Research Questions Submitted to NCLVI

The NCLVI Staff requested that the NCLVI Consortium, PAC, Fellows and other stakeholders submit what they considered to be their 3 top research questions.  To date, the following have been submitted.  We encourage submissions and those who wish to list research questions, please send them to George Rudacille at grudacille@salus.edu.  We wish to thank all those who contributed to this effort: APH, COSB, DB-LINK staff: Steve Davies, Lisa Jacobs, Gail Leslie, Peggy Malloy, Betsy McGinnity, Nancy  O’Donnell,  NFB, Braille Authority of North America (BANA).

Select topic to view contributed research questions:


Assessment

  • Research the impact testing is having on children with visual impairments:
    1. Are they being given equal access to information being tested (including in a timely manner)?
    2. What can be done to better prepare children for testing?
    3. What can be done with children with visual impairments, birth to three, that will enhance their knowledge, experiences, and learning styles to be better prepared for meeting the requirements laid out in No Child Left Behind?
    4. How can the expanded core curriculum be effective with children with children with visual impairments, birth to three (which indirectly, or maybe directly, ties to testing later on)?

Assistive Technology

  • What percentage of students with visual disabilities in the nation are receiving appropriate training in the use of assistive technology?

Autism and Visual Impairment

  • How does one determine autism in visually impaired students? Secondary issues include:
    1. Whether or not interventions for behaviors related to visual impairment and behaviors related to autism are different?
    2. Does dual diagnosis improve instruction?
    3. Do attitudes of professionals change when a dual diagnosis is made?
  • Are individuals whose visual impairment stems from neurological causes or implications at an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder?

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Autism and Visual Impairment and O&M

  • I think I've noticed students with autism and visual impairment showing improvement in O&M.  Some seem to do it very well-better than many other activities of daily living/independent living.  Is there a beneficial  relationship between the structure of O&M and autism? 
    1. Does the coupling of physical stimuli with specific cognitive structures improve the individual's ability to travel beyond what might be expected?
    2. Is there something to be learned about a more general approach to autism?  Does this relationship even exist?

Braille Code

  • What code aspects/changes effect reading speed and fluency?
    1. What is Braille "chunk"?  Do spaces help readers "chunk" Braille (increase fluency and readability) or not?
    2. Does it take more time to read a space vs. a symbol? (related to the issue of math format, as well as general materials) Issue of density of a code as opposed to one that is less compact--is one faster to read than the other?
    3. As we get more difficult text would character count for UEBC increase accordingly? If so, what effect does this have on speed and fluency? (related to Marie and Robin's assertion that books with higher  reading levels might have more characters).
    4. What is the impact on readability with "looser" rules on syllable bridging? (related to questions raised at last BANA meeting about foreign language, as well as at ICEB in regards to BANA/BAUK rules and the UEBC).
    5. What code aspects/changes effect reading comprehension? Is there an impact on comprehension with "looser" rules on syllable bridging?
    6. What role does various format rules have on comprehension of materials?
      • format issues for materials used by young children?
      • format issues for materials used by new Braille readers who had been print readers?
      • format issues for complicated visual displays (such as the "whisker" graphs, etc.)?
  • How many Braille readers encounter unfamiliar math and technical codes in "general" reading? (relates to the question of when CBC is no longer a "new" code).
  • Is there an impact on comprehension related to the density of a code as opposed to one that is less compact? Is there an increased perceptual load for comprehension of a dense code or a less compact one?
  • What code aspects/changes effect writing speed and production? Is there an impact on Braille writing (time it takes, etc.) with the UEBC?
  • As we get more difficult text would character count increase accordingly, and if so, what effect would this have on production and personal writing? Is there an impact on production in learning one code (UEBC) rather than three (current practice)
  • for producing educational materials?
  • for preparing certified transcribers?
  • for preparing teachers?

