Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment

Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment The VI Consortium is the only academic program for preparing teachers of students with visual impairments in Virginia and is comprised of five universities: George Mason University, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, and Radford University.
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Its primary goal is to prepare teachers to be highly skilled at working with students with visual impairment and blindness. Completion of the VI program meets the Virginia Department of Education’s required competencies for teachers of students with vision impairments.

07/29/2020
Camp Easter Seals UCP

Camp Easter Seals UCP

Hello Super Summer Camp Friends and Camp Easterseals Friends!!

Moose Tracks at Home would like to welcome Morina (SSC staff ) to the fun. Before our Zoom Braille Twister game at 1pm she is showing us how to play.

Who is ready to see Whitney and othes try their hand at Braille Twister??

*Directions are posted in the comments if needed*

*The link to sign up was emailed to everyone but if you want to sign up email us Super Summer Camp Friends*

06/29/2020
Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)

Learning to use the Mac and Voiceover with VRCBVI!

ICYMI: Demystifying the Mac
Have you ever thought about using a Mac, but thought it was too intimidating? Come learn how to use Voiceover to navigate the world of MacOS. With instructor Domonique Lawless, VRCBVI O&M Instructor.

Registration is open: Virtual NOAHCon – A Vision Beyond 2020Four days of great conference planning, including:IEP Worksh...
06/17/2020
NOAHCon2020 Orange County

Registration is open: Virtual NOAHCon – A Vision Beyond 2020

Four days of great conference planning, including:
IEP Workshop
Kim Avila, Anne Corn, Kathi Garza, Marjie Wood, Jill Gorman
Preparing for the 2020-2021 school year brings new challenges to students, parents and teachers. This session will discuss the dynamics of navigating the IEP process for hybrid classes (partially in person) and virtual programming.
Register here: https://www.albinism.org/noahcon2020/

Virtual NOAHCon – A Vision Beyond 2020 NOAH is delighted to present our first-ever virtual conference, A Vision Beyond 2020. We invite you to join us for this four-day gathering of the albini…

06/14/2020
Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)

Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)

Please join us for this recorded virtual training session, "How to Make a Document Accessible" with VRCBVI Technology Instructors Mike Fish and Mike Villafane and Dr. Peggy Fields, Director of DBVI's Rehabilitation Technology Services Program. Learn how to use alt text, proper formatting, and conversion tools to make documents accessible for blind users.

06/13/2020
United Nations Human Rights

United Nations Human Rights

"Today is #AlbinismDay. We stand together with people with albinism worldwide in their fight to live free of stigma, discrimination, fear and violence. They are #MadeToShine," UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet says.

Learn more: albinism.ohchr.org

#StandUp4HumanRights

06/03/2020
American Printing House for the Blind

Graduation guidance for our Class of 2020 from celebrities in the BVI field!

With many students missing the traditional graduation ceremony and celebration, the APH ConnectCenter put together a salute to all of our blind or visually impaired graduates.

This is the first of five videos we'll be sharing across our platforms featuring blind and visually impaired professionals offering words of wisdom and well wishes. Share them with your graduate and watch out for the next installment! All videos will eventually be available here: https://bit.ly/3gNjgNT

Plus! Read this blog from Joe Strechay about this video series for graduates: https://bit.ly/3gMx2QG

#Classof2020 #GreatnessInsideOfYou #CongratsClassOf2020 #2020Grads #APHConnectCenter #TheFutureBelongsToEveryone

Great article about a Fairfax County student who is blind that is graduating!  https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2020/06/c...
06/02/2020
COVID-19 and the Class of 2020: Fairfax Co. graduate was forced into a big adjustment | WTOP

Great article about a Fairfax County student who is blind that is graduating!

https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2020/06/covid19-and-the-class-of-2020-andrea-darmawan-robinson-secondary-school/

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in a lot of people’s lives. Andrea Darmawan, of Fairfax County’s Robinson Secondary School, had to make a change of plans that will affect her next four years — at least.

