Itinerant Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) provide a wide range of services to students and school districts in compliance with local, state, and federal legislation. The teachers participate with district evaluation teams in qualifying students under state guidelines, assist in developing program plans, provide direct and indirect services, and facilitate appropriate materials for individual students. Braille/VI Para-educators support instructional needs under the supervision of the VI teacher.
What does a Teacher of the Visually Impaired do?
- Interpret eye reports and conduct functional vision evaluations to help teams determine student qualification and needs
- Help school teams to better understand how vision impacts student learning and assist in developing effective program plans including ETRs and IEPs
- Teach students Braille and Nemeth code
- Teach students to use low vision aids
- Coordinate/order Braille or enlarged materials for the district in most cost-effective manner
- Conduct workshops/in-services for staff on effective strategies for students with visual impairments
- Train district staff to use district owned Braille production software/hardware
- Produce Braille materials at Hamilton County ESC workstation
- Refer to appropriate agencies for assistive technology evaluation
What does a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist do?
- Teach students how to move safely within their school and community using spatial and environmental concepts and information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature and vibrations) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street)
- Teach students to use the long cane or a service animal to safely
negotiate the environment
- Teach students to use remaining vision and distance low vision aids in order to travel independently
Teresa Clevidence, Coordinator