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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploration of the role of the diversity advisor within educational teams that support students with… Gee, Stephanie 2015

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An	  Exploration	  of	  the	  Role	  of	  the	  Diversity	  Advisor	  within	  Educational	  Teams	  that	  Support	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  who	  are	  Culturally	  and	  Linguistically	  Diverse	  	  	  by	  Stephanie	  Gee	  	  	  B.A.,	  The	  University	  of	  Calgary,	  2004	  B.Ed.,	  The	  University	  of	  Calgary,	  2006	  	  A	  THESIS	  SUBMITTED	  IN	  PARTIAL	  FULFILLMENT	  OF	  THE	  REQUIREMENTS	  FOR	  THE	  DEGREE	  OF	  	  	  MASTER	  OF	  ARTS	  	  in	  The	  Faculty	  of	  Graduate	  and	  Postdoctoral	  Studies	  (Special	  Education)	  	  THE	  UNIVERSITY	  OF	  BRITISH	  COLUMBIA	  	  (Vancouver)	  	  October	  2015	  ©	  Stephanie	  Gee,	  2015	   ii	  Abstract	  	  The	  use	  of	  language	  interpreters	  is	  one	  method	  for	  providing	  information	  to	  parents	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  (CLD)	  during	  meetings	  in	  schools.	  However,	  straight	  translation	  is	  often	  not	  enough.	  Diversity	  advisors	  are	  unique	  positions	  created	  to	  take	  on	  the	  role	  of	  becoming	  cultural	  brokers	  between	  the	  school	  and	  family	  as	  well	  as	  providing	  interpreting	  services.	  The	  purpose	  of	  this	  research	  was	  to	  explore	  the	  role	  of	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  within	  the	  context	  of	  an	  educational	  team	  that	  supports	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  also	  CLD.	  	  A	  focus	  group	  method	  was	  used	  to	  gather	  data	  from	  three	  groups	  on	  the	  learning	  team	  who	  had	  experience	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD:	  diversity	  advisors,	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  teachers	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (TVIs).	  Similar	  questions	  were	  asked	  of	  each	  group	  around	  perceptions	  of	  their	  role,	  interactions	  with	  other	  learning	  team	  members,	  and	  interactions	  with	  CLD	  families	  who	  have	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  The	  transcribed	  data	  was	  analyzed	  using	  the	  thematic	  analysis	  approach	  to	  discover	  emerging	  themes,	  as	  well	  as	  areas	  for	  growth.	  	  Among	  the	  findings,	  common	  themes	  between	  the	  groups	  included	  a	  need	  for	  better	  role	  clarification,	  a	  desire	  for	  cultural	  understanding	  around	  visual	  impairment,	  continued	  communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  among	  team	  members,	  and	  the	  need	  to	  address	  concepts	  and	  terms	  that	  lose	  their	  original	  meaning	  when	  translated	  from	  one	  language	  to	  another.	  Potential	  solutions	  to	  improve	  interactions	  with	  other	  learning	  team	  members	  and	  professional	  development	  opportunities	  for	  diversity	  advisors	  in	  their	  work	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment	  are	  discussed.	  	   iii	  Preface	  This	  graduate-­‐level	  research	  thesis	  is	  an	  original	  study	  in	  the	  field	  of	  education	  for	  students	  who	  are	  blind	  or	  visually	  impaired.	  I	  designed	  the	  study	  and	  conducted	  the	  study	  procedures	  and	  data	  analysis	  under	  the	  guidance	  and	  supervision	  of	  my	  research	  committee,	  in	  particular	  Dr.	  Kim	  Zebehazy,	  in	  the	  Faculty	  of	  Education,	  department	  of	  Educational	  and	  Counselling	  Psychology,	  and	  Special	  Education.	  Additional	  supervision	  was	  provided	  by	  Dr.	  Cay	  Holbrook	  and	  Dr.	  Owen	  Lo	  in	  the	  department	  of	  Educational	  and	  Counselling	  Psychology,	  and	  Special	  Education.	  The	  UBC	  Behavioral	  Research	  Ethics	  Board	  (BREB)	  approved	  the	  study	  proposal	  on	  December	  8,	  2014	  as	  a	  minimal-­‐risk	  study.	  The	  BREB	  research	  approval	  number	  is	  H14-­‐02675.	  	  	   iv	  Table	  of	  Contents	  Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………………………………ii	  Preface……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….iii	  Table	  of	  Contents………………………………………………………………………………………………..iv	  List	  of	  Tables……………………………………………………………………………………………………...vii	  Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………………...viii	  Chapter	  1-­‐	  Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………..1	  Multicultural	  Society…………………………………………………………………………………1	  Classroom	  Teachers	  and	  Diversity……………………………………………………………..1	  School	  Support	  for	  Diversity………………………..…………………………………………….3	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  from	  CLD	  Backgrounds…………………………4	  Definition	  of	  Terms……………………………………………………………………………………6	  	  Chapter	  2-­‐	  Literature	  Review…………………………………………………………………………….7	  	  General	  Overview	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairment	  …………………………........7	  Visual	  Impairment	  and	  Learning……………………………………………………………..…9	  Teachers	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments…………………………………………11	  Teachers	  &	  Cultural	  Competency……………………………………………………………..13	  TVIs	  &	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  +	  CLD………………………….……………16	  Interpreters	  and	  Cultural	  Brokers…………………………………………………………….18	  	   Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors…………………………………………….……22	  	   v	  Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………..….…24	  	  Chapter	  3-­‐	  Methodology……………………………………………………………..……………………25	  Purpose	  of	  the	  Study………………………………………………………….………………….....25	  Research	  Questions…………………………………………………………………………………25	  Research	  Design………………………………………………………………………………………26	  	  Participants……………………………………………………………………………………….……28	  Recruitment	  of	  Participants…………………………..…………………………………………28	  Procedure………...……………………………………………………………………………………..29	  Data	  Analysis………..…………………………………………………………………………………35	  Reflexivity……………………………………………………………………………………………….37	  Chapter	  4	  –	  Results	  ………………………………………………………………………………………….38	  Data	  Analysis…………………..………………………………………………………………………38	  	  TVI	  Group	  Themes	  ………………………………………………………………………………….39	  	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Group	  Themes.…………………………………………………………..47	  DLSA	  Group	  Themes…………………………………………………………………………….….54	  Common	  Themes…………………………………………………………………………………….61	  	  Chapter	  5	  –	  Discussion	  ……………………………………………………………………………………66	  Research	  Question	  One……………………………………………………………………………66	  Research	  Question	  Two…………………………………………………………………………...68	  Research	  Question	  Three…………………………………………………………………………69	  	  Implications	  of	  the	  Commonality	  Across	  Themes……………………………………...70	  	  Implications	  for	  Practice………………………………………………………………………….77	  	  Researcher	  Perspective……………………………..………………………………………….…80	  	   vi	  Limitations	  of	  the	  Study	  …………………………………………………………………………	  81	  References	  ………………………………………………………………………………………………………83	  	  Appendix	  A	  …………………………………………………………………………………………………...…91	  	  	  	  	  	  	   	  	   vii	  List	  of	  Tables	  	  	  Table	  1	  -­‐	  Focus	  Group	  Questions	  and	  Corresponding	  Research	  Questions	  ……………31	  Table	  2	  -­‐	  Demographic	  Information	  of	  TVI	  Focus	  Group	  Participants……….…………..40	  	  Table	  3	  -­‐	  TVI	  Focus	  Group	  Themes……………………………………………………………………..41	  	  Table	  4	  -­‐	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Focus	  Group	  Demographics…………………………………….48	  	  Table	  5	  -­‐	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Focus	  Group	  Themes………………………………………………49	  	  Table	  6	  -­‐	  Demographics	  of	  DLSA	  Focus	  Group	  Participants…………………………………..55	  Table	  7	  -­‐	  DLSA	  Focus	  Group	  Themes…………………………………………………………………...56	  	  Table	  8	  -­‐	  Common	  Themes	  Among	  Focus	  Groups………………………………………………...62	   viii	  Acknowledgements	  It	  has	  been	  a	  great	  journey	  that	  I	  have	  been	  on	  in	  writing	  this	  thesis.	  There	  have	  been	  so	  many	  words	  of	  encouragement	  and	  support	  during	  times	  that	  I	  wanted	  to	  give	  up	  on	  completing	  this	  work.	  Thank	  you	  to	  all	  who	  have	  been	  part	  of	  this	  process!	  	  I	  wanted	  to	  thank	  Dr.	  Kim	  Zebehazy	  &	  Dr.	  Cay	  Holbrook	  from	  the	  University	  of	  British	  Columbia.	  Thank	  you,	  Dr.	  Zebehazy	  for	  answering	  questions	  and	  helping	  me	  flesh	  out	  the	  research	  and	  writing	  process;	  your	  patience	  holds	  a	  special	  place	  in	  my	  heart.	  	  Thank	  you	  to	  Dr.	  Holbrook	  who	  supported	  my	  quest	  for	  knowledge	  throughout	  my	  studies.	  Thank	  you	  to	  my	  vision	  cohort	  for	  their	  support,	  especially	  Sheryl	  Sadorski,	  whose	  unwavering	  support	  and	  constant	  conversations	  have	  motivated	  me	  to	  persevere.	  	  	  Thank	  you	  to	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  vision	  team,	  this	  work	  wouldn’t	  have	  come	  to	  fruition	  without	  your	  input!	  Thank	  you	  to	  Carolyn	  Malcolm,	  Lisa	  Graham-­‐Hill,	  Janice	  Leslie,	  Angela	  Laurin,	  Diana	  Brent,	  Cathy	  Bell	  and	  Angela	  Leavens.	  	  Thank	  you	  to	  my	  dear	  friends,	  Nancy	  Baines,	  Rosanne	  Harder,	  Carmen	  Ma,	  Tracy	  Lo,	  Mai	  Wong	  and	  Oliver	  Gee	  whose	  friendships	  helped	  to	  shape	  who	  I	  am!	  I	  am	  lucky	  to	  have	  you	  in	  my	  life.	  	  Thanks	  to	  Dr.	  Doug	  Brent	  and	  Lynn	  Kent	  for	  taking	  time	  to	  provide	  your	  advice.	  	  A	  special	  thanks	  to	  Stephen,	  Suzanne	  and	  Sparky	  Wu	  who	  was	  my	  Vancouver	  family	  for	  all	  the	  times	  I	  needed	  a	  place	  to	  stay!	  I	  would	  like	  to	  dedicate	  this	  thesis	  to	  my	  family:	  my	  parents,	  Kin	  Lan	  and	  Garry,	  my	  siblings	  Anthony	  and	  Amy,	  and	  my	  extended	  family.	  The	  countless	  hours,	  	   ix	  tears	  and	  joy	  I	  have	  experienced	  on	  this	  journey	  has	  brought	  us	  closer	  together	  than	  ever	   1	  Chapter	  1	  -­‐	  Introduction	  Multicultural	  Society	  	  	   	   The	  classroom	  that	  is	  present	  today	  is	  an	  ever-­‐changing	  canvas	  of	  cultural	  diversity.	  	  People	  are	  constantly	  moving	  around	  the	  world	  for	  various	  reasons,	  which	  is	  reflected	  in	  the	  growing	  number	  of	  people	  who	  are	  entering	  Canada	  and	  living	  in	  Canadian	  communities.	  	  Between	  2006	  and	  2011,	  around	  1,162,900	  foreign-­‐born	  people	  immigrated	  to	  Canada.	  These	  recent	  immigrants	  make	  up	  17.2%	  of	  the	  foreign-­‐born	  population	  and	  3.5%	  of	  the	  total	  population	  in	  Canada	  (Statistics	  Canada,	  2011).	  The	  nation	  is	  becoming	  more	  and	  more	  a	  multilingual	  society	  with	  the	  growing	  number	  of	  immigrants	  with	  over	  200	  different	  languages	  spoken	  within	  Canada	  (Statistics	  Canada,	  2011).	  