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Braille Literacy

  • Although a multiple year Braille literacy campaign lead by the National Federation of the Blind has resulted in a national trend toward an increased emphasis on Braille, starting with the adoption of Braille literacy legislation in 36 states and, later, adoption of Braille teaching priorities in the federal IDEA legislation, the number of blind youth learning Braille has not changed significantly. Research is needed to determine what factors contribute to the low Braille literacy rate among blind youth who have been identified as legally blind.
  • The following factors need to be considered in such a research project:
    1. Shortage of qualified Braille educators
    2. Effect of attitudes toward the usefulness and efficiency of Braille among special educators as well as general education teachers, especially as it relates to blind youth with some vision
    3. Long-term benefit of learning Braille early in life for blind youth with some vision who might not use it as their primary mode until later in life, i.e., if Braille is learned early, is it a skill that can then be better utilized with relearning later in life compared to partially sighted youth relying solely on print until further vision is lost and then learning Braille? How are factors such as speed, accuracy, adaptation of Braille output note takers, and others affected by early as opposed to later Braille learning?
    4. Can the use of Braille by blind youth with some sight actually enhance self-esteem and self-efficacy as opposed to using magnification coupled with close visual reading? Could the mastery of Braille mitigate or prevent what was reported in Dr. Deborah Hatton’s retrospective study of educational experience reported by blind adults who had some vision as children? These adults reported the most difficulty in school was associated with embarrassment, inefficiency, and awkwardness of their struggle to read print.

Braille Teaching

  • When, given state of vision, should Braille be taught?
  • How are preschool and kindergarten Braille readers in the regular education classroom receiving their instruction (separate curriculum, mainstream curriculum modified, uncontracted and then contracted Braille, computer lab etc.)?

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Deaf-Blindness

  • Children with dual sensory impairment who are functioning in an integrated classroom experience many different kinds of social isolation.  Those who are higher functioning may be successful academically yet develop social phobias due to bullying, ridicule, and being ignored by teachers and peers. Social Skills Training (SST) is a component of educational programs but it is far from being perfected. What is being done to help our children with deaf-blindness, with higher functioning cognitive levels, to acquire social skills and have a fulfilling life?
  • How effectively do the new policies in Alternate Assessment meet the needs of students with deaf-blindness in the 50 states /& territories (in terms of concepts such as:  are they developed to show student academic abilities, identify challenges to learning, provide guidance to improve instruction)?
  • Was the state's Alternate Assessment developed with an active voice from individuals with the lowest incidence disabilities or those individuals that represent their voice?
  • What do teachers of students with deaf-blindness feel is necessary for a successful first 5 years of teaching?

Deaf-Blind and General Collaborative Activities

  • Establish a mechanism for introducing DB-LINK to the graduate students, knowing their planned areas of research, what they might be doing with literature reviews, solicit participation in DBPers or the planned Research Syntheses.

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Deaf-Blind and Instructional Strategies

  • Successful inclusion includes strategies for socialization.  There is some work around socialization strategies for deaf-blind children at the elementary level.  There is a need to understand socialization issues at the middle school/high school level where things become more difficult and complex for students.
  • Research based strategies for literacy as it relates to communication development for deaf-blind children.  Adaptations or validations of strategies for blind or deaf and their use with our population.
  • Learning Media Assessment.  Research around its use and applicability for students with multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness.
  • Accessing the General Curriculum.  Research based identification and validation of adaptations for students who are deaf-blind.
  • Concept Development.  What are the instructional strategies?  DB-LINK fact sheet on concept development by Barbara Miles outlines strategies.  Possible starting point for research project.  Also, the relationship of concept development to math and literacy skills.

Deaf-Blind and Communication

  • Tadoma.  What are the foundations for this form of tactual reception? What are the decision making elements for use with a child who is deaf-blind?  What is it’s applicability for d/b children with cochlear implants?  The relationship of Tadoma to oral speech?
  • Auditory Training.  Research on auditory training for children who are deaf-blind and have cochlear implants.  Develop and validate materials.  Strategies and materials developed for children who are deaf/hearing impaired and the applicability to d/b.
  • What is the language model for deaf-blind children?  The relationship of language acquisition to the complete array of communication opportunities. Do the skills of the teacher, intervener, interpreter, para-professional determine or limit access to the array of communication and language options?
  • What language modalities are taught to children who are deaf-blind?  How are decisions made about language presentation?  Is the student's "preferred" modality used by others when interacting with the student? What is the modality used most often during the student's school day? At home?
  • Assistive Technology.  What technologies, under what conditions work for what types of children who are deaf-blind?
  • Strategies or collaborative efforts that would identify, early on, those children who would benefit from hearing aids and/or glasses.
  • Touch.  Tactile strategies are where it all begins for deaf-blind children.  Project SALUTE identified the strategies.  Put those strategies in a more structured research context.
  • Transition.  What are the constituent elements that inform successful transition for deaf-blind adolescents and young adults?  What are the attributions to the outcomes that we already know?

