FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION

VOLUME II

INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING CHILDREN AND YOUTHS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

Appendix F

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Knowledge and Skills for All Beginning Special Education Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

Knowledge and Skills Statements

VI: Visual Impairment

1. Philosophical, Historical, and Legal Foundations of Special Education

Knowledge

  • K1 Federal entitlements (e.g., American Printing House for the Blind Quota Funds) that relate to the provision of specialized equipment and materials for learners with visual impairments.
  • K2 Historical foundations for education of children with visual impairments, including the array of service options.
  • K3 Current educational definitions of students with visual disabilities, including identification criteria, labeling issues, and current incidence and prevalence figures.

Skills

  • S1 Articulate the pros and cons of current issues and trends in special education visual impairment.

VI: Visual Impairment

2. Characteristics of Learners

Knowledge

  • K1 Normal development of the human visual system.
  • K2 Basic terminology related to the structure and function of the human visual system.
  • K3 Basic terminology related to diseases and disorders of the human visual system.
  • K4 Development of secondary senses (hearing, touch, taste, smell) when the primary sense is impaired.
  • K5 The effects of a visual impairment on early development (motor system, cognition, social/emotional interactions, self-help, language).
  • K6 The effects of a visual impairment on social behaviors and independence.
  • K7 The effects of a visual impairment on language and communication.
  • K8 The effects of a visual impairment on the individual's family and the reciprocal impact on the individual's self-esteem.
  • K9 Psychosocial aspects of a visual impairment.
  • K10 Effects of medications on the visual system.
  • K11 The impact of additional exceptionalities on students with visual impairments.

Skills

  • (None in addition to Common Core.)

VI: Visual Impairment

3. Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation

Knowledge

  • K1 The impact of visual disorders on learning and experience.
  • K2 Specialized terminology used in assessing individuals with visual impairments, both as it relates to the visual system and in areas of importance.
  • K3 Ethical considerations and legal provisions, regulations, and guidelines (federal, state/provincial, and local) related to assessment of students with visual impairments (including the legal versus functional definitions of blindness and low vision).
  • K4 Specialized policies regarding referral and placement procedures for students with visual impairments.
  • K5 Procedures used for screening, prereferral, referral, and classifications of students with visual impairments, including vision screening methods, functional vision evaluation, and learning media assessment.
  • K6 Alternative assessment techniques for students who are blind or who have low vision.
  • K7 Appropriate interpretation and application of scores obtained as a result of assessing individuals with visual impairments.
  • K8 Relationships among assessment, IEP development, and placement as they affect vision-related services.

Skills

  • S1 Interpret eye reports and other vision-related diagnostic information.
  • S2 Use disability-specific assessment instruments appropriately (e.g., Blind Learning Aptitude Test, Tactile Test of Basic Concepts, Diagnostic Assessment Procedure).
  • S3 Adapt and use a variety of assessment procedures appropriately when evaluating individuals with visual impairments.
  • S4 Create and maintain disability-related records for students with visual impairments.
  • S5 Gather background information about academic, medical, and family history as it relates to the student's visual status for students with visual impairments.
  • S6 Develop individualized instructional strategies to enhance instruction for learners with visual impairments, including modifications of the environment, adaptations of materials, and disability-specific methodologies.

VI: Visual Impairment

4. Instructional Content and Practice

Knowledge

  • K1 Methods for the development of special auditory, tactual, and modified visual communication skills for students with visual impairments, including:
    • Braille reading and writing.
    • Handwriting for students with low vision and signature writing for students who are blind.
    • Listening skills and compensatory auditory skills.
    • Typing and keyboarding skills.
    • The use of unique technology for individuals with visual impairments.
    • The use of alternatives to nonverbal communication.

  • K2 Methods to acquire disability-unique academic skills, including:
    • The use of an abacus.
    • The use of a talking calculator.
    • Tactile graphics (including maps, charts, tables, etc.).
    • Adapted science equipment.

