The group will go on to help solve the teacher shortage in Arizona
PHOENIX – Inaugural cohort of students graduate from Arizona State University’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired program in collaboration with Foundation for Blind Children.
The program is a culmination of years of planning to train Teachers of the Visually Impaired or TVIs, specialized Special Education teachers desperately needed in Arizona.
A survey conducted by Foundation for Blind Children during the 2020-2021 school year of over 100 school districts in Arizona found 63% vacancy of Teacher of the Visually Impaired positions in the state and 18% vacancy in Maricopa County alone.
“Teachers of the Visually Impaired make curriculum accessible. A student without a TVI may not have access to the same resources and materials as their sighted peers. Most educators are not trained or are able to support these students. A TVI bridges that gap. This program with ASU will solve the TVI shortage in Arizona so our students can learn, grow up, and do big things.”, says Jared Kittelson, Foundation for Blind Children COO.
Arizona State University in partnership with Foundation for Blind Children launched a program to fill this gap in 2021. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College’s Bachelor of Arts in Education in Special Education with a focus in Visual Impairments prepares students to work with blind or low vision students across educational settings. Students also complete residences at both Foundation for Blind Children and local school districts.
Twelve students make up the inaugural cohort and graduate in May of 2022 ready to expertly teach students experiencing vision loss. Cameron Smith is one of those twelve. She says, “I am very grateful for FBC. They have prepared me and given me hands-on experience, knowledge, and training. I feel like I have already worked with the best in the field, and I could not have had a better foundation going into my career.”
Find more information about becoming a Teacher of the Visually Impaired: https://education.asu.edu/degree-programs/undergraduate-programs/special-education-visual-impairment