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Deaf-Blind and Programs Issues

  • What is characteristic about the performance of deaf-blind students in education?  Deaf-blind students are significantly underrepresented in national studies such as the National Longitudinal Study.  Take findings from these studies, (literacy rates, drop-out rates, etc.) and apply them to deaf-blind students. 
  • Specialized Services.  What percentage of the population that are identified as eligible for specialized services, actually receive these services? 
  • IEP Team.  Who actually brings the expertise and knowledge about deaf-blindness to the educational team?  State DB project personnel, district deaf-blind specialist, consultant, parent? 
  • Interveners.  How are they being effectively used?  Validating the use of interveners.  Revisiting the helping vs. hovering.
  • Classroom Observation Instrument.  Collect data on a large scale to determine what is/what is not going on in for deaf-blind children in programs and classrooms across the country. 
  • Alternate Assessment.  Are the majority of deaf-blind students within a state using Alternate Assessment Portfolio? Analysis of accommodations and alternate assessment practices used across states for students who are deaf-blind.  What is the impact on program planning?
  • Census issues.  Who are children who are deaf-blind?  Research and analysis of the realities of identifying and serving children who are d/b.  Comparison of National Census (NTAC) and the annual special education count done by states.  Are the issues of under identification similar for children who are only deaf/hearing impaired or blind/visually impaired?
  • Medically Involved.  What is the medical home model that is available to deaf-blind children who are significantly medically involved?

Deaf-Blind and Personnel Issues

  • Qualified Personnel.  Data that would establish relationship between the numbers of children and the types of programs and personnel available/needed.
  • Education of Personnel/Leadership.  Survey of past and recent graduates of graduate programs in deaf-blindness.  What jobs have they moved into?  Are they serving children who are d/b? 

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Education Services and Outcomes

  • How do the educational services of TVIs and O&M specialists affect student outcomes (employment, high school and college achievement, independence as an adult, etc.)?
  • What is the effectiveness of short-term placement options in schools for the blind and visually impaired?
  • A situation coming up more frequently in the West and Midwest is the study of residential schools for the blind as well as the deaf.  The reasons for the studies vary.  The precipitator might be proposed building projects based on the need for major renovations/reconstruction to some campuses, declining numbers of students being served in campus-based programs or competition for limited resources between campus-based and outreach programs. 
  • The issue that concerns me is that if states can justify, for any number of reasons, to eliminate campus-based services, this will have a detrimental impact on the placement options available for students.  The assumption might be that this will only negatively impact options for deaf students but I am thinking particularly of blind students.  The problem is that in a rural state where it is nearly impossible to recruit and retain trained teachers of the blind or orientation mobility instructors, particularly in states like Montana where there are no state supported training programs, the only dependable source of services is the state school.  Most rural districts depend on our residential school for consultative services. 
  • One might think that we could just take our campus-based resources (funds and staff), regionalize outreach services and then provide direct services to students in the local districts but these students are so scattered geographically we can not possibly meet their IEP needs with the current available resources, reorganized or not.  Even if we had limitless funds it would be impossible to recruit the over 20 TVI's necessary to provide appropriate services to theses geographically isolated students. 
  • The only viable way to meet their identified needs is to consolidate the resources in one or possibly two central locations.  MSDB can provide a full array of long or short term placement options with our resources and the cooperative agreement with the local public school district, one of the largest in the state. 
  • Though the situations and circumstances are not identical in all rural and western states, I believe it would be very helpful to study and identify the elements necessary to provide quality educational services to visually impaired students.  A good study would look at not just the elements in the IEP but the attributes needed for good administration and leadership of an appropriate program serving blind students.  It would also look at the characteristics and the school community necessary to provide an appropriate education.  It would also look at how the National Agenda shapes successful learning environments. 
  • I realize that these considerations go well beyond what is directed in the IDEIA and might create concerns for some state directors of special education but members of COSB are not responsible to all of special education.  And the Montana experience for developing its state plan for federal compliance has been to reduce most special considerations for low incidence disabilities to the lowest common denominator. 
  • The "identification of the elements" necessary to provide an appropriate array of educational options, is probably not that difficult.  The challenge with this problem would be to identify how rural, resource poor states or regions are successful in brining together these elements to provide successful learning environments/programs.  There is probably a much better way to frame this question but it is the essence of a concern that I expect is not just limited to rural or resource poor areas. 

Whether this leads to a study or not, I appreciate your interest and work in the area of educational research.

