusetts in Boston (UMass Boston) and Dr. With the Support of Many, An O&M Program is Born

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