The	  diversity	  that	  is	  seen	  in	  today’s	  Canadian	  population	  is	  mirrored	  in	  classrooms	  across	  the	  country.	  	  These	  residents	  are	  either	  preparing	  to	  or	  have	  already	  entered	  into	  school	  systems	  across	  Canada,	  whether	  it	  is	  to	  enter	  as	  adults	  in	  English	  as	  another	  language	  classes	  or	  as	  school	  aged	  children	  and	  youth.	  Classroom	  Teachers	  and	  Diversity	  	  	   Within	  the	  school	  context,	  students	  from	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  backgrounds	  (CLD)	  are	  not	  only	  learning	  language	  and	  curriculum	  but	  also	  involved	  in	  learning	  how	  to	  meld	  together	  cultures	  that	  will	  eventually	  become	  the	  students’	  self-­‐identity.	  	  (Timmons,	  2009;	  Berg,	  2013).	  	  The	  student	  who	  is	  CLD	  will	  have	  a	  self	  identity	  developed	  from	  the	  belief	  system	  that	  they	  have	  acquired	  from	  their	  cultural	  background,	  which	  influences	  how	  a	  student	  interprets,	  interacts	  and	  acquires	  the	  information	  (Guinan,	  1997;	  Bau,	  1999;	  Fan	  &	  Chen,	  1999;	  Timmons,	  	   2	  2009)	  These	  students	  will	  have	  to	  balance	  this	  cultural	  identity	  with	  the	  culture	  that	  they	  will	  acquire	  from	  school.	  	  	  	  Classroom	  teachers	  are	  challenged	  to	  provide	  culturally	  relevant	  instruction	  to	  this	  diverse	  group	  of	  students	  (Tucker,	  Porter,	  Reinke,	  Herman,	  Ivery,	  Mack	  &	  Jackson,	  2005).	  Cultural	  competence	  is	  defined	  as	  the	  “ability	  to	  work	  effectively	  across	  cultures	  in	  a	  way	  that	  acknowledges	  and	  respects	  the	  culture	  of	  the	  person	  or	  organization	  being	  served”	  (Moyer	  &	  Clymer,	  2009;	  Hanley,	  1999;	  Chu,	  2011;	  p.	  1,	  NEA,	  2008;	  Milian,	  2006).	  	  Effective	  teachers	  build	  upon	  their	  cultural	  competence	  in	  order	  to	  devise	  new	  strategies	  and	  approaches	  within	  their	  own	  pedagogy	  to	  build	  inclusive	  classrooms	  in	  the	  changing	  face	  of	  a	  diverse	  landscape.	  However,	  teachers	  commonly	  feel	  that	  they	  are	  not	  equipped	  to	  come	  up	  with	  these	  strategies	  (Tucker	  et	  al.,	  2005;	  Chu,	  2011;	  Hamm,	  2014).	  	  One	  part	  that	  is	  key	  to	  cultural	  competence	  and	  relationship	  building	  lies	  in	  understanding	  differences	  and	  similarities	  that	  exist	  between	  the	  school	  and	  home	  cultures	  (Moyer	  &	  Clymer,	  2009;	  Harry,	  2002).	  In	  order	  to	  truly	  understand	  similarities	  and	  differences,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  move	  beyond	  the	  surface	  culture,	  or	  that	  which	  can	  easily	  be	  seen	  (e.g.,	  language,	  food,	  art),	  and	  towards	  a	  deeper	  more	  meaningful	  understanding	  of	  culture	  (e.g.,	  the	  definition	  of	  sin,	  concept	  of	  justice,	  work	  ethic,	  eye	  behavior,	  approaches	  to	  problem-­‐solving,	  fiscal	  expression	  and	  approach	  to	  interpersonal	  relationships)	  (Weaver,	  1986).	  It	  is	  moving	  towards	  this	  willingness	  to	  understand	  the	  deeper	  culture	  that	  builds	  relationships	  (Weaver,	  1986;	  Tucker	  et	  al.,	  2005;	  Moyer	  &	  Clymer,	  2008;	  Bau,	  1999).	  	  	  	   3	  School	  Support	  for	  Diversity	  School	  districts	  across	  Canada	  have	  different	  resources	  and	  different	  methods	  to	  provide	  assistance	  to	  classroom	  teachers,	  administration,	  parents	  and	  students	  who	  are	  CLD	  to	  understand	  each	  other	  at	  a	  deeper	  level.	  These	  resources	  are	  used	  in	  accordance	  with	  each	  family’s	  need	  to	  create	  a	  relationship	  among	  them	  and	  the	  school.	  	  One	  common	  practice	  is	  the	  use	  of	  language	  interpreters	  to	  bridge	  the	  communication	  gap	  between	  a	  student	  and	  his	  or	  her	  family’s	  native	  language	  with	  the	  English	  language.	  The	  role	  of	  the	  interpreter	  is	  different	  depending	  on	  the	  situation	  and	  educational	  context.	  Often,	  straight	  translation	  is	  not	  the	  only	  support	  needed.	  	  The	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  uses	  both	  language	  interpreters	  and	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  (DSLAs).	  The	  DLSA	  team	  has	  been	  part	  of	  the	  school	  board	  as	  a	  service	  for	  over	  15	  years.	  Unlike	  language	  interpreters,	  DSLAs	  assist	  in	  language	  and	  cultural	  brokering	  between	  families	  and	  schools.	  Cultural	  brokering	  moves	  beyond	  just	  translation	  and	  interprets	  cultural	  variables	  to	  accurately	  convey	  content	  (Wright,	  2014).	  	  Within	  their	  cultural	  brokering	  roles,	  DSLAs	  are	  unique	  to	  this	  school	  board	  as	  they	  hold	  responsibilities	  to	  connect	  parents	  with	  the	  school	  team	  and	  community	  resources	  (CBE,	  2013).	  	  The	  DSLAs	  have	  a	  wealth	  of	  knowledge	  in	  regards	  to	  how	  to	  approach	  different	  families	  in	  a	  manner	  that	  is	  respectful.	  These	  advisors	  have	  relationships	  with	  families	  that	  are	  above	  and	  beyond	  services,	  and	  students	  become	  familiar	  with	  them	  as	  well	  as	  the	  school	  team.	  	  	  	  	  	   4	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  from	  CLD	  Backgrounds	  Special	  education	  is	  one	  context	  in	  which	  DSLAs	  may	  provide	  support	  for	  CLD	  families	  who	  have	  a	  child	  with	  a	  disability.	  DSLAs	  encounter	  specialized	  terminology	  and	  resources	  that	  they	  must	  interpret	  within	  the	  family’s	  cultural	  perspective.	  In	  particular,	  DSLAs	  may	  have	  less	  experience	  with	  low-­‐incidence	  disabilities	  including	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments.	  There	  is	  a	  deficit	  of	  resources	  and	  information	  that	  is	  available	  around	  students	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment	  (VI)	  with	  different	  cultural	  backgrounds	  (Topor	  &	  Rosenblum,	  2013;	  Conroy	  P,	  2006,	  2012;	  Milian,	  1999;	  Correa-­‐Torres	  &	  Durando,	  2011;	  Gallimore,	  2005)	  for	  professionals	  to	  access.	  	  When	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment,	  DSLAs	  will	  encounter	  an	  expanded	  school	  team	  and	  disability-­‐specific	  content	  to	  interpret.	  For	  instance,	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  are	  provided	  with	  instruction	  from	  a	  qualified	  teacher	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (TVIs)	  to	  learn	  and	  master	  nine	  different	  areas	  of	  what	  is	  referred	  to	  as	  the	  Expanded	  Core	  Curriculum	  (ECC)	  in	  order	  to	  become	  a	  successful	  independent	  adult	  (TSBVI	  2015,	  para.	  6).	  	  The	  Expanded	  Core	  Curriculum	  is	  defined	  as	  	  “concepts	  and	  skills	  that	  often	  require	  specialized	  instruction	  with	  students	  who	  are	  blind	  or	  visually	  impaired	  in	  order	  to	  compensate	  for	  decreased	  opportunities	  to	  learn	  incidentally	  by	  observing	  others.”	  (TSBVI,	  2015,	  para.	  1).	  	  These	  areas	  include	  assistive	  technology,	  social	  skills,	  daily	  living	  skills,	  and	  orientation	  and	  mobility	  among	  others.	  	  Like	  all	  students	  from	  CLD	  backgrounds,	  CLD	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  are	  also	  learning	  English	  as	  another	  language	  	   5	  and	  learning	  to	  develop	  their	  own	  identity	  among	  their	  native	  culture	  and	  Canadian	  culture,	  making	  support	  from	  individuals	  such	  as	  DSLAs	  just	  as	  important.	  	  	  In	  order	  to	  facilitate	  the	  relationship	  between	  the	  school,	  student,	  and	  family,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  gather	  information	  on	  how	  DSLAs	  build	  cultural	  competency	  for	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  and	  TVI	  in	  the	  context	  of	  working	  with	  a	  child	  who	  is	  CLD	  and	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  Equally	  important,	  is	  the	  need	  to	  better	  understand	  the	  capacity	  of	  the	  DSLA	  in	  providing	  relevant,	  current	  information	  for	  families	  within	  this	  context	  since	  they	  are	  relied	  upon	  to	  fill	  the	  cultural	  gap.	  Information	  pertinent	  to	  student	  progress	  must	  be	  relayed	  with	  accuracy	  for	  this	  student	  group.	  There	  are	  multiple	  sources	  that	  are	  used	  to	  assist	  with	  relaying	  information	  such	  as	  language	  translators,	  school	  staff	  that	  are	  fluent	  in	  their	  native	  language,	  family	  members,	  and	  translated	  written	  reports	  or	  memos.	  	  The	  complexity	  of	  the	  cultural	  perspective	  on	  the	  work	  of	  the	  TVI	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  also	  CLD	  has	  presented	  areas	  of	  need	  for	  research	  since	  there	  is	  currently	  limited	  research	  and	  limited	  professional	  development	  to	  access.	  	  This	  research	  topic	  has	  also	  been	  a	  personal	  area	  of	  interest.	  I	  have	  observed,	  as	  a	  TVI	  who	  is	  CLD	  herself,	  that	  the	  lens	  or	  perspective	  of	  each	  member	  who	  is	  involved	  in	  the	  educational	  team	  of	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  changes	  when	  different	  cultural	  backgrounds	  interact.	  	  	  This	  study	  explores	  how	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA	  changes	  within	  learning	  teams	  who	  are	  working	  with	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families.	  	  Specifically,	  this	  study	  addresses	  the	  following	  research	  questions:	  	  	   6	  1. How	  are	  the	  perspectives	  of	  the	  stakeholders	  (DLSAs,	  TVIs,	  and	  classroom	  teachers)	  the	  same	  or	  different	  when	  reflecting	  on	  the	  collaborative	  nature	  of	  the	  learning	  team?	  	  2. In	  what	  ways	  can	  teachers	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (TVIs)	  and	  school	  learning	  teams	  assist	  the	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  support	  advisor	  to	  provide	  accurate	  information	  and	  build	  a	  reciprocating	  relationship	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse?	  	  3. How	  does	  the	  work	  of	  a	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisor	  (DLSA)	  change	  when	  interacting	  with	  a	  family	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment?	  	  Definition	  of	  Terms:	  	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  (DLSAs).	  DLSAs	  are	  individuals	  who	  provide	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  appropriate	  professional	  services	  and	  supports	  to	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  (CBE)	  staff,	  students	  and	  families	  as	  well	  as	  providing	  interpretive	  language	  services	  as	  needed.	  