Inclusion of CVI in Texas Tech University's Personnel Preparation Program

Article excerpt

For a number of years, Texas Tech University's (TTU) personnel preparation programs for teachers of students with visual impairments and orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists have incorporated information on individuals with cortical or cerebral visual impairment (CVI) into their curricula. The reasons for inclusion of this topic are

1. the changing demographics of individuals who are visually impaired, since CVI is now the leading cause of visual impairment among children;

2. the return of soldiers from war with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and CVI who are attending Department of Veterans Affairs' Blind Rehabilitation Centers;

3. the publication of textbooks and the availability of other resources like web sites and electronic bulletin boards on this topic;

4. feedback from personnel in the field of vision that they are increasingly asked to serve students with CVI; and

5. the revision of state certification examinations for teachers of students with visual impairments to include content on CVI.

Biannually, the TTU faculty members review syllabi to check the required textbooks and resources that are used in the courses on visual impairment to discuss and make potential changes. All new resources are then reviewed and vetted by the faculty. A book list for all the courses is listed on the web site of the Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Visual Impairment at for students to purchase. Course activities using these new resources are developed by the instructor of record for each course. For example, in EDSP 5392, the Advanced Seminar in Orientation and Mobility, O&M students read Christine Roman-Lantzy's book, Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention (New York: AFB Press, 2007) and write a research paper summarizing the content and its application to O&M services. Similarly, in EDSP 5389, Methods and Materials for Teaching Students with Dual Sensory Impairments, a case study of a visually impaired child with additional disabilities is given to students, who are asked to use Roman-Lantzy's range rating scale to assess this child and to develop an assessment report. CVI is also covered in EDSP 5383, Anatomy and Functions of the Visual System.

The knowledge that graduate students gain about this topic prepares them to teach children with CVI with more confidence, and the students' evaluations of these children are more accurate. …


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