Missouri State University
MO Blindness Skills Specialists

Braille Brilliance

Mission: To provide students and families with goal-focused braille tutoring and to provide students with opportunities to connect with other braille readers and develop a positive image of braille through fun braille-related activities.

 

Braille Brilliance Services:

  • In-Home Braille Tutoring
  • Fun Braille Group Activities
  • Braille Pen Pal Program

 

Details:

  • Any braille students in grades K-12 in the state of Missouri and counties in Illinois neighboring St. Louis
  • Free in-home tutoring for the child and/or parent in braille (not general academics)
  • Instruction for mastery of specific goals based on teacher, parent, and student input
  • Fun braille-related group activities quarterly
  • Braille pen pal program with other Braille Brilliance students
  • Complements braille instruction provided in school
  • If you prefer, students can participate in just one or two aspects of the program (group activities, tutoring, or pen pals).

 

Example Goals:

  • The student learning new math symbols
  • The student using a braille display to access electronic materials on a computer or tablet
  • Refining the student’s braille reading technique and demonstrating proper technique to the parent
  • The student mastering Unified English Braille changes
  • The parent learning the braille alphabet
  • The parent learning more about braille math strategies
  • The family utilizing braille labels and tactile materials for daily living skills

 

Contact:

Braille Brilliance Coordinator

Laura Jones, M.Ed.

Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

Cell: 979-587-2674

ljones@lhbindustries.com

 

Website:

http://lhbindustries.com/Our-Outreach/Programs/BrailleBrilliance.aspx

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Comprehensive Low Vision Project

The Comprehensive Low Vision Project (CLVP) is a year-round program that provides students with low vision with clinical low vision evaluations, prescribed optical devices, and training in the use of those devices. This program serves the state of Missouri. Some exceptions apply in and around Kansas City.   

 

WHO

Students, ages 2-21, who meet Missouri’s eligibility criteria as a child with a visual impairment, which is visual acuity of 20/70 in the better eye after correction and who have good potential to benefit from low vision devices. Exceptions may apply.

 

WHAT

Students will receive, at no cost to their families, a comprehensive low vision evaluation, a complete written report with recommendations for appropriate low vision devices, any devices prescribed and instruction in the use of those devices in the student’s school, home, or community until he or she is proficient in using his or her new tools. The services provided by CLVP do not take the place of regular visits to the student’s primary eye care provider, such as his or her ophthalmologist or optometrist.

 

WHEN

Numerous clinics will be held each year throughout Missouri to best accommodate students from a variety of locations. Dates and times will be publicized via the Lighthouse for the Blind Website as well as notifications sent thru list serves. Teachers may suggest clinic sites if they have a student population of 6 or more students.  In addition, monthly CLVP low vision clinics take place at the Delta Gamma Center in St. Louis.

 

HOW

Upon referral, the student’s education team will be asked to provide the student’s most current visual assessments as well as an updated eye report and any vision related IEP goals (if applicable).  Students will then be scheduled for their clinical low vision evaluation at the clinic location closest to the city in which they reside. Family members, vision and/or O&M instructors will attend the session to better understand the proposed solutions and to subsequently assist in the best utilization of the solution.

 

PROGRAM CONTACTS

Jennifer Coy

Program Director

Phone: 573-579-4359

Email: jcoy@lhbindustries.com

 

WEBSITE

http://lhbindustries.com/Our-Outreach/Programs/Low-Vision-Project.aspx

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Fox Theater Descriptive Audio

Fox Theatre Descriptive Audio tickets (excluding the Lion King) are now on sale. The shows being offered and the price per ticket is attached to this email. Reference the “LHB” price as this is what tickets will be sold for (prices are subject to change).

Half price tickets are offered to individuals that are legally blind and a companion of their choice. Tickets can only be sold half price by contacting me at the number below.

Tickets must be purchased at least two weeks before show date.

The Fox will not be accepting any requests for additional descriptive audio shows or dates.

To learn about seating sections or to read a show description please refer to the Fox Theatre website http://www.fabulousfox.com/

Thanks,

Angie Yorke
BCE Programs Manager
Lighthouse for the Blind -St. Louis

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MO AER Conference

The Missouri Chapter of AER is pleased to announce the 2016 Fall Conference and Business Meeting.

