Cohort Participant Introduction

Welcome to the Hive Summer Cohort for 2024! Please use this thread to introduce yourself and begin connecting with one another. Please include:

  • Name

  • Professional Role

  • Location

  • A brief description of the students you serve

  • What are you excited to learn this summer?

Hi, All! My name is Kelly Bevis and I work in Richardson, Texas as a program coordinator for a team of service providers that include vision and orientation and mobility. I am also a teacher of students with visual impairments. I am excited to learn more about the reading process for students with VI including those who receive braille instruction.

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Hi all,
My name is Rebecca Smith and I am a Teacher for the Visually Impaired and Assistive Technology Specialist from Central Ohio. I serve one 15,500 student district. My current caseload has a large majority of students who have vision needs in addition to other significant disabilities. I have a couple students who are primarily served in the general education setting. Currently, I do not have any students on my caseload that are Braille readers or will be Braille readers. I am looking forward to learning more about the reading process while keeping in mind the unique needs of visual impairments including the process for braille learning.

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Hello! I’m Rebecca Wright and work as a TCVI for 3 districts in MI. Majority of students are low vision. 1-uncontracted braille reader, 1-contracted and acquiring a EO student who will be a braille reader. Am looking forward to upgrading my knowledge of braille AND the how-to’s of introducing braille.

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Hi! My name is Amber and I and aTVI and COMS. I am in North Carolina. I work with students 3-21 years old in the school system. I have a variety of students with vision that ranges from low vision to no light perception. In addition, about half of my caseload includes students with multiple disabilities. I teach braille to two students currently. I am most excited to learn about new strategies that I can use to help my students be more successful this summer!

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Hello, My name is Karen Crimi, I am a TVI on Long Island and work as an Itinerant Teacher servicing 15 visually impaired students. The ages of my students range from 5-19 years old with varied visual impairments. Currently I do not have any students who require braille. I am looking forward to refreshing my braille skills and knowledge.

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My name is Melinda Powers. I work in Indiana as a life skills teacher and teacher of the visually impaired. I teach students in a life skills classroom. I also teach students who are visually impaired in the district. I am excited to learn more about braille instruction.

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Hello everyone! My name is Joshua Kimball-Cobbs and I am a TCVI in Oakland County, Michigan (metro Detroit area). I currently service 25 students in 4 local school districts, ages 0-26. I currently have a 8th grader general education student, who has light perception only, and is braille reader. I also have a 1st grader with LCA who currently has vision but is a braille learner. The rest of my students are low vision or CVI, and consist of both general education students (some with extra support) and special education students in self-contained classrooms. I look forward to learning about new tools for literacy to use with my students across the board, and learning more about how others determine when a low vision student would benefit from braille instruction.

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Hello everyone!
My name is Teresa O’Brien. I serve students in the St. Lucie Public Schools in Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce, FL areas as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired/Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. My students are ages 3-21. I am excited to learn about new technology since it is always changing, and each student’s need is very unique.

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Hello,
My name is Cheryl Forehand and I work for Pinellas County Schools in Clearwater. I worked as a TVI in Pinellas County when I first started teaching over 20 years ago. Since then, I have worked in the district as an inclusion teacher and also as an educational diagnostician. For next school year, I will be returning to my roots and have taken a position as a TVI. My primary area of interest is in working with the younger students and I am hoping that is what my caseload will be for next year. I am excited to refresh and update my knowledge on literacy issues for children with visual impairments, and to get ideas and tips on how to deliver instruction.

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I don’t have any students who use braille currently.

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I don’t have students who are braille readers either. I have a job where I am the life skills teacher at the middle school level, and serve students with visual impairments throughout the district.

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Hi! I’m Lindsay Nametz. I am an itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired in the Cincinnati, Ohio area (northeast suburbs). I currently serve four districts and a few non-public school students. I have three braille students that I work with multiple times per week (some daily). One of these students is a high school student in the high gifted range, one has autism, and the third is deafblind (signs for expressive communication and learning braille for reading). I serve a lot of students with CVI in a consultative manner (direct observation and collaboration with staff/teachers). I got my master’s degree in reading (about 15 years ago) and am interested in talking about how reading instruction may differ for students who are braille readers and/or low vision users.

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My name is Denise Robinson. I am a CTSVI in Alabama. I currently have six students on my caseload at five different schools, all of whom are learning to read braille, five of which are dual media. All of my students follow the general education curriculum, at all grade levels. I am excited to learn more about supporting literacy for my students.

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Hi! My name is Kirsten Hughey and I’m a TCVI in Southwest Michigan. I serve students from birth to 26; currently I have just eight students on caseload ranging from 1st grade to 21 years old. The majority of my students are in general education settings at this time but I also have a couple with other impairments as well. Over the summer, I teach ESY for VI students at the center based school in our county. Since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had to teach beginning braille, I’m excited for a refresher and ways to improve my teaching. One of our countrywide goals encompasses the Science of Reading, so I’m excited to get to know a little more about that and how it can be used to best serve our VI population.

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Lindsay - I am interested to see your thoughts on this course…your Master’s in reading will make your insight valued! All of our students have needs that differ greatly but I think that reading is taught similarly no matter whether a student is blind or LV! I’m curious about how you serve non-public schools because we don’t serve those schools in Michigan. Do you have a caseload with those schools as well?

Hi, all! My name is Staci Wills and I am an Itinerant TVI/COMS in Northeast Ohio. I am slowly growing my vision services team and finally have 2 colleagues (1 TVI, 1 COMS) after almost 10 years!! My team and I provide services for students 3-21 across 2 suburban and very rural counties. I conduct the majority of the FVLMAs that we do, and after completing the Ohio Dyslexia training last year, I really started to think about the reading portions of the LMA and what should/can we be doing differently during these evaluations.

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Hi Rebecca!! :slight_smile: I was excited to see your name in this thread!!

Hello, my name is Lane Bucsi and I am a TCVI in Kent County, MI. I currently have students ranging from 3-25. I have a group of students in DHH programs, transition programs but most are general education. I am excited to learn best practices in teaching beginning braille and making braille lessons fun for our unique students.

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Hello, My name is Karen Carl. I am retired from full time TSBVI’ing and now serve babies, school age community programming and deafblind adults. I also work with the Missouri School for the Blind Outreach Dept. I’m looking forward to getting and keeping up to date with braille reading.

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