By: Carmen Willings
Updated November 10, 2015
According to the American Foundation for the Blind, "The National Agenda represents a broad consensus of how educational programs must change to meet the needs of students with visual impairments." The goal is to prepare students with visual impairments to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The National Agenda is broken into 10 goal statements that apply to infants, toddlers, children and youth who are visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. The following are ways, outlined in the National Agenda, that Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments can implement the agenda at a local level.
Goal 1: Timely Referral
Students and their families will be referred to an appropriate education program within 30 days of identification of a suspected visual impairment. Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists will provide appropriate quality services.
Goal 2: Parent Participation
Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure the right of all parents to full participation and equal partnership in the education process.
Goal 3: Personnel Preparation
Universities with a minimum of one full-time faculty member in the area of visual impairment will prepare a sufficient number of TVI's and O&M specialists for students with visual impairments to meet personnel needs throughout the country.
Goal 4: Caseload Determination
Caseloads will be determined based on the assessed needs of students.
Goal 5: Array of Services
Local education programs will ensure that all students have access to a full array of service delivery options.
Goal 6: Assessment
All assessments and evaluations of students will be conducted by or in partnership with personnel having expertise in the education of students with visual impairments and their parents.
Goal 7: Access to Instructional Materials
Access to developmental and educational services will include an assurance that textbooks and instructional materials are available to students in the appropriate media and at the same time as their sighted peers.
Goal 8: Expanded Core Curriculum
All educational goals and instruction will address the academic and expanded core curricula based on the assessed needs of each student with visual impairments.
Goal 9: Transition Planning
Transition services will address developmental and educational needs (birth through high school to assist students and their families in setting goals and implementing strategies through the life continuum commensurate with the students' aptitudes, interests, and abilities.
Goal 10: Professional Development
To improve students' learning, service providers will engage in ongoing local, state, and national professional development.
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Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.
Hi! I'm Carmen Willings. Welcome to my website! I developed this web resource to support fellow TVI's and to educate those new to the field of visual impairments in how to best support students who are blind or visually impaired. Read More