Blindness Services, Instruction, and Workshops

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Matthew Kelly, inspired by George Reavis and Albert Einstein

Professional Development Workshop Sample Outline - 2-3 day format

A sample outline of the professional development workshops we provide.

Education and Rehabilitation Programming

How to realize our dreams? How to achieve success? We can apply our collective decades of world gathered experience in educational and rehabilitative programming to help you plan for the best possible outcomes. We help blind people, parents, and institutions put pieces together to implement the most effective programs, or refine existing programs. If you want success, we will help you achieve it. In the interest of positive action and student respect, our approach to effective programming is not just based on remediation of student weakness, but augmentation of student strengths. Being blind ourselves and with much experience with all sorts and combinations of involvements, we have lived and learned the process of making it work in the face of significant societal and administrative challenges. <Check out our credentials> Whatever your situation, however complicated, we specialize in innovative resolutions to the most intricate and exciting challenges. After an initial free consultation, we will provide you a free proposal of how we can help you. <click here to view a sample proposal>

Assessment of Ability and Achievement

We offer comprehensive, detailed assessments of functional living and personal achievement. We do not poke and probe with a critical eye. Our assessments do not just highlight or innumerate student weaknesses. We learn who the student is by a process of respectful involvement, interaction, and exchange. We believe assessment has three purposes - to learn who the student is, to communicate that knowledge clearly and respectfully, and to propose an effective program of positive action based on those findings. Our assessment process rests on three principals:

  1. The student does not have special needs, but the same needs as all students - the need for full, self-directed access to the opportunities of all aspects of society.
  2. The intent of our assessment is not to determine what's right or wrong with a student, but to determine how to optimize the student's self-directed access to society. The key question is, what needs to happen in order for the student to gain full access?
  3. Student strengths are as important as student challenges, and a service program will capitalize on these strengths as well as address challenges.

Before agreeing to conduct the assessment, we deliver a free consultation which includes an assessment price quote based on anticipated time to completion.  Click here for sample assessment reports.

Facilitated Communication and Advocacy

You are fed up! You've thrown up your hands! You've had it up to here! Enough is enough! Or, maybe you just want a little direction, and experienced ear to bounce things off of. We can certainly help you. We have a unique, non-abrasive way to help you untangle the tangles, straighten out the messes, set the confusions straight, and find firm direction. Being blind ourselves, we have lived through the troubles, and we have learned to straighten them out in a way that can strengthen rather than further damage your relationship with your service agency. How do we do this?

We have developed a process called "Facilitated Communication." It is not advocacy in the traditional sense, though we do represent you and support your interests. We must remember that advocates have no legal authority to compel the service agency to do anything. Although advocates can be effective, the traditional advocacy approach often antagonizes the service agency by opposition, aggression, and argument - often worsening the situation. It's a waste of time to argue the same points over and over. We can usually break that negative cycle. We find that disagreements usually result from three factors:

1. Lack of understanding among both consumers and service administrators of the specific legal regulations and standards of best professional practice. Being blind educators and experienced in the intricacies of service programming and delivery, we know the law, we know best practice, and we know how these two should fit together. Often, a gentle dialog with administrators about how these processes should work can clear the way for more productive discussion.

2. Uncertainty about what will best serve the blind student. Often parents or students know that something's not right with their program, but they can't quite put their finger on what's wrong, or how to fix it. They often feel trapped and frustrated, and often do not know their options. Our experienced staff can help you sort out the issues so that you can frame and articulate your concerns clearly and effectively. This gives you solid ground from which to act, and makes you easier to hear and understand.

3. Lack of communication between consumers and service administrators. We will meet with both sides to help clarify concerns, issues, and misunderstandings. Difficulties in resolution very often arise simply from a lack of understanding between the two parties. We can help you smooth out these misunderstandings.

Talk to us for free. If we can't help you, we'll try to refer you to services that can, and we charge nothing until you decide that we can help.

Instructional Program and Methodology

This program outline is broad in scope. It is modular in nature and addresses the needs of blind and low vision students of all ages and levels of functioning.

Our Perception Based Approach

About the perception basis of our approach and the theoretical framework supporting it, and how our approach differs from the traditional "mechanical skills" based approach more commonly used to instruct blind people.

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