AERizona View

MAY 2004





KAREN                          GOES TO WASHINGTON ! Page 2


CALENDAR!                  Page 2




REHAB TEACHERS                         GET TOGETHER!                 Page 4


U OF A                         O&M IS BACK! Page 5












CAMP ABILITIES   Tucson , AZ                            May 30- Jun 4, 2004


AER BIENNIAL CONFERENCE     Orlando, FL                   July 13-19, 2004


NAPVI NATIONAL CONFERENCE Orlando , FL                 July 15-17, 2004 (Hosted by AER)


AZ AER                  Annual Conference Prescott Resort                    Oct 21-22, 2004


CTEVH ANNUAL CONFERENCE San Francisco                              March 4-6, 2005


CEC Annual Convention Baltimore, MD April 6-9, 2005


CANADIAN VISION TEACHERS CONFERENCE Halifax, NS                           May 12-15, 2005


AZ AER  OFFICERS &                         Board  of Directors:


President               Jacki Daniels                  


Vice President      Rachel Jones          


Secretary          Christine Powers


Treasurer               Karen Aron                   


Past President       Penny Rosenblum             


Directors                 Tami Levinson                    Rob Schulenberg    Kerry Duncan         Kartar Khalsa

Elaine Baldridge Fernando Terazon     


Region 1 Representative    Sandra Stirnweis


From your Editor: Thanks Jane, Penny, Marnie, Dorinda, Jon, Karen, Joan & Patty for your contributions to this edition of AERizona View! Deadline for the Fall edition is August 1, 2004 ! WRITE! SHARE! Kartar Khalsa





TELL ME is a telephone information service. The number is                        1-800-555-TELL                         (1-800-555-8355).  It offers several categories, including news, sports, entertainment and travel.  All choices are made by voice command.  By choosing “travel” and then “driving directions” you can get exact information on how to get from a starting point to a destination in any city you want.


Try it yourself—get directions from your home to one of your schools or clients!                                    


   ************               AZ AER By-laws changes passed due to excellent membership participation!  Thank you to all who took the time to study the proposed changes and vote! Jacki D.        




330 North Commerce Park Loop                             Suite 200
Tucson , AZ 85745


Phone & website remain the same:

520-887-6816 520-887-6826 fax


The National Vision Rehabilitation Association (NVRA) is a new association formed to advance the independence and quality of life of people who are blind or partially sighted.  Its goal is to expand access to quality vision rehabilitation services.  For information about NVRA and membership, contact Lorraine Lidoff

The PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY (PCO) offers the following on-campus and online courses:


n     Normal & Impaired Visual Functioning


n     Low Vision Assessment


n     Low Vision Intervention


Quarter hour credits can be earned toward continuing education, certificate or Master’s degree in Low Vision Rehabilitation. Computer skills are required. Contact Laura Edwards at                      215- 780-1365 or


















AZ AER welcomes

Dr. Lori Grover, Low Vision Optometrist! Dr. Grover is the new director of Vision Rehabilitation Service at the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix . Dr. Grover presented on “The Team Approach to Low Vision Rehabilitation” and “Treatment of Visual Field Deficits” at the April 2nd AZ AER 1-day meeting in Tucson .


Dr. Grover sees children and adult patients with low vision on Tuesdays at FBC. She will be seeing patients throughout the summer. For further information or to schedule an appointment, call 602-331-1470.














Enter a contest to win a Talking Tactile Alphabet! Designed by Touch Graphics Company, a New York-based firm, the TTT is a computer peripheral device that plugs into a USB port. With Authoring Tool software, the user is able to create simple to complex graphics with audio capabilities.


A contest is being held April 1- July 31, 2004 to award 75 TTT’s. To learn more and enter the contest, go to                                 





F    Register for Conference!

F    Submit paper!

F    Make Hotel reservation!

F    Nominate for scholarship!

F    Have a great summer!





President’s Message

Hello!  This is a hectic time of year for all of us, but I encourage you to take a few moments to read "The Editors Talk" in the newest edition of RE:view (Winter 2004). The piece is entitled "Professionalism and Commitment to the Field".  A few points I particularly found meaningful: Sharing with colleagues, valuing them as future leaders in our field, demonstrating high standards of practice, and increasing knowledge through professional meetings, journals, and conferences. All of this leads to providing the "best and most innovative" practices to our clients and students. AZ AER strives to provide the best information possible to its members through this newsletter and our conferences. It takes all of us, new members and longtime members to continue providing quality service, mentoring, and support for each other, our clients and students. Thank you for your professionalism and commitment to AZ AER. Have a great summer!




