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Extending the Bridge: 
Helping Tutors, Teachers, and Other Service Providers
and Their Organizations to Better Serve Blind and Visually-Impaired Adults Learning English as a Second Language (ESL), Focusing on Literacy Acquisition

A six-session series of information sharing and discussion

Session One:  The Basics:  Challenges and Possibilities
for Blind and Visually Impaired Immigrants and Refugees

This series was presented in May and June of 2003. It was funded primarily by a grant from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).  In 2002, the presenters, Sylvie Kashdan, Robby Barnes and Cecilia Erin Walsh, attended a three-day training presented by the American Foundation For The Blind National Literacy Center, entitled Bridging the Gap:  Best Practices for Instructing Adults Who Are Visually Impaired and Have Low Literacy Skills.  Following this training we were invited to submit a proposal for sharing what we had learned.  Hence, this series, Extending the Bridge.  Other funding sources were St. James ESL Program, Kaizen Program for New English Learners with Visual Limitations, and Washington State Office of Adult Literacy.  We also received help from volunteers with research and organizational tasks.

Outline

Presenters' introductions, and participants introductions

Recognizing Roles and Skills (including A Note on Referrals)

Personal reflections on experiences with people with visual limitations

Orientation to blindness  and visual impairment (including: Our students are..., Some basic facts about vision, and Debunking Some Myths About People Who Are Blind OR Visually-Impaired

What to Do When You Meet an Immigrant or Refugee Who is Blind or Has Low Vision (including Cultural conventions)

What are the special problems and challenges of new English learners with visual limitations? 

What can be of help to new English learners with visual impairments?

Some Basic Definitions of Compensatory Skills

Open discussion: Questions and evaluation 

Handouts for Session One

Debunking Some Myths About People Who Are Blind OR Visually-Impaired

What to Do When You Meet an Immigrant or Refugee who is Blind or has Low Vision  

 Kaizen Program

for New English Learners with Visual Limitations

810-A Hiawatha Place S., Seattle, WA 98144, U.S.A.

phone:  (206) 784-5619

email:  kaizen_esl@literacynet.org 

web:  http://www.nwlincs.org/kaizen/