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Ms. Tamitha Sexton » Teacher for Visually Impaired and Blind Students Ms. Sexton

Teacher for Visually Impaired and Blind Students Ms. Sexton

Sandwich High School, Illinois 
Northern Illinois University BS in Biology
Northern Illinois University MS in Teaching Visually Impaired Students
Tennessee Wesleyan University endorsement for Mild and Moderate Disabilities
 
I initially went to college to become a veterinarian, but I eventually decided that I wanted to work with students in a small setting, outside of the classroom.  When  I realized there was a shortage of teachers for blind and visually impaired students, I elected to work with that population.  I have never regretted it.  I love working with students and watching them attain skills and knowledge to become independent and confident thinkers.  Students with disabilities also have the capability to learn, and I have watched students that are legally blind graduate from high school with the same skills as their peers.  3 years ago, I sought a position in Tennessee to be closer to my parents and other family members.  I enjoy living here immensely.  I have finished my 18th year teaching, and I am looking forward to many more opportunities to help students reach their potential.
Please feel free to contact me regarding issues or questions about visual impairments or visual difficulties.
 
Tami Sexton
Teacher for Students with Visual Impairment and Blindness
 
Twitter: @tsexton38
Email: sextont@loudoncounty.org
 

Recent Posts

Important Phone Numbers

American Council of the Blind (800) 424-8666
American Foundation of the Blind (800)232-5463
Department of Human Services
Rehabilitation Teaching for the Visually Impaired (services after high school)             (865)594-6054x1147 or x1145
Deaf-Blind Services (800)628-7818,  TTY (800)270-1349
East Tennessee Technology Access Center (865)219-0130
Tennessee Library for the Blind (800)342-3308
Tennessee Services for the Blind (865)594-6060

Visual Perceptual Difficulties

 

 

Important terminology:

 

  1. Perception- interpretation of sensory information by the brain.  When the sensory information comes from the eyes, it is called visual perception.  If a student struggles with visual perception, the brain is not correctly processing the information.  Sometimes this is due to a visual impairment, but not always.
  2. Discrimination- tell the difference between two objects.
  3. closure- complete with the missing part
  4. sequence- left to right, top to bottom progression
  5. visual memory- ability to remember after information is gone
  6. form constancy- form remains unchanged even if hidden from view

 

Possible characteristics of student with visual perception difficulties:

  1. dislikes and avoids writing
  2. delays in learning to write
  3. papers are messy and incomplete
  4. does not remember shapes of letters and numbers
  5. frequent letter and number reversals
  6. omits letters from words and words from sentences
  7. inaccurate copying
  8. poor spelling
  9. cannot see own errors

10.difficulty organizing work

  1. confuses similar looking letters or words
  2. difficulty remembering sight words
  3. loses place while reading
  4. reverses letters in a word
  5. trouble finding letters in sentences
  6. weak comprehension
  7. trouble with higher-level math concepts
  8. labeled lazy, AD(H)D, or slow learner

 

Techniques to improve visual perception:

  1. use a multi-sensory approach (hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting)
  2. walk forward and backward on a balance beam
  3. catch and throw various sized balls and beanbags
  4. suspend and swing an object and follow only with eyes
  5. work on a pegboard
  6. parquetry blocks (manipulate, place on a background, copy)
  7. geoboard (copy from one matrix to another)
  8. string beads
  9. tracing, cutting, pasting activities
  10. draw on a chalkboard/marker board
  11. determine similarities and differences
  12. complete an incomplete picture
  13. matching/sorting activities (can also tell why items don't match)
  14. hidden pictures/camouflage
  15. dot to dot pictures
  16. What's missing or incomplete in picture or sequence
  17. make own body into shape of a letter
  18. locate and trace a figure among clutter
  19. copy, trace or draw from memory various geometric figures
  20. use templates to learn geometric figures
  21. make geometric figures into pictures
  22. create mirror images of pictures or letters
  23. discriminate among non-look-alike letters and then discriminate among look-alike letters
  24. discriminate among non-look-alike words and then discriminate among look-alike words
  25. put into correct sequence

 

Accommodations for visual perception difficulties:

  1. label paper with up/down and right/left
  2. allow tracing forms with finger
  3. verbal reinforcement/ point out significant features
  4. remove distracting materials
  5. up close to all activities
  6. reduced assignments
  7. color code materials/difficult words
  8. use concrete examples
  9. decrease clutter and use a reading window, bookmark, or finger
  10. allow oral or recorded responses
  11. have information read by someone else
  12. improve typing skills and use instead of writing
  13. another person writes answers (use a scribe)
  14. copy of boardwork/distance work at desk

