Division on Visual Impairments


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.

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Page 16 of 39

16 VIDBE - Q Volume 63 Issue 1 Introduction Students with visual impairments (VI) and Deaf - Blindness comprise only .4% and .05% of students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), respect ively. Furthermore, students in each of these two categories make up less than .05% of the total school age population ( Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 2016) . Because of the relative low - incidence of students served with VI or De af - Blindness, it is crucial that teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs) know how to work with school personnel and families alike to ensure appropriate services. It is also imperative that families learn how to advocate for their child's needs. When pr eparing professionals ad families alike to provide the best possible services for our students with VI we also need to consider the fact that 66.3% of students with VI and 23.2% of students who are Deaf - Blind spend 80% or more of their school day in the ge neral education classroom (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 2016). This necessitates the need for TVIs and families to be knowledgeable of the general curriculum and common assessment tools. Message to Teachers of the Visually Impa ired As a parent of two children with Vis and having gone through the education process from initial evaluation through annual reviews of progress, I have identified many areas in which we can better support our students with VI. Namely, TVIs need to be h ands - on, meaning they need to have contact with their families regularly rather than just when it is time for evaluation data or at the child's IEP meeting. TVIs also need to understand that they are the vision expert at the IEP meeting and need to be com fortable serving in a leadership capacity during those meetings. Lastly, TVIs need to make a conscious effort

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