 

When:          Monday November 7, 2016

Where:         Hilton Garden Inn-Columbia, MO

3300 Vandiver Drive, Columbia, MO

 

Contact:

Aundrayah Shermer        

ashermer@kssdb.org                                

Treasurer – MOAER

4134 W. 94th Ter., Apt. 211

Prairie Village, KS  66207

 

Session Descriptions:

  1. Comparing Braille to Printed English, Dr. Mackenzie Savaiano

In this presentation, we will discuss the relationship between the braille code and printed English as it affects beginning readers. Specifically, we will describe the efficiency of braille contractions related to the frequency of words and letter combinations in 3rd and 4th grade texts. Results suggest that braille contractions are a generally strong representation of printed American English. In terms of the instructional sequence, early braille lessons tend to prioritize characters with easily recognizable dot configurations, but many later lessons appear to group contractions and short form words that are similar without consideration of how frequently they occur in print (e.g., teaching thyself with yourself). We concluded that, despite its nineteenth century French genesis, the braille system represents current American English orthography efficiently, but that braille instructional practices could be refined to support earlier acquisition of important features of English.

 

Presenter Background Information: Dr. Mackenzie Savaiano is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, where she coordinates the graduate specialization in visual impairments and is currently PI on an OSEP personnel preparation grant to train TVIs and TODs in the Midwest region. Dr. Savaiano also conducts research related to literacy for students with visual impairments, and in addition to the research presented here, her research focuses on writing of students with VI. If that wasn’t enough, Dr. Savaiano also has two girls, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old, who take up the rest of her time.

 

  1. Preparing for Post- Secondary Education –Barbara Hammer

When students begin their college careers, the transition is often exciting and unsettling – new people, changes in environment and daily routine, and increased academic demands all create challenges.  For disabled students, the experience is complicated by the additional requirements of learning to navigate the process to request accommodations, and then putting those accommodations in place. This session will highlight the differences between the K-12 and higher education experiences, and provide suggestions for how education professionals can assist students in preparing for that transition.  Specific suggestions will be offered that focus on the experience of students who are blind or low vision.

 

Presenter Background Information: Barbara Hammer is the Director of the Disability Center at the University of Missouri.  With over 15 years’ experience in disability services in higher education, and over 35 years in the field of disability services in general (public and private sector), Barb is a seasoned counselor and consultant. In addition to her responsibilities at the Disability Center, Barb is active in the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), serves as an Editor on the Practice Brief Review Board for the Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disabilities (JPED), is Past-President of the Missouri Association on Higher Education and Disability (MO AHEAD), is a member of the Board of Directors for Services for Independent Living in Columbia, and recently completed a two year term on the Missouri State Advisory Board for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Barb presents regularly at professional conferences and for small and larger groups on a wide range of topics related to post-secondary education for students with disabilities.

 

IIA. Comparing Braille to Printed English –  Dr. Mackenzie Savaiano

In this presentation, we will discuss the relationship between the braille code and printed English as it affects beginning readers. Specifically, we will describe the efficiency of braille contractions related to the frequency of words and letter combinations in 3rd and 4th grade texts. Results suggest that braille contractions are a generally strong representation of printed American English. In terms of the instructional sequence, early braille lessons tend to prioritize characters with easily recognizable dot configurations, but many later lessons appear to group contractions and short form words that are similar without consideration of how frequently they occur in print (e.g., teaching thyself with yourself). We concluded that, despite its nineteenth century French genesis, the braille system represents current American English orthography efficiently, but that braille instructional practices could be refined to support earlier acquisition of important features of English.

 

Presenter Background Information: Dr. Mackenzie Savaiano is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, where she coordinates the graduate specialization in visual impairments and is currently PI on an OSEP personnel preparation grant to train TVIs and TODs in the Midwest region. Dr. Savaiano also conducts research related to literacy for students with visual impairments, and in addition to the research presented here, her research focuses on writing of students with VI. If that wasn’t enough, Dr. Savaiano also has two girls, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old, who take up the rest of her time.

 

IIB. Transition Changes:  Rehab Services for the Blind – Janet Moore and Keith Roderick

Changes are coming in transition services. This will be a two part presentation.  First, come see what services are provided and how you can tap into services provided by the Center for Braille and Narration Production.  The second part will be discussion on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) changes to transition services.  This will include eligibility for services, Pre-Employment Transition services, and working with schools and IDEA in the provision of transition services.

 

Presenter Background Information: Janet has worked for Missouri RSB for 29 years.  She has been a Rehabilitation Assistant and Administrative Office Support Assistant.  Currently, she is executive Director of the Center for Braille and Narration Production.  Keith has worked for Missouri RSB for 17 years in many positions including Children’s Specialist, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Prevention of Blindness Program Coordinator, Management Analysis Specialist, Policy Development Coordinator, and is currently the Fiscal and Administrative Manager for RSB.

