[nabs-l] Special Ed Certification

NMPBRAT at aol.com NMPBRAT at aol.com
Fri Jan 31 04:08:32 UTC 2014

I'm not sure how much help I can be...but I will try.  
First, and probably my best, suggestion is to post this message to the NOBE 
 listserv....this is the listserv for educators.  Although you may find  
assistance here....I think you may also have luck on that listserv  too.   
I, myself, have a Bachelors and Masters in Special Education and am  
currently teaching in Ohio.  I have taught for 12 years, working with  students 
with a variety of disabilities...more on the Mild to Moderate  range....in 
fact, that's my actual area....Mild/Moderate Intervention  Specialist.  I have 
actually worked with students with learning  disabilities, higher cognitive 
disabilities, ADHD, ODD, Autism, some  behavioral/mental health disorders, 
hearing impairment, vision impairment,  orthopedic impairments, etc.  
Now, I will state that I am legally blind, so I have some usable vision  
(I'm around 20/200 range)....so some of my techniques may not be the same as  
someone who is totally blind.  That, however, doesn't mean they can't do it  
though...it's just different.   A short little tidbit about my journey  
though....when I was looking at colleges and deciding what I wanted to pursue,  
my vocational rehab counselor told me that teaching wasn't a "blind 
friendly  field" and that if I pursued it, I would be making a huge mistake.   
Needless to say, I didn't listen to him....course, I've never been afraid to  
take the road less traveled.  I have also proved him and many others that  it 
is possible.....with lots of work....and some advocacy on my part.  
Just a couple quick things on working with students.  
1.  It is amazing how much behavior management can be done just with  
hearing.  I have had multiple students "test" me over the years, thinking I  
would not be able to see what they were doing.  And in some cases, they  were 
right...I couldn't see what they were doing....but I was always able to  catch 
them just by listening.  They soon realize that when you can catch  them 
doing things without even seeing them, their perspective and behavior  
2.  When dealing with academic work.....when I have difficulty seeing  what 
they are doing...I use questioning as a technique to determine if they are  
doing things correctly.  If you are able to ask them to talk through what  
they are doing....or ask them very specific questions that will give you  
feedback as to whether they understand a concept, you don't necessarily need 
to  "see" their work.  
3.  In terms of medical emergencies....that is hard to say because  every 
medical emergency is different.  For example, if a student faints  lets 
say...the other kids, simply out of shock or surprise are going to inform  you of 
it....its their natural tendency.  You can develop a classroom  atmosphere 
that creates good communication between you and the students.   If you 
develop an atmosphere where you teach the students to care about one  another, 
they can be your eyes.  Once you know about the emergency, there  are ways to 
deal with each situation.  
These are just some thoughts off the top of my head.  If I think of  more, 
I will pass them along.  Like I said, the other listserv would  probably be 
helpful too.  
If you have further questions, feel free to email me off list as  well.

In a message dated 1/30/2014 8:50:15 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
jsoro620 at gmail.com writes:


There's a student in Texas who is having  difficulty obtaining a
certification in special education. The student has  been told they would be
better off pursuing a second Master's to become a  vision itinerant teacher
or using the credentials they have to be a  counselor in the state's
vocational rehabilitation agency. The student  would rather work with 
special ed, specifically elementary-age  students with behavioral disorders.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of  concerns about making special
accommodations and the student's independent  ability to make certain
observations. Now, I have zero experience in  education, special or
otherwise. Are there people here who have, or are,  pursuing this type of
career path who could pass along some tips for  success? The student is a
hard-working 4.0 GPA achiever. It seems generally  and legally incorrect 
placements in general special education classes  suddenly disappear when the
student informs the coordinators they are  blind. Further, the student 
not be sent to a state school for the  blind by default just because the
student is blind. Any thoughts, advice  and referrals would be welcomed.
Thanks in  advance.


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