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Improving Education for Individuals with Visual Impairments.

O&M Program Course Descriptions

Required Courses

VISN 601: Physical & Functional Aspects of Visual Impairment

Course Description: The student is introduced to the structure and function of the main systems of the human body and to those chronic conditions which may affect these systems. Emphasis will be placed on disabilities most frequently seen in conjunction with visual impairments and how the combined impact will affect instruction for individuals with visual impairment. Having covered these areas, each of the sensory systems will also be explored with the mechanics of locomotion and psychomotor factors influencing mobility.

VISN 602: Education of Students with Visual Impairments

Course Description: This course examines the philosophical, historical and legal foundations of special education services for students with visual impairments, and gives an overview of the wide array of services and resources available to the students with visual impairment. Topics include legislation, service systems, roles and responsibilities of specialized service providers and the impact of visual impairment on child development. 

 

VISN 603: Braille Communications I

Course Description:

This course will train individuals to teach reading and writing of contracted Unified English Braille. Participants will learn read embossed braille visually and to write Unified English Braille using a Perkins Braille Writer, computer keyboard for six-key entry, and a slate and stylus. Topics include teaching techniques for reading readiness, tracking, tactile discrimination, and reading methods. Reading problems and remediation will be discussed. Techniques used in education and rehabilitation will be included. The use of technology to produce braille will be reviewed.

 

VISN 604: Visual Functioning

Course Description:In this fully on-line course, the sessions are designed to provide a basic understanding of the physical structures of the eye and their functions, an understanding of pathologies that affect the visual system and how they impact visual functioning. Topics include: structures of the eye, ocular optics, basic brain anatomy and development of vision, and functional implications of common eye diseases.

VISN 605: Implications of Low Vision

Course Description: This course is designed to train professionals to work with individuals who have low vision in both rehabilitation and educational settings. Through selected readings and presentations on the theoretical and practical aspects of low vision, participants will acquire a solid knowledge base; and become comfortable with various low vision concepts and methods for integrating visual needs and adapted equipment within an educational/rehabilitation environment. In addition, small group activities, case studies, and simulation will be incorporated throughout the course to provide students with the practical application of skills and techniques learned.

VISN 628: O&M Praxis Lab

Course Description: This course must be taken before or concurrently with VISN 625: Methods of Orientation and Mobility (Lecture). A major component of the course will be to give students the opportunity to learn and experience O&M skills and techniques through the use of blindfolds and low-vision simulators. After mastering these skills, students will focus on teaching each other, then modifying the techniques for diverse populations. Students will meet for 20 sessions, totaling 120 hours throughout the semester. This course is a field-based pre-practicum experience offered by an ACVREP-Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Each cohort of students is individually scheduled, based on geographic location.

 

VISN 625: Methods of Orientation and Mobility

TThis course examines the foundations of learning and teaching Orientation and Mobility. A weekly on-line lecture will provide an introduction to the principles of concept development, spatial orientation, and environmental analysis as these topics relate to independent travel by individuals who are visually impaired.

VISN 640: Psycho-social Aspects of Visual Impairments

Course Description: This course will investigate the psychosocial aspects of vision loss. Coping techniques and issues of self-esteem will be explored along with principles of self-determination. Other topics include the psychosocial aspects of personal life management such as orientation and mobility, use of volunteers, sexuality, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Psychosocial issues specific to people from diverse cultures will also be addressed.

VISN 621: O&M Assessment and Instructional Strategies: Children

Course Description: This course is an instructional strategies course and applies foundations and methods to the specific populations of pre-school, elementary, and transition-aged children. Assessment tools are introduced and applied, with an emphasis on development of the students' abilities in observational skills, information gathering, and task analysis in the development of specific objectives and lesson design for instructing children. Methods in team instruction, consultation, and itinerant teaching are examined. Competencies for the course will be integrated into both classroom and field-based experiences.
Pre-Practicum O&M Assessment: Children
This is a field-based experience which provides the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge and learn observational and assessment strategies through direct student contact. The field site options will include experience with children, and the opportunity to diversify the experience between infants, preschool, school-aged, and transitional students. This course requires daytime participation to acquire a minimum of 15 hours of instructional experience.

VISN 622: O&M Assessment and Instructional Strategies: Adults

Course Description: This is an instructional strategies course which applies foundations and methods to the specific populations of visually impaired adults, including persons over age sixty-five, those with additional disabilities, and persons of diverse cultural backgrounds. Case studies will provide the basis for discussion and foundation to the practical experience provided in the O&M Internship. Assessment, observation, information gathering, and task analysis through lesson design are critical elements of this course, while the advanced systems of O&M are addressed in greater depth.  

Pre-Practicum: O&M Assessment: Adults

This is a field-based experience which provides the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge and learn observational and assessment strategies through direct student contact. The field site options will include experience with social, vocational, and independent living rehabilitation agencies, with the opportunity to diversify the experience with young adult, adult, geriatric, and individuals with multiple disabilities. This course requires daytime participation to acquire a minimum of 15 hours of instructional experience.

VISN 629: O&M Practicum Seminar

Course Description: This course is for students who have completed course work and all prepracticum hours with both children and adults. Internships may be full-time or part-time, and interns are required to keep an on-going diary of their experiences along with a capstone portfolio. Students must complete the clinical requirements set by AER and ACVREP, totaling a minimum of 350 hours. Students will also prepare for the International ACVREP application and examination for certification.

VISN 646: Introduction to Audiology and the Human Auditory System

Course Description: This course will cover the nature of sound and how humans perceive it. Sound in the environment and how sound is used by humans to move through their environment will also be explored. Topics include the basics of sound, anatomy and physiology of the auditory system with an emphasis on function, common disorders of the auditory system and how these disorders are manifested. The principles of basic audiology and how to understand and relate to the audiologist provide a foundation for hearing both clinically and functionally. Students will learn hearing aid technology and the application of that technology to various auditory disorders in a functional sense.  There are no face to face classes.

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