This course is a two-part interview on assessment with visually impaired (VI) kids. For the interviews, Dr. Jeremy Sharp of The Testing Psychologist podcast speaks with five highly accomplished and knowledgeable women about this complex and nuanced topic. Each of the guests brings their own unique perspective and experience to the discussion, creating a rich conversation that covers a LOT of ground.
In the first episode, they tackle some basics. Areas discussed include:
- Different types and definitions of visual impairment
- Collaborating on evaluations: who should be on the team and what do they do?
- Planning the evaluation
In the second episode, they dive deep into the overlap of VI and other learning or behavioral concerns. Topics discussed include:
- Qualitative and non-standardized assessment practices
- VI and learning disorders
- VI and autism spectrum disorder
Interview conducted: December 2021
CE Content Category: Testing/Assessment; Clinical
Target audience: Psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, nurses, case managers.
This CE course is designated as intermediate.
Conflict of interest statement: Many of the presenters in this program authored/co-authored/developed some of the referenced materials and programs discussed in this course. Please refer to the Author Bio section of the course for details.
This course includes a written transcript of the audio content.
Carol Evans, PhD
Dr. Carol Anne Evans is a retired school psychologist and a former teacher of students with visual impairments. She co-authored the chapter on Visual Impairments in Dr. Jerome Sattler’s 5th and 6th editions of Foundations of Behavioral, Social, and Clinical Assessment of Children, co-authored the guidance document Intelligence Testing of Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, and consulted with APH on the braille adaptation of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. She has also published articles on AudioAssisted Reading for students with BVI and other print disabilities. Carol has contracted with school districts to provide specialized assessments and provides training and consultation on psychoeducational assessment of students who are blind and visually impaired. In addition, she is a consultant for Project TVISP (collaborative assessment of students with B/VI) at the University of Utah. Carol also is participating in an effort to create a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Interest Group for school psychologists serving students who are blind and visually impaired. Current projects are intended to pass on what she knows before she forgets it all.
Marnee Loftin, MA, LSSP
Marnee Loftin is a retired school psychologist, who previously served the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) for nearly 30 years. Marnee has been involved with a variety of curricula that has been developed and produced at TSBVI and is a frequent contributor to the popular TSBVI and Paths for Literacy websites. She regularly presents at regional, national, and international workshops on the evaluation of students with visual impairments. Her publications include topics such as evaluation strategies for students with VI, students with neurodegenerative conditions, and parent education. She co-authored the guidance document Intelligence Testing of Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Her publication, Making Evaluations Meaningful, addresses the identification and development of Individual Educational Programs (IEPs) for students who are blind and VI, and have other conditions such as emotional disturbances, autism spectrum disorders, and learning disabilities. A new edition of Making Evaluations Meaningful will be published in December 2021.
Terese Pawletko, PhD
Dr. Terese Pawletko has worked with children since 1976, first as a teacher of the visually impaired, then as school and pediatric psychologist. Starting in 1989, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked as consult-liaison psychologist at the UNC School of Medicine with children with chronic illness, their parents and medical teams, as well as with children and adults with autism, their parents, and related service providers. In 1997, she joined the staff of the Maryland School for the Blind, where she worked with children with a variety of disabilities including visual impairment, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities, as well as training staff to work with these students. While at MSB, Dr. Pawletko and her colleagues developed the first program in the country for children with visual impairment and autism. Since 2001, Dr. Pawletko has been in private practice, evaluating children with autism spectrum disorders, visual impairments and other learning and developmental challenges. She is considered a national expert in this area and has presented at regional, national, and international conferences, conducted evaluations of children suspected of dual diagnosis, and provided consultation to and training of parents and service providers. Dr. Pawletko also is a contributor to the popular TSBVI website and other publications with articles about autism and visual impairment, case studies, social skills goals, and more.
May Nguyen, MS, LEP, NCSP
May Nguyen is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist serving the California School of the Blind Assessment Center. She has 11 years of experience in the field of education as an early intervention specialist, instructional assistant, professor assistant, school psychologist, and university adjunct faculty member. She leads the California State Special Schools & Diagnostic Centers Psychology Workgroup. May is an adjunct faculty member for the School Psychology Program at California State University, East Bay, and has experience teaching courses in psychoeducational report writing, cognitive and developmental assessment, and advanced school psychology service delivery. She enjoys supervising school psychology interns and supporting early career school psychologists. May has founded PsychCircular, the dissemination station website for free educational psychology resources. She is a co-founder and CEO of the Resilient Minds Collective, a network of licensed educational psychologists, school neuropsychologists, and marriage and family therapists who strive to support individuals of diverse strengths and challenges to achieve their goals and overall wellness and quality of life. May has publications in CASP Today and CTEBVI Journal and participated in the peer review process for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. She has received the Laura Whitmore Meritorious Service Award from the Santa Clara County Association of School Psychologists and Certificate of Appreciation from the Community Advisory Committee of SELPA III, Santa Clara County, for "above and beyond" service to children. May enjoys volunteering for Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy Services with her dog Sunny.
Stephanie Herlich, M.A.
Stephanie Herlich, M.A., has been a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and an Orientation and Mobility Specialist for over 20 years; currently she is the Assessment Center Coordinator for the California School for the Blind in Fremont, CA and an educational consultant for Exceptional Teaching in Livermore, CA. She has worked as both an itinerant and resource room teacher of students with visual impairments, a low vision specialist and an assistive technology specialist. Most recently Stephanie created the Beginning Braille 6 part webinar series available on YouTube. She is the author of The Mangold Braille Program, Unit 3 UEB (Exceptional Teaching), co-author of Getting to Know You: A Social Skills Curriculum for Students Who Are Visually Impaired and Their Sighted Peers (American Printing House for the Blind), contributing author of Learning to Listen Listening to Learn, (American Foundation for the Blind), and contributing author of ECC Essentials; Teaching the Expanded Core Curriculum to Students with Visual Impairments (American Foundation for the Blind). Stephanie has also published many journal articles in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. Stephanie was a researcher on the Alphabetic and Contracted Braille Study funded by American Printing House for the Blind. She has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally on braille literacy, technology, and social skills for students with visual impairments. Stephanie taught beginning and advanced braille courses at San Francisco State University, where she also worked as a University Supervisor for student teachers.
Jeremy Sharp, PhD
Dr. Jeremy Sharp is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director at the Colorado Center for Assessment & Counseling, a private practice founded in 2009 that has grown to over 20 clinicians. He earned an undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina before getting a Master’s and PhD in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University. He specializes in psychological and neuropsychological evaluation with kids and adolescents.
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Based on the content of this course, I can:
- Summarize different types of visual impairment
- Explain qualitative and non-standardized assessment practices
- Discuss the relationship between visually impaired and autism spectrum disorder
- Discuss the relationship between visually impaired and learning disorders