Studies show that 70% of what a child learns is from visually observing what is happening in their surroundings*. But if a child has a vision impairment, that “incidental learning” is diminished. The vision department works to fill in those visual gaps in a child’s knowledge so they can thrive and learn. Through hands on experiences and direct instruction of concepts, children at the Avalon Academy have the opportunity to explore their world in meaningful ways that directly impacts their comprehension in the classroom.
Beyond direct instruction of students, The Vision Department works with staff and teachers to maximize a student’s functional vision. Vision Specialists also adapt materials and consult with other specialists to increase the overall effectiveness of teaching strategies.
Instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum is an important element of the Vision Department’s educational goals. The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) is the body of knowledge and skills that are needed by students with visual impairments due to their unique disability-specific needs. Students with visual impairments need the expanded core curriculum in addition to the core academic curriculum of general education. These knowledge based skills include:
Independent Living Skills
Orientation and Mobility
Recreation and Leisure
Social Interaction Skills
The Avalon Academy provides the full implementation of the Expanded Core Curriculum in all classes, not just in those specific to Visual Support.
* Hatlen, P. H., & Curry, S. A. (1987). In support of specialized programs for blind and visually impaired children: The impact of vision loss on learning. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 81(1), 7-13.