An Overview of IEP Assessments

In order to craft appropriate goals for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the team needs recent, high quality data. This data needs to cover the child’s current skills, strengths, and FACTOR IN future success.

Here are some things to keep in mind when assessments are administered to, and interpreted for, children who are blind or low vision.  

  • Who is administering the assessment: This is extremely important, especially for tests that may have many visual components. A blind or low vision child should be assessed by a professional who has received training in conducting assessments with this population. Many of these professionals are affiliated with state schools for the blind or a state commission for the blind. Local school districts can contract with these professionals to insure students are assessed properly.

It Happens Every Day

In the spring of 2015, I was a busy mom of three kids—two blind and one sighted. My husband, Mark, had recently been elected president of the National Federation of the Blind. Largely because of his new demands at work, we made the decision to move into a house within walking distance of NFB headquarters. While moving preparations were being made, our two older kids still needed to go to school, meals needed to be cooked, laundry needed to be done… In other words, this was a fairly stressful time for all of us—even if we were excited for this move and all of the fantastic benefits it would bring to our family.

Don’t Deny AIM-HE

Technology has fundamentally changed the way we think and learn. Fifty years ago, eBooks were non-existent, online learning was irrelevant, and the distribution of accessible materials was not a priority in the classroom. In 2016, the tables have turned one hundred eighty degrees. With the turn of the century came advancement in technology, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Some rely on robot vacuums to clean their homes. Others take advantage of their ability to pay for purchases with smart phones at the click of a button. Most depend on a Global Positioning System (GPS) to direct them from point A to point B. These products have proven their success. Though we see technological advances almost daily, in the case of blind students, the fundamentals are still overlooked.

Expedia and National Federation of the Blind Announce Scholarship Winners

Expedia is known for getting people where they want to go. From business trips across the globe to cruises with friends and family, Expedia has changed the way the world travels over the past twenty years. Recently, we partnered with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to help college students embrace wanderlust by awarding a pair of three thousand dollar scholarships to members of the NFB’s 2016 scholarship class. We are pleased to congratulate this year’s recipients: Megan Borella and Kartik Sawhney.

The Advocacy Effect: An Update on Amazon and New York City Public Schools

Comments of the National Federation of the Blind before the Panel on Educational Policy, New York City Department of Education

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Federation of the Blind 2016 Summer Internship Program

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. Since 1940, the members of the National Federation of the Blind have come together in state affiliates and local chapters to share the real life experiences, practical techniques, and innovative strategies we use to transform our dreams into reality. In 2004, we established the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute as the first research and training facility developed and directed by blind people.

National Federation of the Blind 2015 Summer Internship Program

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.  Since 1940, the members of the National Federation of the Blind have come together in state affiliates and local chapters to share the real life experiences, practical techniques, and innovative strategies we use to transform our dreams into reality. In 2004, we established the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute as the first research and training facility developed and directed by blind people.

National Federation of the Blind Urges Smarter Balanced to Fix Accessibility Barriers and Policies Before Launch of K-12 Assessments

The National Federation of the Blind, along with seven national disability advocacy and technology organizations, sent a letter on January 23, 2015, to the governing board of Smarter Balanced, a consortium of twenty-one member states that will administer Common Core assessment tests to K-12 students starting this spring. The letter advises the board to take immediate action to fix outstanding accessibility barriers and policies before the tests are launched. The letter identifies five issues that, if left unresolved, will prevent students who are blind or have other disabilities from participating equally in the tests, and from receiving necessary accommodations, as required by federal law.

Unachievable or Unwanted: Why Is ACE Opposed to Accessibility Guidelines?

Last Friday, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to Senator Harkin outlining their problems with his proposed Higher Education Opportunity Act reauthorization. Harkin’s draft includes a provision to address accessible instructional materials that was modeled after the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act. I was thrilled when I heard that Harkin included TEACH Act language in his draft because gaining equal access to electronic instructional materials for blind college students is one of the Federation’s most important priorities.   

Training, an integral component of accessibility implementation

One of the founding principles of International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), and one of the aspects that was most important in the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in joining IAAP, is the great need for clarity and education in web accessibility. The National Federation of the Blind, as a longstanding advocate for accessibility, has every interest in supporting the recognition of professionals working in the industry. By working with others in the industry, we aim to both contribute to the field by bringing more blind individuals into the profession, and learn from the experience of our peers in order to share this knowledge with our membership and blind accessibility professionals.

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