DLSAs	  work	  with	  schools	  to	  build	  an	  understanding	  of	  students’	  strengths	  and	  abilities	  and	  acknowledge	  students’	  learning	  experiences	  and	  differences	  which	  contribute	  to	  CBE	  becoming	  a	  culturally	  competent	  and	  inclusive	  learning	  organization	  (CBE,	  2013).	  	  Language	  Interpreter.	  Language	  interpreters	  are	  individuals	  who	  interpret	  verbal	  conversation	  from	  the	  target	  language	  to	  English	  and	  English	  to	  the	  target	  language,	  as	  required	  (CBE,	  2010).	  	  	  	   7	  Chapter	  2-­‐	  Literature	  Review	  General	  Overview	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairment	  A	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  (VI)	  is	  considered	  part	  of	  a	  “low	  incidence	  disability	  group”	  (Holbrook,	  2006).	  	  	  This	  student	  group	  shares	  a	  commonality	  of	  having	  a	  visual	  impairment;	  however,	  among	  these	  students	  there	  are	  many	  different	  factors	  that	  differentiate	  each	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  from	  one	  another.	  	  These	  factors	  include	  the	  nature	  of	  their	  visual	  impairment,	  ability	  to	  use	  their	  remaining	  vision,	  and	  the	  extent	  of	  their	  visual	  capability	  (Holbrook,	  2006;	  Huebner,	  2007).	  	  Students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  sometimes	  have	  additional	  disabilities	  other	  than	  their	  visual	  impairment.	  These	  additional	  disabilities	  can	  include	  learning	  disabilities,	  neurological	  disabilities,	  health	  and	  orthopedic	  impairments,	  or	  both	  visual	  and	  auditory	  impairment,	  which	  is	  defined	  as	  deaf-­‐blindness	  (Huebner,	  2007).	  	  In	  addition,	  each	  student	  has	  life	  experiences	  with	  family	  and	  social	  peer	  relationships	  that	  also	  affect	  functioning	  within	  a	  school	  environment.	  	  	  In	  terms	  of	  the	  range	  of	  visual	  abilities	  in	  this	  population	  of	  students,	  there	  are	  different	  ways	  to	  describe	  the	  degree	  of	  vision	  loss	  and	  how	  it	  affects	  the	  student’s	  access	  to	  visual	  information.	  	  Different	  terms	  will	  be	  encountered,	  some	  synonymous	  with	  each	  other,	  within	  the	  field	  of	  working	  with	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  It	  is	  important	  to	  define	  visual	  impairment	  in	  the	  context	  of	  this	  paper	  as	  “any	  condition	  in	  which	  eyesight	  cannot	  be	  corrected	  to	  what	  is	  considered	  “normal”	  (Holbrook,	  2006).	  	  Low	  vision	  is	  a	  term	  often	  used	  interchangeably	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  refers	  to	  a	  loss	  of	  vision	  that	  may	  be	  severe	  enough	  to	  hinder	  	   8	  an	  individual's	  ability	  to	  complete	  daily	  activities	  such	  as	  reading,	  cooking,	  or	  walking	  outside	  safely,	  while	  still	  retaining	  some	  degree	  of	  useable	  vision	  (Holbrook,	  2006).	  Blindness	  may	  be	  used	  as	  a	  term	  instead	  of	  visual	  impairment	  when	  an	  individual	  predominantly	  uses	  other	  senses	  in	  place	  of	  vision	  to	  interact	  with	  the	  environment.	  In	  comparison,	  the	  term	  legal	  blindness	  is	  more	  specific,	  defining	  a	  level	  of	  acuity	  or	  field	  loss	  that	  qualifies	  a	  person	  for	  government	  services	  (Huebner,	  2007).	  	  Along	  with	  the	  general	  terms	  for	  vision	  loss,	  two	  terms	  are	  generally	  used	  to	  describe	  the	  onset	  of	  when	  a	  person	  loses	  their	  vision.	  Adventitious	  means	  that	  the	  impairment	  or	  condition	  was	  acquired	  after	  birth,	  generally	  as	  a	  result	  of	  an	  accident	  or	  disease	  and	  there	  is	  still	  some	  visual	  memory	  established	  (Huebner,	  2007).	  	  Congenital	  means	  visual	  impairment	  occurred	  before	  birth	  or	  soon	  enough	  after	  birth	  that	  visual	  memories	  were	  not	  created	  (Huebner,	  2007).	  	  It	  is	  very	  important	  for	  professionals	  working	  with	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  to	  know	  this	  information,	  as	  well	  as	  more	  specific	  terms,	  as	  it	  assists	  with	  school	  programming	  and	  understanding	  the	  amount	  of	  exposure	  to	  visual	  information	  that	  the	  child	  has	  access	  to.	  	  For	  example,	  a	  student	  who	  is	  adventitiously	  blind	  who	  brings	  some	  visual	  experiences	  to	  lessons	  may	  need	  help	  to	  acquire	  new	  concepts	  to	  integrate	  with	  the	  preexisting	  visual	  memory;	  whereas,	  as	  student	  who	  is	  congenitally	  blind	  may	  require	  additional	  lessons	  and	  direct	  experiences	  in	  concept	  development	  in	  order	  to	  acquire	  the	  same	  information	  that	  a	  peer	  who	  is	  sighted	  would	  access	  through	  incidental	  learning	  (i.e.,	  visual	  observations	  of	  activities	  or	  concepts)	  The	  curriculum	  needs	  of	  these	  students	  would	  not	  be	  met	  without	  	   9	  planned	  instruction	  from	  a	  TVI	  who	  knows	  what	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  need	  for	  their	  learning	  styles.	  	  	   Students	  can	  also	  be	  classified	  as	  being	  a	  print	  reader,	  or	  braille	  reader.	  	  Print	  readers	  are	  individuals	  who	  usually	  read	  large	  print	  or	  regular	  print	  with	  visual	  aids	  (e.g.,	  magnifiers,	  video	  magnifiers,	  screen	  enlargement	  software);	  braille	  readers	  use	  braille	  as	  their	  main	  source	  of	  reading	  and	  writing	  (Huebner,	  2007).	  	  Some	  individuals	  who	  are	  legally	  blind	  or	  have	  low	  vision	  use	  a	  combination	  of	  braille,	  large	  print	  and	  low	  vision	  devices	  and	  are	  considered	  to	  be	  dual	  media	  users.	  Given	  the	  range	  of	  visual	  abilities,	  possibility	  of	  additional	  disabilities,	  and	  onset	  of	  vision	  loss,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  understand	  that	  no	  two	  individuals,	  even	  with	  the	  same	  eye	  condition,	  will	  function	  visually	  in	  exactly	  the	  same	  way	  (Holbrook,	  2006).	  The	  majority	  of	  individuals	  with	  low	  vision	  will	  have	  fluctuations	  in	  visual	  functioning	  from	  day	  to	  day	  and	  situation	  to	  situation.	  Physical	  and	  mental	  health	  factors	  such	  as	  medications,	  seizure	  activity,	  fatigue,	  and	  environmental	  factors	  such	  as	  lighting,	  seating,	  contrast,	  will	  affect	  an	  individual’s	  visual	  functioning	  (Corn,	  1983).	  The	  educational	  team	  needs	  to	  be	  aware	  of	  the	  interaction	  of	  these	  factors	  to	  best	  support	  the	  learning	  of	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  Visual	  Impairment	  and	  Learning	  Vision	  loss	  has	  an	  impact	  on	  learning	  and	  development.	  For	  most	  children,	  visual	  images	  are	  seen	  as	  a	  whole	  picture	  and	  then	  slowly	  broken	  up	  into	  smaller	  pieces	  for	  further	  understanding.	  Students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment,	  particularly	  tactile/braille	  users	  or	  students	  with	  restricted	  fields,	  are	  learning	  and	  seeing	  things	  from	  part	  of	  a	  picture	  and	  having	  to	  put	  pieces	  together	  to	  understand	  the	  whole	  	   10	  (Erickson,	  Hatton,	  Roy,	  Rienne,	  2007;	  Zebehazy	  &	  Wilton,	  2014).	  Children	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  often	  experience	  delays	  in	  their	  fine	  motor	  skills	  that	  hinder	  their	  ability	  to	  develop	  language	  and	  concept	  development	  (Erickson	  et	  al.,	  2007).	  	  This	  delay	  is	  due	  to	  the	  lack	  of	  opportunity	  to	  explore	  their	  environment	  and	  reduction	  of	  incidental	  learning	  opportunities	  from	  pictures,	  television,	  and	  visual	  cues	  from	  events	  that	  are	  occurring	  around	  them	  (Erickson	  et	  al.,	  2007).	  Students	  who	  are	  blind	  or	  visual	  impairment	  may	  need	  different	  strategies	  and	  skills	  to	  access	  and	  understand	  information	  and	  concepts.	  	  Given	  these	  unique	  learning	  considerations,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  note	  that	  individuals	  with	  visual	  impairments	  may	  experience	  challenges	  or	  have	  unique	  learning	  needs	  in	  more	  than	  one	  educational	  and/or	  functional	  area.	  To	  address	  this,	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  receive	  specialized	  instruction	  in	  the	  Expanded	  Core	  Curriculum	  (ECC)	  in	  addition	  to	  the	  general	  (core)	  curriculum	  in	  school.	  The	  ECC	  is	  the	  body	  of	  knowledge	  and	  skills	  that	  are	  needed	  by	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  due	  to	  their	  unique	  disability-­‐specific	  needs.	  The	  ECC	  should	  be	  used	  as	  a	  framework	  for	  assessing	  students,	  planning	  individual	  goals	  and	  providing	  instruction	  (TSBVI,	  2015,	  para.1).	  	  The	  nine	  areas	  of	  the	  ECC	  is	  as	  follows:	  	  compensatory	  and	  functional	  academic	  skills,	  assistive	  technology,	  social	  interaction	  skills,	  independent	  living	  skills,	  visual	  efficiency	  skills,	  orientation	  and	  mobility	  (O&M)	  skills,	  recreation	  and	  leisure,	  career	  education,	  and	  self	  determination	  (TSBVI,	  2015,	  para.	  6).	  	  	  	  	   11	  Teachers	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	   	  Children	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  meet	  certain	  criteria	  to	  be	  deemed	  qualified	  to	  receive	  services	  should	  have	  a	  qualified	  teacher	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (TVI)	  as	  part	  of	  their	  educational	  team.	  	  	  The	  role	  of	  a	  TVI	  is	  very	  content	  specific	  yet	  fluid	  in	  the	  description	  of	  how	  school	  districts	  would	  like	  to	  have	  their	  services	  provided	  and	  what	  certification	  may	  look	  like	  (Holbrook	  &	  Koenig,	  2007).	  	  TVIs	  provide	  direct	  instruction	  in	  the	  ECC,	  provide	  information	  to	  other	  members	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment’s	  education	  team,	  consult,	  and	  adapt	  core	  curriculum	  to	  make	  it	  accessible	  to	  the	  students	  (Holbrook	  &	  Koenig,	  2007).	  TVIs	  are	  also	  responsible	  for	  part	  of	  the	  educational	  programming	  in	  the	  Individualized	  Educational	  Plan	  (IEP)	  that	  is	  specific	  for	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments.	  	  The	  content	  of	  the	  IEP	  is	  specific	  to	  the	  assessed	  learning	  needs	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  IEP	  goals	  can	  range	  from	  learning	  to	  use	  assistive	  technology,	  to	  improving	  literacy	  skills,	  to	  building	  social	  interaction	  skills.	  	  