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Early Childhood

  • How does early loss of vision affect the development of speech production within the brain? Does the recruitment of visual centers of the brain for non-visual processing influence the development of other skill performances?
  • How does the early loss of vision affect world view? There are certain aspects of our interaction with the world that are not only mediated by the visual sense but are in many ways created by the visual sense. The idea of a flow of time that operates in one direction is an entrenched sense that in many ways is a function of how we perceive the macroscopic world. However, modern physics tells us that much of how we think the world operates is not how it truly operates. In the absence of a visual sense, and lacking professionals who attempt to impose a "visuo-centric" view on a child, in what ways do children with congenital blindness view the world and its operation differently. Are these views more in keeping with the most recent discoveries of modern physics?
  • There is some early evidence that recruitment of underused areas of the brain in people with early visual loss may in fact increase sensitivity to patterns and rhythms. Is there support, at the neurological level, for the stereotype that people who are blind are more musically talented than people who are sighted?
  • Research (comprehensive) on the importance of incidental learning on development in young children (birth to five).  Specifically, how does this impact children with visual impairments and how can the lack of incidental learning be addressed?
  • Research in the area of Lilli Nielson’s active learning devices, e.g., Little Room, Position Board, and Resonance Board.
  • The field needs to know more about how to support effective early tactile learning.  In the 90's the field of cognitive neuroscience emerged, leading to recognition that the neural basis of perception and attention can be studied.  Now that neuroscience has begun to provide methods of examining neurosensory activity, it may be possible to utilize these to better understand how tactile information is processed in the brain of a very young child with a congenital visual impairment.  The Research questions are:
    1. Where does processing of different types of tactile information take place?
    2. How does the manner of input (passive or active) affect pathways used?
    3. What changes are seen as development proceeds?
    4. How might what is seen in clinical practice in terms of behavior inform and be explained by what is seen through these new methods?
    5. Could a method similar to the preferential-looking technique used to examine the perceptual and cognitive abilities of sighted infants, be developed to study infants with congenital blindness?
    6. Could information from a tactile version of this technique offer further insight into the blind child's early capabilities?

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Expanded Core and Education Services and Outcomes

  • If the Expanded Core Curriculum is the list of needs every student should master in addition to a state's academic standards, how are teachers and students managing the time and prioritizing the extensive list? For instance, are academic high school students taking summer school? What does a college bound student's schedule look like?
  • What is he effectiveness of the expanded core curriculum opportunities in local school districts.

Expectations on Blind Youth

  • Expectations are central to all education success, and blind youth are no exception. Too often, parents and school systems may choose to limit a blind child’s educational opportunities because they do not expect the child to achieve in a particular area. It can be the easy way out to exclude the blind child from physical education, art class, computer research activities, and, later in schooling, advanced classes thought to be taught exclusively visually such as advanced algebra, physics, and others.
  • Research in this area should focus on:
    1. What are the criteria used by teachers and parents when assessing a blind child’s potential
    2. How do parents’ methods for keeping blind children safe relate to expectations and willingness to push a child to take risks and achieve in diverse areas?
    3. How are expectations of a blind child complicated by other disabilities?
    4. What are the effects of experiential exposure to successful blind adults upon parents’ and teachers’ expectations of blind youth, i.e., what interventions can affect a change to a more appropriate assessment of the potential of a blind youth?

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General Collaborative Activities

  • Establish a mechanism for introducing DB-LINK to the graduate students, knowing their planned areas of research, what they might be doing with literature reviews, solicit participation in DBPers or the planned Research Syntheses.

Literacy

  • Folk wisdom (i.e., word-of-mouth repetition among vision professionals and adults with visual impairments), and newspaper reports indicate that, increasingly, educators are providing students with visual disabilities textbooks and other materials in recorded or computer-produced auditory form.  With the easy availability of recorded text books or books that are scanned into a computer and read aloud by synthesized speech, a blind student may not need to learn Braille and a student with low vision may not need to develop skill in reading large print or in reading print with low vision devices.  On the other hand, numerous states have passed “Braille Bills” which require that Braille instruction be considered for all legally blind students and ruled out only for those students who are expected to develop high reading speed and comprehension when using large print or print and low vision devices.  Research questions can be grouped into the following two categories:
    1. What is the reading speed and reading comprehension level (expressed in grade level scores) for students graduating from high school who are legally blind and who experience no other severe disability?  For students who use both Braille and large print or print with low vision devices, provide scores using all media.  Examine the relationship of number of textbooks and other material in Braille, large print, or print used during grades 5-12 for the past eight years of school and the reading comprehension scores in each media used.
    2. For students whose only major disability is blindness (as defined by legal blindness stipulations), how do reading speed and reading comprehension correlate with number of classes completed in and graduation from four-year college degree programs?  Specifically, do higher scores on print/Braille reading speed tests and on print/Braille reading comprehension tests significantly predict increasing numbers of classes completed and graduation from a four-year college program?
  • Research based strategies for literacy as it relates to communication development for deaf-blind children.  Adaptations or validations of strategies for blind or deaf and their use with our population.

