TEACHING SOCIAL SKILLS TO STUDENTS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Sharon Z. Sacks and Karen E. Wolffe, Editors

About the Contributors


Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D., is Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at the California School for the Blind, where she was previously Assistant Superintendent. She was formerly Professor and Coordinator of the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments at California State University, Los Angeles. She has worked in the field of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired individuals for almost 30 years as a resource and itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments, a home counselor for the Blind Babies Foundation, and a coordinator of teacher preparation in moderate and severe disabilities at San Jose State University. An executive editor of the journal RE:view and, with Karen Wolffe, co-editor of the Focused on … Social Skills series of videos and study guides, she is also co-editor of Development of Social Skills by Blind and Visually Impaired Students: Exploratory Studies and Strategies and of Educating Students Who Have Visual Impairments with Other Disabilities. She has presented and published widely throughout the United States and abroad in the areas of social skills instruction for students with visual impairments, transition programming for students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, psychosocial implications of low vision for students and adults, and issues related to braille literacy. Dr. Sacks is past president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Karen E. Wolffe, Ph.D., is Director, Professional Development and CareerConnect® at the American Foundation for the Blind and a distance education instructor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has engaged in private practice as a career counselor and consultant in Austin, Texas, since 1992. Previously, she was a faculty member in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas in Austin and directed the Job Readiness Clinic, in addition to being on the faculty of the Hadley School for the Blind. She is the author of Career Counseling for People with Disabilities: A Practical Guide to Finding Employment, co-author of the Transition Tote System, and editor of Skills for Success: A Career Education Handbook for Children and Youth with Visual Impairments. She also co-authored Transition Issues for Students with Visual Disabilities and is co-editor of the Focused on … Social Skills series of videos and study guides. She has published numerous articles and book chapters and presented frequently in this country and abroad on the importance of career education, social skills development, transition issues, employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and literacy in the workplace.

Lizbeth A. Barclay, M.A., is Coordinator of Educational Assessments in the Assessment Program of the California School for the Blind in Fremont, where she was previously a teacher of the visually impaired and an orientation and mobility specialist. She has contributed to RE:view as well as the book Collaborative Assessment: Working with Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, Including Those with Additional Disabilities. Ms. Barclay is a member of the boards of Northern California Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped.

Jane N. Erin, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology at the University of Arizona at Tucson. She served as editor in chief of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness from 1998–2001 and is a former executive editor of RE:view. She is author of When You Have a Visually Impaired Student with Multiple Disabilities in Your Classroom: A Guide for Teachers; co-author of Visual Handicaps and Learning; co-editor of Diversity and Visual Impairments: The Influence of Race, Gender, Religion, and Ethnicity on the Individual and Visual Impairments and Learning; and has written numerous articles, chapters, and presentations. Dr. Erin previously held presidencies of state and local chapters of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and the Council for Exceptional Children in Arizona and Texas, and she is the recipient of the 2000 Margaret Bluhm Award and the 1996 Mary K. Bauman Award for contributions to education in visual impairment, both from AER.

Judith Lesner is the Supervisor of Residential Programs at the California School for the Blind in Fremont. The Region 6 representative for the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, she has published in CTEVH Newsletter, Awareness, Mouth magazine, and the Blind Babies Foundation Newsletter. She has received the Parent Advocate Award from the Northern California Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and the 2002 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute Fellowship Award.

Susan LaVenture is Executive Director of the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) in Watertown, Massachusetts. She lectures student groups at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere on the role of parents in children's development, education, and medical care; consults on the development of organizations and programs serving families of blind and visually impaired children throughout the world; and serves as an advocate for parents of visually impaired children, speaking throughout the country and all over the world. Ms. LaVenture is the editor of NAPVI's quarterly magazine, Awareness, as well as the books Childhood Glaucoma: A Reference Guide for Families; Equals in Partnership: Basic Rights for Families of Children with Visual Impairment or Blindness; In Celebration of Grandparenting: For Grandparents of Children with Visual Impairments; and the forthcoming A Parents' Guide to Special Education for Children with Visual Impairments.

Sandra Lewis, Ed.D., is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Visual Impairment at Florida State University, Tallahassee. She is a member of the board of directors of the Council on Exceptional Children Division on Visual Impairments and previously served as Executive Editor of RE:view; chairperson of Division 17, Personnel Preparation, of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER); and president of the Florida chapter of AER. Dr. Lewis has worked as an educator of individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired and has published and presented widely on the education and assessment of visually impaired students.

P. Ann MacCuspie, Ph.D., is Director of Programs for Students with Visual Impairments of the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (ASPEA), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and an honorary adjunct professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Braille Authority and was previously on the boards of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), the Canadian Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Coalition for Vision Health. The author of Promoting Acceptance of Children with Disabilities: From Tolerance to Inclusion; Technology Handbook for Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired; and Access to Literacy Instruction for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Discussion Paper; as well as many articles, book chapters, and presentations; she is also an executive editor of RE:view. Dr. MacCuspie was the recipient of the 2005 ASPEA Distinguished Service Award and the 1996 Excellence in Education Award from AER.

L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D, is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She is co-author of Finding Wheels: A Curriculum for Nondrivers with Visual Impairments for Gaining Control of Transportation Needs. Dr. Rosenblum has published a book chapter and various articles in the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness and has presented papers at a variety of conferences.

Rosanne K. Silberman, Ed.D., is Professor in the Department of Special Education at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where she coordinates the graduate teacher preparation programs in blindness and visual impairment and severe disabilities, including deaf-blindness. She is co-editor of Educating Students Who Have Visual Impairments with Other Disabilities and Education Children with Multiple Disabilities: A Collaborative Approach and has written extensively in chapters and articles as well as made numerous presentations on students who have visual impairments with other disabilities. Dr. Silberman is a member of the board of trustees of the New York Institute for Special Education and the advisory board of DB-LINK and a consulting editor for Deaf-Blind Perspectives and Focus on Autism and Developmental Disorders. She is past president of the Council for Exceptional Children Division on Visual Impairments and the recipient of the 2002 George E. Keane Award for Distinguished Service and Contributions to the Field of Blindness and Visual Impairment from the New York State Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Mary Zabelski, M.A., is Director of Educational Services at the Chicago Lighthouse and President of the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments. She has contributed to RE:view and Awareness and made numerous conference presentations.

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