OSEP Letter

OSEP Letter about Visual Impairments

On November 12, 2014, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a response to an inquiry for policy clarification addressing whether a State educational agency (SEA) and/or local educational agency (LEA) is permitted to establish procedures that further define the disability category, “visual impairment including blindness,” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).1 Since that time, OSEP has received a request for written guidance to assist SEAs in supporting their LEAs in reaching appropriate eligibility determinations for children with this disability. The purpose of this memorandum is to ensure broad dissemination of the key points made in our November 12, 2014 letter, provide the additional guidance requested on this important issue, and share information about outside resources that may be helpful as you examine your State’s procedures related to the identification and evaluation of children suspected of having a visual impairment including blindness.

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Jewelry in Braille

braille alphabet braceletbraille alphabet braceletbraille alphabet braceletBraille diffuser necklaceDiffuser necklace with braille Inner Peace

Whenever I get a chance to get braille jewelry I do. It can be so challenging to find and at a price I can afford. Kelly Fehr has done both! Her jewelry at Jewelry in Braille is amazing, both in quality and individuality. I was lucky enough to visit her booth at the Florida AER conference at the beginning of the month. I have been happily wearing her jewelry almost every day. I love that she also sells online so my student and friend holiday shopping will be so easy this year!

My favorite piece is the silver diffuser necklace. With so many colored pad choices, it goes with any outfit. I love that I can place scents in and enjoy them all day, so calming! My second favorite is the stainless steel alphabet bracelet — this thing is built to last and so pretty at the same time.

Check out her amazing work on her website and Facebook page.

Jewelry in Braille Website

Jewelry in Braille Facebook

Parents Seeking Parents

Children with visual impairments are a low incidence population. That being said, parents of these children are also a low incidence group. Here are some national places to look for support.

National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Family Connect

Schools for the Blind in America

Perkins School for the Blind Parent Page

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

International Council on English Braille 6th General Assembly Call for Papers

 

International Council on English Braille Sixth General Assembly will be in Maryland in May 2016!

International Council on English Braille 

Sixth General Assembly 

Call for papers

Date: 15 October 2015

The International Council on English Braille (ICEB) is holding its Sixth General Assembly from Sunday, May 22, 2016 through Thursday, May 26, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland which is near Washington, D.C., USA. We are delighted to invite friends of braille to submit papers for presentation at the General Assembly. Details about the papers and the process are as follows:

  1. The papers should be related to Unified English Braille (UEB) or braille in general. Some suggestions are:
  • UEB research and results of UEB implementation.
  • Research, education and teaching of braille and technical codes to children.
  • Teaching braille to blind adults, including issues related to the computer-assisted environments.
  • Technological developments in braille production.
  • Tactile graphics: research into readability and cost-effective production techniques.
  • Methods and issues surrounding braille writing.
  • Challenges facing developing countries in the production and teaching of braille.
  • The future of braille code monitoring and maintenance: what international organizational structures would best suit this role?
  1. Closing date for submission of Abstracts of up to 400 words: Monday, November 16, 2015. Late abstracts will only be considered if there are insufficient suitable abstracts received by the due date. Please provide the abstracts as Microsoft Word or text (.txt) attachments to Dr. Sandra Ruconich, email sruconich@gmail.com.
  1. Abstracts will be assessed and selected by the Papers Subcommittee of the ICEB, who will advise submitters of the acceptance (or non-acceptance) of their papers by December 1, 2015.
  1. What to include in your abstract: To assist the Committee in assessing your proposal, please ensure that you address the following five points as part of your abstract of up to 400 words:

*  Title of paper;

*  Name(s) of author(s), including organizational or corporate affiliations;

*  Contact details of author(s) (address, telephone and email);

*  Key objectives of paper – up to five key points;

*  Outline of paper.

  1. Papers should be a maximum of 6,000 words in length, exclusive of abstract, footnotes and appendices.
  1. A paper may be written by two or more co-authors, or by an individual. Authors or co-authors need not be delegates to the General Assembly.
  1. Completed papers are due by March 1, 2016 as Microsoft Word files to be sent to the ICEB secretary, Dr Judith M. Dixon, email jdix@loc.gov
  1. All accepted papers will be emailed to ICEB member countries by April 1, 2016 to circulate to all delegates. This deadline is so that delegates may read and discuss the papers with others prior to their attending the General Assembly.
  1. Presentations: As delegates are expected to have read the papers, each presenter will be asked to give a summary of their paper in up to 25 minutes, allowing time for questions and discussion to follow. A presenter is not required to be a paper’s author/co-author nor to be a delegate to the Assembly. The person emailing the abstract to Dr. Ruconich should indicate who is going to be the paper’s presenter.
  1. All accepted papers will be published in the proceedings of the General Assembly and will be posted on the ICEB website after the Assembly. Presenters will be expected to register and pay for attendance at the General Assembly.

Summary of due dates:

Monday, 16 November, 2015: Abstracts Due

Tuesday, 1 December, 2015: Abstracts selected and submitters contacted via email

Tuesday, 1 March, 2016: Completed papers due

Friday, 1 April, 2016: Accepted papers distributed to ICEB delegations via email

 

Working to Prevent Blindness

A local nurse aims to help children – she makes sure children are identified having an eye condition, so glasses, procedures, and assistance can be provided.

We know most parents do not have their children’s eyes checked by a specialist unless their pediatrician recommends it. Pediatricians are not eye specialists, and can miss some eye conditions due to the behavior of young children.

Nurse Helping Children