ERIC Number: ED455813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Oct
Distance Learning and Disability Access: A Success.
Persichitte, Kay A.; Ferrell, Kay A.; Lowell, Nathan; Roberts, Stephanie
While students who are blind and visually impaired represent less than one-half of one percent of the school age population, they are a group of students with multiple and often complex educational needs. One of these needs is for a specialized teacher trained in the methodologies of blindness and the adaptations necessary to facilitate access to the general education curriculum. This paper describes a three-year grant project at the University of Northern Colorado to design and deliver a graduate master's degree program in blindness and visual impairment to the 14-state region of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, began in January 1998, and currently offers courses to 78 students working to complete 17 to 62 semester hours of coursework (depending on previous training and experience). Additional funds have been contributed by private and state sources. Students are geographically distributed across 18 states, over half of them in states without personnel or preparation programs in blindness and visual impairment. Fourteen courses have been converted for distance delivery as part of the project. In the fall of 2000, eight courses were delivered with a total of 86 students registered. A particular challenge of this project has been to provide a quality graduate education experience for practicing educators who cannot leave the special needs populations that they currently serve to re-tool for this area of specialization. Discussion includes the project description, design and development issues, the delivery systems and media used, lessons learned, and future directions. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Annual Proceedings of Selected Research and Development Papers Presented at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (23rd, Denver, CO, October 25-28, 2000). Volumes 1-2; see IR 020 712.