- Professional Development
- Blogs, Activities
While I am relatively new to the world of CVI, I have spent years advocating for accessibility in education, the work force, and our community.
I received my Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Social Policy, with a concentration in Psychology and specialization in Child Development, from Northwestern University where I stayed to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education. I was certified in Illinois and Colorado where I taught elementary school for six years.
In July 2000, my 4-month-old son, was violently shaken, causing a traumatic brain injury, optic nerve atrophy, strabismus, nystagmus and central scotomas. He was diagnosed as severely visually impaired. After his injury, I was devestated, heartbroken and scared. Yet, I made a conscious decision to focus on his needs and strengths rather than on what he had lost.
I recently stepped down from a six-year term as President of the Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI), a 501c3 non-profit organization. During my twelve years on the board, I planned three educational and recreational family retreats a year with a focus on developing skills within the Expanded Core Curriculum.
I have spent the past eighteen years advocating for people with disabilities and particularly those who are blind and visually impaired and have been a board member on multiple community organizations.
These experiences have given me and my family the opportunity to meet other families going through the same joys and struggles related to raising a child with a visual impairment, as well as, opportunities to connect with other organizations and to find resources in our state and our local community. In April 2019 the Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach hired me as their first Parent Liaison for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In this role I am involved with planning and presenting at statewide professional development workshops for teachers and parents.
In 2019, I was also approached by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to create a position as an Expert Substitute Teacher to provide support to the Teachers for the Visually Impaired and to adapt educational materials for their students. Since then, I have been creating CVI materials and books for our TVI's and their students.