Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBEQ 62(2) Spring 2017

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/827904

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Page 19 of 39

Mary C. Zatta, Ph.D., Director of Professional Development, Training and Educational Resources Program, Perkins School for the Blind, Mary.Zatta@Perkins.org Betsy McGinnity, Executive Director, Training and Educational Resources Program, Perkins School for the Blind, Betsy.mcginnity@perkins.org Since its founding in 1829, Perkins has had as one of its core missions to be the teachers of teachers. Initially this involved having a teacher and student come together to campus for a year-long training program. Later this evolved to include formal partnerships with Boston University and Boston College. For the past twenty years, Perkins has been involved in providing professional development to educators who work with children who are blind, deafblind, visually impaired and who have multiple disabilities beginning with teachers in New England and, with the advent of Perkins eLearning, extending to teachers throughout the US and beyond. The need for professional development (PD) for these educators has remained constant. Often teachers working in public schools and/or as itinerants are quite isolated. They cannot get the PD they need through their local school districts. They need to stay current with developments in the field, training in new technologies and teaching techniques, medical advancements and the changing nature of the schools age population with vision loss. With the onset of education reform and a focus on student outcomes as well as the requirements for teachers to be highly qualified, the effectiveness of different kinds of PD has been examined. Research shows that effective PD "engages teachers in learning opportunities that are supportive, job-embedded, instructionally-focused, collaborative, and ongoing" (Hunzicker, 2010, p. 177). The Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education at AEL (2004) found that effective PD is focused on what teachers teach and gives them the VIDBE-Q Volume 62 Issue 2 Professional development delivery: Past and present 20

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