[Pibe-division] The Problem with TOO Much Help

Marianne Denning MDenning at finneytown.org
Thu Oct 13 17:07:15 CDT 2011

I will usually say a student who is visually impaired and has no additional disabilities should not have a full time aid after 3rd or 4th grade.  Many students with additional disabilities may need more assistance.  The problem is what happens to the student once he/she leaves the public school setting.  There is not an aid to help the student through life.

I don't want to make blanket statements but the students, parents and school staff all become too dependent on the aid.

I believe a big part of my success is because I had to figure things out to compete with other students.  I know there are many good aids but how many of them are properly trained?  Where do they get the needed training?  Who will pay for that training?
Marianne Denning
Intervention Specialist, Visually Impaired
Finneytown Secondary Campus
mdenning at finneytown.org
From: pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org [pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of DrV [pumpkinracer at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:00 PM
To: Professionals in Blindness Education Division List
Subject: Re: [Pibe-division] The Problem with TOO Much Help

My 2 thoughts:
1. I agree with Wendy - The reality is that to cut costs, we are now seeing more nurses aides, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, OT & PT aides, there has been talk of O&M instructional aides.
2. Broad-brush statements about aides being good or bad aren't necessarily productive as they certainly don't apply to all situations. If an aide is deemed beneficial by that student's IEP Team (which should include the parents & at least 2 VI professionals - the TVI & O&M instructor) & a particular aide is not providing appropriate support, then they need to be properly trained. One of the problems is that there is no standard training program for aides - it may be left up to the non-VI district professionals or the TVI. Based on our experience, most of the aide training does not happen beforehand, but rather "on the job" in piecemeal on-the-fly. If an aide is trained properly, they are more likely to be an asset, particularly in mainstreamed settings where the TVI may only be at the students school a few times a week.

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM, Ellen Lopez <eflopez at icoe.org<mailto:eflopez at icoe.org>> wrote:
VI aides can not work without the supervision of a VI teacher.

From: pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org<mailto:pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org> [mailto:pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org<mailto:pibe-division-bounces at nfbnet.org>] On Behalf Of Wendy Molle
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:23 PM
To: pibe-division at nfbnet.org<mailto:pibe-division at nfbnet.org>
Subject: [Pibe-division] The Problem with TOO Much Help

Just so you know TVIs cost a lot more than aides.  (For our districts services, we can get, at a minimum, 8 hours of aide time for the price of 1 hour of TVI time.)  If school funding is cut, in many cases it will be the TVI time that is cut.  No contest!  The only exception will be students with strong parent advocates.  In these tough fiscal times districts make some tough calls that we may all not agree with, but that is reality.

Wendy Molle
Schoharie Elementary

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