Learners with visual impairments benefit from
educational experiences that take into account their unique learning
needs requiring the acquisition of knowledge and skills in
alternative ways including tactile, visual, and auditory. Candidates
are expected to demonstrate competence in assessment and instruction
to promote functional literacy in braille, print, and auditory
methodologies and to design educational environments utilizing the
most appropriate media to promote learning.
Students with visual impairments are a heterogeneous population,
requiring the availability of a wide range of curricular and placement
options in order to foster participation in the home, school, and
community in ways that meet the particular needs of individual
learners. Candidates are expected to demonstrate skills in working
with an array of professionals as well as families in order to
facilitate learner participation and growth within the context of
their educational experience.
Competencies to instruct learners with visual impairments must
address individual needs across a broad age range (birth to 22 years),
a variety of visual conditions (mild visual impairment to total
blindness), as well as learners who have visual impairments and
multiple disabilities. The program combines intensive didactic
training for specific skill acquisition along with field work to
promote these competencies.
Addressing cultural and linguistic diversity is emphasized
throughout the program in didactic course work and field experiences.
Candidates are expected to participate in field assignments that
include diverse populations, and issues related to the effects of
cultural and linguistic differences are infused throughout the
Methods to promote academic and learning skills, social interaction
skills, recreation and leisure skills, use of assistive technology,
basic orientation and mobility, independent living and self-advocacy
skills, career education including transition, and optimization of
visual functioning must be addressed in programs for learners with
visual impairments. Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability
to provide appropriate assessment and instruction using a variety of
techniques in all these areas to promote learner competence leading to
active participation in school, home, and community environments.
The program emphasizes an individual differences approach to
developmental issues related to visual impairment, looking at both
learner characteristics and environmental circumstances in order to
develop appropriate instructional strategies. Candidates are expected
to demonstrate knowledge and skills regarding the effects of
adventitious and congenital visual impairments as well as the impact
of various conditions on learning and development given the unique
life circumstances of each individual.
Families and social networks have a profound impact on the
social-emotional development of learners with visual impairments
across the age ranges which must be taken into account in any
educational program. Competencies related to understanding the effects
of visual impairment on family dynamics and social interaction as well
as techniques to promote effective interaction with families and peers
are stressed throughout the program.
Amanda Hall Lueck, Ph.D. Professor firstname.lastname@example.org • Burk Hall