Chapter 4: Special school

Contents

Description of special schools 4.1-4.9

  1. The integration of the visually impaired children into the world of sighted people
    Alexander Belousov, Ukraine
  2. Eighty years of institute for blind and partially sighted people in Ljubljana
    Mojca Florjancic and Katarina Simnic, Slovenia
  3. Current Problems in Development of Typhlo-Pedagogy in Georgia
    Alina Gotsiridse, Georgia
  4. Strategies and means of physical, psychological and social rehabilitation in Boarding-School for visually impaired, Kaunas Lithuan
    Vilma Juodzbaliene, Lithuania
  5. Causes of vision keenes derangement of schoolchildren of Kaunas boarding school for partially sighted children
    Livija Martinaitienë, Lithuania
  6. Buildings: the 19th century glory of schools and institutions for the blind
    Ken Stuckey, Sweden
  7. Special School for visually impaired in Brno, Czech Republic
    Zita Sykorová, Czech Republic
  8. The Royal Blind School Comenius Project
    Kevin Tansley, UK
  9. Tartu Emajoe School
    Silja-Anu Taru, Estonia

Learning 4.10-4.18

  1. Geometry and students with severe visual impairment: considering shape perception as an intersensory process
    Vassilis Argyropoulos, Greece, UK
  2. Teaching young, failing braille readers
    Christine Arter, UK
  3. The generation of standardised print reading scores for children with low vision in Great Britain
    Christine Arter, UK
  4. The origin of arithmetical competencies in blind children
    Emmy Csosán, Hungary/Germany
  5. Reading strategies in children with visual impairments
    Kerstin Fellenius, Sweden
  6. Abstract: relation of space observation of manipulating field with blind children
    Branka Jablan, Yugoslavia
  7. Children with visual impairment and their reading: a comparison between reading from paper and computer screen
    Euphrosyne Kellami, Greece/UK
  8. Clay is a treatment: Experience in art-therapy at a residential school for blind children
    Elena Keller, Russia
  9. Conceptions of numbers
    Oliv G. Klingenberg, Norway

lecture
4.1

The integration of the visually impaired children into the world of sighted people

full text of lecture 4.1

Alexander Belousov, Ukraine

Address:
Boarding School for visually impaired
Sumska str. 55, 310022 Kharkov, Ukraine
Fax: +80 572 430 477

Structure of the gymnasium (pre-school education, elementary school, principal school, high school).
Forming of the personality of the blind and visually impaired pre-school children on the basis of innovative ways in education, training and development.
Programme "The world around me and I"
The main trends to make amends for the psychical processes and emotional sphere of the child.
Programme of psychical training.
Development of the creative potential as one of the ways for self-realisation. Literary studio, music school, club "Debate", different circles: knitting, netting, ceramics.
Using of the computer for development of logical thinking, stimulation of the imagination in order to adapt school children to modern conditions.
The pupils' self-government as a way of forming personality and preparation of visually impaired children for the independent life.
Training communication skills to live among sighted people. Development of skin sense as a mode of rehabilitation and integration into the social midst and perception of surroundings.


poster
4.2

Eighty years of institute for blind and partially sighted people in Ljubljana

full text of poster 4.2

Mojca Florjancic and Katarina Simnic, Slovenia

Address:
Institute for Blind and Partially Sighted Children
Langusova 16, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Fax: +386 61 125 0741
E-mail: zavod.slepih@guest.arnes.si

We will present the Institute for Blind and Partially Sighted Children in Ljubljana. The Institute was founded in 1919, so we celebrate 80 years of existence. The presentation will be on poster including the main branches of our work as follows:

General information about the institute

Basic task in the institute is education and training blind and partially sighted children from all over Slovenia during the preschool and primary school period.
In the institute there are: primary school for blind and partially sighted children with preschool group (including kindergarten) and primary school with adopted programme for blind and partially sighted, the boarding school and the mobile unit helping those visually handicapped who attend the school in their own environment.
Teaching at the Institute enclosed special methods emphasising and using special resources for blind and partially sighted children.

Special forms of training

Adopted teaching plan for blind enclosed beside the ordinary teaching plan also special forms of training such as: self tidy training, socialisation, orientation and mobility, sight exercises, training with computer equipment.

Mobile unit for helping at home

The children, who attend school in their own environment are visited by mobile pedagogues. The mobile unit advises parents, teachers and other the appropriate access how to work with children who have the problems with the sight.
Every year the Institute organises seminars for parents, teachers and educators who work with blind and partially sighted at primary schools and kindergartens.

