Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ECC Advocacy

Here is something I am really excited about!! I recently presented on the ECC at the early childhood conference at Perkins School for the Blind in April. I met the President of Perkins and he told me about the new venture between Perkins and AFB. Their venture is a new forum on advocacy for the ECC!

It doesn't matter what age or vision impairment that your child has. The ECC is a vital part of any student with a vision impairments education. Too often, only the TVI and the vision team address this disability-specific curriculum.

Why advocate for the ECC? The ECC is the bridge that takes the child into independence. The ECC isn't just about daily living skills. It addresses social skills, technology, recreation, self-advocacy, self-determination as well as transition and mobility. Without these skills, our kids have no chance of gaining an independent life. Here's what I tell my parents: It doesn't matter how smart or or how many academic classes your child can complete. If they do not have ECC skills, where will they end up? They will end up at home living with their parents!!

Parents, please do not ignore the ECC when it is addressed at IEP meetings. Many parents are afraid of it because they feel it has a stigma of a "functional" curriculum. Vision impairment education is unique and all of the components of the ECC make it possible for our kids to grow up prepared, independent, successful and have a life of their own.

I know it seems like I am on a soap box---I am! I believe that we need to change the way education teams and parents view the ECC. Your child should have at least 20 minutes of ECC a day: mobility--have them check the mail and walk to the mailbox, daily living skills--chores!!, social skills--they should be in an after school club or playgroup, recreation--what do they do for fun? These are just a few examples off the top of my head.

Here's the link and your opportunity to get involved:

We can all work together to implement the ECC. Everyone has a part that they can play. I hope you find resources (as parents and professionals) here on the independent little bee. It's why I write!


  1. Great Link Robin. Thank you so much for sharing. i loved hearing you talk about ECC at Perkins. The highlight of my day at the conference.

  2. Awwww Penny, thank YOU for coming to the conference!! I will be posting some fun summer ideas so keep reading the Bee. If there is something that is of particular interest, let me know so I can post something special for you :)