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Low Vision

  • Do students with low vision score better on tests when their graphics are presented in color than they do when graphics are presented in black and white?
  • What is a typical reading speed for students using hand-held magnifiers who do not have central scotomas?  For students who do have central scotomas?

Math and Science

  • What percentage of totally blind, academically-oriented students in the United States are achieving at grade level in mathematics?
  • 48% of our Braille readers are below basic on the PACT in English Language Arts.  68% of these students are below basic on the PACT in math.  What is the leading cause for this discrepancy: visual nature of mathematics, complexity of the nemeth code, ineffective instructional strategies, or lack of teacher preparedness?
  • Math reading questions: 
    1. How are college students accessing mathematics? Related to this are questions regarding geometry, trigonometry, charts, etc.--how are these accessed and in what form?
    2. What is the display for math? (Linear or Braille page)
    3. How do blind adults use math in technical work--e.g., hard copy, electronic, auditory, personal coding, etc.? How many blind adults currently feel proficient in Nemeth code?
    4. Other issues related to upper or lower numbers, such as other combinations of symbols (content analysis).
  • The state of STEM education for blind and low vision students. It has been brought to the attention of our organization (NFB) and to others through anecdotal reports that science and math are not as accessible for blind youth. Factors needing investigation include:
    1. The effects of expectations of teachers and parents on blind students’ performance in science, math, and related subjects
    2. Prevalence of blind and low vision students taking high school college preparation math and science courses and their performance
    3. How well blind and low vision students actively participate in science related curriculum and effects of active experiential participation in learning activities on test performance in these areas
    4. Effect of regular education science and math teachers having access to appropriate tactile, audio, and other alternative methods for exposing blind students to science and math concepts on the overall performance of the students
    5. Degree to which blind students are exposed to opportunities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and opportunities to interact with blind role models in STEM fields
    6. Effectiveness of experiential STEM activities in those programs that actively use blind leaders and mentors as compared to programs conducted by sighted staff.  Studies should pay special attention to the impact on factors such as self efficacy and risk taking behavior of both models.

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Multiple Disabilities

  • How are the educational experiences of people with multiple disabilities  related to adult outcomes?
  • Do children with CVI have vision that innately varies or is the environment primarily responsible for inconsistent visual attention?
  • Research on hand use by children with multiple disabilities, cerebral palsy.
  • Given the increasing numbers of blind/VI students with other disabilities, what are effective communication systems for students who are not able to utilize formal reading/writing modes such as Braille and print?

Personnel Preparation

  • Is there a difference in the level of skill and knowledge between graduates of on campus, full-time training programs and   graduates of distance education programs?
  • Research the impact of university teacher preparation programs on services to children with visual impairments, birth to three.

Service Delivery Guidelines

Our field does not have proper service delivery guidelines for teachers of the visually impaired regarding the Expanded Core Curriculum. In order for service guidelines to be developed for high quality of instruction for students with visual impairments, a Delphi Study needs to be conducted with experts in the field to answer the following questions concerning the Expanded Core Curriculum:

  1. When should the ECC be introduced?
  2. How much time should be spent teaching the ECC?
  3. How much time is currently spent on the ECC?
  4. How many years should be spent teaching the ECC to ensure that a child with visual impairments is prepared to be successful upon leaving the classroom?

Social Skills

  • What is being done to increase social abilities to assist children to become productive members of society?  Not all children with deaf-blindness are severely developmentally disabled. Those who are higher functioning may be successful academically yet develop social phobias due to bullying, ridicule, and being ignored by teachers and peers. Social Skills Training (SST) is a component of educational programs but it is far from being perfected.
  • Successful inclusion includes strategies for socialization.  There is some work around socialization strategies for deaf-blind children at the elementary level.  There is a need to understand socialization issues at the middle school/high school level where things become more difficult and complex for students.