Service	  delivery	  models.	  	  Most	  TVIs	  work	  in	  an	  itinerant	  setting.	  This	  allows	  students	  who	  attend	  their	  neighbourhood	  or	  other	  public	  school	  to	  be	  provided	  specialized	  services	  from	  a	  TVI	  who	  travels	  from	  school	  to	  school.	  In	  many	  cases,	  the	  student	  will	  be	  the	  only	  student	  who	  is	  visually	  impaired	  in	  the	  school.	  The	  TVI	  comes	  to	  the	  school,	  provides	  instruction	  and	  consultation,	  and	  then	  travels	  to	  another	  school	  where	  he	  or	  she	  provides	  support	  to	  another	  student	  (Lewis	  &	  Allman,	  2007).	  	  Some	  schools	  set	  up	  a	  resource	  room	  for	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  in	  a	  single	  school	  building.	  In	  this	  resource	  room	  model,	  the	  TVI	  stays	  at	  the	  school	  	   12	  all	  day	  and	  provides	  both	  intense	  instruction	  and	  on-­‐the-­‐spot	  support	  for	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  enrolled	  in	  classes	  at	  that	  school	  (Lewis	  &	  Allman,	  2007).	  Students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  may	  also	  have	  the	  option	  to	  attend	  a	  residential	  school.	  This	  is	  an	  on-­‐campus	  residential	  environment	  that	  offers	  various	  programs	  with	  a	  focus	  on	  both	  the	  ECC	  and	  core	  curriculum	  (Lewis	  &	  Allman,	  2007).	  	  Make-­‐up	  of	  the	  educational	  team.	  In	  addition	  to	  the	  TVI,	  there	  are	  other	  professionals	  that	  work	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  will	  make	  up	  part	  of	  the	  educational	  team.	  These	  professionals	  include	  an	  orientation	  and	  mobility	  (O&M)	  specialist	  who	  specifically	  focuses	  on	  the	  area	  of	  O&M	  in	  the	  ECC	  to	  help	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  learn	  to	  maneuver	  safely,	  efficiently,	  and	  gracefully	  around	  their	  environment;	  this	  includes	  instruction	  in	  using	  the	  long	  cane	  (Holbrook	  &	  Koenig,	  2007).	  In	  addition,	  some	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  may	  have	  a	  paraprofessional	  (also	  called	  educational	  assistant,	  special	  education	  assistant)	  assigned	  to	  work	  with	  them.	  The	  paraprofessional	  helps	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  by	  producing	  adapted	  material,	  assisting	  in	  the	  classroom	  environment,	  as	  well	  as	  assisting	  in	  reinforcing	  skills	  taught	  by	  the	  TVI.	  	  	  The	  O&M	  specialist,	  TVI,	  classroom	  teacher,	  and	  paraprofessional,	  make	  up	  the	  bulk	  of	  the	  team	  that	  provides	  vision	  support.	  There	  are	  other	  professionals	  that	  make	  up	  the	  IEP	  team	  to	  provide	  specific	  services	  and	  build	  capacity	  of	  other	  team	  members.	  For	  example,	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  may	  also	  work	  with	  occupational	  and	  physiotherapists	  or	  speech	  and	  language	  therapists,	  especially	  if	  they	  have	  additional	  disabilities.	  Equally	  important	  to	  a	  collaborative	  team	  is	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  and	  the	  student’s	  family	  members.	  	   13	  TVIs	  within	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  (CBE)	  work	  within	  the	  itinerant	  service	  model	  for	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  They	  are	  expected	  to	  provide	  direct	  service	  under	  the	  Alberta	  education	  program	  of	  studies	  and	  the	  Expanded	  core	  curriculum.	  TVIs	  see	  a	  combination	  of	  students	  with	  and	  without	  additional	  disabilities	  who	  are	  braille	  users,	  dual	  media	  users	  and	  have	  low	  vision.	  TVIs	  in	  the	  CBE	  also	  run	  short-­‐term	  programs	  that	  bring	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  together	  to	  develop	  specific	  ECC	  areas	  for	  a	  day	  or	  multiple	  days.	  	  Teachers	  and	  Cultural	  Competency	  	  Along	  with	  the	  special	  education	  considerations	  that	  accompany	  the	  diverse	  range	  of	  visual	  conditions	  and	  learning	  needs	  seen	  amongst	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments,	  the	  cultural	  diversity	  of	  students	  also	  needs	  to	  be	  considered.	  As	  mentioned,	  classroom	  teachers	  are	  an	  integral	  part	  of	  a	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment’s	  educational	  team.	  These	  teachers	  are	  in	  charge	  of	  the	  core	  curriculum	  and	  have	  daily	  exposure	  to	  students.	  	  The	  make-­‐up	  of	  today’s	  classrooms	  is	  highly	  diverse	  and	  includes	  students	  with	  disabilities	  as	  well	  as	  students	  from	  a	  variety	  of	  cultural	  backgrounds.	  It	  is	  important	  for	  all	  teachers	  to	  become	  more	  culturally	  competent	  in	  order	  to	  provide	  curriculum	  instruction	  that	  is	  relevant	  and	  meaningful	  to	  students	  (Milian,	  2006;	  NEA,	  2008).	  	  Teachers	  must	  also	  reflect	  on	  their	  own	  views	  and	  beliefs	  and	  expectations	  about	  the	  student’s	  ability	  (Milian,	  2006;	  Zebehazy	  &	  Correa-­‐Torres,	  2013).	  	  	  Diversity	  is	  the	  wide	  range	  of	  uniqueness	  in	  humanity	  (Milian,	  2006).	  Cultural	  competence	  is	  defined	  as	  the	  “ability	  to	  work	  effectively	  across	  cultures	  in	  a	  way	  that	  acknowledges	  and	  respects	  the	  culture	  of	  the	  person	  or	  organization	  being	  	   14	  served”	  (Hanley,	  1999;	  NEA,	  2008,	  p.1).	  	  Cultural	  competence	  is	  a	  critical	  set	  of	  skills	  and	  knowledge	  educators	  must	  acquire	  to	  better	  serve	  English	  Language	  Learners	  (ELLs)	  (CBE,	  2013).	  	  Some	  of	  these	  skills	  include	  developing	  personal	  and	  interpersonal	  awareness	  and	  sensitivity,	  and	  having	  cultural	  knowledge	  (NEA,	  2008;	  CBE,	  2013).	  It	  is	  important	  provide	  a	  cross-­‐cultural	  framework	  in	  a	  variety	  of	  environments	  that	  enables	  effective	  interactions	  among	  professionals	  or	  within	  a	  school	  (Berg,	  2013).	  An	  example	  of	  this	  could	  be	  schools	  providing	  space	  to	  ethnic	  communities	  to	  teach	  their	  native	  language.	  	  	  According	  to	  NEA	  (2008),	  there	  are	  four	  main	  areas	  that	  teachers	  need	  to	  develop	  in	  order	  to	  become	  culturally	  competent.	  The	  areas	  are	  to	  value	  diversity,	  be	  culturally	  self-­‐aware,	  understand	  the	  dynamics	  of	  cultural	  interactions,	  and	  incorporate	  cultural	  knowledge	  within	  the	  institution	  and	  adapt	  to	  diversity	  (NEA,	  2008,	  p.	  2).	  	  Teachers	  show	  that	  they	  value	  diversity	  when	  they	  accept	  and	  respect	  cultural	  backgrounds	  and	  traditions,	  customs	  and	  beliefs,	  and	  different	  ways	  of	  communication	  (NEA,	  2008).	  	  Cultural	  self-­‐awareness	  is	  accomplished	  by	  teachers	  knowing	  and	  being	  familiar	  with	  their	  own	  culture.	  This	  includes	  an	  ability	  to	  self-­‐evaluate	  how	  their	  own	  experiences,	  skills,	  and	  beliefs	  shape	  who	  they	  are	  within	  their	  community,	  and	  how	  that	  affects	  how	  they	  interact	  with	  students	  (NEA,	  2008).	  	  	  It	  is	  important	  to	  know	  that	  there	  are	  many	  different	  cultural	  experiences	  and	  relationships	  that	  happen	  in	  a	  local	  community.	  	  Knowing	  this	  information,	  it	  is	  recommended	  that	  educational	  services	  be	  designed	  to	  help	  implement	  this	  knowledge	  to	  better	  serve	  diverse	  populations	  (NEA,	  2008,	  p.3)	  For	  example,	  educational	  services	  can	  implement	  cultural	  activities	  such	  as	  multicultural	  fairs	  for	  	   15	  staff	  and	  community	  involvement	  as	  well	  as	  incorporate	  staff	  professional	  development	  to	  build	  techniques	  to	  create	  a	  learning	  environment	  for	  students	  who	  are	  CLD	  (Moyer	  &	  Clymer,	  2009).	  	  Becoming	  competent	  in	  these	  areas	  can	  be	  a	  struggle	  for	  teachers	  (Harry,	  2002).	  	  Research	  has	  found	  that	  teachers	  who	  worked	  with	  students	  who	  are	  CLD	  have	  some	  knowledge	  of	  how	  to	  incorporate	  culturally	  sensitive	  activities	  (Batt,	  2008;	  Harry,	  2002).	  However,	  there	  is	  a	  concern	  about	  limited	  financial	  resources	  for	  additional	  specialized	  staff	  to	  assist	  students	  and	  provide	  professional	  development	  to	  ensure	  that	  staff	  members	  feel	  confident	  in	  their	  skills.	  (Batt,	  2008;	  Hamm,	  2014)	  	  	  Teachers	  also	  report	  that	  they	  wrestle	  to	  find	  a	  balance	  in	  trying	  to	  honor	  cultural	  norms	  while	  maintaining	  and	  teaching	  within	  the	  school	  culture	  (Chu,	  2008).	  	  Students	  who	  are	  CLD	  may	  find	  that	  school	  is	  different	  from	  their	  own	  personal	  learning	  experiences.	  In	  school,	  there	  may	  be	  an	  emphasis	  on	  direct	  instruction	  (one-­‐on-­‐one	  approach),	  but	  some	  students	  may	  come	  from	  homes	  and	  communities	  that	  emphasize	  collectivist-­‐learning	  approaches	  such	  as	  interdependence,	  sharing,	  and	  collaboration	  (Chu,	  2011;	  Orosco	  &	  O’Connor,	  2014).	  	  Schools	  have	  been	  traditionally	  built	  to	  cater	  to	  the	  pre-­‐dominantly	  English	  speaking	  main	  population	  (Chu,	  2011;	  Utley,	  Obiakor	  &	  Bakken,	  2011),	  and	  most	  teachers	  who	  enter	  the	  field	  are	  not	  ethnically	  diverse	  (Chu,	  2011;	  Utley	  et	  al.,	  2011).	  	  Given	  this	  lack	  of	  diversity	  within	  the	  education	  field,	  research	  has	  recommended	  that	  teacher	  education	  courses	  are	  viewed	  as	  significant	  arenas	  for	  developing	  requisite	  knowledge	  of	  and	  expertise	  in	  teaching	  students	  who	  are	  	   16	  ethnically,	  economically,	  and	  linguistically	  different	  from	  the	  dominant	  cultural	  group	  (Allard	  &	  Santori,	  2008,	  Batt,	  2008;	  Chu,	  2011;	  Gallimore,	  2005).	  	  	  	  	  Another	  strategy	  for	  teachers	  to	  look	  at	  is	  using	  the	  Universal	  design	  for	  learning	  (UDL)	  framework	  to	  address	  the	  needs	  of	  students	  with	  different	  cultures.	  It	  can	  be	  used	  to	  create	  a	  curriculum	  that	  is	  responsive	  and	  increases	  learning	  opportunities	  for	  all	  learners	  (CAST,	  2011).	  However,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  not	  only	  use	  one	  approach	  in	  connecting	  with	  students	  who	  are	  CLD.	  It	  is	  the	  building	  of	  relationships	  through	  family	  involvement	  in	  education	  that	  would	  increase	  both	  achievement	  and	  cultural	  competency	  (Timmons,	  2009;	  Ladky	  &	  Stagg	  Peterson,	  2008;	  Tucker	  et	  al.,	  2005).	  	  