• Rita Parrish, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
• Erika Priser, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
• Nicki Quinn-Manthos, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments service the vision needs of students in the district who have a visual impairment and require specialized vision services as per their IEPs. They provide instruction in Unified English Braille, the Nemeth Code (the Braille code for Math and Science), and the Expanded Core Curriculum. These specialists collaborate with other service providers, classroom teachers, and support staff in making sure that these students can access their course curriculum using a variety of accommodations, manipulatives, and assistive technology. The main goal of these specialists is to make sure that students with visual impairments are as independent as possible once they leave the district, regardless of the severity of their visual impairment or presence of additional disabilities.
What is a Teacher of Student with Visual Impairments?
Since students with a visual impairment have a wide range of visual acuity and abilities, a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) will implement the necessary accommodations and modifications to facilitate access to the curriculum that the student is being taught. In addition to addressing needs in the classroom, a TVI will work on teaching compensatory skills that these students might not be able to acquire by incidental learning.
When does a student’s visual impairment require specialized vision services?
As defined by the Guidelines Programs who Servicing Students with Visual Impairments by the California Department of Education (2014):
“To be eligible for special education, ‘a pupil has a visual impairment which, even with correction, adversely affects a pupil’s educational performance.”
Once a student is diagnosed with a visual impairment from an ophthalmologist or optometrist, consideration is given to see whether the student should be administered Functional Visual Assessment and a Learning Media Assessment. These assessments will determine eligibility as well as the intensity of services that a student will require to maintain accessibility to their curriculum.