Serving Students with Visual Impairments: The Importance of Collaboration
Ms. Milton has learned that, with the help of individuals who can provide support and expertise, she can offer effective instruction for all of the students in her classroom, including Evan and Emily. After working with these individuals, she has discovered that collaboration is the key. The table below highlights each individual’s role and responsibilities.
General Education Teachers
Instruct all students in the general education classroom in core academic curriculum
Implement the suggestions and strategies offered by other professionals for teaching the core curriculum to students with visual impairments
Support students with visual impairments when those students use disability-specific skills, such as are found in the expanded core curriculum (ECC)
Consult regularly with students, families, and specialists for assessment and instructional purposes
Instruct students with visual impairments in disability-specific skills (e.g., braille)
Teach areas of the expanded core curriculum, when appropriate
Consult regularly with students, families, classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, IEP team members, and orientation and mobility specialists
Orient students to classroom, school, and community environments
Assess students’ use of functional vision
Consult regularly with students, family, classroom teachers, TVI, and occupational and physical therapists, as needed
Instruct students in the development of concepts and the use of senses, low vision devices, and mobility devices
Provide instructional support
Reinforce classroom instruction, the use of disability-specific skills, and safe campus travel
Assist in the preparation of adapted instructional materials or equipment
Consult regularly with students, families, classroom teachers, TVI, and O&M to best support school success and reinforce important skills
Share previously implemented academic, behavioral, and social skills strategies
Reinforce instruction and skills learned at school through additional practice or homework
Create new learning opportunities for students that are not offered through the school (e.g., going to a theater)
Collaborate with school personnel and other professionals about the student
Communicate learning preferences and mediums
Inform teachers when instructional content needs to be repeated or described in greater detail
Communicate the need for accommodations, preferred assistive technology, and assistance
Related Service Providers and Other Professionals
Provide supports required for the student to benefit from special education services
Speech and language pathologists
Revisiting Initial Thoughts
Think back to your responses to the Initial Thoughts questions at the beginning of this module. After working through the Perspectives & Resources, do you still agree with those responses? If not, what aspects about them would you change?
What does Ms. Milton need to know about students with visual impairments?
From whom can Ms. Milton seek assistance and information about students with visual impairments?
How can Ms. Milton work effectively with individuals knowledgeable about the needs of Evan and Emily?
When you are ready, proceed to the Assessment section.