13A.12.02.23

.23 Visually Impaired.

A. The requirements for initial certification to teach students with visual impairments and renewal of certification to teach students with visual impairments are those set forth in §§B—E of this regulation.

B. Special Education Background. For initial certification to teach students with visual impairments, an applicant shall meet the requirements for special education certification or have 21 semester hours of course work including all the following areas:

(1) Historical, philosophical, and legal foundations of special education;

(2) Human growth and development emphasizing normal growth and development patterns;

(3) Introduction to exceptional children;

(4) Formal and informal assessment, diagnosis, and prescriptive techniques;

(5) Methods of teaching reading;

(6) Education of students with multiple disabilities; and

(7) Human relations skills.

C. Specialized Content and Professional Education Courses.

(1) An applicant shall have a minimum of 27 semester hours in course work or its equivalent, including all the following areas and §C(2) of this regulation:

(a) Human growth and development emphasizing knowledge of the developmental characteristics of students with visual impairments;

(b) Assessment, diagnosis, and prescriptive techniques to meet the individualized reading needs of students with visual impairments;

(c) Curriculum, instructional methods, technology, and adaptations specific to the teaching of reading and to other areas of instruction of students with visual impairments, including all the following:

(i) Knowledge of Braille, including Braille code and methods of teaching Braille reading and writing, including portable techniques to advanced technologies; and

(ii) Introduction to orientation and mobility training emphasizing the development of concepts and skills required for independent travel;

(d) Medical aspects and disorders of the eye including their current and future impact on the development of the student; and

(e) A practicum of not less than 6 semester hours completed with students with visual impairments.

(2) Two years of satisfactory teaching of students with visual impairments may be substituted for the 6 semester-hour practicum in §C(1)(e) of this regulation. Satisfactory teaching experience shall be established by a series of at least four observation periods per year. If a supervisor certified in teaching students with visual impairments is not available, a mentor teacher so certified in teaching students with visual impairments shall work in cooperation with the special education administrator to provide the required evaluation.

D. Special Provision. A teacher professionally certified in early childhood, elementary, or secondary education who seeks endorsement to teach students with visual impairments at that level shall meet the requirements of §C of this regulation.

E. Renewal. A teacher certified for teaching students with visual impairments shall present at least one course, continuing education unit, or professional development activity indicating maintenance of Braille proficiency.