Monday, January 28, 2013

"How Blind Kids See the World"

I received this email about this from a colleague today. I think it will be fun to watch!

Date: 01/25/2013
Airing Monday, Jan. 28, at 8PM (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon
NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2013 — Kids describe what it's like to live without sight in the brand-new Nick News with Linda Ellerbee special, "Out of Sight: How Blind Kids See the World," premiering Monday, Jan. 28, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon. They discuss the challenges and opportunities they face living in blindness.
"There are actually people who will stay away from us or won't talk to us," says 15-year-old Alyssa of Colorado Springs, Colo. "I had a friend - we were really good friends - and after I went blind, he stopped coming around."

"Some people see my blindness as an easy target for bullying, for ridicule. You know, taking advantage of my blindness," says 14-year-old Chrisof Baltimore, Md.
The special discusses how many blind kids know more about what they can do than what they cannot and how they use technologies to help them navigate a "sighted" world.
"Some people choose their clothes by using their vision," says 15-year-old Santiago of Hollister, Calif. "I use an application on my phone that tells me the color of my clothes."
10-year-old Xin Ju says she sees being blind as an advantage. "I don't need to see something to believe in it. We use our hearts and our imaginations."

"We've listened to what these kids tell us," says Ellerbee. "What they want sighted kids to know about them which is, in most cases, that they are just regular kids. But me, I think they're pretty special."
Age Groups
All ages (birth to 26)
Parents of children with visual impairments

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CVI Look Profile

My fave CVI guru, Gigi, created this super awesome "Look Profile" for one of her CVI kiddos. I happened to be wandering by her desk as she was sharing this snazzy profile with a colleague. Of course I begged her to let me share this on the blog! There is a lot of information to fit on to a standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper but with a simple enlargement on the copier (8 1/2 x 11 to 11 1/2 x 17--it's usually an auto setting), you can have a nice large map of this Look Profile. Just fold the large paper in half and it will become an 8 1/2 x 11 that folds out. 

Are you not sure what you are looking at? This Look Profile allows the team to see "at a glance" the CVI issues for the student. It's beautifully organized into all the important categories of CVI (i.e. latency, movement, complexity, etc.). This is a handy resource for your team (especially classroom teachers) to get an idea of what your child with CVI sees and needs.  Parents should also know how to use and read this. When parents know how to read this, they can help share information with the team as well. 

I am experimenting with how I can upload documents to share (and then you can do an easy download). The link to the publicly shared Google Docs  CVI Look Profile is here:

In the event that the link doesn't work (although I have tested it before publishing), email me and I will send you the slide. You can email me at This is great to use in annual education reports. Just the perfect CVI accessory for IEP season. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Correct Cane Techniques Handout

Happy 2013 friends! How about starting out this new year with a new post from our dear mobility friend, Jessica? She made a handout for one of her teams so that they would know how to all work together to help their student with correct cane technique. I was helping her take pictures for her mobility handout and knew I smelled a win win post idea so with her permission, here it is! It's three easy lessons (with pictures!) and it is perfect for getting everyone up to speed with mobility needs.

Correct Cane Technique 101
by Jessica Eichfeld, COMS

Lesson 1: Index Finger Grasp and Arm Position
Index Finger Grasp: with cane in desired hand, student places index finger along the flat side with the other fingers and thumb wrapped around the grip. Should be holding cane towards the middle of the grip.

Arm Position: Arm should be extended at mid-line about waist height. Good checking point is the belly button.

Lesson 2: Cane Arc
Cane arc: The reason behind holding the cane midline is so the individual will cover both sides of the body equally. The width of the cane arc is 2” beyond widest part of the body which is typically the shoulders. When walking behind your student you should be able to see the cane moving from side to side, if you can not see the cane while walking behind then they do not have a wide enough arc. 

*It is a wrist movement not an arm movement. Unless wrist movement is limited.

Lesson 3: In-rhythm and In-step
In-rhythm: The cane moves ‘in-rhythm’ with the student’s feet. “Every time you take a step you move the cane to the right and left.” Tip: using two-point touch (tapping the cane side to side) helps create a rhythm they can hear.

In-Step: In order to stay in-step the student must first be in-rhythm. In-step means that the cane moves with the opposite foot. For example when the student steps forward with their right foot the cane moves to the left. This allows for more space between the foot and the cane, giving them more time to react to drop-offs and obstacles.