APH Outreach Presents for PSU O&M and VIL Programs
On June 23-25 I was invited to present for two classes of soon-to-be TVIs and O&Ms at Portland State University. 28 Students from Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii, Alaska, and Louisiana participated in the BVI Learners and Orientation and Mobility programs summer classes. They were full of interest and questions across the three days. I spoke about Federal Quota Funds, the Census, the APH Hive, the Access Academy for adults, the Virtual ExCEL Academy and Camp for students, APH products, and how I could help support them once they are out in the world teaching. I was able to draw upon personal experience as a person who is blind and as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and Orientation and Mobility Instructor for six years.
Portland Oregon is a wonderful town for walking and public transportation, so my guide dog Neil really got to show off his skills as well. The First day was all about STEM and tactile graphics. The Tactile Graphics Image Library (TGIL) was a big topic along with, Build-A-Cell, Tactile Doodle, and Touch, Label, and Learn Poster: Human Skeleton. One night Jen Armbruster, four-time Goalball Paralympian medalist, gave an overview of the sport and lead a discussion about sports and O&M. On the last day, Mike May from GoodMaps introduced the students to wayfinding and I then highlighted some of my favorite products for map making. I was able to spend some time on practical uses and examples of times when Picture Maker or Tactile Town were a huge part of my teaching. Overall, I made a lot of connections, got to eat good food, be in one of my favorite cities, and help a bunch of new TVIs and O&Mers by sharing my teaching experience.
Leslie Weilbacher is APH’s Outreach Specialist for the Northwest Region.
In loving memory of Neil, guide dog, companion, and beloved member of the Outreach team.