Families	  bring	  a	  wealth	  of	  knowledge,	  support,	  and	  capacity	  which	  schools	  can	  draw	  from	  to	  support	  their	  child’s	  learning.	  Schools	  need	  to	  honor,	  respect,	  and	  encourage	  the	  development	  of	  unique	  and	  flexible	  approaches	  to	  meet	  the	  needs	  of	  diverse	  cultures	  and	  backgrounds	  (Timmons,	  2009;	  Ladky	  &	  Stagg	  Peterson,	  2008).	  	  TVIs	  and	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  who	  are	  CLD	  In	  addition	  to	  the	  general	  considerations	  around	  cultural	  competency,	  TVIs	  may	  need	  to	  consider	  additional	  aspects	  of	  culture	  when	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  It	  is	  important	  for	  TVIs	  to	  gain	  an	  understanding	  of	  how	  cultural	  values	  and	  beliefs	  influence	  how	  students	  and	  their	  families	  perceive	  visual	  impairment	  and	  the	  educational	  experiences	  they	  had	  in	  their	  native	  country	  with	  a	  low	  incidence	  disability	  (Milian,	  2006).	  	  	  There	  are	  several	  areas	  that	  are	  noted	  to	  be	  important	  by	  TVIs	  when	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  CLD	  and	  their	  families.	  	  Milian	  (1997)	  	   17	  conducted	  a	  survey	  that	  brought	  up	  concerns	  around	  cultural	  and	  language	  differences	  affecting	  families	  who	  have	  children	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  are	  CLD.	  Major	  themes	  that	  came	  out	  of	  the	  study	  were	  the	  communication	  between	  parents	  and	  the	  TVIs,	  the	  families’	  ability	  to	  navigate	  a	  “new	  school	  system”,	  and	  the	  use	  and	  availability	  of	  language	  translators	  (Milian,	  1997).	  These	  concerns	  are	  still	  relevant	  to	  the	  field	  today	  as	  there	  is	  still	  a	  considerable	  lack	  of	  research	  that	  is	  available	  for	  TVIs	  to	  be	  culturally	  competent	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  Building	  a	  relationship	  with	  families	  with	  children	  who	  are	  visual	  impairment	  and	  CLD	  is	  a	  vital	  component	  of	  the	  work	  that	  TVIs	  do.	  	  TVIs	  must	  be	  able	  to	  communicate	  progress	  and	  skills	  that	  need	  to	  be	  practiced	  and	  carried	  forward	  in	  the	  student’s	  everyday	  lives.	  	  TVIs	  need	  to	  find	  ways	  to	  do	  this	  within	  the	  context	  of	  the	  family	  and	  the	  barriers	  they	  face.	  As	  noted,	  language	  is	  an	  enormous	  barrier	  for	  parents	  who	  are	  CLD	  to	  overcome	  in	  trying	  to	  communicate	  concern	  and	  information	  about	  their	  child	  (Guo,	  2006;	  Gallimore,	  2005).	  	  There	  is	  also	  the	  added	  complexity	  of	  having	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  the	  cultural	  beliefs	  associated	  with	  it	  that	  influences	  families.	  Failing	  to	  consider	  families’	  cultural	  values	  and	  to	  respect	  a	  diversity	  of	  values	  may	  affect	  building	  collaborative	  relationships	  between	  professionals	  and	  families	  (Wu	  &	  Chu,	  2012).	  	  	  The	  personal,	  cultural	  and	  academic	  gaps	  between	  teachers	  and	  students	  could	  alter	  the	  relationship	  of	  learning	  for	  the	  student.	  	  This	  relationship	  of	  learning	  is	  important	  because	  it	  builds	  the	  core	  of	  trust	  and	  success	  that	  the	  student	  could	  achieve	  (Utley	  et	  al.,	  2011).	  	  	   18	  One	  way	  of	  providing	  support	  for	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  is	  to	  incorporate	  culturally	  responsive	  teaching	  strategies	  (Conroy,	  2006;	  Wu	  &	  Chu,	  2012).	  Culturally	  responsive	  teaching	  principles	  look	  to	  use	  “students’	  cultural	  beliefs,	  language	  and	  prior	  learning	  experiences	  to	  build	  bridges”	  to	  the	  new	  skills	  and	  knowledge	  in	  their	  current	  school	  environment	  (Utley	  et	  al.,	  2011	  p.	  9;	  Conroy,	  2006).	  In	  addition	  to	  incorporating	  such	  strategies	  it	  is	  important	  to	  involve	  an	  understanding	  of	  how	  visual	  impairments	  are	  viewed	  in	  the	  student’s	  native	  culture	  and	  how	  this	  may	  affect	  their	  learning	  and/or	  approach	  to	  learning.	  (Milian,	  2006;	  Bau,	  1999).	  	  	   	  Given	  the	  importance	  of	  communication	  with	  families	  and	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  	  who	  are	  CLD,	  the	  TVIs’	  role	  as	  a	  team	  member	  extends	  to	  collaborate	  not	  only	  with	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  and	  family,	  but	  also	  with	  the	  interpreter	  (Topor	  &	  Rosenblum,	  2013).	  There	  needs	  to	  be	  increased	  and	  better	  communication	  with	  the	  language	  interpreter	  in	  order	  for	  TVIs	  to	  be	  effective	  in	  their	  role.	  (Correa-­‐Torres	  &	  Durando,	  2011;	  Milian	  1997;	  Gallimore,	  2005;	  Topor	  &	  Rosenblum,	  2013).	  Interpreters	  and	  Cultural	  Brokers	  	  Research	  has	  shown	  that	  parents	  want	  be	  involved	  but	  are	  not	  able	  to	  communicate	  or	  are	  not	  provided	  with	  the	  right	  channels	  to	  communicate,	  making	  them	  feel	  that	  their	  concerns	  were	  not	  met.	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  Cho	  &	  Gannotti,	  2005;	  Correa-­‐Torres	  &	  Zebehazy,	  2014).	  	  The	  richness	  of	  information	  being	  conveyed	  from	  families	  and	  students	  who	  are	  CLD	  can	  be	  lost	  when	  professionals	  involved	  do	  not	  speak	  the	  family’s	  native	  language	  	  (Kosny,	  MacEachen,	  Lifshen,	  &	  Smith,	  2014).	  	  	   19	  Without	  adequate	  supports,	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  have	  been	  found	  to	  demonstrate	  a	  passive	  participation	  in	  the	  IEP	  process	  and	  appear	  to	  not	  want	  to	  be	  a	  part	  of	  the	  process	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  Jung,	  2011).	  	  	  	  The	  incorporation	  of	  specific	  strategies	  can	  help	  promote	  the	  involvement	  of	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  Utley	  et	  al.,	  2011).	  Some	  of	  these	  strategies	  include	  informal	  home	  or	  offsite	  visits	  from	  school,	  cultural	  days	  that	  would	  allow	  students	  and	  families	  to	  share	  traditions,	  and	  the	  use	  of	  language	  interpreters	  and	  cultural	  liaisons	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  Batt,	  2008).	  Language	  translation	  is	  a	  vital	  strategy	  that	  allows	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  the	  platform	  to	  understand	  their	  children’s	  learning	  in	  school	  during	  parent	  meetings.	  	  The	  terms	  interpretation	  and	  translation	  often	  are	  used	  and	  seen	  as	  the	  same.	  There	  is,	  however,	  a	  distinction	  between	  these	  two	  terms.	  While	  translation	  and	  interpretation	  share	  the	  common	  goal	  of	  converting	  information	  from	  one	  language	  to	  another,	  they	  are	  actually	  two	  separate	  processes	  (Celletti,	  2010).	  	  Translation	  is	  the	  ability	  to	  convert	  information,	  primarily	  written,	  into	  a	  target	  language.	  	  Interpretation,	  which	  is	  usually	  oral,	  refers	  to	  listening	  to	  something	  spoken	  and	  stating	  the	  content	  in	  the	  target	  language;	  only	  interpretation	  communicates	  clearly	  (Celletti,	  2010).	  	  	  It	  is	  also	  important	  to	  note	  that	  not	  all	  terms	  can	  be	  directly	  translated	  from	  English	  to	  a	  native	  tongue	  and	  it	  is	  just	  not	  enough	  to	  directly	  translate	  a	  language	  in	  order	  to	  understand	  the	  intricacies	  of	  technical	  terms	  that	  are	  involved	  in	  the	  school	  experience	  (More,	  Hart,	  &	  Cheatham,	  2013).	  	  Language	  differences	  are	  seen	  right	  away	  but	  cultural	  differences	  are	  far	  less	  obvious.	  	  Therefore	  it	  is	  important	  that	  the	  	   20	  interpreter	  also	  becomes	  a	  cultural	  liaison	  in	  providing	  information	  on	  the	  differences	  in	  culture	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  More	  et	  al.,	  2013).	  	  The	  role	  of	  the	  cultural	  liaison	  is	  not	  only	  to	  be	  fluent	  in	  the	  language	  but	  also	  be	  fluent	  in	  the	  culture	  of	  the	  family,	  thus	  providing	  opportunities	  for	  teachers	  to	  ask	  questions	  and	  understand	  how	  some	  cultural	  behaviors	  differ	  from	  expected	  school	  behaviors	  (Conroy,	  2012).	  The	  role	  of	  a	  cultural	  liaison	  is	  to	  interpret	  in	  a	  way	  that	  reduces	  any	  chance	  of	  cultural	  misunderstandings	  (Conroy,	  2012).	  The	  role	  of	  a	  cultural	  liaison	  has	  also	  been	  called	  “cultural	  brokering”	  which	  refers	  to	  “bridging,	  linking	  or	  mediating	  between	  groups	  or	  persons	  from	  different	  cultures”	  (Lindsay,	  Tetault,	  King,	  Pieart,	  &	  Desmaris,	  2014,	  p.	  11;	  Delgado-­‐Gaitan,	  1996).	  	  Cultural	  brokers	  are	  people	  who	  are	  acculturated	  in	  one	  or	  more	  minority	  cultures	  and	  the	  mainstream	  culture	  (Singh,	  McKay	  &	  Singh,	  1999).	  They	  are	  able	  to	  straddle	  multiple	  cultures,	  and	  function	  as	  language	  and	  cultural	  bridges	  among	  cultures.	  Thus,	  cultural	  brokers	  are	  in	  the	  unique	  position	  of	  being	  able	  to	  communicate	  values	  of	  a	  minority	  culture	  to	  the	  mainstream	  culture,	  and	  vice	  versa.	  	  Research	  has	  shown	  that	  parents	  and	  families	  have	  expressed	  that	  they	  feel	  more	  comfortable	  when	  interacting	  with	  a	  language	  interpreter	  who	  shares	  the	  same	  culture	  (Lopez	  2000;	  Cho	  &	  Gannotti,	  2005).	  	  Parents	  are	  more	  willing	  to	  contact	  the	  interpreter	  to	  set	  up	  meetings,	  ask	  questions	  and	  become	  more	  involved	  with	  the	  school	  process	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  More,	  Hart,	  Cheatham,	  2013)	  	  	  The	  general	  uses	  of	  language	  interpreters	  within	  a	  school	  setting	  are	  either	  in	  a	  direct	  service	  model	  (student	  instruction	  within	  the	  context	  of	  a	  classroom)	  or	  an	  indirect	  service	  model	  (language	  interpretation	  is	  provided	  to	  teachers,	  and	  through	  	   21	  parent	  meetings)	  (Lopez,	  2000).	  	  There	  is	  currently	  little	  research	  that	  is	  available	  that	  discusses	  guidelines	  of	  how	  language	  interpreters	  are	  used	  within	  a	  consultation	  model	  (Lopez,	  2000).	  However,	  It	  is	  highly	  recommended	  that	  siblings	  and/or	  other	  children	  should	  not	  be	  used	  as	  language	  interpreters	  (Conroy,	  2012).	  	  Research	  has	  indicated	  that	  the	  use	  of	  children	  as	  language	  interpreters	  have	  brought	  on	  elevated	  stress	  and	  embarrassment	  of	  having	  to	  interpret	  (Borrero,	  2011).	  