With whom can Ms. Milton communicate, consult, and collaborate to meet the needs of students with visual impairments?
Page 6: Paraprofessionals
When Ms. Milton discovers that Ms. Patel, a paraprofessional, will be working with the students each day, she arranges to meet with her. The responsibilities of a paraprofessional, sometimes referred to as a teacher’s aide or teaching assistant, may vary significantly depending on the needs of the students. The paraprofessional may be assigned to work with the general educator, the TVI, or with a specific student. Typically, the paraprofessional provides direct instructional support (i.e., working individually with a student) or offers assistance with various classroom activities. Additionally, the paraprofessional may assist other students in the classroom to enable the teacher to work with students with visual disabilities.
Ms. Patel may offer instructional, assessment, and technical assistance or support. Below are some examples of the various activities in which the paraprofessional may engage.
- Provides instructional support
- Reinforces classroom instruction, the use of disability-specific skills, and safe campus travel
Note: The paraprofessional is not responsible for providing planned direct instruction to the entire class or introducing new material.
- Provides information about the students during IEP meetings for educational planning and follow-through
- May read test items to students to assist with the assessment process
Note: The paraprofessional is not responsible for formally assessing the student.
Technical Assistance or Support
- Assists in the preparation of adapted instructional materials or equipment
- Consults regularly with students, families, classroom teachers, TVI, and O&M to best support school success and reinforce important skills
Ms. Patel helps Ms. Milton by preparing adapted instructional materials for Emily. For example, because the print on the math worksheets Ms. Milton uses in class is too small for Emily to read, Ms. Patel creates worksheets that have larger print. She also assists Ms. Milton by reading the items on a quiz to Evan.