Perspectives

The development of educational programmes in the children home environment, training for teachers who work in integration, the supportive techniques for self growth as psychosocial aid, hypnotherapies, rhythmic therapy, and even more working with the computers.


lecture
4.3

Current Problems in Development of Typhlo-Pedagogy in Georgia


Alina Gotsiridse, Georgia

Address:
Boarding School for visually impaired children
Goutanskayastr. 6, Tbilisi 380044, Georgia
Fax: +995 32 983262
E-mail: maccarony@yahoo.com

Typhlo-pedagogy is facing major obstacles in keeping up with the recent developments due to the economic crisis in Georgia. The specialized schools for visually impaired children function under strong assistance from state educational institutions and typhlo-pedagogic team that continues developing traditional practices and implementing new methods.

The paper presented by me describes corrective directions of those subjects that enable pedagogues to assist the visually impaired youngsters in adaptation, development of work habits and in providing career guidance through the use of self-developed visual methods. All three typhlo-pedagogical institutions - Kindergarten for Visually Impaired Children, Boarding Schools for Blind and for Partially Sighted Children - are state-funded.

Georgian Pedagogical University has recently initiated a course in defectology. However, the typhlo-pedagogy is introduced to the students only during their practical sessions at the boarding schools. Regardless of the mentioned achievements, typhlo-pedagogy is confronting major problems:

  1. Lack of necessary equipment.
  2. Shortage of new textbooks.
  3. The issue of rehabilitation of the school graduates has not been solved.
  4. Integration of the visually impaired students into regular schools, which is not a common practice and is also constrained by the lack of interest of teachers in adequate training in the field of typhlo-pedagogy.

Full text not available in English


poster
4.4

Strategies and means of physical, psychological and social rehabilitation in Boarding-School for visually impaired, Kaunas Lithuan

full text of poster 4.4

Vilma Juodzbaliene, Lithuania

Address:
Boarding school for visually impaired
Taikos pr. 6A, Kaunas 3009, Lithuania
Fax: +370 7 730224
E-mail: root@reg.kau.soros.lt

The purpose of this presentation is to exchange experience in fields of physical, social and psychological rehabilitation.
Visually impaired children are sensomotorically, psychosocially (intellectual deficiency, psychological problems), physiologically handicapped.

The Boarding-School for visually impaired children provides qualified education and rehabilitation in order to enhance development of independent, socially full value personality. Attention is paid to motor skills, body perceive development and correction of the derangement. The aim of this development is sufficient motor behaviour, body expression, physical achievements.
Physical rehabilitation includes:

Stages of physical rehabilitation:

Boarding-School provides psychological help:

The main part of activity is adaptation to the environment, forming of the positive intercourse, solution of the psychological problems.
The general aspects of the social rehabilitation:

CONCLUSIONS:

  1. Developing of motor skills, correction of sensorymotor derangements facilitates psychophysiological development.
  2. Psychosocial support facilitates socialisation and integration of visually impaired children.


poster
4.5

Causes of vision keenes derangement of schoolchildren of Kaunas boarding school for partially sighted children

full text of poster 4.5

Livija Martinaitienë, Lithuania

Address:
Kaunas boarding school for partially sighted children
Sirvintu 55-2, Kaunas
3005 Lithuania
Tel: +370 7 793798

Kaunas Boarding school for partially sighted children provides basic and secondary education for blind and partially sighted children who have eye sight acuity after correction no more than 0,4.
During 1998-1999 school year we had 14 blind children, 18 children with eye sight remainder and other partially sighted. The most peculiar reasons causing serious children's eye - sight disorder: inherent high myopia, atrophy of vision nerve, pathology of retinal.
Children were treated applying full correction, medical treatment (polivitamins) is applied to all schoolchildren twice a year, pleoptical treatment is applied to 28% of schoolchildren. Physiotherapy to 60% of schoolchildren.
After foundation of new physiotherapeutic cabinet at school and after applying various physiotherapeutic treatment the eye sight of some children improved.
Fourteen children were integrated into comprehensive secondary schools.


poster
4.6

Buildings: the 19th century glory of schools and institutions for the blind

full text of poster 4.6

Ken Stuckey, Sweden

Address:
Dalagatan 31, 2 Trög
SE 11323 Stockholm, Sweden
Fax: +468 4 700 707
E-mail: ken.stuckey@telia.com

A selection of pictures from the many pictures which are to be found in the Tomteboda Resource Centre Museum and the archives of the Perkins School for the Blind. They were arranged in alphabetical order by country. Note that these pictures are mostly different views of the same schools displayed in the poster session.


