Thank you for your interest in joining the National Federation of the Blind Dream Builders Capital Campaign. As you know, we have several important projects on the horizon. We want to share details of this project with you personally.
Teachers of blind students.
What’s at Stake
Teachers of Blind Students are often isolated without the benefit of interaction with other teachers of blind students and, crucially, without the benefit of interaction with blind adult mentors. Due to the ableist assumptions of our culture, teachers might therefore approach their work with ingrained biases and misguided assumptions regarding the ability of blind people and the needs of their blind students. It is difficult, if not impossible, for some teachers to picture a blind student’s adult life if the teacher has not had the opportunity to interact in a meaningful way with competent blind adults.
How Teacher2Teacher Will Help
- Teacher2Teacher will offer a series of micro-credentials in various subjects relevant to the education of blind students.
- The program will connect teachers to NFB Community to access the rich NFB literature catalog and other multimedia resources of the NFB, and to the NFB community via face-to-face interactions.
- Reaching out to and connecting educators has the potential to impact exponentially more blind youth than direct programs to youth themselves.
Building the Program
Within the courses, teachers will complete online learning modules that will also include face-to-face experiences, particularly at the NFB National Convention and at state conventions.
Teachers will then extend their interactions with competent blind adults beyond the face-to-face interactions to continue the exposure that has proven so crucial to positive attitudes and high expectations for blind students.
- Micro-Credential Example: An example of a micro-credential is teaching STEM to blind students. This credential could include a stack of courses like tactile graphics, accessible technology in the lab, connecting with and supporting parents of blind youth, and cultivating curiosity in young blind learners. Particularly regarding these last two items, some topics will cross over between multiple stacks, providing for rich interaction between teachers pursuing various micro-credentials.
- Flexible Coursework: Teachers will be able to select which micro-credentials they want to pursue, with the modules within each credential available to be completed in any order, providing for the flexibility and customization that is crucial for a diverse and busy audience. For example, should a teacher need a particular component of a micro-credential for a student they will have in the coming semester, they could pursue that component immediately without being concerned about prerequisites or whether that component is currently being offered.
Evaluating the Program
The National Federation of the Blind will:
- Administer an online mechanism for anytime feedback.
- Conduct pre and post questionnaires for participants.
- Conduct post-program interviews with participants.
Resources and Personnel Needed
- Dedicated NFB Staff Member
- NFB Mentor Teachers
- NFB Access Technology Team
- NFB Organizational Technology Team
- Administrative Support
Why the National Federation of the Blind
As America’s membership organization of the blind, the National Federation of the Blind is uniquely suited to address the specific needs of blind youth in the classroom. By equipping teachers with expertise, blind adult mentors, and a network with which to interact on a regular basis, the National Federation of the Blind can create lasting change in the education of blind students.