[blindkid] Incorporating the Expanded Core Curriculum into thelives of visually impaired children at home

Marianne Denning marianne at denningweb.com
Sun May 17 17:02:45 UTC 2015

I agree with this and will gladly help in any way possible.

On 5/17/15, Carol Castellano via blindkid <blindkid at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> So maybe it's time for a new document to be
> created by a REAL grassroots movement!
> Another soapbox warning:
> I can believe that this document was created with
> good intentions.  But I think it also came out of
> two less good intentions--first, out of the old
> custodial views of blindness and the view that
> professionals were the only ones who had the
> secret knowledge of how to teach blind people;
> and second, out of self-preservation for the
> field.  I think the creation of the document (and
> the whole "National Agenda") took place at a time
> when the inclusion movement was gaining momentum
> and threatening schools for the blind and also
> when subsidies for educating TVIs were being cut
> at the national level.  There was concern that
> there would not be enough TVIs and that the
> pressure for inclusion would eliminate the category as a specialty.
> I think a historic influence that was a major
> part of the development of the professional
> blindness field was that initially it was mostly
> about teaching newly blinded adults the skills to
> continue to live life.  There wasn't so much (or
> at all) a family component, as there would be
> with teaching children.  So the field and its
> practices developed in terms of working directly
> with and only with the blind client, rather than
> thinking about empowering parents or family
> members.  Thinking of parents as the natural and
> logical people to teach independent living,
> recreation, and career skills, on the other hand,
> is a direct outgrowth of the NFB and our
> self-help view and our position that blind people
> are the experts at blindness.  This is one of the
> ways in which our organization differs with others in the field.
> Okay, let me climb down now.
> Carol
> At 11:14 AM 5/17/2015, you wrote:
>>I too could go on & on about the ECC (& have),
>>as it virtually completely ignores the role of
>>the parent & blind mentors in achieving the
>>proposed goals of independence. References to
>>parents on the various websites that discuss the
>>ECC (TSVBI, AFB, Perkins, etc) are limited a one
>>line or so token acknowledgement to not forget
>>that parents are “part of the team† ­ more
>>of a footnote or remiinder for TVIs, importantly
>>without the appropriate emphasis on the critical
>>role of parents, family, local community & blind
>>mentors. The various sites above that discuss
>>the ECC refer over & over to “the student† ­
>>even  the Family Connect website refers more to
>>student & the role of the TVI in addressing ECC.
>>The ECC in its current form should really more
>>appropriately be called something along the
>>lines of “The TVIs Theoretical Guide to the
>>ECC for Blind/VI Students.† From what I
>>gather, the ECC was put together by a TVI with
>>good intentions (
>>after coming to the awareness that blind kids
>>were graduating from high school with the
>>academic accomplishments, but not the real life
>>skills needed to make it in the real world
>>(unfortunately still a very real issue). My
>>understanding is that the proposed
>>“curriculum† was really geared towards
>>increasing TVI awareness that the focus of
>>reaching independence for a blind child/student
>>needs to expand beyond just the academic
>>curriculum (this is a good thing ­ though
>>probably obvious to every parent on thhis
>>listserv). The ECC is often described as a
>>“grass roots movement†. I have been aware of
>>it for over a decade & a half, & from what I
>>have seen, it has remained the same static
>>document with unfortunately little evolution.
>>The ECC seems to be gathering increased
>>acknowledgement & acceptance at the level of the
>>TVIs in California, though few general ed
>>educators are aware of it. (Disclaimer: the
>>following is not likely to apply to most of the
>>TVIs, O&Ms, & other blindness educators on this
>>listserv, but is more of a global generalization
>>based on my observations in many forums over the
>>years). My observation is that when the ECC
>>comes up TVI conferences there is a general
>>tendency for TVIs to assume its all up to them;
>>I often get the sense that they either seem to
>>feel & a number will even state that parents
>>“don't get it† & don't possess the skillsets
>>have a significant impact on their child’s
>>independence. At the same time they will
>>complain that there is just not enough time to
>>address everything. I’m going to wrap it up as
>>I can tell I’ve headed into soapbox territory.
>>Final thought: Like it or not, the ECC does seem
>>to be gathering traction in the TVI world; if it
>>is going to be used as a guide to be implemented
>>it needs to be reshaped & frankly rewritten to
>>not only include the TVI teacher prospective,
>>but critically the parent & blind community
>>perspectives. Sincerely, An Involved Parent of 2
>>Blind kids with High Expectations On Sun, May
>>17, 2015 at 7:29 AM, Marianne Denning via
>>blindkid < blindkid at nfbnet.org> wrote: > Carol,
>>I tell all of my families about NFB and the
>>parents' > organization.  I also strongly
>>recommend your book because I know it > is the
>>truth.  Mom had the NFB philosophy when she was
>>raising me even > though I doubt she ever heard
>>of the NFB. I am also a TVI who sets the > bar
>>very high for all of my students.  I have helped
>>change a few > parents' opinions about their
>>child's abilities. But there is so much > to
>>do.  I think the expanded core curriculum is
>>professionals trying > to answer a problem they
>>have noticed for many years.  I love your >
>>ideas for changing the wording.  I don't think
>>of braille as a > compensatory skill.  It is how
>>I read the written word. > > On 5/17/15, Carol
>>Castellano via blindkid <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
>>wrote: > > Yes and this is why it's so important
>>for parents to find us and see > > role
>>models.  First comes the awareness that these
>>things can be > > done, then the expectations
>>get raised, then people learn how. > > > >
>>Carol > > > > At 07:55 PM 5/16/2015, you
>>wrote: > >>Hi Marianne this is a good point.  I
>>can't believe that some parents > >>just won't
>>teach independent living skills at home.  I
>>understand > >>that some of them probably don't
>>know what to teach their
>>children. > >> > >>______________________________
>>_________________ > >>blindkid mailing
>>list > >>blindkid at nfbnet.org > >>http://nfbnet.or
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>>unsubscribe, change your list options or get
>>your account info > >>for blindkid: > >> >
>> > > > > Carol Castellano > > Parents of Blind
>>Children-NJ > > Director of Programs > >
>>National Organization of Parents of Blind
>>Children > > 973-377-0976 > >
>>carol_castellano at verizon.net > >
>>www.blindchildren.org > >
>>www.nopbc.org > > > > > >
>>_______________________________________________ >
>>  > blindkid mailing list > >
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>> > > > > > -- > Marianne Denning, TVI, MA >
>>Teacher of students who are blind or visually
>>impaired > (513) 607-6053 > >
>>_______________________________________________ >
>>  blindkid mailing list > blindkid at nfbnet.org >
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>>blindkid mailing list blindkid at nfbnet.org
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> Carol Castellano
> Parents of Blind Children-NJ
> Director of Programs
> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
> 973-377-0976
> carol_castellano at verizon.net
> www.blindchildren.org
> www.nopbc.org
> _______________________________________________
> blindkid mailing list
> blindkid at nfbnet.org
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> blindkid:
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Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(513) 607-6053

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