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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Visual Impairment Professional Development Opportunities

Source: Martha Leader, Assistant Director, Effective Practices

Intended Audience: Parents, Classroom Teachers, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Paraprofessionals, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, university students, and others interested in the education of children who are blind or visually impaired

Date: March 10, 2010

The Blind Skills Specialist from the Northeast RPDC will be offering several workshops this spring.  All of the workshops will be held at 1314 Violette Hall, Truman State University, Kirksville.  Below are the details and descriptions of each training.

* Functional Math for Students with Multiple and Severe Disabilities, Including a Visual Impairment on Thursday, April 15, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 3 PM. This workshop will focus on ways to integrate math concepts into every day, functional activities for students whose multiple disabilities prevent them from learning math in a traditional way.  The participants will find ways to imbed Alternative Performance Indicators (API's) into daily living skills, recreational skills, and other domains typically found in a program for students with multiple and severe disabilities. 

* An Introduction to Braille on Thursday, April 29, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 3 PM.  This workshop is for the person who is interested in knowing more about Braille.  Participants will learn how to load a brailler and a slate and stylus and learn the basics of Braille.  Parents, paraprofessionals, special education teachers, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend.  If possible, participants should bring a brailler, slate and stylus, and Braille paper.

* The Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 3 PM.  Nine areas have been identified as being integral parts of an appropriate education for students with visual impairments.  These areas include compensatory academic skills, orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, independent living skills, recreation leisure skills, career education, assistive technology, visual efficiency, and self determination.

* Activity Based Programming For Students With Multiple Disabilities Including A Visual Impairment on Thursday, May 6, and Wednesday, May 12, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 3 PM.  This workshop will focus on embedding skills from the IEP of a student with severe disabilities into age appropriate activities.  Participants will learn about the transdisciplinary approach as opposed to the traditional pull out approach, as well as how this approach can assist in planning events for the MAP-A

* Functional Vision Assessments on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 3 PM.  This workshop is intended for certified teachers of students with visual impairments, paraprofessionals who may be assisting the CTVI with functional vision evaluations, administrators who are interested in learning more about FVAs, and parents who may be interested in knowing what to expect when their child has been referred for a functional vision evaluation.  Components of an appropriate FVA will be discussed, demonstrations of specific instruments, and appropriate report writing will be topics covered.

To register for the above workshops, go to the Northeast RPDC web site at  Click on Workshops, click on Northeast RPDC Workshop Registrations, DO NOT change anything in the search catalog box, scroll down the screen to see the workshop offerings (listed by date), click on the workshop title you want, and follow the directions to enroll.

For more information, contact: J. Anthony Blades, Blindness Skills Specialist, Northeast RPDC at or (660) 785-7428.