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This Mattered to Me

Introduced to JVIB readers in July 2006, "This Mattered to Me" is an invited platform coordinated by Series Editor Stuart H. Wittenstein, superintendent of the California School for the Blind, in which a JVIB author, peer reviewer, or reader chooses a classic article from JVIB's 100-year catalog, shares with readers why the article is still important and relevant today, and describes the impact it had on his or her professional life and thinking. On this page you will find an archive of the "This Mattered to Me" introductory columns published in the journal.

September-October 2015

"Religious Beliefs of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments," by Jane N. Erin, Dale Rudin, and Michael Njoroge, published in the April 1991 issue of JVIB

Recommended by Holly Lawson

July-August 2015

"The Low Visibility of Low Vision: Increasing Awareness through Public Health Education," by Rosemary Janiszewski, Shelly L. Heath-Watson, Adrienne Y. Semidey, Arlen M. Rosenthal, and Quynh Do, published in the 2006 Special Supplement of JVIB

Recommended by Lachelle Smith

March-April 2015

"Visual Attention to Movement and Color in Children with Cortical Visual Impairment," by Stacey Ann Cohen-Maitre and Paul Haerich, published in the July 2005 issue of JVIB

Recommended by Tessa S. McCarthy

September-October 2014

"A Computer Profile of Mobility Coverage and a Safety Index," by Bruce B. Blasch and William R. De l'Aune, published in the 1992 issue of JVIB

Recommended by Steven La Grow

January-February 2014

"Health-Related Fitness of Children Who Are Visually Impaired," by Lauren J. Lieberman and Elaine McHugh, published in the May 2001 issue of JVIB

Recommended by Patricia Leader

May-June 2013

"The Role of Education and Rehabilitation Specialists in the Comprehensive Low Vision Care Process," by A. H. Lueck, a classic article from 1997

Recommended by Cindy Sakai

May-June 2013

"Survey of the Use of Assistive Technology by Illinois Students Who Are Visually Impaired," by G. Kapperman, J. Sticken, and T. Heinze, a classic article from 2002

Recommended by Yue-Ting Siu

July 2012

"A Survey of the Current Status of Visually Impaired Students in Secondary Mathematics," by D. W. Rapp and A. J. Rapp, a classic article from 1992

Recommended by Derrick Smith

May 2012

"Problems in the Construction of Reality in Congenitally Blind Children," by S. Santin and J. Nesker-Simmons, a classic article from 1977

Recommended by Sharon Zell Sacks

August 2011

"Some Thoughts on Braille," by T. S. Eliot, a classic article from 1952

Recommended by Sheila Amato

November 2010

"Cannibalism is Alive and Well in the Blindness Field," by Susan J. Spungin, a classic article from 2003

Recommended by Ruby Ryles

July 2010

"Teaching Strategies of the van Dijk Curricular Approach," by Stephanie Z. C. MacFarland, a classic article from the 1995 Special Issue on Deaf-Blindness

Recommended by Rosanne K. Silberman

March 2010

"Reading Comes Naturally: A Mother and Her Blind Child's Experiences," by Diane D. Miller, a classic article from 1985

Recommended by Anna M. Swenson

July 2009

"Impact of Curb Ramps on the Safety of Persons Who Are Blind," by Billie Louise Bentzen and Janet M. Barlow, a classic article from 1995

Recommended by Dona Sauerburger

April 2009

"Increasing the Braille Reading Rate," by Emerson Foulke, published in the October 1979 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 73, Number 8, pp. 318-323.

Recommended by Sunggye Hong

Sunggye Hong, an assistant professor at San Francisco State University and a braille reader, shares with readers the ways in which this seminal article from 1976 made an impression on him when he was a doctoral student at the University of Arizona. Dr. Hong hails the article as "one of the first to summarize the findings of previous studies on increasing the speed of braille reading and offer practical applications."

November 2008

"Observations on the Habilitation of Children with Cortical Visual Impairment," by Maryke Groenveld, James E. Jan, and Patricia Leader, published in the January 1990 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 84, pp. 11-15.

Recommended by Julie Bernas-Pierce

July 2008

"Proactive Personnel Administration: A Model for Administration as a Helping Profession," by Michael J. Bina, published in the February 1986 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 80, Number 2, pp. 565-569.

Recommended by Stuart H. Wittenstein

Before Series Editor Stuart H. Wittenstein became superintendent of the California School for the Blind, he had the chance to work under Michael J. Bina, the author of the article he chose to highlight for this month's This Mattered to Me column. Dr. Bina's professional example and the principles for school administration outlined in his article continue to guide Dr. Wittenstein today. The article relating to this commentary is available free to subscribers at JVIB Online: Nonsubscribers may purchase a copy of the article from AFB's ePublications website.

