Resolution 2020-01: Regarding Ongoing Professional Development for Teachers of the Visually Impaired
WHEREAS, blind students who receive proper access technology and tools are more likely to succeed in school and beyond; and
WHEREAS, blind students who receive instruction early in their education in the use of screen readers and access technologies are able to participate in the same learning activities as their sighted peers; and
WHEREAS, blind students who receive Braille displays and notetakers and are given good instruction about how to use them are able to read refreshable Braille through these devices, enriching their Braille literacy and overall learning experience; and
WHEREAS, teachers of the visually impaired are not often provided the paid personal development time to keep up with the changes and updates to existing technologies; and
WHEREAS, never before have more blind students been learning online and remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and such access technology and software programs are critical tools used by both teachers of the visually impaired and blind students in the remote learning process; and
WHEREAS, many school districts do not give teachers of the visually impaired adequate time to learn about current access technologies and software programs that can be offered to their blind students, effectively denying blind students access to these technologies and learning experiences that they need to achieve their maximum potential: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of California in Convention assembled this twenty-fifth day of October, 2020, that this organization demand that all California school districts and the County Offices of Education provide teachers of the visually impaired with a minimum of five percent of their paid time for professional development devoted to keeping up to date and learning current access technologies so that they may be able to teach them to their blind students.