Jacki Daniels – Arizona AER President


Prescott Looms!                                           Register and make your hotel reservations now!


Planning is well underway for our AZ AER Annual Conference to be held October 21-22, 2004 ! Tanni Anthony and Dona Sauerberger are confirmed presenters, and we are gearing up for an excellent program! Conference Registration, Call for Papers and Scholarship Application can be found at


This will be our last year at the Prescott Resort. Make your room reservations early by calling 1-800-967-4637. Be sure to say that you are with the Arizona AER group for these special room rates:


$115 single to quadruple occupancy

$125 suite - single to quadruple occupancy


See you in cool, breezy Prescott !


An Arizonan In Washington D.C. : Report on AERLift                                                     Karen Hudak Aron TVI—Southeast Regional Cooperative


As Treasurer of AZ AER, I attended AERLift in Washington , DC . This annual event is for AER chapter and division leaders to discuss hot topics, network, and best of all, lobby Capitol Hill with specific issues related to visual impairment. I landed in D.C. on Saturday, April 24th and headed to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center where the conference was underway. As I scanned the conference room, there was not a familiar face in the bunch! I was quickly pulled into a friendly conversation with a group of attendees and new acquaintances. The conversation was slightly intimidating to a newcomer like me as I listened to comments from people with over a decade of experience. The night started to wind down, and I knew I was in for quite an exciting experience!                                                 


Sunday began bright and early with breakfast and a line-up of sessions. The first session gave AER leaders the opportunity to discuss experiences and ideas of how their AER chapter has been involved in promoting professional development. It was exciting to hear about all the various ideas and programs.


Billy Brookshire introduced the second session. He started in his usual way with a good joke. I forget the punch line, but it helped set the mood for discussing the duties/roles of chapter and division leaders. A packet was passed out entitled “Manual for Chapter Treasurer”. Wow! Could I have used that back in November when I was elected! The manual included new, updated information to guide newly elected chapter treasurers with regard to their responsibilities with AER National. A flow of discussion ensued about the lack of communication between individual chapters, divisions, and national. I documented several great ideas and comments. One significant idea is to have National develop a speaker list/bureau (résumés, topics, and reviews) for chapters to use when planning conferences. Several chapters and divisions suggested keeping a record or database of conference sessions that have been videotaped to be shown throughout the organization. The O&M division leader mentioned that they are in the process of converting over 50 recorded speakers into DVD format for distribution to members. The Georgia chapter leader announced that they have produced a CD-ROM for Usher’s Syndrome screening. It’s amazing what the various chapters and divisions are doing within their individual organizations!


Monday was another early morning and the “big day”! This was the day that AER leaders would go to Capitol Hill and lobby for specific issues related to visual impairment.  We were provided with a folder and briefed about the day’s activities during breakfast. Appointments were already set up with a staff or Senate aide from specific state Senate offices. Each appointment


would be lead by a pre-selected AER leader. The rest of the members chose which state session to attend. I scanned the list of 20 Senators to select my preferred state; unfortunately, Arizona was not one of the states on the list. Then my heart stopped as I realized that I was listed as the AER leader for New Mexico . “Eek! There must be some mistake!” I announced to my table. I must have looked scared, because I instantly got support from two veteran lobbyists! They agreed to guide me through my “leading” moment at Senator Jeff Bingaman’s office. Thankfully, national also provided us with two letters that outlined what we were lobbying. On the bus ride to Capitol Hill, I read the first letter and made notes beside the points that I thought were specific to my area, Teacher for Students with Visual Impairment. The letter, “Ensuring an Appropriate Education for Students with Visual Impairment”, covered four sections of the proposal for reauthorization of IDEA. We emphasized the importance of specific wording for Section 602(25) “orientation and mobility”, Section 612(a)(2) and Section 613(a)(6) requiring textbook availability, Section 614(d)(3)(B)(iii)(II) expanded core curriculum areas, and Section 675 central repository and national standard for e-text files.


The gentlemen assisting me both worked with adults so I knew I was covered on the second letter, “Preserving the Scope & Quality of Rehabilitation Services”. This letter covered information on the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1988 (WIA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Specifically, “AER is strongly opposed to taking ANY amount of funds from the Public VR Program to support the infrastructure costs of One-Stop Centers beyond what is negotiated…”


Well, I did it! I’m not sure how articulate I was at the Senator’s office, but it definitely felt good to represent Arizona AER. I also attended the appointment for Nevada ’s Senator. Surprisingly, both aides that we met were knowledgeable about the topics that we presented and were interested in hearing our personal stories about how these topics affect our students, clients, and families. It gave this newcomer the chance to reflect upon how these laws and specific words really impacted my caseload. As we took the wonderful D.C. subway back to the hotel that evening, I felt empowered as a teacher and AER board member. I flew back to Arizona on Tuesday morning encouraged to learn more about the legislation and what I can do to lobby about these important issues from home.

