VI Independence Specialists

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     Sonja Biggs Educational Services, Inc. partners with districts in providing quality, highly trained VI Independence Specialists. These non-certificated staff  are proficient in braille and work one-on-on with the VI students who need their services. VI Independence Specialists are also trained in VI Assistive Technology and can assist the classroom teacher and student in learning to use the technology.

     VI Independence Specialists assist the VI student in learning independence so the student can become as independent as possible and, hopefully, learn not to need them any longer. Their focus can then be on making sure that all the materials are accessible in the format the student needs whether that be tactile, auditory, large print, or a combination. They emphasize inclusion so that the VI student is included socially, as well as academically.

     VI Independence Specialists provide the IEP team valuable input on student learning, independence level, and what is working/not working for the student so the team can design goals that will meet that student's needs. The VI Independence Specialists attend IEP staffings and give a written report to the Case Manager and Teacher of the Visually Impaired prior to IEP meetings to provide this important input.

     VI Students need to have their materials in the format designated in the IEP at the same time as their sighted peers receive their materials. Our VI Independence specialists partner with the TVI/O&M Teachers and Classroom Teachers to make that happen.

There is a wonder in reading braille the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back.  --Jim Fiebig