Early Childhood Education and Learning

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Manitoba Education and Training provides Manitoba students who are blind or visually impaired with educational support services. Services may include specific student support for direct instruction for teaching Braille, adaptive technology, etc. or advisory support for school teams for students with visual impairments. Counselors for the blind and visually impaired are members of the school team who focus on the needs of students with sight loss. Counselors work with students, schools and families to support with Manitoba Education and Training’s curriculum and specific learning program for students who are blind and visually impaired to ensure active student participation in the school .

Information for schools, students and families

Counselors for the blind and visually impaired are part of the counselor group in the Student Support Services section . Counselors have specialized training and education to teach students who are visually impaired. In addition, Education and Learning some counselors have a specialization in orientation and mobility. They may work with other counselors who specialize in another area of ‚Äč‚Äčeducational support, as there may be students with visual impairments who need other supports.

Direct teaching services

Counselors for the blind and visually impaired provide direct instructional services to students who are blind or tactile learners.

Consultation with school teams

Counselors for the blind and visually impaired work in schools providing support to students who are visually impaired. Support will vary depending on the student’s needs as determined by an assessment.

Counselors for the blind and visually impaired provide a functional vision assessment based on eligibility criteria. The functional vision assessment helps the school team in programming for the blind/visually impaired student. A recent report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist and a reference completed by the school and signed by the parents are required before this assessment is made.

Students whose visual acuity is at its best 20/70 or less or who has less than 20 degrees of field of vision, or whose data reveal other conditions (e.g. worsening eye condition) as determined by the Director of Counselors for the Blind and Visually Impaired, are eligible for services.

Work with the Educational Resources Section, Alternate Formats Services to plan the development and supply of books and materials for students with visual impairments.

Professional Learning Opportunities

Counselors for the Blind and Visually Impaired provide workshops/training to school division staff, parents, secondary institutions and other departments in all areas of their expertise. They train for vision screening in Manitoba schools. They can also take responsibility for organizing workshops/training with service providers in their area. The request for this service can be arranged by contacting the student’s counselor or by contacting the program manager.

Today, the Foundation supports education authorities in the implementation of quality education in special schools and inclusive classes in public schools, while developing new projects aimed at improving the inclusion of children in situations of disability in the education system and in society, by offering them appropriate learning tools and by promoting their access to training and employment.

A network of five special schools was established and administered for 25 years, until its transfer in 2019 to the Cambodian Ministry of Education, helping to create Cambodia’s first public special education system.

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