15.rest eyes to alleviate fatigue

 

Toys that help with visual perception:

  1. Lite Brite Set/Shapes and Forms Accessory Kit/Alphabet/Numbers
  2. Battleship game
  3. Chalkboard (24”x36”)
  4. Tinker Toy set
  5. Erector set
  6. Moon Sand Adventure Island
  7. Pegboards and pegs
  8. Coloring books and crayons
  9. Dot-to-dot drawing books
  10. Playskool Building Blocks
  11. Playskool Color Blocks
  12. Playskool Parquetry blocks
  13. Twister (MB)
  14. Play-doh
  15. Smart Cycle (ages 3-6 years)
  16. Jigsaw puzzles
  17. Beads for threading
  18. Painting by number
  19. Toss Across (Tic-Tac-Toe)
  20. Perfection (MB)
  21. U-Dance Game
  22. Memory (MB)
  23. Models (car, airplane, etc.)
  24. Card games (Old Maid, etc.)
  25. Dominoes
  26. Legos
  27. Lincoln Logs
  28. Action Darts Velcro board and Velcro covered balls
  29. Wegits and Widgits Design Cards
  30. Checkers
  31. Tiddlywinks
  32. Concentration (MB)
  33. Connect Four (MB)
  34. Chinese Checkers
  35. Ring Toss
  36. Finger Paints
  37. Operation (MB)
  38. Simon (MB)
  39. Wii
  40. Flash Focus by Nintendo

How to Live with Low Vision

How to Live with Low Vision    

The Hadley School for the Blind is pleased to announce a new and improved Low Vision Focus @ Hadley Web site (www.lowvisionfocus.org). Originally launched earlier this year, the Low Vision Focus (LVF) is designed to help those living with low vision maintain their independence by sharing practical ways to address daily living skills made difficult by vision loss.

 

A series of 10 audio recordings, made available in May, is the core component of the LVF. These recordings, previously only available on CD, are now available as free mp3 audio downloads from the Web site. Individuals are required to register to receive access to the free audio recordings. Each recording is approximately 30 minutes long and covers a different aspect of living independently with low vision. The topics include:

 

Making the Kitchen User Friendly                        Getting Around in the House

Basic Tactile Marking                                 Going Out with a Friend

Doing Simple Kitchen Tasks                    Keeping Prescriptions in Order

Low Vision Cooking                                                Looking Your Best

Going Out for a Meal                                   Simple Home Modifications

In addition to the new download feature, the LVF website has been completely redesigned to be more contemporary, visually appealing, user-friendly and functional. In addition to audio recording downloads, clients can also access webinars, Hadley distance education courses that are relevant to those with low vision, tips and resource lists. In the future, Hadley will provide free, “quick tip” videos through the Web site that complement the audio recordings.

In addition to the CDs and new audio downloads, the recordings are now being offered in Digital Talking Book format on an NLS cartridge. For CDs or NLS cartridges, please call 1-855-830-5355.

While the LVF is geared toward older adults, the program is open to any individual who is experiencing sight loss or caring for someone who may be losing his or her vision. Adult children of seniors living with low vision are encouraged to take advantage of the online resources to assist their parents. Caregivers and professionals, especially those working with low vision support groups in local communities, are also encouraged to utilize the resources available through the LVF Web site.

For more information or to begin taking advantage of the Low Vision Focus @ Hadley,  please visit www.lowvisionfocus.org or call toll-free: 1-855-830-5355. 

I am available to answer questions and/or observe and make recommendations for students that may have visual difficulties. Just email me at sextont@loudoncounty.org and we can set up a time. The information below lists the requirements to qualify for services, but I am always willing to observe any student and suggest possible remedies.

 

Tennessee's requirements for eligibility of a visual impairment    

 "Visual Impairment," including blindness, means impairment in vision that, even with
correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both
partial sight and blindness.
Visual Impairment includes at least one of the following:
(a) Visual acuity in the better eye or both eyes with best possible correction:
1. Legal blindness - 20/200 or less at distance and/or near;
2. Low vision - 20/50 or less at distance and/or near.
(b) Visual field restriction with both eyes:
1. Legal blindness - remaining visual field of 20 degrees or less;
2. Low vision - remaining visual field of 60 degrees or less;
3. Medical and educational documentation of progressive loss of vision, which may
in the future affect the student's ability to learn visually.
(c) Other Visual Impairment, not perceptual in nature, resulting from a medically
documented condition.