Our next guest blog post in response to this request is from Kathy Segers, Director of Accessible Instructional Materials and Outreach Services, Tennessee Resource Center for the Visually Impaired.
TN RCVI COVID-19 Plan Implementation
As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Tennessee RCVI and Outreach Services, has developed a detailed action plan to support local school districts to be able to continue to serve students with visual impairments, by providing accessible instructional materials and devices to the district and or the parents. The following is an outline of the activities that have been put in place.
- A copy of the TN RCVI COVID-19 Guidance was sent to all Directors of Special Education and Teacher’s of the Visually Impaired in March of 2020.
- A copy of the TN School for the Blind Outreach Department Guidance was sent all Directors of Special Education and Teachers of the Visually Impaired in March of 2020.
- TSB Outreach teachers are working with each local school district that they serve and are offering support for the students on their caseload which focuses on providing access to the instructional materials that the district is using. This is based on guidance from the TN Department of Education.
- Local districts were asked to share their home contract information to facilitate communication while everyone is working from home. This was well received.
- Local districts were asked to order materials needed by their students at home using KLAS. They were asked to submit the parents address where the student materials needed to be shipped before placing the orders so we would have time to enter the data in KLAS. Students names were not used to protect privacy. This has worked very nicely.
- TN RCVI has shipped on demand APH Materials and equipment that students were previously using in their local school districts to the homes of students for them to use to have access to the materials used by the local school districts. For example, if they used a Perkins Brailler or Matt Connect prior to the Pandemic, we would ship one to the home if the student could not gain access to the one at school. No new devices that the student has not previously used are being sent at the present time.
- TN RCVI has sent daily information out the parents, TVI’s, and LEA’s about accessible trainings for teachers and students, i.e., free JAWS/Zoomtext for student until June 2020, APH ExCEl Academy Training for Students with VI, Etc.
- RCVI just launched its May Newsletter, ACCESS VI with instructions for ordering and returning materials.
- New protocols for sanitizing equipment and books that are returned to TN RCVI have been developed are being used following EPA and CDC guidelines
- All staff at TN RCVI are wearing gloves and masks when in the building and are socially distancing, We are trying to have only one or two staff members in the building at one time for now.