ECC ANNUAL NEEDS CONSIDERATION
By: Carmen Willings
The Expanded Core Curriculum consists of nine unique areas that address the knowledge and skills needed by students with visual impairments due to their unique needs. The various areas of the expanded core curriculum provide educators with a way of addressing the needs of students with visual impairments. The student's needs in each of the areas should be considered each year and priorities made as to which areas should be forcused on.
Direct instruction is recommended for those areas that require the specialized skills of the TVI to help a student acquire or maintain skills. Consultation or collaboration should be indicated when time is needed by the TVI to share strategies, materials, adapted curriculum, environmental modifications, and medical information and to model and monitor instructional techniques with the educational team. Not all students will need to learn all skills within the Expanded Core Curriculum.
Compensatory skills are those skills needed by students who are blind or visually impaired to access all areas of the core curriculum. This includes concept development, spatial understanding, study and organizational skills, speaking & listening skills, and adaptations needed to access the core curriculum (braille, large print, regular print with low vision devices, recordings).
Sensory efficiency skills include using one’s remaining senses (vision, auditory, olfactory, and tactile) to function more efficiently and effectively (e.g. use of environmental cues, non-optical tools, optical low vision devices, etc.)
Technology can level the playing field for students with visual impairments and can be a great equalizer. Students who are blind or have low vision need to acquire a range of technology skills that will give them options for gathering and conveying information.
Orientation and Mobility pertains to the student’s ability to move safely and efficiently throughout the environment. Skills include body and spatial awareness, independent travel, use of long cane, protective techniques, cardinal directions, mental mapping, etc.
Independent Living Skills includes everyday activities that allow a person to lead independent lives (personal hygiene, food preparation, money and time management, organization, etc.). It is important for the student to develop responsibility and independence in order to become the most independent and contributing member of their homes and communities that will promote social acceptance.
Social interaction skills include socially appropriate behavior such as facial expressions, body language, eye contact, etc. which are primarily learned by watching others. These may need to be taught to students with visual impairments because they may be unable to casually observe how people interact and socialize with one another.
Recreation and leisure skills include the development of life-long skills beyond team sports (e.g. play, recreational reading, athletics, hobbies, etc.).
Career education provides the student with a visual impairment includes the basic knowledge of the world of work, transition from school to post-secondary options and also addresses the vocational skills students need to perform jobs and keep employment.
Self-Determination highlights the importance of believing in oneself, while understanding one’s abilities and limitations including knowledge of one’s visual impairment. It is important for all students, but particularly those with visual impairments to learn to cope with failures and how to strive for success.
The E.A. Rubric Essential Assessments for Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired is an online tool to help guide you through the ECC annual needs consideration process. The rubric lists ECC area assessments, teaching curriculum and resources by ECC content area to ensure teams are identifying and prioritizing areas of instruction within the Expanded Core Curriculum.
The Iowa Department of Education has put together an Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) Resource Guide to provide Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments and O&M Specialists with a resource to assess, plan, instruct, and evaluate students in all areas of the ECC.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings