The ICI runs a vision studies program, the Northeast Regional Center For Vision Education, housed in the new School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at UMass Boston. A few weeks ago, faculty and staff of the vision studies program traveled to the University of Guam to join 19 federally funded scholars for a hands-on workshop.
The scholars are participating in the Pacific Vision Impairment Project (VIP) master’s degree program, now in its third year. The VIP program is run by the ICI in collaboration with the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, & Service. It is funded by a personnel preparation grant from the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. The VIP program aims to increase the pool of fully credentialed, effective personnel educating students who are blind or have visual impairment.
VIP scholars come from American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Their curriculum involves both online learning and in-person instruction, and this workshop is held twice a year. After four years of study, the scholars will receive a Master of Education in Special Education degree, plus dual credentials in Teacher of Visual Impairments and Orientation and Mobility.
“The onsite workshops held in Guam every six months are so helpful,” says Robert McCulley, Director of the Northeast Regional Center For Vision Education. “They add much more to the web-based curriculum, and they support group cohesiveness. This particular workshop was focused on educational products, assessment tools, and teaching resources.”
Check out these pictures from the workshop!