poster
4.7

Special School for visually impaired in Brno, Czech Republic

full text of poster 4.7

Zita Sykorová, Czech Republic

Address:
Dept. of Special Education, Masaryk University Brno
Poriči 9, Brno 60300 Czech Republic
Fax: +420 54 31 29109
E-mail: sykorova@jumbo.ped.muni.cz

The history of Brno boarding special school for visually impaired pupils dates back to the last century.
Nowadays it is a complex of pre-school special kindergarten, basic school and the resource centre, altogether independently co-operating with the Early Intervention Centre, the secondary special school and the university.
The school is divided into classes for low-vision pupils and pupils who are partially sighted or blind. For a couple of years, new classes have been run at the school, particularly concentrating on the education of visually impaired students with a mental handicap.
Following the idea of integration the number of students of the school is decreasing and there is need for accepting more severely multi-handicapped students and setting new special rehabilitation classes for them. There would be an interesting comparison of this school and the Finnish school for visually impaired.


poster
4.8

The Royal Blind School Comenius Project

Full texts of poster 4.8:
Project renewal and reporting 1998-1999
Project renewal and reporting 1999-2000
Action plan 2000-2001

Kevin Tansley, UK

Address:
The Royal Blind School
Craigmillar Park, Edinburgh EH16 5NA UK
Fax: +44 131 662 9700
E-mail: kevin.tansley@ukgateway.net

Three schools are involved: The Royal Blind School - Edinburgh, Gymnazium pro ZPM - Prague and Landesschule fur Blinde und Sehbehinderte - Neukloster. All schools provide for blind and partially sighted children and young people. Interestingly, the school in Neukloster is just starting to develop MDVI provision and we have been able to offer a lot of support as our MDVI provision is well established.

This project concentrates on the Expressive Acts curriculum and has enabled the three schools involved to offer significant staff development opportunities. Essentially, the project aims to develop the pupils' cultural awareness of Scotland, the Czech Republic and Germany through the Expressive Arts Curriculum. The project has been running for two years and has one year to run. So far we have:

The teacher exchanges have been extremely beneficial to all concerned. For example, our English specialist spent a week in Prague teaching classes about Burns. The visit was reciprocated and our pupils thoroughly enjoyed their lessons about Czech legends.

Tremendous learning opportunities have arisen from this project. It is an excellent example of European co-operation which has benefited both pupils and staff.


poster
4.9

Tartu Emajoe School

full text of poster 4.9

Silja-Anu Taru, Estonia

Address:
Tartu Emajoe School
PK 232 51002, Tartu, Estonia
Fax: +372 7 434316
E-mail: kool@tek.tartu.ee

Tartu Emajoe School is the only school in Estonia for the pupils with visual impairment.

In Estonia a small number of the blind pupils have been included in the common study programme whose studies are supported by Tartu Emajoe School as much as possible.

TES is taking care of the additional training of the teachers itself. After the re-independence of Estonia, TES got close contacts with the schools and institutions of visual impairment in Finland, but also with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Israel and other countries. With the help of our foreign friends we have received special devices necessary for teaching the children, methodical literature and training.

To all our last courses we have invited the specialists working with visually impaired children from other institutions in Estonia. Over 40 specialists from the whole of Estonia have taken part in these courses. The feedback to the courses has been very positive.

We very highly appreciate the help of the Western countries to our school.


poster
4.10

Geometry and students with severe visual impairment: considering shape perception as an intersensory process

full text of poster 4.10

Vassilis Argyropoulos, Greece, UK

Address:
University of Birmingham
School of Education, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Tel: 0030 195 726 04
E-mail: V.Argyropoulos@bham.ac.uk

The general question which this research addresses relates to blind students' understanding of Geometry.

Sub-Aims

Research Design

The project followed a cyclical process common to Action research (Planning, Acting, Observing, Reflecting, Re-planning)

Tools

Context of the Study

Special School for students with V.I in Greece (Athens)

Preliminary Outcomes

Touch, posture, movement, shapes, language, prior knowledge and task conditions


lecture
4.11

Teaching young, failing braille readers

full text of lecture 4.11

Christine Arter, UK

Address:
University of Birmingham, School of Education
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK
Fax: +44 121 414 4865
E-mail: C.A.Arter@bham.ac.uk

The writer's recent research into braille reading has led her to question the way in which braille reading is taught to young children who are blind and experiencing difficulty in learning to read.

