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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

  • Investigate the psychosocial aspects of adjustment to blindness and low vision.
  • Investigate how those who are visually impaired view themselves and their capacity for self-determination.
  • Increase awareness of how the psychosocial attitudes of an individual with a visual impairment influence his or her social relationships.
  • Identify existing rehabilitative and social support structures in order to evaluate how they are being utilized by those who are visually impaired or blind in their psychosocial adjustment.
  • Develop techniques for supporting the psychosocial development of persons with visual impairments.
  • Articulate vehicles through which people that are blind or visually impaired can enhance their personal sense of well-being and empowerment.
  • Familiarize students with web-based distance education tools and introduce them to the pedagogy of on-line learning.  


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

  • Crudden, A. and others. ?Comprehensive examination of barriers to employment among persons who are blind or visually impaired,? 1998. iii, 90.

    Erin, J. E. and Others. ?Religious Beliefs of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments,? Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 85 April 1991: 157-162.

    Golledge, R. G.; Marston, J. R.; Constanzo, C. M. Attitudes of Visually Impaired Persons toward the Use of Public Transportation, 91 September-October 1997.

    Joffee, Elga. Practical Guide to the ADA and Visual Impairment. New York: AFB Press, 1999.

    Lusseyran, J. Against the Pollution of the I:? Selected Writings of Jacques Lusseyran. New York:? Parabola Books, 1999.

    Milian, M. Schools' efforts to involve Latino families of students with visual impairments,?

    Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 97 July 2001: n.7; 389-402.


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.