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									Addressing the Expanded Core Curriculum:
Not As Difficult As It May Seem
Kitra Gray, Ed.D. & Christy Householter, M.Ed.
2008 AER International Conference
July 24, 2008, 1:15 PM-2:45 PM in Northwest
•What is the ECC?
•Why is it important?
•How do you address the ECC for all students?
Name the 9 ECC areas

ECC Areas
•Compensatory or functional academic skills (Braille)
•Independent living
•Recreation and leisure skills
•Career education
•Self determination
•Use of assistive technology
•Sensory efficiency
Texas law
Texas Law § 30.002. Education for Children With Visual Impairments
        (c)(4) include methods to ensure that children with visual impairments receiving
special education services in school districts receive, before being placed in a classroom
setting or within a reasonable time after placement,
                the training in compensatory skills,
                communicative skills,
                orientation and mobility, and
                social adjustment skills, and the
                vocational or career counseling,
        required for those students to succeed in classroom settings and to derive lasting,
practical benefits from the education in the school district;…

National Agenda
“In addition to all the core curricular areas included in the general educational
curriculum, students with a visual impairment need to be assessed and receive instruction
in very specific skills that have been demonstrated to be potential problem areas for
persons with a visual disability.”

Why is the ECC important?
•Compensatory or functional academic skills (Braille)
•Independent living
•Recreation and leisure skills
•Career education
•Self determination
•Use of assistive technology
•Sensory efficiency
Why is the ECC important?
Phil Hatlin, Past Superintendent for Texas School for the Blind:
“The Expanded Core Curriculum
 provides opportunities for equality
 for the blind and visually impaired;
 to NOT teach it is to deny this
basic human right.”
 (Hatlin, 2005, An Amazing Movement, See/Hear, TSBVI)

Why is the ECC important?
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004
§300.1 Purpose.
The purposes of this part are:
(a) To ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate
public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet
their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and
independent living….

Why is the ECC important?
•Students with visual impairments attend
postsecondary institutions at a rate that is
comparable to students without disabilities
•29.4% of students with visual impairments are
competitively employed versus 69% youths in general
•46.4% of students with visual impairments live independently versus 60% youths in
•“Vocational skills training for youths with visual impairments needs to incorporate the
use of compensatory skills…”
 (Nagle, 2001, Transition to Employment and Community Life…, JVIB)

Why is the ECC important?
Research—Transition: How much time is spent addressing the ECC?
•27% academically oriented activities
•14% tutoring
•18% enhanced communication skills
•9% sensory motor skills
•8% O&M
•7% daily living
•8% collaborating with others
 (Wolffe, Sacks, Corn, Erin, Huebner & Lewis, 2002, Teachers of Students with Visual
Impairments: What Are They Teaching?, JVIB)

Why is the ECC important?
Wolffe et al., (2002) summarize their research with this statement:
“At this point, however, itinerant teachers of students with visual impairments appear to
be spending the bulk of their instructional time focusing on general academic skills, not
on disability-specific skills. Is it any wonder, then, that so many graduates are having
difficulty living independently, participating in community activities, and finding and
maintaining meaningful employment?”
(Wolffe et al., 2002, Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments: What Are They
Teaching?, JVIB)

So you might be
How in the world
can we fit it all in????

What Can
WE Do As an
CTVI and/or COMS???

What Can You Do?
Step One—Evaluate student needs
Two resources:
1. Region 13 ESC Student Performance Indicators
2. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired ECC website
What Can You Do?
      Step Two—Prioritize Areas of Concern
      Gather feedback
       Discuss at ARD/IEP meeting

What Can You Do?
Step Three—Develop Implementation Plan
       Determine goals and objectives
       Determine who
       Determine when
       Determine how
So how do you know who, when or how?
What are the options?


