At a time when special schools are striving to enhance their outreach services and IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is up for reauthorization, there is an ever-increasing need to improve collaboration and follow-up between special schools (schools for students who are visually impaired) and local education agencies (LEAs). Zebehazy and Whitten have conducted a follow-up and expansion of a prior study of collaboration among special schools. The authors surveyed all 49 special schools throughout the United States and received a good response rate (from 40 schools, or 82 percent). While this survey provides a broad summary of the views of special school staff toward LEAs regarding outreach and collaboration, there is also a need to survey LEAs about their perceptions and experiences with special schools. This article is more focused than the author’s previous study and will be of interest to all readers in the education arena.
The next article by Landau, Russell, Gourgey, Erin, and Cowan will pique the interest of those confronted with making testing accommodations for visually impaired students. Landau and his colleagues report on the results of a pilot study to explore the feasibility and impact of using the Talking Tactile Tablet (TTT), a new audio-tactile computer peripheral device, for administering mathematics tests to visually impaired students. While the sample was small (N = 8), the study focused specifically on math items that referenced graphics, and while a few technical problems occurred, the results indicate significant promise for the TTT as a test accommodation tool for students with visually impairments.
The last article focuses on strategies for helping students acquire self-control using relaxation and guided imagery techniques. Gothelf, Petroff, and Teich discuss several assumptions about stress and self-control using relaxation and guided imagery to help deaf-blind students control their behavior and deal with stressful situations. The authors provide a detailed literature review and describe how relaxation and guided imagery can play an important role in mediating the influence of stimulus events that may trigger or maintain disruptive behavior in deaf-blind students.
The Research Report by Bruce also focuses on deaf-blind students and the importance of shared forms of communication. The author utilizes a nonrandom sample of three participants who are congenitally deaf-blind and intentional communicators who express themselves at the presymbolic and early symbolic level of communication. A total of four questions are addressed related to forms of communication and their frequency of use, accessibility of teacher expressions and teacher demands on student expression. Suggestions are also made about areas of future research.
The Practice Report by Kapperman and Sticken provides an excellent review of the literature on the Nemeth code, the braille code for mathematics. The author also provides a number of tutorial resources on the Nemeth code and emphasizes the need for additional training in braille mathematics in our personnel preparation programs.
The articles and Research and Practice Reports contained herein will be of significant interest to those readers who provide educational services to visually impaired students and especially those who work with deaf-blind students and those who teach mathematics to students with visual disabilities. These articles and reports add to the body of knowledge in our field, which in turn can help improve our educational service delivery system and improve the quality of life for our visually impaired citizens.
As associate editor of JVIB, I write only an occasional Editor’s Page. I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank our peer reviewers, who are listed in the accompanying pages, for their time, dedication, and commitment to making JVIB the leading scholarly journal in our field.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Special JVIB Theme Issue on Low Vision
Guest editors: Anne L. Corn, Ed.D., professor, Department of special Education, Ophthalmology, and visual sciences, Vanderbilt University.
Duane R. Geruschat, Ph.D., director of research, Maryland School for the Blind; research associate in ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2004
Projected publication date: October 2004
The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) invites submissions for a special theme issue on low vision. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Guidelines for contributors are generally printed in each issue of JVIB, and are also available from AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind: web site: <www.afb.org/jvib_guidelines.asp>; phone: 212-502-7651; fax: 212-502-7774; e-mail: <email@example.com>.
Manuscripts should be sent for peer review to:
Dr. Alan J. Koenig
Editor in Chief, JVIB
College of Education
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409
JVIB, Copyright © 2009 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.
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