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 blindness and vision impairment in Virginia and is comprised of three universities: George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and Radford University.

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 who are blind and visually impaired.

The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment offers a grant that covers up to 60% of tuition for...
Faculty Contacts | School of Education

The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment offers a grant that covers up to 60% of tuition for qualified Virginia applicants who wish to become TBVIs. Our Consortium consists of three Virginia universities, George Mason University, Radford University, and Old Dominion University, that work together to train TBVIs across Virginia. We offer a variety of degree options to meet prospective TBVIs wherever they are at in their career goals, from undergraduate, to masters, and graduate certificate.

Applications for the Fall term are still being accepted at Mason through August 1, 2021. To learn more, please visit or contact your local university faculty member for more information:

The Vision Impairment (VI) Consortium faculty contact information.

Dear VI Consortium Students: Are you in search of an exciting summer read?  Mason's online electronic library has many c...
Cerebral Visual Impairment in Children | SpringerLink

Dear VI Consortium Students:
Are you in search of an exciting summer read? Mason's online electronic library has many choices, including full access to the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness and the full books below that are specific to b/vi.

All VI Consortium students have access to these books for free on Mason's digital library. Go to paste the name of the book you would like to read and sign in with your Mason credentials (same as your Blackboard login) and follow the links to read online. If you need the book in accessible format, these books can be accessed on Bookshare and from Mason's Assistive Technology Initiative.

Here are just some of the great books related to the VI Consortium for reading; make sure to go through the list. Mason purchased digital access to great books on CVI, braille, and reading for students who are BVI. Those of you starting new jobs as TBVIs in the fall will want to read Keys to Success, as cited below.

Mason Library Electronic Books specific to BVI:

Goodman, S.A., & Wittenstein, S.H. (Eds.). (2003). Collaborative assessment: Working with students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

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

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

Roman-Lantzy, C. (Ed.) (2019). Cortical visual impairment advanced principles. Louisville, KY: American Printing House Press.

Roman-Lantzy, C. (2018). Cortical visual impairment: An approach to assessment and intervention (2nd ed.). New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

Sacks, S., & Zatta, M. (2016). Keys to educational success: Teaching students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities. American Foundation for the Blind Press.

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

Wright, K. W., Spiegel, P. H., & Thompson, L. S. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of pediatric neuro-ophthalmology. Springer, New York.

Zihl, J., & Dutton, G. (2015). Cerebral visual impairment in children visuoperceptive and visuocognitive disorders. Springer, Vienna.

Cerebral visual disorders have far-reaching consequences for child development. These have profound adverse effects on children’s education and success in school and also in later life, but, unfortuna


Excellent article in JVIB by the amazing Mason ATI faculty, Dr. Kristine Neuber and Dr. Korey Singleton. Such a timely and important study on document access and navigation for students who are blind and visually impaired:
Singleton, K., & Neuber, K. (2020). Examining how students with visual impairments navigate accessible documents. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 114, 393–405.

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*

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...
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:

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…

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.

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:


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:

Plus! Read this blog from Joe Strechay about this video series for graduates:

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

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

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 remotely
School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotely

School explains the challenges of teaching blind students remotely

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...

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.

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...

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


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 we**am, 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]


4400 University Drive, MS 1F2
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 [email protected] You can also register at 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!