With whom can Ms. Milton communicate, consult, and collaborate to meet the needs of students with visual impairments?
Page 4: Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
During her meeting with Mrs. Edwards, Ms. Milton discovers that the role of the teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) is a multifaceted one. A special education teacher with expertise in the area of visual disabilities, the TVI serves as a resource to parents and recommends additional services, equipment, materials, and placement options for students. The TVI may instruct and assess students with visual disabilities. Additionally, he or she may provide technical assistance and support to the general education teacher, members of the student’s IEP team, and the school community. Instruction, assessment, and technical assistance are ongoing and interrelated activities.
- Instructs students with visual impairments in disability-specific skills (e.g., braille, independent living, and other areas of the expanded core curriculum) so that students have access to the general education curriculum and function independently to the highest degree possible
- Reinforces core academic subjects for students with visual impairments when necessary
- Teaches areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum when appropriate
- Conducts disability-specific assessments (e.g., functional vision assessment, learning media assessment) to determine students’ abilities, needs, and accommodations or modifications for the general education classroom
- Creates IEP goals based on the assessed abilities and needs of individual students with visual disabilities
Technical Assistance or Support
Collaborates with braille transcribers and state agencies to ensure that instructional materials and books are available in the preferred learning medium (e.g., braille or large print) Click here for information about the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).
- Creates print copies or overwritten copies of student-produced braille assignments for teachers to review or grade
- Labels classroom items, as needed, for beginning braille students
- Consults regularly with students, families, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, IEP team members, and orientation and mobility specialists
- Makes suggestions and offers strategies for teaching the general education curriculum, the expanded core curriculum, and other specialized skills
After meeting with Mrs. Edwards, Ms. Milton learns that the TVI will work with Evan and Emily once a week. For example, Mrs. Edwards may provide one-on-one instruction to Evan in order to teach him the same writing strategies and concepts that Ms. Milton is teaching the rest of the class. In addition, Mrs. Edwards may teach him how to use a Perkins Brailler to write his stories using the strategies. Likewise, the TVI may work with Emily in the general education classroom to describe in greater detail the science concept Ms. Milton is teaching the class.
Later in the year, Ms. Milton teaches a science unit about plant cycles. Needing assistance to make the information accessible to Evan and Emily, she collaborates with Mrs. Edwards to discuss the lesson.
|Ms. Milton and Bean Planting|
|Ms. Milton needs assistance to make the science curriculum accessible to Evan and Emily. One class activity involves planting beans in a clear cup so the students can watch the process each day and take scientific notes.|
|Ms. Milton communicates the goals and objectives of the bean planting lessons (e.g., the students will understand photosynthesis or the students will take descriptive notes of the bean growing process). Mrs. Edwards recommends ways to adapt curriculum material (e.g., using tactile materials or large print diagrams) and ways to explain activities in clear, spatial terms that Evan and Emily can easily follow.|
|Ms. Milton and Mrs. Edwards decide to co-teach the lesson. Ms. Milton will introduce the lesson to the entire class while Mrs. Edwards will circulate throughout the entire class to assist any student who needs individual attention. Then Mrs. Edwards will demonstrate the planting activity to the entire class while Ms. Milton circulates to help students stay on task and assist those who need help. Ms. Milton will provide the tactile materials for Emily and Evan to feel while listening to Mrs. Edwards. She will explicitly describe the bean planting process (e.g., “First, I will grab my cup. This cup is plastic, clear, and flexible. Feel the ridges on the cup”). Finally, Ms. Milton will close the lesson while Mrs. Edwards circulates and helps any student that needs help. The students will track the growth of their beans over the next two weeks. Mrs. Edwards gives Evan and Emily a tactile ruler to measure the growth of the plants.|
|Ms. Milton and Mrs. Edwards agree to monitor Evan and Emily’s progress in acquiring knowledge about bean planting. To do this, Ms. Milton has created in-class assessments and activities for the students to complete. Mrs. Edwards facilitates by formatting the materials for both students and reading the assignments to Evan.|
|Over this two-week period, Ms. Milton and Mrs. Edwards regularly discuss and evaluate whether Evan and Emily are achieving the science objective. They look at the activities and assessments Evan and Emily complete and determine whether they have mastered the content. They conclude that Evan has done so but that Emily needs additional instruction. Mrs. Edwards and Ms. Milton also evaluate the effectiveness of their co-teaching. They discuss how they presented information and whether it was the most efficient and effective method for Emily and Evan.|