A brief overview of research on the preferred hand when reading braille will suggest that views are divided and findings are inconclusive. Millar (1997) states that teacher's views about preferred braille reading techniques influence the way in which they teach a child to read braille. The importance of the early establishment of laterality and dominance for the young child who is blind and learning to read braille will be discussed in the light of the writer's recent research. The paper will argue that those pupils who have not established dominance and are struggling to learn to read , may become confused if they are encouraged to use both hands when reading braille. It is possible for the failing braille reader who is right hand dominant, to read predominantly using their left hand, possibly resulting in confusion and reversions and inversions when reading.

The writer's findings have important implications for the training of teachers in the area of the teaching of braille reading.

Reference: Millar, S. (1997) Reading by Touch London: Routledge


poster
4.12

The generation of standardised print reading scores for children with low vision in Great Britain

full text of poster 4.12

Christine Arter, UK

Address:
University of Birmingham, School of Education
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK
Fax: +44 121 414 4865
E-mail: C.A.Arter@bham.ac.uk

The purpose of the investigation is to assess the print reading skills of children with a visual impairment with a view to producing an appropriate reading test for pupils aged 5-18 years. The project is funded by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). This poster describes some of the issues raised and presents a summary of data (the reading scores of over 150 children) after a year and half of data collection. The reading test being used in the study is the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability.


lecture
4.13

The origin of arithmetical competencies in blind children

full text of lecture 4.13

Emmy Csosán, Hungary/Germany

Address:
University of Dortmund
Klosterstr. 7, Dortmund, 44135, Germany
Fax: +49 231 5861279
E-mail: csocsan@nvl1.fb13.uni-dortmund.de

Analysing of individual learning processes of children is one of the most important elements in planing appropriate special help in the early intervention and in the school. The individual differences in mathematical competencies in blind children mainly due to the various ways that blind children of the same age gather experiences through their senses. This paper is based on some of the results of empirical research of Ahlberg and Csocsán carried out in the frame of phenomenography.

In the classes blind children use mostly haptic material for understanding of number and develop primary arithmetic skills. In spite of this many blind children solve problems in mathematics through their „hearing". Organising of auditory experiences seems very important for developing of part-whole relation of number. Understanding of numbers as composite units is the prerequisite of performing operations using known facts.


lecture
4.14

Reading strategies in children with visual impairments. A pilot study of four cases

full text of lecture 4.14

Kerstin Fellenius, Sweden

Address:
Stockholm Institute of Education
P.O. Box 47308, S-10074, Stockholm, Sweden
Fax: +46 8737 9630
E-mail: kerstin.fellenius@lhs.se

In the 1990s children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) due to periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) have been seen more frequently than earlier in Sweden among children assessed at the Tomteboda school resource centre, TRC (Jacobson et al., 1998a). PVL is a lesion caused by events of ischemis-hypoxia at a gestational age of 24-34 weeks (Banker, 1962) affecting the posterior visual pathways. This lesion may cause only visual functional loss, but it may also cause cerebral palsy (CP). The visual deficit in PVL is characterised by decreased visual acuity with crowding; i.e. an inability to identify symbols on a line, while single symbols of the same size may be identified (Jacobson et al., 1996). Visual field defects, ocular motor impairments with strabismus and nystagmus is also common findings (Jacobson et al., 1998b).

There is a spectrum of visual ability in PVL from almost normal to severe visual impairment. When compared to children with ocular visual impairment, children with cerebral visual impairment often exhibit an uneven cognitive profile with visuo-spatial deficits but good verbal capacities. Our earlier knowledge of learning to read with visual impairment is mostly based on children with ocular visual impairment. It was then assumed that reading acquisition for children with cerebral visual impairment would be different.

Against this background the process of learning to read was observed in four children, one boy and three girls, with cerebral visual impairment caused by PVL. Special teachers from the resource centre closely followed them during two years in their natural settings in mainstream classes. Two children read print without any special adaptation. They developed different strategies in reading longer words which gave rise to a discussion about individual differences or different teaching approaches in their classes.
Another two children with lower visual acuity were offered both Braille and print. One of those preferred Braille after two years training. The other child who had severe spastic diplegia could not read either print or Braille but has acquired a functional way of reading and writing by using computer technology. A thorough neuro-developmental and visual assessment, a flexible way of thinking about reading and an adapted learning environment made reading acquisition possible in these different cases.


poster
4.15

Abstract: relation of space observation of manipulating field with blind children

full text of poster 4.15

Branka Jablan, Yugoslavia

Address:
Faculty of Defectology
Visokog Stevana 2, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Fax: 381 11 183 081
E-mail: handicap@Eunet.yu