Although	  the	  need	  and	  the	  use	  of	  language	  interpreters	  are	  vital	  in	  exchanging	  important	  information,	  there	  have	  been	  issues	  that	  are	  present	  when	  including	  a	  new	  vital	  member	  into	  the	  IEP	  discussion	  process.	  Lopez	  (2000)	  noted	  that	  there	  were	  no	  means	  by	  which	  to	  validate	  the	  accuracy	  of	  translation.	  	  Parents	  and	  the	  language	  interpreter	  would	  be	  having	  lengthy	  conversations	  and	  a	  brief	  translation	  into	  English	  occurred	  for	  the	  other	  members	  that	  were	  part	  of	  the	  meeting.	  	  The	  balance	  and	  criteria	  that	  the	  language	  interpreter	  works	  within	  during	  the	  interpreting	  process	  needs	  to	  be	  broken	  clarified	  for	  all	  members	  of	  the	  team	  to	  feel	  that	  they	  have	  achieved	  some	  form	  of	  communication.	  	  Many	  regional	  school	  districts	  have	  regulations	  in	  place	  that	  guide	  the	  role	  of	  interpreters	  and/or	  cultural	  brokers.	  These	  activities	  include	  translation	  and	  helping	  parents	  learn	  how	  to	  advocate	  for	  their	  children	  within	  the	  special	  education	  and	  public	  school	  system,	  as	  well	  as	  supporting	  parents	  during	  parent	  conferences	  (CBE,	  2014).	  	  	  	  	   22	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  In	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  (CBE),	  there	  are	  several	  venues	  to	  which	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  can	  access	  assistance	  in	  navigating	  the	  school	  system.	  	  Parents	  have	  access	  to	  in-­‐school	  settlement	  workers,	  interpretive	  services,	  and	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  (DLSAs)(CBE,	  2009).	  	  The	  services	  of	  this	  team	  can	  be	  requested	  through	  a	  School	  Learning	  Team	  meeting	  in	  which	  a	  referral	  form	  is	  completed	  to	  identify	  where	  the	  needs	  of	  the	  student	  lies	  and	  which	  group	  would	  best	  assist.	  	  Interpretive	  services	  include	  language	  translators	  who	  are	  “strictly	  required	  to	  provide	  direct	  or	  as	  close	  to	  direct	  renderings	  of	  all	  messages	  in	  their	  entirety	  accurately,	  as	  faithfully	  as	  possible,	  and	  to	  the	  best	  of	  one’s	  ability	  without	  addition,	  distortion,	  omission	  or	  embellishment	  of	  the	  meaning	  “(CBE,	  2010).	  	  CBE’s	  criteria	  for	  language	  translators	  require	  high	  school	  to	  be	  completed	  and	  proficiency	  in	  English	  demonstrated	  via	  a	  written	  exam	  that	  is	  recognized	  by	  industry	  standards.	  Language	  translators	  must	  also	  complete	  the	  CBE	  language	  interpreter	  training	  and	  having	  experience	  in	  working	  as	  a	  language	  interpreter	  is	  seen	  as	  an	  asset	  (CBE,	  2010).	  In	  comparison,	  the	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  (DLSA)	  have	  many	  more	  responsibilities	  compared	  to	  language	  translators.	  	  DLSAs	  take	  on	  the	  role	  of	  the	  “cultural	  broker”	  between	  CBE,	  school,	  and	  the	  family.	  They	  communicate	  directly	  with	  families	  that	  they	  work	  with.	  They	  also	  work	  with	  school	  staff	  and	  develop	  cross	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  partnerships	  and	  can	  participate	  in	  providing	  input	  during	  School	  Learning	  teams	  as	  well	  as	  ask	  questions	  during	  the	  	   23	  IEP	  meetings.	  The	  relationship	  that	  a	  DLSA	  has	  with	  a	  family	  can	  span	  for	  months	  to	  several	  years	  as	  the	  family	  and	  schools	  see	  the	  need	  to	  continue	  the	  relationship.	  This	  unique	  position	  beyond	  a	  language	  interpreter	  allows	  the	  school	  board	  to	  maintain	  a	  consistent	  relationship	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  as	  their	  child	  moves	  through	  the	  school	  system.	  	  The	  relationship	  that	  DLSAs	  build	  with	  families	  enriches	  discussions	  around	  the	  development	  of	  a	  student’s	  learning	  and	  encourages	  parents	  to	  become	  more	  involved	  as	  their	  understanding	  of	  the	  system	  grows.	  	  The	  criteria	  that	  DLSAs	  are	  required	  to	  hold	  by	  the	  CBE	  include	  a	  “Bachelor’s	  Degree	  in	  a	  discipline	  related	  to	  the	  position	  (e.g.,	  social	  sciences,	  	  social	  work,	  education)	  or	  equivalent	  in	  addition	  to	  having	  three	  to	  five	  years’	  experience	  working	  with	  CLD	  	  students,	  families,	  and/or	  communities.	  	  	  An	  equivalent	  combination	  of	  directly	  related	  experience	  and	  directly	  related	  education	  may	  be	  considered	  (CBE,	  2014).	  	  	   	  TVIs	  work	  with	  both	  language	  translators	  and	  DLSAs.	  However,	  TVIs	  rely	  on	  the	  expertise	  of	  the	  DLSAs	  and	  their	  cross-­‐cultural	  understanding	  to	  build	  capacity	  when	  working	  with	  the	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  children	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  As	  noted	  previously,	  no	  current	  research	  is	  available	  that	  specifically	  considers	  the	  dynamics	  of	  cultural	  brokers,	  like	  the	  DLSA,	  when	  interacting	  with	  teams	  that	  support	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  	  	  	  	  	   24	  Summary	  	   As	  noted	  by	  research	  findings,	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  can	  struggle	  to	  feel	  a	  part	  of	  the	  school	  community	  and	  teachers	  can	  struggle	  to	  effectively	  incorporate	  culturally	  responsive	  teaching	  strategies	  into	  the	  classroom	  environment	  (Harry,	  2002;	  More	  et	  al.,	  2013;	  Bruns,	  2001).	  	  For	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD,	  TVIs	  and	  the	  classroom	  teachers	  must	  communicate	  effectively	  with	  students	  and	  their	  families	  to	  maximize	  student	  outcomes.	  The	  DLSA	  in	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  becomes	  an	  important	  member	  of	  the	  team	  to	  help	  facilitate	  communication	  and	  collaboration.	  However,	  little	  is	  known	  about	  the	  needs	  of	  the	  DLSA	  when	  working	  with	  CLD	  families	  who	  have	  a	  child	  with	  visual	  impairment	  or	  the	  needs	  of	  the	  TVI	  and	  classroom	  teacher	  when	  interacting	  with	  the	  DLSA.	  In	  order	  to	  ensure	  that	  services	  are	  as	  effective	  and	  useful	  to	  families	  as	  possible,	  it	  is	  important	  to	  investigate	  the	  learning	  support	  teams’	  needs	  more	  closely.	  	  The	  more	  effective	  the	  collaboration	  is	  among	  team	  members,	  the	  more	  likely	  the	  team	  can	  support	  the	  needs	  of	  students	  and	  their	  families.	  	  	   	  	   25	  	  Chapter	  3-­‐	  Methodology	  	  Purpose	  of	  the	  Study	  Learning	  teams	  that	  support	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (VI)	  and	  their	  families	  consist	  of	  classroom	  teachers,	  teachers	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (TVIs),	  interpreters	  and/or	  cultural	  brokers	  (known	  as	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisors	  (DLSA)	  in	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  (CBE)),	  and	  additional	  professionals	  who	  work	  with	  the	  child.	  	  While	  research	  has	  been	  conducted	  on	  how	  TVIs	  can	  become	  more	  culturally	  competent	  in	  working	  on	  relationships	  with	  diverse	  families	  	  (Conroy,	  2006;	  Milian	  &	  Erin,	  2001;	  Milian,	  1997;	  Correa-­‐Torres	  &	  Durando,	  2011;	  Gallimore,	  2005;	  Topor	  &	  Rosenblum,	  2013),	  there	  is	  a	  lack	  of	  research	  and	  discussion	  about	  how	  the	  DLSA	  can	  become	  more	  accountable	  and	  interactive	  in	  their	  role	  of	  supporting	  and	  relaying	  important	  information	  to	  families	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments.	  	  The	  purpose	  of	  this	  study	  is	  to	  add	  to	  the	  research	  by	  exploring	  how	  the	  DLSA	  works	  within	  learning	  teams	  who	  are	  working	  with	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  (CLD)	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families.	  In	  particular,	  the	  study	  explored	  the	  following	  research	  questions.	  	  Research	  Questions	  	   1. How	  are	  the	  perspectives	  of	  the	  stakeholders	  (DLSAs,	  TVIs,	  and	  classroom	  teachers)	  the	  same	  or	  different	  when	  reflecting	  on	  the	  collaborative	  nature	  of	  the	  learning	  team?	  	  	  	   26	  2. What	  can	  TVIs	  and	  school	  learning	  teams	  do	  to	  assist	  the	  DLSA	  to	  provide	  accurate	  information	  and	  build	  a	  reciprocating	  relationship	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  CLD?	  	  3. How	  does	  the	  work	  of	  the	  DLSA	  change	  from	  one	  situation	  to	  another	  when	  interacting	  with	  a	  family	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  the	  learning	  team?	  	  Research	  Design	  In	  order	  to	  gather	  information	  to	  answer	  the	  research	  questions,	  this	  study	  used	  a	  focus	  group	  research	  methodology.	  The	  use	  of	  focus	  groups	  is	  an	  appropriate	  method	  to	  collect	  data	  around	  groups	  of	  individuals	  in	  a	  certain	  population	  (Kreuger	  &	  Casey,	  2014;	  Hennink,	  2013)	  with	  the	  stipulation	  that	  the	  group	  must	  share	  similar	  knowledge	  within	  the	  specific	  topic	  of	  research	  (Byers	  &	  Wilcox,	  1991).	  	  Face-­‐to-­‐face	  discussions	  provide	  opportunities	  to	  create	  interactions	  among	  different	  individuals	  within	  the	  same	  group	  and	  their	  responses	  will	  bring	  emerging	  themes	  or	  differences	  to	  the	  research	  questions.	  	  	  The	  focus	  group	  method	  allows	  for	  self-­‐disclosure	  by	  participants	  in	  order	  to	  create	  qualitative	  data	  for	  analysis	  (Wilson,	  1997).	  This	  self-­‐disclosure	  comes	  in	  the	  form	  of	  an	  exploration	  of	  participants’	  perceptions,	  attitudes,	  feelings,	  and	  ideas	  among	  the	  group	  interactions	  (Wilson,	  1997).	  	  An	  advantage	  to	  using	  focus	  groups	  is	  that	  it	  allows	  the	  ability	  to	  provide	  a	  voice	  to	  different	  groups,	  which	  includes	  those	  who	  are	  underserved	  and	  underrepresented	  (Wilson,	  1997;	  Morgan,	  1996;	  Kreuger	  &	  Casey,	  2014).	  Focus	  groups	  allow	  each	  participant	  to	  become	  “consultants	  to	  each	  	   27	  other”	  through	  listening,	  mirroring	  back	  what	  is	  said	  and	  facilitating	  each	  other’s	  opinions	  and	  responses	  to	  issues	  (Wilson,	  1997,	  p.211).	  	  