American Association of Blind Teachers

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Entering the teaching profession, regardless of the level, poses unique challenges for a visually impaired student. Some of the articles below, reprinted from our newsletter, may suggest possible solutions to some of the most common problems.

Additional Articles

The
American Foundation for the Blind.
publishes
Access World,,
which is one of the single best sources for current information on adaptive technology. The following articles are especially appropriate for students. The publication, however, also offers a storehouse of excellent information on a wider range of technology that may be of interest for teachers and students. You may also want to visit our page on
Computers and Assistive Technology
to read some of these articles.

Scholarships, Loans, and Grants

There are a number of excellent sites with information about scholarships, loans, and grants to help pay for college. Below are a few of our favorites:

College Navigator
This source for college information allows you to search for U.S. colleges by name, location, type of institution, and programs/majors. Provides material about expenses, financial aid, enrollment, admission, athletics, and more. Include multiple institutions on a "favorites" list to see side-by-side comparisons. Also includes links to material about applying for financial aid and careers. From the Institute of Education Science (IES) National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.

college, education, financial aid info
"college.gov is being built by the U.S. Dept. of Ed. in collaboration with students. This site is intended to be the go-to source for information and resources about planning, preparing and paying for postsecondary education (such as 2- or 4-year colleges and universities, as well as vocational or career schools). Of particular interest will be the links to
Student Aid on the Web
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
as well as
How to Pay: scholarships, direct loans, financial aid

Additional Resources

Helping Students with Visual Disabilities
"colleges are creating more welcoming and inclusive learning environments [for visually impaired students]. This site provides useful sections on assistive technology, campus resources that provide assistive services and tools, information about scholarships for students with visual impairments, and online resources they can access to facilitate academic and career success."

Association on Higher Education And Disability
"The successful transition of students with disabilities to, through and beyond college is a team effort. AHEAD offers [this section of its site] to students, parents, professionals and employers so that all are aware of the wide range of resources that are available." Of special interest are the pages on
FAQs for Students
and
Transition Resources from A to Z.
Because this is a cross-disability organization, only some portions of these pages will be relevant to a blind or visually impaired student.

50 State Certification Requirements
The University of Kentucky College of Education collects the teacher certification requirements for the 50 States. Because states are continually revising their teacher certification/licensure rules and requirements, this information can be especially helpful. This page is intended to help you gather planning information on states of your choice. You might want to look at the certification requirements and later look for
Employment/Position Announcements
in the state youíre interested in.

Certification Map
While parts of some pages are not accessible to a screen-reader, the overall site is more accessible than might initially appear. Certification Map is a comprehensive resource for teacher certification information. It provides state specific information on how to become a teacher, teacher salaries, teaching credentials, teacher certification tests, alternative teacher certification, and teaching certificate reciprocity. The aim is to provide all the information necessary to become a teacher no matter where you live. You may either search the entire site or a particular state of interest.

Online Degree Programs from Online Colleges & Universities from around the World
This site is a directory of online courses, accredited online degrees, continuing education, online training, and online education. At this site you'll find hundreds of online courses, accredited degree programs, certificates, professional continuing education and learning resources in 239 subject areas offered by educational institutions, companies and individuals from all over the world.

Search Accredited Online College Degrees, Universities and Courses
"Making an informed decision about which college to attend or which degree program to pursue can be a daunting and difficult endeavor. For nearly a decade [this site has] been helping aspiring students and education oriented professionals make better, more informed choices by providing them with relevant, reliable and up-to-date information about colleges and higher education opportunities." Want to know what schools offer the most financial aid, have the highest or lowest acceptance rates, or have the most highly rated graduate programs? You can find it all, and a great deal more, here.

Free Online Courses in Education
The title of the site is a bit misleading since the listing of free courses is not confined to those typically offered by a college of education. You will find extensive links to free class in business; technology; science (astronomy, biology, general science, etc.); math; liberal arts (foreign languages, history, literature, music, philosophy, writing, etc.); teacher education; and much more.

Hadley School for Professional Studies
" . . . a unique distance education program that provides a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional professional continuing education. [Designed for those] who want to build or refresh their skills to work more effectively with clients and students. HSPS . . . allows you to earn Continuing Education Credits.

HSPS courses are available to anyone who works directly with blind or visually impaired individuals in a work, school or community setting, whether as a paid employee or volunteer. Students currently enrolled in a college or university program preparing for a career in the blindness fieled may apply for enrollment, as well. The Hadley School for the Blind has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the accrediting Commissions of the Distance Education and Training Council, North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Hadley is a fully-accredited member of each association."
Course Listings
include Braille, adjusting to vision loss, developing social skills, guide dogs, living independently, business and careers, finding employment, Internet skills, and much more.

Blind College Student Resources
This page of a blind college student's web site contains excellent, practical advice on attending college. Key sections include applying for financial aid, preparing for classes, getting books and other materials in alternative format, hiring readers, working with the disabled student's services office, and more. While the site is intended to reflect the views of the webmaster, the advice is good and realistic. Very much worth considering.

Best and Worst College Web Sites for Blind Students
While not definitive, this ranking, taken from The Chronicle of Higher Education, rates over 180 different college web sites in terms of their accessibility. This is helpful in serving as one gage of an institution's commitment to inclusion.

Tax Tips for the Blind
This page from TurboTax provides an excellent description of tax benefits for blind and visually impaired tax filers. It includes items that, while applicable to anyone paying Federal tax, may be more appropriate for someone who is blind as well as some items specifically intended for the legally blind.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following links from
DO-IT: Disabilities, Opportunities, Internet Working, and Technology
are excellent and may be especially valuable. While designed for the post-secondary environment, some of this material is still applicable for K-12 instruction. It is referenced here with permission because it is easily the best and most thorough discussion of these issues we have found available.

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