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Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent"— Presentation transcript:

1 Vision Services and Resources for Young Children who are Visually Impaired
Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent Washington State School for the Blind Jake Koch, Student Eastern Washington University Emily Coleman, Teacher of the Visually Impaired

2 Professional Development
Washington State School for the Blind Statewide Service Delivery Model Thousands served through Effective Partnerships H.R. Services To Local School Dist. Outreach Direct & Consultative Services Professional Development Specialized School Programs University & Private Partners Research & Development Resource Center Hub Intensive On-campus Programs Accessible Online Learning 5th Year Transition Program Digital Research Curriculum Dev. Statewide Assist. Tech. Services Braille Production Center Instructional Resource Center – Regional Lib. Birth to Three Services in Communities Partner – Braille Prison Programs Statewide Coordination

3 Jake Koch Blog Information: “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in a Sighted World”

4 What is a “Teacher of the Visually Impaired?”
Trained in Special Education with an emphasis in visual impairments Work with providers serving children who have significant vision deficits Provide support and education to families with a child who is visually impaired Provide direct instruction and consult services

5 Misconception #1: Only children who are totally blind need vision services.

6 When else might a student need vision services?
When they run into obstacles frequently while crawling and/ or walking When they keep their head turned to one side or the other, or at another unique angle When they don’t seek out favorite items visually When they startle easily

7 When they don’t make eye contact
When they aren’t tracking objects or people When they hold toys and objects extremely close When they have multiple impairments


9 ***Images are from the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Normal Vision

10 Perception of Blindness
Only an estimated 15% of those who are legally blind have absolutely no vision.

11 Central Vision Loss

12 Peripheral Vision Loss

13 Right Visual Field Loss

14 Lower Visual Field Loss

15 Misconception #2: Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI’s) only teach braille.

16 Who are my students? (Ages 0-16)
48% are blind (vision isn’t used as primary means of gathering information) 46% are low vision 6% are deaf-blind 21% are braille readers or pre-braille 18% are at grade-level 61% have a Cortical Visual Impairment

17 What does Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) mean?
Eyes often appear normal, but visual processing has been compromised Requires specialized adaptations and accommodations Intervention can lead to improved use of vision!!!

18 Characteristics include:
Color preference Need for movement Light-gazing Difficulty with visual complexity Visual field deficit Visual latency Lack of distance vision Atypical vision reflexes Difficulty with novelty Lack of visually-guided reach (Roman-Lantzy, 2007)

19 Services for a Child who is Visually Impaired (Bishop, 2000)
Assess functional vision and learning media Make educational recommendations – Assist with IFSP/ IEP Collaborate with families and staff Recommend additional assessments Provide additional resources Assist with transitions Help teach the Expanded Core Curriculum…

20 What is the “Expanded Core” curriculum?

21 Social/ Emotional Needs
Compensatory or Functional Academic Skills/ Including Communication Recreation and Leisure Sensory Efficiency Skills Self-Determination Orientation and Mobility Assistive Technology Independent Living Needs Career Education (AFB, 2014)

22 Social/ Emotional Needs

23 Compensatory/ Functional Academic Skills

24 Recreation and Leisure AND Sensory Efficiency

25 Orientation and Mobility

26 Independent Living Needs and…
Career Education

27 WSSB Specifically: VISION: Independence for blind and visually impaired children. MISSION: To provide specialized quality educational services for visually impaired and blind youth ages birth-21 within the state of Washington. PURPOSE: To serve as a statewide demonstration and resource center and provide direct and indirect services to students both on campus and in the children’s local communities.

28 Additional Resources American Foundation for the Blind (
National Federation of the Blind ( Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired ( Washington State School for the Blind ( Washington State Department of Services for the Blind ( Washington Sensory Disabilities Services ( Family Connect ( Hadley School for the Blind (

29 References AFB. (2014). The expanded core curriculum for blind and visually impaired children and youths. Retrieved from Bishop, V. (2000). Early childhood. In A. Koenig & M. Holbrook (Eds.), Foundations of Education (2 ed., Vol. II, pp ). New York, NY: AFB Press. Chen, D. (2014). Essential elements in early intervention: Visual impairment and multiple disabilities. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: AFB Press. Pogrund, R., & Fazzi, D. (2002). Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: AFB Press. Roman-Lantzy, C. (2007). Cortical visual impairment: An approach to assessment and intervention. New York, NY: AFB Press.

30 Dr. Dean Stenehjem dean. stenehjem@wssb. wa. gov Emily Coleman emily
Dr. Dean Stenehjem Emily Coleman Jake Koch

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