In this two-hour session, we explored activities and tips to facilitate the development of literacy skills in children with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. While training programs for teachers of students with visual impairments typically teach the braille code, basic information about cortical visual impairment (CVI), and more, teachers in the field often discover that they have not had specific preparation in teaching braille skills or adapting materials for students with CVI.
Beginning with an overview of the Paths to Literacy website, participants examine strategies designed to address a range of educational goals, from basic concepts in early childhood to beginning braille, tips for those with low vision, dual media learners, and more. We discussed strategies for adapting materials for students with CVI, and looked at creative ideas for teaching writing and expressive language to students with visual impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder. There will be an emphasis on using the website as a resource, with information on how to search effectively.
Charlotte Cushman, MLS, M.Ed., is the manager of the Paths to Literacy and Active Learning Space websites, both of which are collaborative projects between Perkins School for the Blind and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the United States. A former classroom teacher at Perkins, Ms. Cushman has worked in the field of visual impairment and special education for nearly 40 years. She has worked extensively overseas, including several years as a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer in Africa, as well as a consultant for Perkins International in Africa and Asia. Ms. Cushman has worked as an education consultant for the New England Center Deafblind project, and has been a co-author and editor of a number of books in the field, including “Functional Literacy” in Keys to Educational Success: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities (AFB Press, 2016) and Perkins Activity and Resource Guide: A Handbook for Teachers and Parents of Students with Visual and Multiple Disabilities. In addition to her work as an educator and teacher trainer, Ms. Cushman has a degree in Library and Information Services, with a focus on archives and digital projects. She has worked at the Library of Congress, and has held positions as a librarian and archivist. Ms. Cushman is passionate about the rights of all children to learn. She believes in the power of collaboration, and the importance of practical strategies to use in real world situations.
These are accessible and convenient to be viewed at any time. These sessions are presented by local staff at RIDBC, as well as national and international experts. If a course or webinar is accredited through either The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), formerly known as BOSTES, AG Bell or Audiology Australia, it will be indicated within the description of the webinar. If you are unsure and would like further information regarding accreditation, please contact Carla Silveira, Events and Administration Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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