Space is observed by integral collaboration of all senses. Key lead in interpretation of space relations is the fact that we do not observe space itself but what is taking place around us: events take place in some space but the direction of conscience is not based on space dimensions than on happening (Ognjenovia, P.1992.). The world of the blind is just as any other world of space constructed of movement, touch, sound. Such a world will have similarity with visual space though we suppose that there are reasons for the hypothesis that the ability of observations of space details with congenitally blind is far less, compared with world of vision (Kree, D., Kraefild, R.1980).Our research problem is in finding the level of blind children, success on testing Stick test: reconstruction with rotation, than reconstruction of shape and reconstruction connected with drawing and redwing of a model. Test group consists of 39 blind pupils, 21 girls and 18 boys.

In our researches we use Stick test reproduction of a model, by sticks. This test gives us possibility to evaluate quality of observation relations in space of manipulating field and gives idea of practical organisation.
Results of Stick test show the best achievements during test "reconstruction of shape" and "reconstruction of drawing", test of "reconstruction with rotation" was poor.
Key words: observation of relations, manipulating field, blind pupils.


poster
4.16

Children with visual impairment and their reading: a comparison between reading from paper and computer screen

full text of poster 4.16

Euphrosyne Kellami, Greece/UK

Address:
University of Birmingham, School of Education
Birmingham B15 2TT UK
Fax: +44 121 414 4865
E-mail: euphrosyne@hotmail.com

The computer screen (with appropriate software) appears to offer many advantages to people with visual impairments, e.g. text can be readily enlarged. The aim of this study was to investigate partially sighted children's reading performance from paper and the computer screen. A number of children carried out reading activities on both computer and paper. Passages were matched for print size, length and difficulty. Results were analysed in terms of speed, accuracy and reading strategies. Comparisons were also made with normally sighted children. Educational implications are discussed.


lecture
4.17

Clay is a treatment: Experience in art-therapy at a residential school for blind children

full text of lecture 4.17

Elena Keller, Russia

Address:
'Parents of the visually impaired' foundation
Prospekt Vernadskogo 117-13, Moscow 117571, Russia
Tel: +7 095 433 53 06
E-mail: elkeller@mtu-net.ru

Clay-therapy is the result of 5 years of work connecting art and psychology to help blind children at boarding school. Very often children who study at boarding school have emotional problems : fears, aggression, communication problems . In general, "clay therapy" is the tactile analogy of drawing art-therapy, used by the psychologists in mainstream schools for seeing children. It has the same structure and the basic principles:

  1. Creating an atmosphere of basic trust for the child.
  2. Manipulation of materials.
  3. Modelling problematic situations.
  4. Verbalization.
  5. Collaboration with the child in telling his/her story.

In spite of the fact that this method is not yet tested for the population of the country and has not yet been theoretically evaluated, there are several advantages, which may make it useful for psychologists working with the blind.

  1. It is soft and gentle, and can be used with little children and visually impaired people who are mentally challenged.
  2. It is multifunctional and combines elements of play, art, physiotherapy, communication and cognitive skills development training .
  3. It is both diagnostic and therapeutic.
  4. It is simple and may be used as "quick help" in conditions at boarding school.


lecture
4.18

Conceptions of numbers

full text of lecture 4.18

Oliv G. Klingenberg, Norway

Address:
Tambartun National Resource Centre
N-7224 Melhus, Norway
Fax: +47 72 879310
E-mail: oliv.klingenberg@ks-tambartun.no

A research carried out in a phenomenographic research framework; with the main focus on revealing how congenitally blind children experience numbers and learn arithmetic skills. 8 Norwegian children, aged 8 to 11, were interviewed and videotaped solving arithmetical problems. The different strategies used by the children are described and categorised, and relations between strategy and interpretation of meaning are analysed.

The research confirms that blind children are an extremely heterogeneous group. However, the study shows that half of the group solves the problems very well, and two more pupils manage to give correct answers despite they cannot describe the calculations. One pupil is not aware of the cardinality and another struggles to destine the cardinality precisely.

Seven different interpretations of the meaning of numbers were found: numbers as structures; numbers as linear structures; numbers as countable; numbers as extend; numbers as model-quantity; numbers as adverb; numbers as jingle-words.

There are sharp distinctions between the pupil's ability to account for the calculation, and these differences seem to be connected to the conceptions of numbers. Some pupils in the study appear to be "procedure-dependent", and those pupils are difficult to interview (and teach ?) about a phenomenon like numbers.


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