Cohort Participant Introduction

Hi Everyone! My name is Kara and I’m a TVI in NY. Next year I’m also taking on an Assistive Technology role in my district. I work with students who have low vision, CVI, and I currently have one beginning braille student. I’m looking forward to learning how to best support and teach her the braille code and reading skills.

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Hello everyone! My name is Kate Mozingo and I am a TVI in a large urban district in Northeast Ohio. I serve students who range from preschool to high school, with a variety of needs. I am itinerant within one district. I am excited to learn more about how the brain learns to read, and how to harness that information to best instruct my students who are braille learners and/or pre-readers. I am hoping this will prepare me to better collaborate with classroom teachers to ensure that the students can keep up with their sighted peers.

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Hi Kate!! It’s so great to see you in this course.

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Hello,
I am Melissa Harris. I am a special education teacher in Connecticut and have worked with students with visual impairments over the past 25 years. I am currently completing my student teaching to finish the TVI program at UMass. I have one student on my caseload with a visual impairment. I am looking forward to learning more about how to help students become successful reads.

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Hi all,
My name is Chloe Curole, and I am a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Southeast Louisiana. I serve college students who are visually impaired at various levels. I am excited to learn more about the reading process and new strategies to help my consumers.

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  • Name: Kerri Clarkin
  • Professional Role: I work as a Teacher of Blind and Low Vision Students in Lafourche Parish in Louisiana. I was born in Rhode Island, but moved to Louisiana for a volunteer program and never left. In addition, I got my masters in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Orientation and Mobility from Western Michigan University.
  • A brief description of the students you serve? I am currently the only VI teacher in my area with a pretty big caseload of about 30 students. Some students have CVI related concerns and others have additional disabilities as well. It’s a combination of braille students in the younger grades and some students that currently use both print and braille in the classroom. I currently don’t do a lot of O&M instruction, but work closely with state outreach department that helps to provide those services.
  • What are you excited to learn this summer? This summer, I’m excited to network with other teachers and learn more about different assessments etc. that can be used support reading instruction. Also, I’m interested in learning more about how braille instruction and what curriculum or the steps used in classroom instruction work together. Any specific curriculums that are used to help blind and low vision students achieve in the classroom and beyond.
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Hi Joshua, I am so jealous! Going back to Oakland County is my dream. That’s where I grew up, in Clarkston Mi. I have been in Utah since 2003, graduated as a TVI in 2005. Currently serving Granite school district for a total of 15 years. Anyway I am looking forward to this class and talking with everyone. Dawn Tucker

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Hi, my name is Dawn Tucker. I am a Teacher of the Visually Impaired in a large district in Utah. I am originally from Michigan, moved to Utah in 2003 and graduated from the University of Utah in 2005. We have a team of 4, working with kiddos in grades K-12. Our district covers from one side of the mountain to the other side. A large portion of my case load has been with secondary students. This leads me to why I am taking this class, I need a refresher. I am sure I will be getting more elementary schools as my students are graduating. Plus getting to learn from others that do what I do, is priceless!

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Hi! My name is Teri Chaney. I am a TSVI. I have been serving students birth to 21 for 13 years. I started a new role in August. The State of Kansas has started a new program that is call FIT (Family Infant Toddler) and we service the local networks. There are 7 of us and one O&M on the team. We service birth to 3 and then pass them on the Part B. This year has been really fun. It is excited to see what early intervention can do for the kids! This summer I hope to continue to grow and add more tools to my tool belt!!

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Hi everyone, my name is Emmanuel Sitta from Tanzania, I am working as an assistant technician at the University College of Tabora. I am serving a number of university students who have visual impairments at the college. Furthermore, I intends to learn more in the area of literacy.

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Hello everyone,
My name is Meredith and I am a TVI at the Maryland School for the Blind. I teach 3rd and 4th graders. I also have a background as a reading teacher. I am taking this course because I want to stay current with literacy instruction for kids with visual impairments. My students are currently not on grade level and are emergent braille readers. I would like to do as much as I can to help them move forward in their literacy skills.

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Hello! My name is Kelly Kaczmarski and I am currently and TVI in Denton, Texas! This will be my 5th year in this position. I was a general education teacher and a special education teacher for 19 years before that! I currently have 15 students on my caseload. I have 3 students with CVI, 2 with ONH, 1 completely blind/braille learner, 1 with CHARGE, and the other are low vision students. I love what I do and am currently interested in learning MORE about early braille readers!

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Hi, my name is Johanna Brutvan. I work for the Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach. We provide training and support for TVIs and students who are BVI in Michigan. I am excited to learn from all of you and take ideas and new strategies back to Michigan. Excited to see some familiar Michigan people here too :slight_smile:

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Hi Ashley! Where in Iowa do you live? I used to teach in Ames, Iowa a long time ago. It was my first TVI position.

Hi Lindsey! Its been a long time, but you spent some time in my classroom in Livonia and I remember your mom when she was working in Michigan! Nice to see you!

Hi Rebecca, This course will definitely dive into understanding the reading process for all students, then will address the impact of VI on learning to read and accessing literacy materials. The how-to’s of introducing braille isn’t within the scope of this course. I know you’ll find new things to learn by taking the course! We are excited to have you be part of the cohort!

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Hi Karen, It’s great to meet you! This reading course primarily focuses on understanding the reading process for all students, followed by better understanding the impact of VI on learning to read and then accessing literacy materials. Course information about braille skills and knowledge is limited. We are glad you’re here!

Hi Melinda! Thank you for introducing yourself! This reading course primarily focuses on understanding the reading process for all students, followed by better understanding the impact of VI on learning to read and then accessing literacy materials. Course information about braille instruction is beyond the scope of this course. We are glad you’re here!

Hi Cheryl, I’m really intrigued to have your expertise of being an educational diagnostician here in this Discussion Board. I’m certain you have a wealth of information to pass along!

Hi Lindsay! I know you will have so much to share with your reading background! I can’t wait to hear how you can add to all of our learning!