The Low Vision Department
The Low Vision Department of Deer Valley Unified School District is made up of two services which are linked: The Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (CTVI) and the Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS).
THE ROLE OF THE ITINERANT TEACHER OF THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (CTVI's) provide specialized educational services to children experiencing low vision or blindness, with a wide range of ages (Birth-12th grade) and abilities. These children experience vision loss due to a variety of factors such as: congenital defects, eye diseases, neurological disorders, or injuries to the eye.
A combination of information from medical reports and the results of a Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) assist the CTVI in determining the appropriate level of service and the adaptations and modifications the student will need in order to learn best from their educational setting.
The CTVI provides specialized instruction to students in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) for the blind and visually impaired. This specialized instruction is necessary because the visually impaired have decreased opportunities to learn incidentally by observing others. The ECC is a set of nine areas: Assistive Technology, Career Education, Compensatory Skills, Independent Living Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Recreation and Leisure, Self-determination, Sensory Efficiency and Social Interaction Skills.
For additional information on the ECC and the role of the CTVI refer to the following resources:
Expanded Core Curriculum for Blind and Visually Impaired:
The Role of the Teacher of the Visually Impaired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rzmMiIT3Ao&t=2s
(acb.org, aerbvi.org, afb.org, aph.org, familyconnect.org, nfb.org, pathstoliteracy.org, perkins.org, teachingvisuallyimpaired.com, tsbvi.edu, wonderbaby.org)
Carolyn Chenault, Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Pamela Mohn, Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Katie Wahl-Matabaro, Certified Teacher of the Visually ImpairedTHE ROLE OF THE CERTIFIED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is a profession specific to blindness and low vision that teaches safe, efficient, and effective travel skills to people of all ages:
"Orientation" refers to the ability to know where you are and where you want to go, whether you're moving from one room to another or walking downtown for a shopping trip.
"Mobility" refers to the ability to move safely, efficiently, and effectively from one place to another, such as being able to walk without tripping or falling, cross streets, and use public transportation.
An Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist provides instruction that can help develop or re-learn the skills and concepts needed to travel safely and independently within an individual's home and in the community. O&M Specialists provide services across the life span, teaching infants and children in pre-school and school programs, as well as adults in a variety of community-based and rehabilitation settings. Below are some areas in which O&M specialist teach students.
Sensory development, or maximizing all of your senses to help you know where you are and where you want to go
Using your senses in combination with self-protective techniques and human guide techniques to move safely through indoor and outdoor environments
Using a cane and other devices to walk safely and efficiently
Soliciting and/or declining assistance
Finding destinations with strategies that include following directions and using landmarks and compass directions
Techniques for crossing streets, such as analyzing and identifying intersections and traffic patterns
Using public transportation and transit systems
(American Foundation for the Blind)
Various Orientation and Mobility Techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbuufiLZSmY
Renee Fonnet, Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist