Our goal is to support the enrollment of children who are blind and visually impaired (BVI) in the existing educational system of countries that do not yet educate children with disabilities, or who do so without a supporting system of teacher training.
If our work were to be a model, it needed to imagine a simple course in a developing country as well as a complex course in developed countries. Our focus shifted to developing countries with limited resources, with referrals to existing complex coursework already accessible online, with a curriculum accessible by mobile phone.
This work does not supplant the work accomplished by faculty in institutions of higher education around the world. For those countries with the resources to do so, existing curricula found in developed countries can serve as models to create new or improved degree programs that embrace inclusive education.
Many of ICEVI’s partners already conduct short- and long-term trainings designed to meet the needs of individual communities. This project is meant to complement the vital and ongoing work that our partners already do.
We determined that there were three types of teachers that we were interested in training: Teachers of students with visual impairments for specialized schools; teachers of students with visual impairments for inclusive schools; and classroom teachers in inclusive schools. Part of our task thus came to be to identify the training components for these different types of teachers.
Part of our concern was that general education teachers and ministers of education have little experience with children who are BVI and have low expectations for them. We wanted to change that perception.
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