The Visual Impairment program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively address the specific educational needs of students with visual impairment or blindness.
This unique program is structured with a specialized visual impairment course offered each fall and spring and two courses each summer across a two and a half year period. The summer courses are taught in a combination of distance and on-site for several weeks at the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
This program fosters a small, supportive learning community. Students are admitted every year and proceed through a specially structured sequence of classes. Upon completion of courses in the visual impairment core, your elective courses will afford you the opportunity to focus on a supporting area of special education such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, or Mild/Moderate Disabilities, to name a few.
Dr. Savaiano coordinates the graduate program in Visual Impairments and her courses focus on assessment, educational planning and instructional methods for teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs). Dr. Savaiano completed her teacher certification program in English Education at New York University, her masters degree in Teaching the Visually Impaired from CUNY Hunter College and she received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Her primary interest is braille literacy.
(Only required if English is not your native language)
In addition to the required courses listed here students will also choose, in consultation with their adviser:
|Foundations of Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 846
Prereq: Admission to visually impaired program; hold or concurrently earn subject/field endorsement Current educational programs and services for children with visual impairments, as well as children with multiple disabilities. History of educational services, developmental characteristics, psycho-social aspects, history of legislation, and grade I Braille.
|Introduction to Eye Anatomy of Students with Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 847
Prereq: SPED *846 or permission Structure and function of the visual system, conditions that effect visual ability, and the functional and environmental implications of low vision. Strategies for enhancing visual ability in children with visual impairments and children who have additional disabilities.
|Braille Codes and Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 849
Prereq: SPED *846 and *847, or permission Basic skills in literary Braille transcription and codes. Acquire competence in reading and writing Braille and using the Perkins braillewriter and slate/stylus.
|Intermediate Braille Codes and Instructional Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 851
Prereq: SPED *846, *847, and *849 Advanced skills in Nemeth (mathematics code) and/or Literary code. Basic activities in braille formatting, foreign language, music and identification of braille technology devices and resources.
|Instructional Methods for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 852
Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, and *851 Methods and materials for educating children who are totally blind or have low vision, including students with multiple impairments. Practical skills in selecting, designing, and/or modifying materials for content area subjects: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts, foreign language, and other subjects.
|Applied Technology Methods for Students with Visual Impairments (Summer)||1|
Course Number: SPED 852As
Prereq: SPED 846 and 847, or equivalents This course provides theory and practical experience in the selection and use of technology for persons with visual impairments. Key knowledge and skills covered include: technology assessments, data collection, equipment features, sources of equipment, funding sources, write technology instructional plans, and demonstrate skills to use equipment. Course sessions include lecture and practice of adapted equipment. (distance and on-site )
|Applied Instructional Methods to Teach Students with Visual Impairments (Summer)||2|
Course Number: SPED 852B
Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852; or equivalents This course provides the student with basic skills in selecting, designing and/or modifying materials for content area subjects, including, but not limited to: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts and foreign language (distance and on-site).
|Orientation & Mobility Skills for Students with Visual Impairments||3|
Course Number: SPED 853
Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852 Theory and applied practice in basic orientation and mobility techniques for use with students with visual impairments. Practical methods for work in concept development, orientation skills, travel skills and techniques, personal safety and independent travel. Needs of specific populations such as people with low vision and individuals with additional disabilities. Vision simulators and occluders. An introduction to the history and development of the profession.
|Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities||3|
Course Number: SPED 882
Lec 3. Prereq: SPED *881 for the Severely/Multihandicapped endorsement program or SPED *862 for Preschool Handicapped endorsement program; and permission. Majors in severe disabilities must parallel with SPED 896P (1 cr). SPED *882 requires observations in schools and applied assignments. Selection, design, and implementation of best practice instruction for students with severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, or deaf-blindness.
|Student Teaching: Exceptional Learners||1-9|
Course Number: SPED 897V
Prereq: Permission Laboratory and teaching experience in visual impairments.
Quality learning experience
The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.
Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.
Service you expect from a leading University
Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.