July 2020 -- Tammuz-Av 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 7

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Teacher of the Visually Impaired Fills Void for Children in Westchester

The JCC of Mid-Westchester has announced a new addition to their wide range of services for students with special needs; functional vision evaluations and vision therapy.   New York State Education Department recently identified vision services as an area in education with concerning personnel shortages.  In response, the state has unveiled a program offering tuition assistance for teachers interested in obtaining additional certification as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI).


Michele Karl, who has been a special education teacher at the JCC of Mid-Westchester for the past two years, is certified as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and is the woman providing this much needed service at the JCC of Mid-Westchester.


Why is this so important? Teachers of the Visually Impaired help children compensate for vision loss and maximize their visual potential by adapting toys and other materials, such as adding large print or Braille, tactile surfaces, or assistive technology to the child’s environment.  A TVI also performs functional vision assessments to determine the level of usable vision of a child.  Unlike an eye exam performed by a medical professional, the purpose of a functional vision evaluation is to determine how the students vision impacts their ability to learn.  A functional vision evaluation may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of the child’s depth perception, ability to track a moving object, ability to scan, and color discrimination.


The main goal of a TVI is to help all children with visual impairments and blindness become as independent as possible.


If you are interested in more information about a functional vision evaluation or vision services for a child in your life,  contact the JCC of Mid-Westchester at (914)472-7804.


JCCMW is open to everyone regardless of race, religion, or background.  No membership required.