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Systems

  • Research the impact of collecting data through the APH Babies Count Project on delivery of services by agencies providing services to children with visual impairments, birth to three.

Tactile Graphics

  • What level of detail, abstraction, and discriminability in tactile graphics characterize graphics that are meaningful to the blind user? (In  general, a broad study is needed to identify how much detail and  information about complex ideas can be conveyed tactilely as compared to  orally or in writing/braille).
  • Does early exposure to tactile graphics and the development of early tactile skills translate into greater success in tactile graphic interpretation (and enjoyment of tactile graphics) later in VI/blind students’ school careers?
  • With the increasing percentage of pictorial information encountered in recent textbooks and tests, particularly in the areas of math and science, what instructional methods and materials can be provided to ensure equal access to visually impaired/blind students?
  • Does allowing a student to render their own tactile drawings (e.g., via a tactile drawing board), versus receiving only pre-drawn graphics, jumpstart their understanding of two-dimensional representations and map-reading skills?
  • Through systematic instruction and applied tactile graphic standards, can students who are totally blind learn to interpret two-dimensional drawings of some 3-D images [e.g., hidden lines, various viewpoints, etc.]?
  • In tactile graphics or charts, does the orientation of Braille labels longer than three cells make a difference in their readability for experienced Braille-reading students?  [The results would indicate whether the rule that Braille must always be presented horizontally applies in all cases.]
  • Is there a palette of lines, symbols, and texture patterns that are discernable/readable regardless of production medium (i.e., thermoform, swell paper, thermography, and embosser)?  [This investigation could expand on APH’s research from the 1970s-1980s and some unanswered questions from the more recent GRASP study.]
  • How do blind students perform on standardized test items that involve interpreting tactile pictures vs. items that do not? [Extremely complex, potentially involving factors such as students’ previous exposure to tactile graphic study material, the quality of the graphics in their tests, comparison of test graphics with the material studied, and so on.]

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Technology

  • Using Optical Character Recognition in combination with the Windows Vista built-in accessibility features to determine if screen access can be improved beyond conventional techniques is also a good research question.
  • Examine techniques for filtering or navigating past similar content from web pages to increase the efficiency of web browsing with speech.

Teaching/Instructional Strategies

  • Given that we know that there are different learning characteristics and needs related to specific causes of visual impairment, what is the most efficacious way to teach students by vision condition?
  • Does placing a bold line around selected text help students with low vision read more efficiently?
  • What teaching content areas and teaching methods used in transition programs correlate significantly with successful completion of four-year college programs by persons with visual impairments who do not have other severe disabilities?
  • Research on the effectiveness of using a simulated environment with audio and haptic feedback on mobility skills including orientation, sound localization, distance estimates, and orientation needs to be conducted.
  • Learning Media Assessment.  Research around its use and applicability for students with multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness.
  • According to folk wisdom, (i.e., word-of-mouth repetition among vision professionals and adults with visual impairments), a substantial number of mainstreamed students with visual impairments, who do not experience other significant disabilities, receive educational assistance from an aid assigned to them for all or most of every school day.  This same folk wisdom is replete with “horror stories” in which such educational aids provide human guide services for the child throughout the day and also provide one-on-one assistance with class room tasks.  Professionals and adult consumer groups express concern and/or outrage at the lack of opportunity for a student, under such conditions, to interact directly with their environment, use orientation and mobility skills, and develop independence and problem-solving skills essential for successful participation in the world of higher education and employment.  Although these concerns continue to be expressed by vision professionals and consumer organizations, statistics describing aid-assignment practices and aid activities are not readily available.  Clearly this is a huge question.  Data acquisition, operationalization of terms, and appropriate measuring instruments will pose challenges.  However, results could be very useful in designing appropriate educational accommodation for K-12 students with visual impairments.  The research question is  as follows:
    1. Examining school data on the number of mainstreamed students, for whom visual impairment is the only significant disability, how do numbers of hours of aid time per week and numbers of hours per week of specific aid activities effect:  direct interaction of the student with teachers and peers, student’s problem solving abilities, and student’s Braille, print, and mathematics literacy skills?

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As those interested in the field of special education for individuals who are blind, including those with multiple disabilities, and deaf-blindness have research questions, to please send them to George Rudacille, NCLVI Technology Manager grudacille@salus.edu for posting on the website.  Please indicate the category under which the research question should be posted.  Thank you