Course Description

In order for rehabilitative vision professionals and other service providers to address the psychosocial aspects of their student's adjustment to visual impairment they must be thoughtful and responsive educators.  A thoughtful and responsive educator is not only knowledgeable in the content of the special education of students with visual impairments, but also exhibits the following: knowledge about theory, practice and research in the discipline of visual impairment, understanding of the interdisciplinary roles and ethical behavior in the profession of visual impairment, and the capacity to reflect upon how the nature of a low incidence population (students with visual impairments) is related to social justice. This course sets the stage for the thoughtful and responsive educator to demonstrate commitment, understanding, and competency with regard to the psychosocial adjustment of students with visual impairments.

Course Objectives


1.       Regular access to a computer with internet capability and an active email account is required.

The Windows Application with Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 5, 5.5 and 6 are recommended.

Netscape Navigator versions 7.0 and 7.1 are also acceptable.

The Macintosh application with Microsoft IE 5.1 (OS X 10.1) and 5.2 (OS X 10.2) 5.2.3 (OS X 10.3)

Netscape (OS X 10.3) 7.0, 7.1, 7.2

Safari 1.2 is acceptable.

You must also have an up-to-date Java plug-in installed - download it from:

Your browser must have both cookies and JavaScript enabled, and disable pop-up blocking software for WebCT to function properly.

2.       A headset with microphone is also required to participate in the course synchronous chats.

3.       Students must have basic word processing and internet skills in order to participate in this course. The ability to create and edit Word documents, attach files to email, and upload materials to the course web site is required. Familiarity with navigating the internet is also required.

4.       If you are using adaptive software with WEBCT please contact the instructor for information regarding the software's interface with the LMS.

*** RUN THE BROWSER CHECK on the WEBCT home page before starting your course.

Required Textbook

American Foundation for the Blind. What Do You Do When You See a Blind Person? New York: AFB Press, 2000.? [A hyperlink to this video will be available on the course web site.]

Frame, Melissa J. BLIND SPOTS: The Communicative Performance of Visual Impairment in Relationships and Social Interaction. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas. Publisher, Ltd., 2004.

Milian, M. and Erin, J. N., eds. Diversity and Visual Impairment: The Influence of Race, Gender, Religion, and Ethnicity on the Individual. New York: AFB Press, 2001.

Tuttle, Dean W. and Naomi R.

SELF-ESTEEM AND ADJUSTING WITH BLINDNESS: The Process of Responding to Life's Demands. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas. Publisher Ltd., [3rd edition] 2004.

Packet of Course Materials (provided by instructor on course web site)

Other Reading


Component Percentage

Problem Sets 20%
Written Report/Oral Presentation of Special Project 15%
Examination 1 20%
Examination 2 20%
Final Examination 25%

The table above includes sample data. Edit the table as befits the class being worked on.

Citation: Haven, V. (2007, September 06). Syllabus. Retrieved November 06, 2014, from UMass Boston OpenCourseware Web site:
Copyright 2014, Valerie Haven. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License