School Age Itinerant Services
Blind/Visually Impaired Support Program
- Providing Braille Instruction
- Keyboarding and Handwriting Instruction
- Orientation and Mobility Instruction
- Ensuring student specific competencies as outlines in the Expanded Core Curriculum such as compensatory academic skills, orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, recreation and leisure skills, independent living, career education, use of assistive technology relating to visually impaired, and visual efficiency skills
- Assisting students by exploring and implementing strategies and technologies to help compensate for their vision loss by acquiring specialized materials and assistance with acquiring and training students to use assistive devices for the visually impaired
- Acting as an integral part of the Transition Planning Team
- Transcribing classroom materials in UEB and Nemeth
- Enlarging textbooks and teacher materials to meet student specific requirements
- Creation of tactile graphics needed for classroom instruction
Building Experiences for Student Transition (B.E.S.T.)
- Provide opportunities for students to build friendships through shared experiences
- Prepare students for post-graduate education and work
- Build independent living skills
- Focus on improving social and communication skills
- Promote community services
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
- Itinerant Services Supervisor receives all referrals for hearing services. Referrals must be submitted on the WIU Referral for Hearing Evaluation form. Referrals will then be assigned to a Teacher of the DHOH.
- Referrals must be accompanied by an Audiogram from a clinical audiologist.
- The Teacher of the DHOH and Educational Audiologist will conduct a screening of the information to determine if a full evaluation for special education eligibility is warranted.
- If further testing is recommended, the teacher of the DHOH and the educational audiologist will assess a student's educational needs relating to functional hearing in the educational setting. The functional hearing evaluation will consist of the following:
- Review of audiogram
- Records review
- Functioning listening assessment
- Classroom observation
- Teacher questionnaire
- Parent questionnaire
- Specific assessment tools, such as:
- TAPS (Test of Auditory Processing Skills -- this gives a good overview of auditory strengths and needs to drive programming
- Rhode Island -- normed on DHOH students -- addresses language concepts based on sentence structure
- The Teacher of the DHOH will make a recommendation of eligibility of services and enter the information into the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Report as needed.
- Reports are sent to parents, districts, etc.
- Evaluation Reports/Reevaluation Reports and IEP meetings are held pending eligibility.
- Hearing Support Services begin after the IEP meeting.
Deaf Blind Resource Team
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Deaf-Blind Program
WIU 7 provides a trained and experienced Deaf-Blind Resource Team (DBRT) that assists students, families, and schools with consultation, training, technical assistance, and resources. The term Deaf-Blindness is known as a dual sensory impairment that can occur over a wide range of degrees and levels of impact.
The mission of the WIU Deaf-Blind Program is to provide a collective system of support to enhance educational opportunities and improve access for learners with Deaf-Blindness, as well as provide resources for families, educators, and the community.
Services provided by the WIU Deaf-Blind Program
- Coordination of hearing, vision, and speech services to support individual needs
- Consultation in the areas of communication, behavior, instruction, and sensory skills
- Resource identification
- Observations and recommendations
- Professional development
- IEP writing, including development of goals and objectives and communication plan
- Parent and family supports
- Intervener supports
How to Make a Referral to the Team
WIU Deaf-Blind Resource Team
Ms. Amanda Winnor, Supervisor of Special Education
Ms. Candice Hite, TaC Assistive Technology Specialist
Ms. Natalie Smith, TaC Educational Consultant
Dr. Elizabeth Young, Educational Audiologist
Ms. Erika Tabita, Speech Language Pathologist
Ms. Elizabeth Bilinsky, Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Ms. Michele Jones, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Ms. Heather Saus, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Deaf-Blind Resource Team Contact
Ms. Amanda Winnor, Supervisor of Special Education
The disability of deaf-blindness presents unique challenges to families, teachers, and caregivers, who must make sure that the person who is deaf-blind has access to the world beyond the limited reach of his or her eyes, ears, and fingertips. The people in the environment of children or adults who are deaf-blind must seek to include them—moment-by-moment—in the flow of life and in the physical environments that surround them.
- Barbara Miles
Safe Feeding Consultations
Speech and Language Program
- Assessing students to identify communication disorders as part of a multidisciplinary team
- Providing interventions through evidence based practices to promote student success utilizing a variety of service delivery models
- Monitoring student performance by collecting and interpreting data to ensure student progress through data based decision making
- Collaborating with district/program staff to design school-wide programs that support services delivery in the least restrictive environment
- Complying with federal, state, and program mandates that adhere to IDEA, Chapter 14, and SBAP requirements
- Addressing student's communication needs through preventive initiative in the form of Response to Intervention (RTI)