During Instructional Time
VI or O&M Instruction
•VI provide one on one instruction
–Hands on training
–Role play

•O&M Instruction
–Perfect venue
–Review list of skills
•Any that cannot be part of O&M lesson?
•Examples of O&M lessons
or OT or APE
During Instructional Time

Collaborate with other service providers
Collaborative VI and O&M Instruction
Independent Living Skills, O&M, Braille
–VI lesson—Make shopping list and Braille recipe
–O&M lesson—buy groceries
–VI lesson—Cook using Braille recipe
O&M lesson—deliver goodies to
at school

Collaborative VI and O&M Instruction
Independent Living, O&M, Braille
•Post Office
–VI lesson—write letter to mail
–O&M lesson—go to post office and mail letter
•Job Applications
–O&M lesson—pick up job application
–VI lesson—complete application
  Discuss with group of 3-4 how you address ECC skills with your students or how you
might address these skills in the future

TVI or COMS facilitate skills with other school personnel/parents/community agencies

During other classes or after school
Facilitate ECC Instruction
•Facilitate services
–Access organized classes
•Home economics class
•Consumer math class
•Keyboarding class
•Work programs
–Community programs
•Boy or Girl Scouts
•Outside agencies (DBS)
–Be creative
•Develop local credit class
Option 4: Collaborative Team
•School district
•Community agencies
Real Life
Addressing the Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments and
Their Families

Annual Events
Other Events Hosted by LEAs/SSAs
Transition Events
Ice Skating and Orienteering
Ropes Challenge Course Camp
Bowling is For Everyone
Family Fun Day

And Many More…
Destination Tomorrow
Arts and Leisure Recreation Fair
Sensory Safari
Clowning Around

Where do you start?
 Multi-District/Agency Events
 Must be passionate
 Must have clear understanding of ECC and its importance
 Must have supporting data

Where do you start?
 Multi-District/Agency Events
•Collect data
–Student evaluations
–Surveys (i.e. parent, student, teacher)
–Research articles (i.e. JVIB)
•Obtain supervisor support
–Have ECC materials ready
–Have data analyzed
–Draft of a plan
Where do you start?
•Form committee
Who should be on the committee??
Where do you start?
•Secure funding
–State or local funds
–Sponsorships (Lions Clubs, ABC, Local organizations)
–Community agencies (DBS, organizations for the blind)
–National organizations (The Seeing Eye, AFB)
–Fund raisers
–Community Donations
Where do you start?
–Determine roles and responsibilities
–Set up meeting dates
–Plan 1 year out
–Start small!!!
•Do one event that covers many ECC areas
•Groups of districts host an event
–Build parent buy-in
•Attendance may be small at first—do not give up
Where do you start?
Develop a Planning Guide
•Event name
•Sponsoring Districts
•ECC areas addressed
•Things to do
•Potential sponsors
Where do you start?
Implement Have Fun
And Learn

Summer Programs
Grayson SSA
Summer Programs
Dallas ISD

Summarize Options
•Do it yourself during instructional time
•Collaborate with other service providers
•Facilitate ECC Instruction
•Collaborative programs (multi-district/agency or summer programs)
•Find organized camps/activities in which your students can participate…..
Organized Camps/Activities
•Sports Camp, Camp Life, Camp Abilities
•Space Camp
•Schools for the Blind
•Community recreation:
–Texas Goalball
–Beep baseball leagues
Organized Camps/Activities
Space Camp
Community Recreation
Texas Goalball

Do You Know of Other
Successful Programs?
So Now You Have NO Excuses!

To quote Phil Hatlin again
 We may not “live to see the day that the ECC becomes a regular part of the curriculum
for all blind and visually impaired students. All (we) can do is push it along, a step at a
time, and know that future generations like you will pick up the passion, the commitment,
the understanding that the ECC must be a part of the daily learning activities of children.”
(Hatlin, 2005, An Amazing Movement, See/Hear, TSBVI)

Contact Information
Region 10 Education Service Center
Christy Householter, M.Ed.

Kitra Gray, Ed.D.

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