Reflections on 2018

It's almost 2019.  What a year this has been.  There have been so many things to reflect upon both personal and professional.  I am going to indulge myself a bit. The year started with the usual suspects.  Promises to get fit (ish), to find more quiet time to knit, or walk in the woods, or watch the birds (yes, I am a nerd).  But the little spiral book that is my calendar preempted many of those plans.  I'm not sorry-I love my work...every bit of it.  But, I do wonder about my inability to quiet my thoughts and to follow those occasional instincts for calm.  Nevermind that,…

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The AER Resolution

In July 2018, AER passed Resolution 2018-001.  This Resolution included content that potentially limited the use of The CVI Range as an assessment of functional vision in students who have CVI.  The following is my response to the Resolution.  My statement provides an explanation of my point of view regarding AER's Resolution 2018-001.  The Resolution was removed from AER's website in September, 2018.       August 24, 2018 To whom it May Concern, I am enclosing my comments to your Resolution (AER-2018-00).  Many of the statements in your document are misleading, incomplete, or inaccurate.  I find the purpose of your Resolution very much in question as…

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Is improving vision enough for a child with CVI?

No.  Of course not.  Please don't get me wrong, improving functional vision is really quite important.  I talk about it all the time.  I think it is critical.  In fact, every provider who works with children who have CVI should have an expectation of improving vision.  Not a wish or a hope or a notion, but an expectation of improving functional vision. For a number of years, I described improving vision into high Phase III as the endpoint.  I would emphasize the need for CVI Range scores to continually improve until every child with CVI ultimately attains Phase III CVI status.  A lofty goal, yes, but one that I believed…

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Where is the best place in the country or world for my child with CVI to get an education? What are the attributes of a successful team?

I get the question all the time, "Is there some place I should live so my child can get a teacher who knows CVI?".  Well, that is a difficult question.  It is obvious that most of the intense training based on The CVI Range has hovered around the east coast.  But there is no guarantee that moving to Connecticut or Massachusetts will result in your child being properly educated. None the less, parents certainly try this tactic.  It is not uncommon for families to maintain two addresses or uproot completely in pursuit of the teacher who embraces their child's complex needs and actually knows how to teach…

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Introduction to: “As I See It”

Hello and welcome.  Over the years I have had the honor of learning so much from the children, families, and providers I have encountered.  In my long history in the field of education, I have provided instructional sessions about the principles of CVI.  I have taught methods for conducting The CVI Range.  I have shown videos and photos of interventions for individuals with CVI.  But, I almost never feel that it is appropriate for me to give my unfiltered opinion.  Until now. This blog will provide me with the opportunity to write about topics that stir something in me.  The subjects I select and the points of view will be…

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Rearranging deck chairs on The Titanic

In the 1990s I worked at The University of Pittsburgh in the Vision Studies Program.  I had the responsibility of planning and providing instruction for future teachers of the visually impaired. Every spring the students were provided an opportunity to visit some of the major agencies associated with our field.  One of the stops was The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), an organization founded in 1921 and the one to which Helen Keller devoted much of her life. My Pitt grad students had the honor of sitting at a conference table with Susan Spungin who was the associate executive director and vice president of AFB.  For…

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How Much Time is Enough Time from the TVI?

Parents often ask me to look at their children's IEPs or IFSPs.  It is inappropriate for me to write goals or objectives for any child because in my role at Pediatric VIEW or as a consultant, I am not a member of the IEP team. Decisions related to the content of the IEP are left to the members of that team of administrators, educators, therapists and of course, parents who are charged with educating the child.  However, it is appropriate, when asked, to provide an opinion on certain elements of the IEP.  For example, if I have evaluated a child at pediatric VIEW and have confidence in…

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What is the underlying reason that most TVIs have less time for children with CVI compared to those with ocular visual impairment?

Educators who specialize in visual impairment (teachers of the visually impaired, orientation & mobility specialists) have a long tradition of providing services to infants, school-age students, and transition-age individuals who have visual impairment.  They are a proud group and were among the first special educators to serve students with visual impairment in their local school settings.  Universities have taken responsibility to train educational specialists in the methods and materials needed to provide equal opportunity to learning.  Teachers of the visually impaired are asked to appropriately serve the needs of children who are birth-21 (and beyond, in some states) who have all levels of ability and challenge.  They…

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The rationale behind The CVI Range Endorsement-why did this become necessary?

I have long wanted to provide my perspectives on the Perkins Roman CVI Range Endorsement.  There seems to be confusion and even resistance about the Endorsement and I hope to clear up some of the misinformation or misgivings. Around 1994 I was the lead person in a project at The Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children called Project CRIB (Community Resources for Infants who are Blind).  The purpose was to offer functional vision evaluations to young children who were newly diagnosed with visual impairment. The project was a joy and I so appreciated the opportunity to offer information to families who were searching for the "next steps" after diagnosis.…

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