Fred Rogers Room

School Age Itinerant Services

The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit offers the following School Age Itinerant Services:
Contact:  Dr. Amanda Winnor at 724-219-2351 or [email protected]
The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit facilitates and provides any needed specialty designed instruction to local school districts and programs where a student's visual impairment adversely affects their educational performance.  Vision support is vital to the Local Education Agencies providing basic education programs to students with visual impairments, so that each student can function as independently as possible and meet their educational needs and requirements in the least restrictive environment.
The roles and responsibilities of Teachers of the Visually Impaired include:
  1. Providing Braille Instruction
  2. Keyboarding and Handwriting Instruction
  3. Orientation and Mobility Instruction
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Acting as an integral part of the Transition Planning Team
How is Eligibility for Services Determined?
Eligibility for services includes a referral and a comprehensive assessment by a multidisciplinary evaluation team.  A written report detailing the student's most recent eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is highly recommended during the referral process.  As part of the evaluation process, an Educational Functional Vision Evaluation will be conducted, a Learning Media Assessment may be done, and if needed, an Orientation and Mobility Evaluation.
Link to referral form will be at the bottom of this section: 
All teachers of the Blind/Visually Impaired Support Program are certified by the State of Pennsylvania in the education of students with visual impairments.
Specialized Material Production:
The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit also offers specialized material production services to support students with visual impairments.  These services include, but are not limited to:
  • 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
Contact:  Dr. Elizabeth Young at 724-219-2322 or [email protected]
WIU B.E.S.T. Program is designed to afford opportunities for students in Westmoreland County with hearing and/or visual impairments to develop and refine the skills necessary for transitioning to higher education or employment after graduation, while cultivating friendships with students who have similar interests and needs.
The B.E.S.T. program is available to all seventh through twelfth grade students who receive deaf/hard of hearing and/or vision support in Westmoreland County's seventeen school districts.
Goals of Program
  • 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
Contact:  Dr. Amanda Winnor at 724-219-2351 or [email protected]
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit supports students throughout the county identified with hearing loss by collaborating with member school districts and educational programs.  Our team is comprised of Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and an Educational Audiologist.  Team members focus on each student's individual needs by providing consultative support to ensure student success in the educational setting, as well as, direct intervention and instruction.  Our team works collaboratively to provide in-services to teachers, parents, and school administrators related to each individual student.  By collaborating with district/program professionals and family we strive to ensure all team members are familiar with the effects of a student's hearing loss on their education, as well as the technology required to support the student's ability to participate.
Evaluation Process for Hearing Support Services
  1. 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.
  2. Referrals must be accompanied by an Audiogram from a clinical audiologist.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
      1. TAPS (Test of Auditory Processing Skills -- this gives a good overview of auditory strengths and needs to drive programming
      2. Rhode Island -- normed on DHOH students -- addresses language concepts based on sentence structure
    • Other
  5. The Teacher of the DHOH will make a recommendation of eligibility of services and enter the information into the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Report as needed.
  6. Reports are sent to parents, districts, etc.
  7. Evaluation Reports/Reevaluation Reports and IEP meetings are held pending eligibility.
  8. Hearing Support Services begin after the IEP meeting.
All teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program are certified by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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

Coming Soon!


WIU Deaf-Blind Resource Team

Dr. 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


Dr. Amanda Winnor, Supervisor of Special Education

Office: 724-219-2315

Email [email protected]


National Center on Deaf-Blindness

Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults

PaTTAN Deaf-Blind Resource Page

Pennsylvania Partnership for the Deafblind 


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

Contact:  Dr. Amanda Winnor at 724-219-2351 or [email protected]
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) included provisions for students with health care related issues to be provided with supports and services, so that a student can fully participate in their educational program and ensure their access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  School districts are responsible for ensuring that students are able to safely consume adequate nutrition and hydration during their mealtimes at school.  To support the safe feeding for all students in Westmoreland County schools, the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit has established a Safe Feeding Team to provide consultation services at a district's request for students who demonstrate oral or pharyngeal dysphagia or have behavioral concern that impact their ability to safely eat while at school.  The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit's safe feeding consultant(s) specialize in dysphagia management.
School districts or educational programs can request a Safe Feeding Consultation for a student by completing a Safe Feeding Consultation Packet and submitting it to the Itinerant Services Supervisor.
Contact:  School-Age - Dr. Amanda Winnor at 724-219-2351 or [email protected]
Early Childhood - Denise Lohr at 724-219-2312 or [email protected]
The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit's Speech and Language Program provides a wide range of speech and language supports and services, by contracting with member school districts and educational programs to support students with communication disorders (which could include language, articulation, fluency, voice/resonance and swallowing disorder) to ensure educational benefit.  Speech Language Pathologists in the school environment are responsible for:
  • 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)