Expanded Core Curriculum

 

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Braille

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. 

Photo of Student Using a Braille WriterFor 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.

Photo of a Student in Orientation & Mobility Class.

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.   

Independent Living Skills

(Coming soon)

 

Adaptive Technology

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.