  • K3 Methods for the development of basic concepts needed by young students who do not learn visually.
  • K4 Methods for the development of visual efficiency, including instruction in the use of print adaptations, optical devices, and non-optical devices.
  • K5 Methods to develop alternative reasoning and decision-making skills in students with visual impairments.
  • K6 Methods to develop alternative organization and study skills for students with visual impairments.
  • K7 Methods to prepare students with visual impairments for structured precane orientation and mobility assessment and instruction.
  • K8 Methods to develop tactual perceptual skills for students who are or will be primarily tactual learners.
  • K9 Methods to teach human sexuality to students who have visual impairments, using tactual models that are anatomically accurate.
  • K10 Methods to develop adapted physical and recreation skills for individuals who have visual impairments.
  • K11 Methods to develop social and daily living skills that are normally learned or reinforced by visual means.
  • K12 Strategies for developing career awareness in and providing vocational counseling for students with visual impairments.
  • K13 Strategies for promoting self-advocacy in individuals with visual impairments.
  • K14 Functional life skills instruction relevant to independent, community, and personal living and employment for individuals with visual impairments including:
    • Methods for accessing printed public information.
    • Methods for accessing public transportation.
    • Methods for accessing community resources.
    • Methods for acquiring practical skills (e.g., keeping personal records, time management, personal banking, emergency procedures).

  • K15 Sources of specialized materials for students with visual impairments.
  • K16 Techniques for modifying instructional methods and materials for students with visual impairments, and assisting classroom teachers in implementing these modifications.

Skills

  • S1 Interpret and use unique assessment data for instructional planning with students with visual impairments.
  • S2 Choose and use appropriate technologies to accomplish instructional objectives for students with visual impairments, and integrate the technologies appropriately into the instructional process.
  • S3 Sequence, implement, and evaluate individual disability-related learning objectives for students with visual impairments.
  • S4 Use strategies for facilitating the maintenance and generalization of disability-related skills across learning environments for students with visual impairments.
  • S5 Teach students who have visual impairments to use thinking, problem-solving, and other cognitive strategies to meet their individual learning needs.

VI: Visual Impairment

5. Planning and Managing the Teaching and Learning Environment

Knowledge

  • K1 A variety of input and output enhancements to computer technology that address the specific access needs of students with visual impairments in a variety of environments.
  • K2 Model programs, including career-vocational and transition, that have been effective for students with visual impairments.

Skills

  • S1 Prepare modified special materials (e.g., in Braille, enlarged, outlined, highlighted) for students who have visual impairments.
  • S2 Obtain and organize special materials to implement instructional goals for learners with visual impairments.
  • S3 Design learning environments that are multisensory and that encourage active participation by learners with visual impairments in a variety of group and individual learning activities.
  • S4 Create a learning environment that encourages self-advocacy and independence for students with visual impairments.
  • S5 Transcribe, proofread, and interline grade II Braille and Nemeth Code Braille materials.
  • S6 Use Braillewriter, slate and stylus, and computer technology to produce Braille materials.

VI: Visual Impairment

6. Managing Student Behavior and Social Interaction Skills

Knowledge

  • K1 Teacher attitudes and behaviors that affect the behaviors of students with visual impairments.

Skills

  • S1 Prepare students with progressive eye conditions to achieve a positive transition to alternative skills.
  • S2 Prepare students who have visual impairments to access information and services from the community at large.
  • S3 Prepare students who have visual impairments to respond to societal attitudes and actions with positive behavior, self-advocacy, and a sense of humor.

VI: Visual Impairment

7. Communication and Collaborative Partnerships

Knowledge

  • K1 Strategies for assisting parents and other professionals in planning appropriate transitions for students who have visual impairments.
  • K2 Sources of unique services, networks, and organizations for students with visual impairments.
  • K3 Roles of paraprofessionals who work directly with students who have visual impairments (e.g., sighted readers, transcribers, aides) or who provide special materials to them.
  • K4 Need for role models who have visual impairments, and who are successful.

Skills

  • S1 Help parents and other professionals to understand the impact of a visual impairment on learning and experience.
  • S2 Report disability-related results of evaluations to students who have visual impairments, their parents and administrators and other professionals in clear, concise, "laymen's" terms.
  • S3 Manage and direct the activities of paraprofessionals or peer tutors who work with students who have visual impairments.

VI: Visual Impairment

8. Professionalism and Ethical Practices

Knowledge

  • K1 Consumer and professional organizations, publications, and journals relevant to the field of visual impairment.

Skills

  • S1 Belong to and participate in the activities of professional organizations in the field of visual impairment.


Source: Reprinted, with permission, from What Every Special Educator Must Know: The International Standards for the Preparation and Licensure of Special Educators, 3rd ed. (Reston, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children), pp. 75–80. ©1998 The Council for Exceptional Children.

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