                                                            Arizona AER takes pride in congratulating Philip Hatlen, Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, as the recipient of CEC’s 2004 Outstanding Leadership Award. Go to for photographs and to learn more about Phil’s service and leadership in our great field!


AZ OOM CONFERENCE:                    A Big Success!

Dorinda Rife TVI, COMS & Jon Howe COMS—Southeast Regional Cooperative                                              

Forty COMS’s from all over Arizona took a break from walking the streets and attended the 1st annual "AZ OOM" workshop on February 20th, 2004 , at the Desert Valley Regional Cooperative in Phoenix . Generously supported by Arizona AER, the workshop provided a venue for Orientation & Mobility Specialists to discuss common issues and learn more about Orientation & Mobility Division Nine activities occurring on the national level.


Three speakers shared their knowledge with the diverse group of COMS’s working with individuals from babies to senior citizens. First, Janet Barlow, who is actively involved in accessibility issues through her membership on the AER Environmental Accessibility committee, shared current research on different kinds of auditory pedestrian signals and discussed the many changes traffic patterns and planning have undergone in the past several years.


Mark Nelson, Technology Specialist at the Foundation for Blind Children, introduced the Braille Note Global Positioning System software currently available through Pulse Data. This software allows the user to identify key information in order to independently plan and execute routes.


COMS’s enjoyed a lunchtime meeting discussing the future of "AZ OOM" and the need for continuing education in our unique field. A committee has been formed to plan next year’s workshop. Conference attendees expressed interest in forming an Arizona Division 9 chapter for Orientation and Mobility Specialists. If you are interested in participating in future AZ OOM get-togethers, or wish to help plan the next workshop, please contact Jon Howe at


Sharon Mikrut shared useful information on Orientation & Mobility certification through ACVREP, the relatively new certifying organization for our profession. She graciously answered the many questions this audience had about the new certification requirements and urged members to contact her office with future concerns.


REHABILITATION TEACHERS Gather for Professional Development                                 

Joan Ellis RT—RSA & Patty Arnold RT—ACBVI


On March 18-19, 2004 , fourteen Arizona Rehabilitation Teachers working with adults met at the Arizona Center f/t Blind & Visually Impaired. All participants commented upon how much they learned and enjoyed the activities. Thank you to Arizona AER for funding through a mini-grant!


A number of topics and devices were discussed and demonstrated. Among these devices were labeling devices, voice recorders with tone indexing, digital organizers, Braille-related items, sewing items, devices for individuals with diabetes, color tests, talking clocks and products for adults from APH.


Teachers had an opportunity to network and fill each other in on what they or their agencies have been doing recently. ACVREP certification procedures were covered, and we went to their website,, to investigate continuing education possibilities. The new draft of the RT assessment was discussed, and Joan received feedback on changes, which she will incorporate into the final version.


The role of an RT versus a Low Vision Therapist was discussed, stressing that it is useful for either or both to participate in a client’s low vision examination, so that the teacher can better assist the client in the home when using recommended devices. This might also include discussing with the client the parameters of ordering and using special glasses, so that if they are spending their own money, they truly understand what it will take to be able to use such a device.  Sometimes interaction with the prescribing physician facilitates this process.  The field of Eye Therapy was discussed, which differs from what a Low Vision Therapist does.  Optometrist Dr. Richard Glonek specializes in vision or eye therapy.


With regard to Assistive Technology, a publication by AFB on technology, Access World, is now free online at Citing information from here and several teachers’ experience, a brief comparison of the features of some of the more popular screen magnifiers and readers ensued.


A brief discussion on transportation issues focused upon urban versus rural concerns. Two other miscellaneous tidbits included information on Arizona Pioneer’s Home—a retirement home for native Arizonans in Prescott, and that the Diamondbacks only charge $1.00 for regular games to a person who is disabled with their companion.  Another RT meeting is in the planning stages with a tentative date of September 17, 2004 .


O&M IS BACK!                                                                                                                                                    …and other good news from the University of AZ

Dr. Jane Erin— University of Arizona


Orientation & Mobility is back! The Arizona Department of Education
has confirmed that they will support a three-year Orientation & Mobility
grant beginning this fall. Under this project, we can fund six full-time
students each year. Dr. Ian Stewart will be returning to coordinate the
program. The fall class is filled already with enrolled students who were
waiting for the program, but we will be recruiting new applicants for Fall 2005.