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When You Have A Student With A Visual Impairment

Presenter: Anthony Blades, Blindness Skills Specialist

Date: Friday, September 9, 2016

Time: 10-3 (lunch on your own)

Cost: FREE

Location: Room TBA

Truman State University

100 E. Normal

Kirksville, MO 63501

 

Overview of Workshop: This workshop will focus on the unique aspects of educating students who have visual impairments and the role of the regular education teacher and paraprofessional.  Topics covered include low vision devices, assessment procedures, and Braille.

 

For more information, contact:

Anthony Blades

Truman State University

2200 Violette Ha

100 E. Normal

Kirksville, MO 63501

ablades@truman.edu

(660) 785-7428

 

To register for the above workshops, go to the Northeast RPDC web site at http://rpdc.truman.edu.  Click on ‘Workshops”; click on “Northeast RPDC Workshop Registrations”; DO NOT change anything in the search catalog box; scroll down the screen to see the workshop offerings (listed by date); click on the workshop title you want; follow the directions to enroll.

 

 

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Lighthouse for the Blind St. Louis Programs

“See the Future” Programs
Founded in 1933, LHB is a non-profit 501(c)3 enterprise that helps children and adults who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering employment, education and support services.
The “See the Future” programs were first launched in January of 2005. These programs have grown to include assistance to students in areas of technology adaptations, activities
of daily living skills development, professional career development for professionals in the field of vision, scholarships to educational and recreational camps, older adult assistance with low vision aids and a mobile low vision clinic.
All of our programs share a common goal to provide children and adults who are blind or legally blind with opportunities to learn about teamwork, gain self-confidence, create friendships and develop communication and socialization skills. Through our programs, we strive to help all our participants become independent and productive members of society.
The “See the Future” programs are provided at little or no cost and are open to blind and visually impaired residents in Missouri and the Illinois counties of Calhoun, St. Clair, Monroe, Madison and Jersey.

 

  • Continuing Education: Provides students who are legally blind, age preschool through college graduation, with financial scholarships to fund adaptive equipment and college tuition.
  • Camp Barnabas: Week long overnight summer camp located in Purdy, MO that caters to children and young adults with disabilities, ages 7-25, and offers adaptive equipment so all children can participate in activities.
  • Special Technology and Adaptive Resources for Students: Provides training in Activities of Daily living and Technology to students who are visually impaired or blind, age 6-21.
  • Group Recreation and Developmental Support: This program is sponsored by Delta Gamma (local St. Louis non-profit) and supported by the Lighthouse. It offers children that are visually impaired and blind, age 3-high school graduation, the opportunity to participate in recreational community activities.
  • Sports Education Camp: Weekend overnight camp held at Webster University for visually impaired and blind youth ages 12-18. Provides children with an introduction to adaptive sports.
  • Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students: Week long overnight camp in Huntsville Alabama. SCIVIS uses space to excite and educate students in math and science. LHB provides visually impaired and legally blind children ages 9-18 with scholarships.
  • Summer Orientation & Mobility & Adaptive Living Resource: Three week residential training program held at Webster University providing students who are legally blind, age 15-21, with one on one lessons in activities of daily living and prevocational training.
  • Public Relations: LHB offers donations to several non-profit organizations to act as sponsors and provide our financial support.
  • Low Vision Aid Program: Provides qualified visually impaired adults with financial assistance to purchase a CCTV.
  • Arts & Entertainment Accessibility: Provides financial assistance to local cultural venues to help make them more accessible to the blind community.
  • Professional Career Development: Offers financial assistance for vision professionals to further their education through college scholarships and funding to attend conferences.
  • Comprehensive Low Vision Project: Provides visually impaired youth, ages 3-21, with low vision evaluations, prescribed devices and training in the use of these devices.
  • Southwest Kids in Action: Offered in Springfield, MO. Provides visually impaired and blind youth ages, 10-18, the opportunity to participate in group recreation and community activities.
  • Night Orientation and Mobility Services: A supplemental program providing students that are low vision and blind ages 12 thru college graduation with a night evaluation and additional lessons. This program is NOT intended to take the place of a current O&M but to supplement by teaching night travel skills commensurate with daylight travel experience.

 

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New School Year

The Blindness Skills Specialist are excited to have a blog for the new school year.   Here you will find community resources and information to support students who are blind or visually impaired.

We will update weekly to keep you informed about workshops, seminars, programs, and camps.

Have a great year!

Julie Anderson-Ituarte

DJ Butcher

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