School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotelyhttps://www.pix11.com/news/coronavirus/school-explains...
06/02/2020
School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotely

School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotely

https://www.pix11.com/news/coronavirus/school-explains-the-challenges-of-teaching-blind-students-remotely?fbclid=IwAR3iHQzLXgszEXXA66ddsxtu8idxx_LmiTFlFYKktAloDppaCyc7UaUZcpE

NewsCoronavirus Actions Facebook Tweet Email School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotely Teaching in the COVID-19 era has denied them the vital one-on-one support and interaction that’s allowed them to thrive. By: Andrew Ramos Posted at 7:08 PM, May 27, 2020 and last updated...

06/02/2020
Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)

Advanced iOS webinar with Mike Fish.

Please join us for this video of a recent virtual training class entitled, "Advanced iOS" with VRCBVI's Lead Technology Instructor Mike Fish. You will learn how to install applications, edit text, and customize gestures for your iPhone.

05/22/2020
Student & Academic Affairs - CEHD - George Mason University

Congratulations to VI Consortium graduates!

CEHD Special Education grads, 🎓in case you were wondering, your program faculty and staff 💚 you a lot! Here's another video just because you're you! Hope you're having fun on SOED Spotlight Day! #Mason2020 #MasonCEHD

Congratulations to our VI Consortium graduates!!!   Image description: Mason faculty in the Division of Special Educatio...
05/22/2020

Congratulations to our VI Consortium graduates!!! Image description: Mason faculty in the Division of Special Education and Disability Research hold signs that read, “You are persistent, resilient, awesome, ready, compassionate, and determined.”

🎓👨‍🎓👩‍🎓CEHD's Division of Special Education and disAbility Research has special posts in celebration of their grads throughout the day today! Here's their first Class of 2020 shout out. 📣#MasonCEHD #Mason2020

05/22/2020

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 21, 2020)!

This year especially, Accessibility Awareness is a paramount priority for millions of students with disabilities who now need to learn solely through digital means. Although the VI Consortium at Mason focuses on blindness and vision impairment, here are five tips to promote learning for students with and without disabilities in online learning environments.

1. Document Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Learn to integrate accessibility in digital files you post for students to access. Multiple free trainings exist to help teachers author accessible materials. It is not hard, and it promotes greater access and independence for your students who are blind, visually impaired, have dyslexia, reading disabilities, convergence insufficiency, and other disabilities. Also integrating UDL into virtual classrooms promotes a more equitable learning experience for all.
• Quick tip to start now: do not take images of text to post in your documents and messages! Copy the text in directly. A screen capture of text does not allow your students to read it with their technology and does not allow changing of font sizes and styles. Students who need materials in various formats, such as electronic braille or enlarged print, can have better access to the information and it eliminates the need for another teacher to retro-fit accessibility in the document.

Want to learn more? Lots of options exist, such as Microsoft training for teachers to author accessible content and the framework for Universal Design for Learning

2. Orient and Organize: Orient your students to their online classroom and create plans to help your students organize learning to a digital environment. Individual students may need focused sessions and instruction on how to navigate their online classrooms depending on circumstances.

