Monday, February 19, 2018

Make Your Own ECC Skills/Assessment Binder

Hi friends, A few weeks ago I decided to organize all my ECC assessments because I am always referencing them when writing lesson plans and activities. For every single thing I do with my students, I always reference my ECC assessments, EVALS and ILSA. I have previously scanned all my ECC tools into Google Drive and made them editable pdf files so I can use them easily. But accessing the digital files was tough when I am laying out all my resources. The answer came when I decided to compile all my ECC tools--skills, screening tools, assessments, examples of each area, etc.  into an easy to use binder. I've LOVED it! I use it all the time and all my tools are at my finger tips.

I whipped up a fun cover for my binder with an at-a-glance list of everything in my binder and hole punched all my copies. It took me about 20 minutes to make it all happen.
Here's what I have in my ECC Resource binder:
First is my areas and skills of the ECC handout that we made for our teachers. This is an at-a-glance of each of the 9 areas of the Expanded Core. This way I can always look for how each of the ECC areas can come up in school routines or activities.
5 of the 9 areas of the ECC with a bulleted list of skills for each area.
Picture of the areas & skills of the ECC handout.   
I also keep several sections of EVALS in my binder.  EVALS is a comprehensive assessment for students with vision impairments developed by TSBVI. I love EVALS because it is specifically written for students with vision impairments. Too often I meet teachers that borrow from other disability groups and use their assessments. The problem with borrowing those assessments is that it doesn't cover the unique needs of students with vision impairments. Our students require a special sequence of skills. I use the Exit  Assessment (both for students that need on-going support and will not need the support). EVALS comes as a kit with other tools in it: 
  • Two books of evaluations for the ECC areas
  • One book of evaluations for academic subject areas for Practical Academics and Basic Skills students
  • Independent Living Skills Assessment and On-going Evaluation
  • TAPS Comprehensive Assessment and On-going Evaluation
Every TVI must have access to EVALS! I can't say it enough--I use it for all my planning! If you are unfamiliar with EVALS, you can read up on it (and purchase it) here:

I also keep a copy of the entire Independent Living Skills Assessment (ILSA) because I also consider it a helpful tool. I use ILSA a lot to see the sequence of skills in each section. I also like it because it has the age group target so I can look forward and backward for each group of skills. The ILSA is a little out of date with skills (like they reference using a phone book) but it still has a lot of valuable use to it. I like to share the ILSA with parents because it shows them what skills by what age are ideal for students. I often copy a few pages and send it home and ask parents to fill it out to see what kind of skills students can do at home. 
I also keep a copy of my ECC worksheet that I use with my teachers. I use this worksheet when reviewing ECC skills instruction during everyday school routines. I use this worksheet when I am planning lessons and activities. I always outline how the activity meets the areas of the Expanded Core in my lesson plans. 

Other items that I have that are not pictured are an ECC screening tool developed by Karen Blankenship. You can get the screening tool from the website EA Rubrics. Here is the link for it: EA Rubrics has a lot of valuable information for teaching the essential assessments for students with vision impairments. The essential assessments are a functional vision assessment (FVA), learning media assessment (LMA) and the ECC screening tool. 
I totally recommend that all vision professionals create an Expanded Core assessment/skills binder. It makes referencing skills and evaluating skills easy. Plus it helps me really know the areas and the skills. I have memorized several areas because I reference them often.