Preparing Personnel To Serve Students with Visual Handicaps in Rural Areas: Two Preservice Alternatives
This report describes different methods used by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Texas Tech University to provide training to rural teachers in serving students with visual impairments. Distance education is well-suited to the problem of rural personnel preparation. UAB uses videotaped lessons in conjunction with on-campus classes, while Texas Tech uses an outreach training model. Both programs provide education through education service regions. Eighteen quarter hours of credit constitute the specialized training in serving students with visual impairments in Alabama while 21 semester hours are required in Texas. In addition, Texas Tech has an orientation-and-mobility program that includes some of the vision-sequence courses plus four advanced orientation-and-mobility courses and an additional practicum and internship. The UAB program supplements a traditional campus-based class by adding "expert" information via video. Videotaped cassettes are mailed to students along with study guides containing assignments, an evaluation component, and a listing of local resources. The Texas Tech outreach program involves the instructor traveling with materials to a rural region, and holding classes. Financial support for the coursework and travel is provided through a federal grant and state funds for the visually impaired. The report contains numerous figures describing training needs, course requirements, development of the programs, and numbers of students trained. (KS)
Sanspree, M.J. & Kelley, P. Preparing Personnel To Serve Students with Visual Handicaps in Rural Areas: Two Preservice Alternatives.