Below is an abbreviated list of skills needed for online learning that some students with disabilities will access with a mouse, keyboard commands, gestures, and various assistive technologies. Consider goals related to these tasks to enhance students’ skill as online learners and break down instruction on these skills into manageable lessons:
• Launch the online classroom
• Login to the online classroom
• Navigate around the screen: focus on the key items found around the digital classroom and use a pattern to help orient your students
• Customize settings and accessibility options within a digital classroom, web-browser, or app
• Download and organize classroom content
• Open, create, edit, navigate, save documents and assignments
• Launch, pause, rewind and fast forward videos and methods to access synchronous course recordings to review content
• Follow links to external sites and navigate a variety of websites
• Submit assignments
• Access graded assignments and any feedback provided
• Access, read, and post on discussion boards or other classroom social media experiences
• Access to the classroom calendar, or another digital or paper planner, to set reminders and alerts for synchronous sessions, manage due dates, and track related service appointments and so much more.
• Procedures for how and where to ask questions
• Launch and login to synchronous web-conference programs, use mouse, keyboard commands, gestures, and other methods to mute and unmute microphone, turn on/off webcam, virtually raise hand, post in chat box, communicate through polls and emojis, access captioning and ASL services.
• Methods to manage synchronous and asynchronous course requirements. Some students may need graphic organizers, prompts, electronic alerts, and clear schedules to help them differentiate between synchronous and asynchronous tasks and assignments and those that are required and optional. Many online classrooms contain an abundance of resources that add to the complexity of the environment. Consider a simplified table or organizer that helps your student define required from optional.
3. Collaborate to create a resource bank. School technology departments and assistive technology specialists are key contributors to the success of our students with disabilities online. Often, these specialists are knowledgeable about different platforms and operating systems that will impact the way your students access online learning. Demonstrations, recordings, and published resource guides by AT specialists who have the various assistive technologies running on different systems assist students and parents with understanding how each technology works with various AT and platforms. Examples include:

• Demonstration and resource guide showing navigation and use of the classroom with:
• PC: screen readers (e.g. JAWS, NVDA), screen magnification, other AT, and accessibility options on different Windows’ platforms and browsers
• Mac: screen reader (e.g. Voiceover), screen magnification, other AT, and accessibility options on Mac operating systems and in different browsers
• Tablet and smartphone screen readers, magnification options, and other accessibility features within each main type of tablet and smartphone

4. Follow through and follow up: Are your students assignments provided in accessible format? Are your students completing assignments? Are they accessing the online assignments correctly? Have they generalized the skills to edit assignments from your initial demonstration? Do they know how to make customized changes that promote better visual access, decreased clutter, ease of navigation in the online classroom? If not, now is a good time to help your students practice and generalize these skills.
5. Follow FERPA: Students with special needs may need options aside from virtual office hours opened to all students in a class. In the event they need specific assistance on disability related needs, ensure your student has a confidential way to log in to communicate with you to get support and to discuss individual circumstances. Because we cannot guarantee confidentiality in open office hours made available to entire classes, consider creating and offering appointments online with individual students.

Accessibility includes so much more and is a fascinating topic for all teachers to explore to promote best learning for all students.

Want to learn more or curious how students who are blind and visually impaired access digital education? Contact the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment. We offer coursework with a grant that covers up to 60% of tuition for Virginia educators! Email: [email protected]

05/20/2020
Never Touch a Monster Read Aloud in Braille

Never Touch a Monster Read Aloud in Braille

Listen to Never Touch a Monster, Read Aloud in Braille. Then answer some questions to see how well you understood the story. The National Federation of the B...

American Printing House for the Blind
05/12/2020

American Printing House for the Blind

How does VoiceOver work on a Mac? We'll show you how in Wednesday's Virtual ExCEL Academy! Join us at 2 pm ET: https://bit.ly/2W5U7nQ #AtHomeWithAPH #KeepLearning

American Printing House for the Blind
05/11/2020

American Printing House for the Blind

Monday's Virtual ExCEL Academy lesson will teach you all about using Google Products with JAWS, NVDA, or Chromevox! Join us at 2 PM ET: https://bit.ly/2W5U7nQ #AtHomeWithAPH #KeepLearning

05/11/2020
Student & Academic Affairs - CEHD - George Mason University

Congratulations, Kittie!! The VI Consortium is so proud of you!
Image Description: Mason logo: College of Education and Human Development 2020 Program Award Winner: Kittie Cooper Outstanding Student in Special Education Visual Impairment Certificate. #Mason2020 #MasonCEHD

