All teachers at
ASBVI are certified in teaching Braille. Therefore, students who use
Braille and students who read print are grouped together for
instructional purposes. However, there are times when a student
might need additional instruction in Braille. If a student
experiences a loss of vision and needs to use Braille as his primary
reading medium, intensive instruction is required so that he can
develop reading skills as quickly as possible. If a student is
functioning below grade level, additional instruction in Braille may
be recommended by the IEP committee. Occasionally, a student might
need additional assistance with learning Braille math symbols or
setting up math problems in Braille.
these and other reasons, ASBVI employs a Braille specialist who
provides supplemental instruction as prescribed by the Individual
Education Plan. In addition to providing instruction, the Braille
specialist conducts in-services in teaching Braille and provides
advice to classroom teachers as to the most effective methods in
teaching Braille concepts. Finally, the Braille specialist serves
as a resource to parents by answering questions, making suggestions
as to how parents might assist their children in improving Braille
skills and by providing information on where to purchase products
or to obtain services. The Braille specialist frequently
participates as a member of the IEP committee to insure that ASBVI is
meeting the needs of those who use Braille. If you are interested
in the Braille code, how Braille is written, or materials and
equipment for writing or producing Braille text, feel free to contact
us for further information.
Orientation and Mobility
As reflected in the ASBVI
Mission Statement, the primary goal at ASBVI is to offer quality
programs which will enable students to become productive,
self-sufficient citizens. In order for students to be productive
and self-sufficient, they must be able to travel safely, efficiently
and independently. ASBVI employs 3 mobility specialists who work with
all students to assist them in acquiring independent travel skills.
In addition, the school has a cooperative arrangement with the
Orientation and Mobility department at UALR which allows students in the
Orientation and Mobility
department at the university to gain practicum experience at the
Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This arrangement is mutually
beneficial as it provides practical experience for UALR students and
more one-to-one instruction for ASBVI students.
All students at
ASBVI receive mobility training. For those with travel vision,
instruction focuses on assisting students in the use of visual aids
to optimize use of vision. Students are taught to use a monocular
to read signs, identify the METRO bus they wish to ride and to locate
stores and businesses downtown and in shopping malls. Students who
lack travel vision are instructed in the use of the cane to travel
in their environment.
Learning to use the cane
begins at an early age. Students first learn concepts of direction
and learn to travel in familiar surroundings. When these concepts
are mastered, the cane is introduced. Students learn to use the
cane to travel in a straight line in areas which are familiar to
them. They learn to use the cane to travel on the right side of a
hall and to travel in their classrooms. They are taught to ascend
and descend steps with the cane and to interpret their surroundings
by becoming sensitive to information communicated to them through
the cane. Students are taught "the arc"-moving the cane in such a
manner as to tap the cane in front of their trailing foot. In so
doing, the area immediately in front of them can be explored just
prior to moving forward. As the student becomes more proficient,
the training environment expands to encompass the entire campus, the
neighborhood, near-by shopping centers, and finally the city.
Students learn to utilize their sense of hearing and the cane to
cross streets safely and to avoid hazards.
Little Rock is an ideal city
for teaching travel skills. It's downtown, sub-divisions, hills
and meandering streets offer a variety of challenges to students.
Once a student learns to travel independently in Little Rock, he
should have no difficulty traveling in his local community.
ASBVI employs two technology instructors trained in
the use of various adaptive technology devices. All students are
evaluated to determine their individual needs and appropriate
instruction is provided accordingly. ASBVI also offers evaluations to
public school students free of charge if requested. For more
information please call 501-286-1810.