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Teacher Training Program for Students with Visual Impairments

April 3, 2006

Outcome: To meet the demands of TVIs in the western part of Iowa and to train qualified TVIs, the UNI Department of Education, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa School for the Blind, Iowa School for the Deaf, and local AEAs will operate a satellite TVI training program, beginning May 2006. This program is composed of eight courses and practicum experiences. Students who would like to participate in this program should be enrolled at UNI. All questions regarding application procedures and materials should be directed to Marilyn Busch, the department secretary, at 319-273-6061 or Upon completion of this program, students will be endorsed as a teacher of students with visual impairments. The targeted students for this satellite program are those who live in the western part of the state or those who have difficulty participating in regular on-campus classes. The courses, other than ICN, will be held at the Iowa School for the Deaf campus. The detailed program description and timeline are as follows:


Semester Course number Course title Course hour Comments
2006 May-June
3 weeks
220:132g Introduction to Visual Impairments 3 Hours ICN, Provisional endorsement
2006 summer 220:126g Braille Learning and Tactile Communication I 3 Hours Provisional endorsement
2006 summer 220:259 Anatomy of the Eye and Educational Implications of Low Vision 3 Hours ICN, Provisional endorsement
2006 fall 220:124g Teaching Students who are Visually Impaired with Additional Disabilities 2 Hours ICN
2007 spring 220:130g Assistive Technology for Students with Visual Impairments 2 Hours ICN
2007 spring 220:136g Methods of teaching students with visual impairments 3 Hours ICN
2007 summer 220:127g Braille Learning and Tactile Communication II 3 Hours  
2007 summer 220:134g Foundations of Orientation and Mobility 3 Hours  
2006 fall-2007 summer 220:290 Advanced Practicum 9 Hours Combination of public and residential setting



Course number Course description

This course will be an overview of the field of visual impairments including types of services, placements, and instructional strategies along with legal, demographic, psychological, and historical perspectives of education for students with visual impairments.  Hands-on experience through demonstration and simulation will provide the students with understandings and knowledge of educating students with visual impairments.  Educational implications of students who are blind as well as who have low vision will be covered.

220:126g Students will acquire competence in reading and writing braille; skills in the use of the Perkins braillewriter and slate and stylus are also introduced.  Techniques for braille instruction of school-aged students as well as for special populations such as children with multiple disabilities and adults with an adventitious visual impairment are also included.

This course will focus on educational needs and learning styles of students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities.  Functional assessment and teaching adaptations that will improve students’ inclusive learning will be covered.  In addition, hands-on experiences to provide educational services for students who are visually impaired with additional disabilities will be discussed.  National and state resources along with interventional strategies for students with visual and multiple disabilities will be included.


This course will focus on basic structure of the eye and the visual system.  Evaluation of the educational needs of specific visual disabilities along with assessment instruments and techniques, including functional vision assessment will be discussed.  Other topics include research in technology relevant to reading and writing with optical and non-optical devices, psycho-social implications of low vision conditions, curricular materials appropriate for students with low vision, and interpretation of ocular reports presented for specific visual disabilities will be covered.

220:130g This course will cover general information for adaptive technology and its potential for people with visual impairments.  Course content will include basic concept of microcomputers, types of adaptive software and hardware, and their basic operations.  Students will learn how to assess the needs of persons with visual impairments to achieve their potentials through the assistive technology.  The latest technology available for this population will be explored.
220:136g This course is designed to cover assessment issues of students with visual impairments and instructional strategies applicable to students with visual impairments in all subject areas.  It will also focus on expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments.  In conjunction with student teaching, this course will provide students with applying learned methods to teach students with visual impairments and to apply assessment and instruction needs in real-life situation.  Strong focus will be given to expanded core-curriculum, collaborative working with interdisciplinary teams, and issues related to career development and transition.

This course is designed to provide students with advanced skills in nemeth code, music braille, and computer braille.  The use of abacus for math instruction as well as computer-facilitated braille production will be covered.


The course will focus on theory and learning of basic orientation and mobility skills and techniques by students with visual impairments.  Students will gain understandings and knowledge about practical methods used for concept development, orientation skills, basic travel skills and techniques, and safe travel.  Sighted guide techniques, electronic travel aids, and introduction to cane travel will also be covered.


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