Joining a student club as an undergrad opened a fulfilling career path for @VSDBS teacher Kittie Cooper. Proud to say she's now @MasonCEHD's 2020 Outstanding Student in Special Education (Visual Impairment Cert.). Congrats! Read more https://cehd.gmu.edu/students/student-engagement/student-success-blog/ #MasonCEHD #Mason2020

American Printing House for the Blind
04/22/2020

American Printing House for the Blind

Unfamiliar with how to use an abacus? Well then, Thursday's Virtual ExCEL Academy is for you! Register and join us at 2 pm ET: https://bit.ly/2w5ZkmN #AtHomeWithAPH #KeepLearning

Getting a Job! Module for Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired
04/22/2020
Getting a Job! Module for Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired

Getting a Job! Module for Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired

The Getting a Job! for Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired online training was developed and designed for students who are blind and visually impaired and the professionals who work with them. Focusing on the transition from school to work, the training offers a series of activities, suppor...

03/28/2020
Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

Our friends and colleagues from VSDB's Blind Department greet their students in this wonderful video!!

Hey Blind Department students... we miss you! Here is a sweet video from some of your staff and teachers.

#ThisIsVSDB

Special thanks to Freedom Scientific for offering JAWS, Zoomtext, and Fusion licenses free for the next couple of months...
03/24/2020
Freedom Scientific – High-quality video magnifiers, braille displays, screen magnification software, and #1 screen reader, JAWS.

Special thanks to Freedom Scientific for offering JAWS, Zoomtext, and Fusion licenses free for the next couple of months! This is a great opportunity to learn and practice using a screen reader!

Stay home. Stay healthy.
A message from our CEO.
We are now offering JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion free of charge for personal computers at home, until June 30, 2020.
This offer is available to every household in the US and Canada.

International opportunities available, please contact the distributor in your country. https://www.freedomscientific.com/

Are you in-search-of the perfect book to read over winter break?  Mason's online digital library has ebooks in the BVI f...
12/10/2019
Digital Object Identifier System

Are you in-search-of the perfect book to read over winter break?

Mason's online digital library has ebooks in the BVI field ready and waiting for you! All VI Consortium students can access these books.

Log onto Mason's library with your Mason credentials, search the title, and opt to read online.

Here are some great book ideas to get you started!!

Hall Lueck, A., & Dutton, G.D. (Eds.). (2015). Vision and the brain: Understanding cerebral visual impairment in children. New York, NY: AFB Press.

Kamei-Hannan, C., & Ricci, L.A. (2015). Reading connections: Strategies for teaching students with visual impairments. New York, NY: AFB Press.

Swenson, A. (2016). Beginning with braille: Firsthand experiences with a balanced approach to literacy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: AFB Press.

Wright, K., Spiegel, P., & Thompson, L. (2006). Handbook of Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology.

This is the web site of the International DOI Foundation (IDF), a not-for-profit membership organization that is the governance and management body for the federation of Registration Agencies providing Digital Object Identifier (DOI) services and registration, and is the registration authority for t...

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Fairfax, VA
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HANDS-ON NONVISUAL TECHNOLOGY FAIR FOR PERSONS WHO ARE BLIND OR LOW VISION FREE ADMISSION! SATURDAY JUNE 22, 2019 10 AM to 2 PM Lyon Village Community House 1920 N. Highland Street Arlington, VA 22201 Demonstrations include: Smartphone Accessibility NFB Newsline Smart Home Devices Braille Displays and Notetakers Navigation Devices Household Labeling Medical Devices Audio Description Services And More! Come join us and get hands-on experience with various technologies that can guide you toward self-confidence and independence! For questions, more information, or to register, please contact Nancy Yeager by calling (703) 812-0953 or e-mailing nancyyeager54[email protected] You can also register at https://hands-on-technology-fair.eventbrite.com WALK-INS ARE WELCOME Hosted by the Potomac Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia
Have a look at our Winter course on Teaching Social Skills to students with visual impairments. 100% online with Sharon Z Sacks!