The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments is employed as a consultant, therapist, advocate and teacher to support the education and development of students who have a medically diagnosed vision loss. The Vision teacher provides either direct instruction or consultative support to students with visual impairments, in grades K to 12. The amount of instruction and consultation required varies according to individual student needs and can vary for an individual student from week to week.
In addition to having a BC Teaching Certificate, the Vision Resource Teacher holds a Masters Degree, or Graduate Diploma, as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, and will have completed additional coursework in order to work with students who have a variety of learning and developmental challenges, including those who are Deaf-Blind.
A visual impairment is a medically diagnosed condition documented by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or the Visually Impaired Program at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital. One of the following criteria needs to be met:
♦ a visual acuity of 6/21 (20/70) or less in the better eye after correction;
♦ a visual field of 20 degrees or less;
♦ any progressive eye disease with a prognosis of becoming one of the above in the next few years;
♦ a visual problem or related visual stamina that is not correctable and that results in the student functioning as if his or her visual acuity is limited to 6/21 (20/70) or less;
If you suspect a student has a vision loss, parents should contact their family doctor and/or local eye doctor for a clinical assessment.
Description of Services
Services to students who have a diagnosed visual impairment are provided on an Itinerant basis focusing on the following:
♦ providing information regarding vision loss, its implications for development and learning, and related issues
♦ working with school teams to develop a comprehensive IEP
♦ working with teachers, CEAs and other professionals to assist with the adaptation and/or modification of curriculum within regular education programs
♦ providing alternate format support for all classroom materials including large print, braille, auditory, tactile, and technological
♦ providing recommendations for classroom placement and course selections
♦ assisting and supporting in-school and out-of school transitions
♦ performing classroom observations and assessments
♦ supporting the development of self-advocacy skills
♦ advocating on behalf of students and their families
♦ liaising with community agencies and other support groups
♦ teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum unique to students with vision loss
♦ providing consultative services to students with Multiple Disabilities diagnosed with a Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI)
♦ providing consultative services to students who are Deaf-Blind
Students are referred through the School Based Team to the Vision Teacher. Medical information and/or a report from an eye doctor should accompany the referral.