Greetings to my CEC Friends and Colleagues,
I am delighted to join all of you on this blog and look forward to hearing from you. I teach children who are blind/low vision and I am also an orientation and mobility specialist. I teach in rural Minnesota and have been teaching long enough to have owned many Subarus to get me through the Minnesota winters as a teacher who travels to students in seven school districts. I currently refer to myself as a “collaborative” teacher, rather than an “itinerant” teacher, because I feel it is a label that is more representative of the important work that I do with others so children learn. I work a .8 contract (for the past seven years) so that I have the opportunity to engage in a variety of other professional activities.
I have many passions that drive my work with children. I like to say the following: “My two feet stand firmly planted on the ground…one foot in direct service to children and my other foot in changing systems to improve my direct service work with children.” CEC has played a very important role in keeping my feet grounded in these activities.
I just ended a phone call with a project involving accessible materials. One of my passions involves providing student access to the teaching and learning environment. The Office of Special Education (OSEP) has funded several projects focusing on digital educational materials for students with print disabilities. I am a consultant and involved in several of these projects.
Bookshare.org is a digital library with the charge to provide books to students at no cost along with access to the books. Explore what they are doing at http://www.bookshare.org. I am also involved in the Pacific Basin Region with the Pacific Consortium for Instructional Materials Accessibility Project (CIMAP) (http://www.guamcedders.org) and I serve on the NIMAS Implementation Advisory Council facilitated by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) (http://nimas.cast.org).
These are all projects that benefit my students near and far and will surely change their futures.
Please enjoy the month of October now that we are all “settled in” and well on our way to making a difference with our children this year.