March 2008

"Provision of Orientation and Mobility Services in 1990," by Mark Uslan, published in the May 1983 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 77, Number 5, pp. 213- 215.

Recommended by Nora Griffin-Shirley

When she was just starting out in the field of visual impairment and blindness in the late 1970s, Nora Griffin-Shirley—assistant professor and director, Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Visual Impairment, and coordinator, Orientation and Mobility Program, Texas Tech University—studied with the author of the article she chose to highlight in the first This Mattered to Me column of 2008. Dr. Griffin-Shirley explains in her essay why Mr. Uslan's forward-looking article published in 1983 mattered to her at the start of her career, and describes the ways in which statistical projections of the population served by members of the field are important to her work and to the work of the field today.

November 2007

"A Personal Odyssey on Schools for Blind Children," by Philip H. Hatlen, published in the June 1993 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 87, Number 6, pp. 171- 174.

Recommended by Kay Alicyn Ferrell

The article highlighted by Kay Alicyn Ferrell, professor of special education at the University of Northern Colorado, in this month's This Mattered to Me column was the lead article of the 1993 Special Issue on Residential Schools: Past, Present, and Future. This second article written by Phil Hatlen to "matter" to a contributor to JVIB was chosen by Dr. Ferrell because it "reframed the discussion of inclusion versus specialized schools for [her]."

July 2007

"Play and Recreation Habits of Youths Who Are Deaf-Blind," by Lauren J. Lieberman and Janet M. MacVicar, published in the December 2003 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 97, Number 12, pp. 755-768.

Recommended by Louis M. Tutt

In the fifth This Mattered to Me column, Louis M. Tutt, principal of the School for the Blind, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, highlighted an article on a subject near and dear to his heart. Mr. Tutt worked to influence the play and recreation habits of students with deaf-blindness at the inception of his career, and he points out that the article he selected by Lieberman and MacVicar highlights why physical activity remains an important need for children with deaf-blindness today.

April 2007

"Meeting the Unique Educational Needs of Visually Impaired Pupils through Appropriate Placement," by Sandra Adams Curry and Philip H. Hatlen, published in the December 1988 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 82, Number 10, pp. 417-424.

Recommended by Donna McNear

Donna McNear, a teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired for the Rum River Special Education Cooperative in Cambridge, Minnesota, writes in the fourth This Mattered to Me column: "When Stuart Wittenstein invited me to choose an article...there was no hesitation on my part. I immediately knew the article I would choose." The article she chose to highlight continues to have a profound impact on her teaching practices and decisions on placement of students in the 20 years since it was first published.

February 2007

"Mental Processes Mediating Independent Travel: Implications for Orientation and Mobility," by John J. Rieser, David A. Guth, and Everett W. Hill, published in the June 1982 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 76, Number 6, pp. 213-218.

Recommended by George J. Zimmerman

In the third "This Mattered to Me" column, George J. Zimmerman, associate professor and department chairperson, Department of Instruction and Learning, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, describes his experiences as a dually certified professional in the early 1980s searching for information on the cognitive and orientation processes involved in orientation and mobility. Of the article he recommends, Dr. Zimmerman writes: "It almost felt as though its three authors were somehow inside my head, addressing the issues and questions I had been struggling with for years."

November 2006

"Functional Vision Screening for Severely Handicapped Children," by Beth Langley and Rebecca F. DuBose, published in the October 1976 issue of New Outlook for the Blind, Volume 70, Number 8, pp. 346 -350.

Recommended by Amanda Hall Lueck

In the second "This Mattered to Me" column, Amanda Hall Lueck, associate professor and coordinator of the Program in Visual Impairments of the Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University, describes the way in which the highlighted article influenced her work in the late 1970s as she was completing her doctoral training and working as director of the Assessment Center of the California School for the Blind. The article, "Functional Vision Screening," by Langley and DuBose offered Dr. Lueck a checklist to record assessment findings, and presented principles that influenced her work and the work of others in the 30 years since the article was published.

July 2006

"The Exploration of a 'Tactile Aesthetic,' " by Judith A. Rubin, published in the November 1976 issue of New Outlook for the Blind, Volume 70, Number 9, pp. 369-375.

Recommended by Stuart H. Wittenstein

In the first "This Mattered to Me" column, Stuart H. Wittenstein, superintendent of the California School for the Blind and series editor of the "This Mattered to Me" series, describes the impact that an article from 1976, entitled "The Exploration of a 'Tactile Aesthetic'," has had on his thinking and teaching since he first read it three decades ago. The author, Judith Rubin, who was an art therapist at the time that she wrote the article, describes tactile perception—a function of the brain—as it relates to art and, by extension, perceptions of the environment.

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