Please help us communicate our appreciation of the grant to Exceptional
Student Services at the Arizona Department of Education. It would be
helpful to send a brief emailed message to Miriam Podrazik,, coordinator of Comprehensive State Personnel Services, and Joanne  Phillips,, Director of Special Education. Just tell them how much we need O&M instructors in the state and how important this money will be in ensuring future services to our students. They don't often hear from people in the VI community, and I want them to know that this grant will meet an important need.

We are happy to offer the following coursework opportunities:


Summer Course in Communication and Emergent Literacy: Under the Early
Intervention Training Center Project (Dr. Deborah Hatton,
University of
North Carolina
), we are offering another course in education of young
children with visual impairments. Suzi Newbold of the Foundation for Blind
Children and I will be co-teaching the course, which will meet from June
7-11 from
8:30 A.M. to 3:30 PM daily at the Foundation for Blind Children. It is a 2-credit course on communication and early literacy. There are 15 tuition stipends available for course participants, and they will be prioritized for TVIs or Early Interventionists who are working directly with families of infants and toddlers with visual impairments. If you are interested in being considered for a stipend, please email me at Please let me know of your interest and what your teaching role is. You can also enroll in the course at your own expense or from another funding source. Unfortunately, UofA tuition continues to increase, and the cost of a 2-credit course is now about $450. I hope you're all anticipating a wonderful summer with some much-deserved relaxation.
A second course is being offered at the UofA. SERP 466/566: Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities, is designed to be a 3-credit departmental course targeting multiple student specialty needs.  The course will be offered during Summer Session 1 at the new
Disability Resource Center at the University of Arizona (near the NW corner of 6th Street and Highland in the Highland Commons area).  Students register through Extended University . The class schedule is as follows:

M-F, June 7-11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
F, June 18 from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
F, June 25 from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The co-instructors are Dr. Les McAllan, Faye Newberry (FBC in Phoenix ), and Dawn Hunziker (DRC technology specialist).  We will have several very highly skilled guest speakers and many "hands on" activities.  There will likely be no textbook; we plan to use handouts and downloadable reading assignments through electronic reserves at the library.  Most of the course expectations will be "hands on." In other words, students will be required to conduct an accessibility survey, evaluate a tool for assessing accommodation needs, conduct a site visitation and write a reaction paper. Graduate students will have an additional assignment, probably a paper and/or brief class presentation.
AZ AER Classified Ads 


AZ Schools for the Deaf & Blind (ASDB)  and its Regional Cooperatives anticipate the following openings for the 2004-05 academic year:                                                       Audiologists, Career Path Technicians , Educational Interpreters, Instructional Assistants, Low Vision Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Physical Education Teachers, Registered Nurses, Residential Services Assistants, Teachers (VI, MDSSI), Instructional Assistant, Sub Teacher (VI, MDSSI), Instructional Assistant Sub, Music Teacher and Technical Aides (Computer Room & Job Site Trainer)                                                                                                                  Contact Rishanna Aguirre for Tucson/Southern Regions or for Phoenix/Northern Regions                                 Go to for inquires & applications


Cartwright Elementary School District                                                                            1.0 Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment                                                            Contact Sheree Stover 623-691-3550  


The Foundation for Blind Children has openings for the following Vision Rehabilitation & Education professionals:                                                         Rehabilitation Teacher, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment (TVI), Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS), Early Interventionist (Birth-3), Braille Transcriber, Teaching Assistants                                                          Go to for additional information and applications


Southeast Regional Cooperative (SERC) is specifically seeking Vision Education Professionals in the following areas:                                                                       (2) TVIs, (1) COMS, (1) Instructional Assistant—VI (TVI & O&M positions could be filled by dual-certified personnel)                                             Contact Dorinda Rife 520-770-3260 (office), 520-237-5871 (cell) or


Washington Elementary School District                                                                               0.5 Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment                                                 Contact Amy Hyman 602-347-2649  or                     Susan Brdar 602-347-3028 or                                Kartar Khalsa 602-252-0643                                                                   Go to to download Certified Employee Application


 Washington Elementary School District Vision Resource/O&M Department congratulates Susan Brdar, our Alternative Media Specialist, as a Recipient of the 2004 Lamp of Learning Award! The LOL is WESD’s highest recognition of service!

We love you, Susan!










it does not mean to be in a place where there is not noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (unknown)














Kartar Kaur Khalsa

AERizona View

2314 North Richland Street

Phoenix, AZ 85006