Supporting Learners Series: Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
About the Series
This introductory module series is designed to explore visual impairments and how to include and provide support to learners who are blind/visually impaired (B/VI). Learn the basics about how vision impacts intellectual and social development that are necessary for students to fully engage in learning. When learners are healthy, safe, engaged, challenged, and supported, they are more likely to enjoy learning, develop positive social skills, and achieve greater success.
Shannon D. Cuniak
Shannon D. Cuniak, M.Ed., is a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) in Canonsburg, PA. Formerly an Outreach Specialist at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB), Cuniak currently works at The Intermediate Unit 1 in Washington County, PA as a TVI/COMS in multiple districts. Cuniak is an adjunct faculty instructor with both The Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh’s programs in visual impairments teaching courses in the area of braille and O&M. She has presented in a variety of settings on topics including Functional Vision Assessments, Blindness 101 and multiple teacher in-services. She received the Citation of Excellence for Direct Service Award in Orientation and Mobility from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER).
Check Out the Series
Available with a free OCALI Account! Certificates available upon completion.
Click the area of interest below, login to your account, and access all sessions of the series. For your convenience, the session slides are available for download.
Identification and Referral
- Explain the whole child approach to working with students with visual impairments.
- Describe the range of various visual impairments and how they may impact students.
- Identify signs that indicate a student may have a visual impairment.
- Describe how to make a referral for a student with a possible visual impairment.
- Differentiate between how vision professionals may work with classroom teachers to fully support their students.
- Identify how vision can impact areas outside of the core curriculum, including self-determination, compensatory, sensory, and social emotional learning.
The Whole Child: Being Healthy
- Demonstrate how students need to be provided with health-related services and how they can be implemented into the classroom setting
- Describe resources on how to adapt curriculum around health education and physical education
- Identify ways to collaborate with community partners to promote the well-being of students with visual impairments
The Whole Child: Being Safe
- Demonstrate why students need to be provided with safe environments in order to achieve academically and increased student well-being
- Describe how safety drills and activities need to be adapted to meet the needs for students with visual impairments
- Identify ways to make the school environment physically and emotionally safe for students with visual impairments
The Whole Child: Being Engaged
- Demonstrate how being engaged supports student learning using a whole child approach.
- Describe how to implement strategies to promote engagement within the classroom setting
- Identify resources that will help a student with a visual impairment access the curriculum
The Whole Child: Being Supported
- Demonstrate how students need to be supported in the classroom setting using a whole child approach
- Describe resources to help support families of students with visual impairments
- Identify those professionals that provide support to students with visual impairments in the classroom
The Whole Child: Being Challenged
- Demonstrate how being challenged supports student learning using a whole child approach
- Describe strategies to challenge students within the classroom setting
- Identify resources that can be used to challenge students with visual impairments
To learn more about this topic, and earn professional development credit, log in to your OCALI ID account and watch the series!