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Visual Impairment Case Study

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by

Brandon Noble

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Visual Impairment Case Study

Discussion
Questions 1. How can a teacher prepare themselves to have a student with visual impairments in their classroom, so they don't underperform as the 1st grade teacher did?

2. What benefits do the techniques Amy's teacher learned to enhance Amy's learning experience serve to benefit every student in the class?

3. Was timing a factor in the non-success of Amy's first year in public school? How much time do teachers truly need to prepare themselves to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms?

4. Transitions are a tough element for any student. What aspects of school transitions do students, especially those with special needs, struggle with?

5. In your mind, what would be the most enjoyable and rewarding part of working with a student with visual impairments? IDEA Definition Visual Impairment Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. [§300.8(c)(13)] Case Study Student: Amy
Age: 7; Grade 2
SES: Upper Class
Ethnicity: White American; Fourth Generation Immigrant
SPED category: Visual Impairment, including blindness Educational History -- The Bad Amy attended pre-school and Kindergarten at a school for the visually impaired, but her parents wanted her to attend public school for First Grade. She was identified as performing at a high cognitive level in the beginning of her education.
Amy's first year at public school featured some difficulties. While she was given an IEP with detailed instructions, the implementation of the IEP wasn't done as effectively as hoped.
The goals of the IEP aimed at establishing ease of mobility and orientation within the school, utilizing important assistive technologies available, and educating Amy in reading braille.
However, the classroom teacher was only given 3 days notice they would have Amy, a student with visual impairment, in the classroom. They made some adjustments to the classroom, but not all that may have been needed. Still much of the educating was done visually, because of the chaotic sound of a 1st grade classroom. This led to Amy missing a lot of information, and feeling as if she was falling behind her classmates.
Amy also felt uncomfortable in the new school, as she was given a tour of the school and a comprehensive map, but too much detail was left off. She wasn't able to navigate the new classrooms, cafeteria, bathrooms, or playground with much ease, and she felt uncomfortable in transition periods in the school.
These two factors led to some apparent decline in Amy's cognitive functioning scores and social-emotional development. At the one year review of her IEP her case management team decided to make some significant adjustments to her IEP goals to prevent any more decline in Amy's cognitive development. Background Information Diagnosed at age 1, Amy's family was given an IFSP (individual family service plan) when she reached age 3, and became eligible. The IFSP provided support that includes family support services, nutrition services, and case management by a service coordinator.
Amy's family's high SES standing provided full health and dental benefits, which paid large benefits due to the nature of a child with visual impairments to be accident prone due to spatial-orientation issues.
Amy was an active participant in several groups, including dance and Girl Scouts, and had strong family support, which allowed her to develop strong social skills, and with the help of her IFSP and the support of her extended family she developed cognitively at a typical rate. Educational History -- The Good The adjustments to the IEP focused on the two areas that Amy seemed to be struggling in, spatial orientation of the school as well as classroom information reception.
The first change they made was to provide Amy with a more detailed tactile map of the places she would be interacting with in her new second grade classroom. Her teachers also made a concerted effort, when changes were made to the classroom, to explicitly state the nature of the change. For example “We moved the small table that used to be to the right of the chalkboard to the back of the room to the left of the file cabinet” NOT “we moved the small table from the front over there to the back.” These small changes made Amy feel more comfortable in her everyday environment.
The other adjustment made was more teacher involved, as her new second grade teacher was more comfortable working with students with VI, as it wasn't their first experience. They were better able to explain concepts in language, and had more physical representations and learning tools that helped Amy. These non-visual elements also benefited the other students.
Amy's desk was also moved to the front of the room, where even over the chaotic auditory environment of a second grade classroom she was able to hear clearly at all times. Defining Characteristics It is different for each student, depending on severity of their visual impairment, but all students can be required to cope with the difficulties of these characteristics
Low motivation to explore the environment, initiate social interaction, and manipulate objects; which can affect motor development
Also can have issues in communication skills, social interaction skills, orientation and mobility, independent living skills, recreation and leisure skills, use of assistive technology, visual efficiency, and career education skills, and self-determination
Issues in vision for non-blind include sensitivity to light, contrast/color issues, or visual field blind spots
Retrieved from http://www.projectidealonline.org/visualImpairments.php Conclusion In Amy's first year in public school, the accommodations called for in her IEP were not decisive enough to help her make the transition smoothly. There were multiple issues that led to regression in Amy's progress, and this caused, in an annual IEP meeting, a re-evaluation of the goals and strategies needed to make sure Amy succeeded.

The active effort given, and natural talent of the second grade teacher gave rise to more verbal instruction rather than reliance on visual aids, which benefitted Amy. The higher level of comfortability in the school, both through added assistance and experience also allowed Amy to develop a stronger sense of belonging within the school.
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