Cohort Participant Introduction

Hey Everyone!! My name is Christine Cooper and I just completed my TVI certification! This past school year while completing my certification, I served as case manager to all of the students in our school system (Auburn, AL) who received services with 2 virtual TVI’s that our system contracted with. I learned so much over the past year from these two amazing TVI’s. Now I will serve as district TVI for the 10 students in our school system. The students I serve range from K-12 with 4 students in the general education environment and 6 in self-contained environments. Before switching my teaching role I was an early childhood special education teacher for the past 18 years. I spent my early years as a preschool special education teacher before moving to a K-2 self-contained classroom which I loved! I am VERY excited to learn another approach to teaching literacy. Each student is so different and requires such specialized instruction-I am excited to add more tools to my tool box!!

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  • Hello everyone! My name is Sara and I am an Educational Consultant for Maryland School for the Blind. I am a TVI and COMS who does assessment, direct service consultation and trainings to teachers and parents. I also mentor new TVI/COMS
    My caseload varies each year, depending on my contracts. this year I serve about 40 kids in 2 counties that range of ages from 5-17 with both full braille academic students to multiply impaired self-contained classes. I got my reading specialist degree before I became a TVI and I hope to stay current in how braille instruction best fits into literacy instruction. looking forward to learning with all of you!
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Hi! My name is Molly. I am a TSVI and an O&M Specialist in NC. I currently serve a Caseload of students that include low vision and blindness. In that group I have two braille readers. I am looking forward to improving my skills related to reading and serving my students needs.

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Hi, my name is Cristina and I am a TCVI in Northeast Ohio. This past school year, I worked with preK-12 students in 9 districts within 3 counties. I finished the 2023-24 school year with about 50 students on my caseload. I have several students who are learning braille, but none of them currently use braille as their sole reading medium. I am most looking forward to collaborating and learning from all the others in this cohort this summer, as well as learning more about the overall reading process for all students, including the role that VI has on our students learning to read and access reading curricula materials more successfully and efficiently.

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Melinda Lance
Giles County TN
I serve two braille learning students, one is grade level and the other is in the CDC setting. Then I also serve many other visually impairments, ranging from consultation to CVI. Each student is unique and requires different modifications to access the general education curriculum. This is my third year in the field, and I have found that you can never fully understand each new case you get, because they all are unique. Therefore, learning and seeking new information for our field is a must.

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Your case load is very similar to mine. I am also looking forward to learning new strategies to assist my students in learning braille.

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Hello team, my name is Yanique Norman and I work as an Assistive Tech Support Specialist for CIDI (Center of Inclusive Design) at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Although position doesn’t facilitate me having direct interactions with students, I nonetheless support them by providing an assortment of texts, AT devices and other classroom resources. Super excited to engage more with hive community.

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Hello! My name is Nicole Rice and I am a classroom teacher at the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix, AZ. I have taught children from 3yrs - 4th grade. My new role will be K-1. I am excited to learn more tips and tools I can incorporate into my classroom.


Hi, My name is Jill Kelch. I am a TVI working for Southern Ohio ESC. I serve students ages 3-21 in 10 school districts. I have 2 students working with Braille. I have students with NLP-Low Vision. Some are in regular classrooms and some are more involved in Cross Categorical rooms. I am very interested to learn more about this topic in the foundations for reading.

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Hello Al! We’re glad you’re here! I student taught at TSB and loved my time there! Many of my students have graduated now, but I bet we have unknowingly shared a few students! TSB is a wonderful place!

Hi! My name is Rosey (Rosemary) Nave Stawasz. I’m a TVI/COMS for a suburban school district west of Chicago. My current caseload is more O&M than TVI. On the TVI side, I have four students with CVI. Overall, I am excited to delve deeper into the reading process for students with visual impairments especially for braille readers.

I’m Erin Humphreys, I’m a TCVI/COMS in Northern Michigan. I’ve been a TCVI for 10 years and COMS for 3 years. Before becoming a TCVI I worked as a special education teacher for students with severe & multiple impairments.
I’m currently the only TCVI/COMS for my ISD and provide both consultative and direct services to 25-30 students ages birth to 26 years. My current caseload has 1 totally blind student, 3 dual media learners (including one who is Deafblind), several low vision students and the remaining with CVI. I
'm looking forward to learning more about reading instruction so that I can bridge that information in with my other skills and improve reading skills for those who are struggling.

Kerri, Glad to see you here! I’m looking forward to learning more too!!!

Emanuel! I am on the board for a school in Tanzania that helps students with albinism called SHADE. Have you ever heard of it? I would love to connect!

Hi Sara!

Thank you for your email, I am happy to hear from you, we can discuss more on this matter.

With regards,

Emmanuel Sitta - Assistant Technician (AMUCTA)

Email - or
WhatsApp contact +255758386898

Realizing that many of the veterans that were drafted actually only read functionally, such as basic items they’ve learned to recognize. So they have difficulty filling out forms and don’t want to let anyone know they cannot read. So trying to teach them is challenging. I often turn to Talking Books for them to enjoy. Those that have always been readers are definitely more interested in exploring other options to continue reading. I’m also a veteran, so can relate to many of the issues they mention. Most ot the veterans I work with are in the geriatric range, which is kind of funny because once someone turns 65 years old they’re considered geriatric!

Hi my name is Laura McGookin. I am a TVI in Virginia. I am looking forward to increasing my knowledge regarding foundational reading skills to help my braille learners.

Hi! It is great to connect with you here! It has been a really long time–24 years!

My name is Kristin Deml and I am a TBVI working in Faribault, MN at the MN State Academy for the Blind. I work with students of all ages and I am the Language arts teacher there. I am excited to learn new ways to help my students unlock ways to help them in reading through this cohort this summer! As well as meeting many of new professionals to connect with!