This	  study	  included	  three	  focus	  groups	  in	  order	  to	  gain	  insight	  about	  the	  commonalities	  and	  differences	  in	  perceptions,	  feelings,	  and	  opinions	  of	  different	  members	  of	  the	  learning	  team	  who	  work	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families:	  DLSAs,	  TVIs,	  and	  the	  classroom	  teacher.	  	  The	  use	  of	  focus	  groups	  for	  this	  study	  is	  appropriate	  because	  it	  will	  allow	  for	  a	  more	  in-­‐depth	  exploration	  of	  how	  DLSAs	  work	  within	  the	  parameters	  of	  a	  specific	  context	  (i.e.,	  the	  educational	  context	  of	  a	  large	  school	  board	  in	  Canada)	  than	  the	  use	  of	  a	  survey	  or	  individual	  interviews	  would	  yield.	  	  The	  composition	  of	  the	  focus	  groups	  were	  not	  varied	  but	  left	  homogenous	  to	  their	  professional	  roles.	  The	  objective	  is	  to	  maintain	  and	  create	  a	  high	  quality	  discussion	  around	  the	  topic	  among	  focus	  group	  members	  (Greenbaum,	  1998).	  Parallel	  questions	  were	  asked	  of	  each	  of	  the	  focus	  groups	  to	  compare	  and	  contrast	  where	  the	  strengths	  and	  needs	  are	  for	  DLSAs	  when	  working	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  The	  use	  of	  parallel	  questions	  among	  the	  three	  focus	  groups	  also	  created	  triangulation	  of	  data.	  It	  is	  important	  to	  have	  triangulation	  of	  data,	  as	  it	  is	  a	  means	  to	  promote	  validity	  in	  the	  research	  findings	  (Wilson,	  1997).	  Data	  from	  the	  focus	  groups	  may	  come	  from	  narratives	  that	  the	  group	  members	  provide	  and	  create	  a	  collective	  identity	  in	  how	  they	  view	  themselves	  in	  their	  professional	  role.	  	  	  	  	   28	  Participants	  As	  mentioned,	  three	  focus	  groups	  were	  conducted	  to	  gather	  data.	  These	  groups	  were	  chosen	  based	  on	  their	  interactions	  and	  work	  with	  families	  and	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  The	  participants	  provided	  insights	  into	  their	  work	  as	  well	  as	  stimulated	  others	  to	  reveal	  information	  that	  may	  not	  be	  accessed	  using	  other	  methods.	  	  Participants	  for	  each	  of	  the	  following	  groups	  were	  recruited	  from	  the	  Calgary	  Board	  of	  Education	  (CBE):	  	  1) DLSAs	  who	  have	  worked	  with	  families	  who	  have	  a	  child/children	  with	  a	  VI	  	  2) Classroom	  teachers	  who	  have	  taught	  students	  with	  a	  VI	  who	  are	  CLD	  3) TVIs	  who	  have	  taught	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  These	  three	  groups	  were	  selected	  due	  to	  the	  interdependent	  relationship	  they	  have	  in	  order	  to	  support	  students.	  	  	  The	  interdependence,	  in	  part,	  relies	  on	  the	  DLSA’s	  ability	  to	  communicate	  the	  needs	  (e.g.,	  for	  curriculum	  and	  IEP	  meetings)	  of	  students	  with	  a	  VI	  who	  are	  CLD	  back	  to	  their	  families	  on	  behalf	  of	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs.	  And,	  equally	  important,	  the	  DLSA	  facilitates	  communication	  in	  the	  opposite	  direction,	  from	  families	  to	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs.	  	  Recruitment	  of	  Participants	  In	  order	  to	  ensure	  informed	  choice	  and	  to	  guard	  against	  any	  feelings	  of	  coercion,	  a	  school	  board	  secretary	  who	  did	  not	  have	  any	  supervisory	  role	  over	  any	  of	  the	  potential	  participants	  distributed	  an	  email	  invitation	  for	  recruitment.	  Focus	  group	  sizes	  are	  generally	  between	  six	  to	  eight	  participants,	  (Wilson,	  1997;	  Morgan	  1996;	  Hennink,	  2013)	  to	  ensure	  that	  everyone	  has	  the	  opportunity	  to	  share	  their	  opinions	  and	  still	  maintain	  enough	  diversity	  to	  facilitate	  discussions	  (Hennink,	  	   29	  2013).	  	  	  However,	  due	  to	  a	  limited	  number	  of	  qualified	  members	  that	  would	  fit	  the	  criteria	  of	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  within	  the	  DLSA	  population,	  the	  mini	  focus	  group	  approach	  was	  selected	  as	  appropriate	  for	  this	  study	  (Greenbaum,	  1998).	  A	  mini	  group	  is	  run	  identical	  to	  focus	  groups	  except	  participant	  size	  is	  smaller	  (Greenbaum,	  1998;	  Kreuger	  &	  Casey,	  2014).	  	  Three	  to	  four	  participants	  were	  recruited	  for	  each	  focus	  group.	  	  Procedure	   	  Participants	  who	  responded	  to	  the	  recruitment	  email	  and	  were	  confirmed	  to	  meet	  the	  criteria	  were	  requested	  via	  email	  to	  complete	  a	  consent	  form	  to	  participate	  in	  the	  study.	  The	  researchers	  also	  completed	  a	  demographics	  form	  to	  provide	  more	  information	  about	  their	  background	  and	  experience	  working	  with	  either	  families	  or	  students	  who	  are	  CLD,	  and	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  (see	  Appendix	  A	  for	  the	  demographics	  forms).	  	  	  The	  researcher	  emailed	  the	  date,	  time	  and	  location	  to	  each	  focus	  mini	  group	  separately.	  Groups	  met	  in	  a	  school	  meeting	  room	  with	  place	  and	  time	  arranged	  according	  to	  the	  groups’	  schedules.	  Each	  focus	  group	  session	  ran	  between	  60	  to	  75	  minutes	  in	  length	  in	  order	  for	  participants	  to	  have	  sufficient	  time	  to	  discuss	  the	  different	  questions	  and	  provide	  opinions	  (Greenbaum,	  1998).	  	  	  The	  procedure	  for	  the	  focus	  mini	  group	  followed	  the	  same	  procedure	  as	  larger	  focus	  groups	  (Greenbaum,	  1998;	  Krueger	  &	  Casey,	  2014).	  	  1. Introductions	  were	  made	  to	  other	  members	  within	  the	  focus	  group	  to	  help	  create	  a	  safe	  climate	  for	  participants	  to	  express	  their	  thoughts.	  Light	  refreshments	  were	  served.	  	  	   30	  2. Participants	  were	  reminded	  of	  informed	  consent	  and	  confidentiality	  by	  the	  researcher.	  The	  researcher	  provided	  a	  brief	  description	  of	  how	  the	  focus	  group	  would	  run,	  as	  well	  as	  the	  role	  of	  the	  researcher	  as	  a	  moderator	  (i.e.,	  the	  researcher	  proposes	  a	  question	  and	  allows	  participants	  time	  to	  gather	  thoughts	  and	  volunteer	  ideas).	  	  3. Participants	  answered	  a	  series	  of	  questions	  in	  an	  audio-­‐recorded	  group	  setting	  and	  were	  asked	  to	  provide	  their	  thoughts	  and	  opinions.	  They	  were	  encouraged	  to	  add	  to	  other	  participants’	  comments	  and	  asked	  follow	  up	  questions	  to	  try	  to	  gather	  more	  data.	  	  	  4. The	  researcher	  redirected	  the	  group	  as	  necessary	  to	  stay	  within	  the	  60-­‐75	  minute	  timeframe.	  During	  the	  discussion	  period	  the	  researcher	  took	  notes	  and	  was	  an	  active	  listener	  to	  the	  group.	  5. Once	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  has	  ended,	  an	  informal	  debriefing	  period	  took	  place	  during	  which	  the	  researcher	  recorded	  notes.	  	  6. The	  researcher	  drew	  one	  name	  in	  each	  focus	  group	  to	  receive	  a	  $75.00	  gift	  card	  incentive.	  Table	  1	  lists	  the	  questions	  that	  were	  asked	  to	  the	  groups	  to	  facilitate	  discussion	  related	  to	  the	  research	  questions	  of	  interest.	  The	  sets	  of	  parallel	  questions	  are	  organized	  according	  to	  their	  contribution	  to	  the	  main	  research	  questions.	  It	  is	  recommended	  to	  have	  between	  4-­‐5	  questions	  planned	  for	  focus	  group	  discussions,	  with	  a	  series	  of	  follow	  up	  questions	  for	  clarification	  (Krueger	  &	  Casey	  2014;	  Hennink,	  2013).	  	  	  	   31	  Table	  1	  	  	  Focus	  Group	  Questions	  and	  Corresponding	  Research	  Questions	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  1	   Related	  Research	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	   Describe	  your	  role	  as	  a	  diversity	  advisor.	  How	  does	  this	  role	  differ	  when	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families.	  	  	  (RQ	  #3)	  Classroom	  	  Teacher	  	   Describe	  how	  a	  diversity	  advisor	  helps	  in	  the	  classroom.	  How	  does	  this	  role	  differ	  when	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  is	  working	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families?	  	  Follow	  up	  question:	  	  Is	  there	  something	  else	  that	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  could	  do	  to	  help	  your	  interactions	  with	  a	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  his/her	  family?	  	  	  (RQ	  #3)	  TVI	  	   Describe	  how	  a	  diversity	  advisor	  helps	  you	  work	  with	  your	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  family.	  	  	  Follow	  up	  question:	  Is	  there	  something	  that	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  could	  additionally	  do	  to	  help	  your	  interactions	  with	  your	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse?	  	  	  (RQ	  #3)	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  2	   Related	  Research	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	   Think	  about	  the	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  with	  whom	  you	  have	  worked	  with	  before.	  How	  did	  you	  prepare	  yourself	  to	  interact	  with	  them?	  	  	  (RQ	  #2)	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   32	  	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  2	   Related	  Research	  Classroom	  	  Teacher	  	   Think	  about	  the	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  with	  whom	  you	  have	  worked	  with	  before.	  How	  did	  you	  prepare	  yourself	  to	  interact	  with	  them?	  	  	  	  (RQ	  #2)	  TVI	  	   Think	  about	  the	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  with	  whom	  you	  have	  worked	  with	  before.	  How	  did	  you	  prepare	  yourself	  to	  interact	  with	  them?	  	  (RQ	  #2)	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  3	   Related	  Research	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	   In	  general	  terms,	  what	  are	  some	  success	  stories	  that	  you	  have	  had	  when	  working	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  with	  visual	  impairments?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  questions:	  -­‐ What	  do	  you	  think	  contributed	  to	  the	  success?	  -­‐ What	  strategies	  did	  you	  use?	  	  	  (RQ	  #1)	  Classroom	  	  Teacher	  	   In	  general	  terms,	  what	  are	  some	  success	  stories	  that	  you	  have	  had	  when	  working	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  questions:	  	  -­‐ What	  do	  you	  think	  contributed	  to	  the	  success?	  	  	  -­‐ What	  strategies	  did	  you	  use?	  	  -­‐ How	  did	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  specifically	  contribute	  to	  this	  success?	  	  (RQ	  #1)	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   33	  	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  3	   Related	  Research	  TVI	   In	  general	  terms,	  what	  are	  some	  success	  stories	  that	  you	  have	  had	  when	  working	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  questions:	  	  -­‐ What	  do	  you	  think	  contributed	  to	  the	  success?	  	  	  -­‐ What	  strategies	  did	  you	  use?	  	  -­‐ How	  did	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  specifically	  contribute	  to	  this	  success?	  	  (RQ	  #1)	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  4	   Related	  Research	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	   Think	  of	  a	  situation	  where	  you	  have	  felt	  that	  there	  has	  been	  a	  conflict	  of	  interest	  or	  a	  miscommunication	  in	  your	  work	  when	  you	  are	  translating	  for	  school	  teams	  or	  assisting	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  with	  their	  child	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  	  Follow	  up	  Question:	  	  	  	  	  	  	  -­‐	  	  	  	  	  How	  could	  it	  have	  been	  a	  better	  experience?	  	  	  (RQ	  #2,3)	  Classroom	  	  Teacher	  	   Translated	  conversations	  and	  meetings,	  such	  as	  the	  IEP	  meeting,	  can	  sometimes	  be	  challenging	  to	  include	  everyone.	  Can	  you	  describe	  a	  time	  when	  you	  might	  have	  struggled	  with	  feeling	  included	  during	  discussions	  with	  families	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  diversity	  advisors?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  Question:	  	  	  	  	  	  	  -­‐	  	  	  	  	  What	  would	  have	  better	  supported	  your	  inclusion	  in	  the	  discussion?	  	  	  (RQ	  #2,3)	  	  	  	  	  	   34	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  4	   Related	  research	  TVI	  	   Translated	  conversations	  and	  meetings,	  such	  as	  the	  IEP	  meeting,	  can	  sometimes	  be	  challenging	  to	  include	  everyone.	  Can	  you	  describe	  a	  time	  when	  you	  might	  have	  struggled	  with	  feeling	  included	  during	  discussions	  with	  families	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  diversity	  advisors?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  Question:	  	  	  	  	  	  	  -­‐	  	  	  	  	  What	  would	  have	  better	  supported	  your	  inclusion	  in	  the	  discussion?	  	  	  (RQ	  #2,3)	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  5	   Related	  Research	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	   What	  would	  be	  helpful	  for	  you	  to	  optimally	  support	  a	  future	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  and	  their	  family?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  question:	  	  -­‐ How	  can	  the	  TVI	  help	  you?	  	  -­‐ How	  can	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  help	  you?	  	  	  Are	  there	  other	  CBE	  team	  members	  that	  could	  be	  of	  assistance?	  	  (RQ	  #1,2,3)	  Classroom	  	  Teacher	  	   What	  would	  be	  helpful	  for	  you	  to	  optimally	  support	  a	  future	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  and	  their	  family?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  question:	  	  -­‐ How	  can	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  help?	  	  -­‐ What	  can	  the	  TIV	  do?	  	  -­‐ Are	  there	  other	  CBE	  team	  members	  that	  could	  be	  of	  assistance?	  	  	  (RQ	  #1,2,3)	  	  	  	  	  	  	   35	  Focus	  Group	  Question	  5	  	   Related	  Research	  TVI	  	   What	  would	  be	  helpful	  for	  you	  to	  optimally	  support	  a	  future	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  and	  their	  family?	  	  	  Follow	  up	  question:	  	  -­‐ How	  can	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  help	  you?	  	  -­‐ How	  can	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  help	  you?	  	  	  -­‐ Are	  there	  other	  CBE	  team	  members	  that	  could	  be	  of	  assistance?	  	  	  (RQ	  #1,2,3)	  	  Data	  Analysis	  Once	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions	  were	  complete,	  the	  responses	  of	  the	  participants	  were	  transcribed	  from	  the	  audio	  recordings	  by	  a	  third	  party	  transcriptionist	  in	  order	  for	  the	  researcher	  to	  cross	  reference	  notes	  taken	  during	  the	  focus	  group.	  	  Data	  from	  each	  focus	  group	  were	  first	  categorized	  using	  the	  thematic	  analysis	  approach	  (Hennink,	  2013	  p	  91;	  Braun	  &	  Clark,	  2006).	  	  The	  thematic	  approach	  allows	  for	  the	  possibility	  to	  highlight	  differences	  and	  similarities	  in	  a	  data	  set	  (Braun	  &	  Clark,	  2006,	  p.	  97),	  allowing	  the	  data	  to	  inform	  about	  the	  work	  the	  DLSA	  conducts	  with	  families	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  the	  needs	  of	  the	  team	  from	  three	  different	  perspectives.	  The	  thematic	  approach	  provided	  the	  opportunity	  for	  the	  researcher	  to	  find	  reoccurring	  themes	  and	  patterns	  from	  the	  data	  that	  was	  collected	  across	  a	  data	  set,	  in	  this	  case	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions.	  	  The	  data	  was	  collected	  and	  coded	  by	  identifying	  key	  words	  found	  within	  the	  transcripts	  related	  to	  each	  of	  the	  focus	  group	  questions.	  These	  key	  words/phrases	  were	  highlighted	  and	  checked	  with	  the	  notes	  	   36	  taken	  by	  the	  researcher	  during	  the	  focus	  group	  sessions.	  	  Then,	  a	  theme	  was	  identified	  for	  each	  of	  the	  patterns	  that	  emerged	  among	  the	  keywords.	  The	  patterns	  were	  an	  indication	  that	  responses	  were	  prevalent	  and	  important	  aspects	  of	  discussion	  among	  members	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions.	  	  Once	  themes	  were	  identified,	  the	  researcher	  analyzed	  the	  data	  again,	  focusing	  on	  the	  content	  that	  clustered	  around	  each	  theme	  (Hennink,	  2013,	  p	  91)	  for	  representative	  vocabulary	  and	  key	  quotes	  or	  phrases	  that	  were	  commonly	  used	  by	  the	  three	  groups.	  This	  was	  conducted	  as	  a	  way	  to	  understand	  how	  each	  group	  talked	  about	  the	  themes	  and	  to	  further	  define	  the	  complexities	  and	  context	  within	  each	  general	  theme.	  	  The	  frequency	  of	  an	  occurring	  theme	  common	  throughout	  the	  three	  groups	  provides	  validity	  (Hennink	  2013,	  p	  178)	  and	  rigor	  to	  the	  study.	  It	  is	  also	  important	  to	  highlight	  differences	  of	  opinions	  and	  themes	  that	  were	  unique	  to	  each	  focus	  group	  as	  they	  represent	  areas	  of	  growth	  that	  DLSAs	  and	  the	  learning	  team	  may	  capitalize	  on	  when	  working	  with	  families	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  As	  a	  check	  for	  reliability,	  it	  was	  important	  to	  ensure	  that	  each	  focus	  group’s	  thematic	  analysis	  was	  correct	  from	  the	  perspective	  of	  the	  participants.	  Each	  group	  was	  emailed	  the	  themes	  to	  verify	  accuracy.	  	  Participants	  were	  encouraged	  to	  elaborate	  and/or	  correct	  any	  of	  the	  themes.	  Once	  feedback	  was	  received	  from	  the	  groups,	  any	  additional	  comments	  were	  added	  as	  notes	  to	  the	  existing	  data	  and	  used	  as	  a	  part	  of	  the	  results.	  	  	  	   37	  Reflexivity	  Important	  to	  qualitative	  research	  is	  the	  acknowledgement	  of	  reflexivity.	  Reflexivity	  refers	  to	  the	  lens	  the	  researcher	  brings	  to	  the	  analysis	  and	  interpretation	  of	  data	  based	  on	  his	  or	  her	  own	  experiences	  and	  acknowledges	  that	  the	  researcher	  becomes	  part	  of	  the	  production	  of	  knowledge	  (Blaxter,	  Hughes	  and	  Tight,	  2006	  as	  cited	  in	  Ahmed,	  Hunt,	  &	  Blackburn,	  2011).	  As	  part	  of	  the	  results	  and	  discussion,	  the	  researcher	  added	  her	  a	  perspective	  as	  a	  TVI	  to	  the	  interpretation	  of	  the	  data	  collected	  to	  provide	  insight	  in	  working	  with	  all	  three	  focus	  groups	  as	  well	  as	  with	  DLSAs	  and	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  CLD	  herself.	  	  In	  addition,	  the	  researcher	  approached	  the	  data	  with	  the	  cultural	  lens	  of	  her	  own	  experiences	  as	  a	  first	  generation	  Chinese-­‐Canadian.	  	   	  	   38	  Chapter	  4	  –	  Results	  Data	  Analysis	  As	  described	  in	  Chapter	  3,	  data	  was	  collected	  through	  the	  use	  of	  a	  demographics	  form	  and	  three	  focus	  group	  sessions,	  one	  with	  TVIs,	  one	  with	  classroom	  teachers,	  and	  one	  with	  DLSAs.	  	  The	  demographics	  form	  collected	  from	  all	  three	  groups	  provided	  information	  around	  previous	  experiences	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families,	  who	  are	  CLD.	  The	  participants	  were	  assigned	  an	  anonymous	  number	  that	  was	  used	  to	  identify	  them	  during	  the	  audio	  recording	  process.	  	  	  	  The	  focus	  group	  participants	  in	  each	  group	  (DLSAs,	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers)	  felt	  at	  ease	  with	  each	  other	  as	  colleagues	  in	  the	  profession	  and	  as	  colleagues	  within	  the	  same	  service	  unit.	  	  A	  couple	  of	  sources	  of	  data	  were	  collected	  that	  lead	  to	  the	  analysis	  of	  themes.	  	  Focus	  group	  sessions	  were	  audio	  recorded.	  All	  data	  that	  was	  gathered	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions	  were	  professionally	  transcribed	  from	  the	  audio	  recordings	  by	  a	  third	  party	  transcriber	  who	  had	  no	  context	  or	  knowledge	  of	  the	  study.	  	  The	  transcripts	  were	  verbatim	  and	  included	  any	  errors	  in	  sentences	  and	  wording	  and	  were	  therefore	  presented	  in	  a	  non-­‐biased	  way.	  In	  addition,	  after	  the	  completion	  of	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions,	  time	  at	  the	  end	  of	  the	  session	  was	  provided	  where	  participants	  took	  time	  to	  self-­‐reflect	  on	  the	  process	  and	  talked	  amongst	  themselves.	  All	  participants	  noted	  that	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  was	  a	  good	  experience.	  	  After	  analysis	  of	  the	  data	  was	  complete,	  an	  email	  was	  sent	  to	  participants	  with	  the	  themes	  that	  came	  from	  their	  discussions	  as	  means	  	   39	  of	  reliability	  check.	  Participants	  were	  invited	  to	  contact	  the	  researcher	  if	  they	  felt	  any	  of	  the	  themes	  did	  not	  represent	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion.	  	  TVI	  Group	  Themes	   	  Demographics.	  Four	  TVIs	  participated	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion.	  The	  focus	  group	  met	  for	  75	  minutes.	  	  The	  group	  of	  TVIs	  that	  participated	  had	  a	  wealth	  of	  experience	  in	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment.	  The	  average	  years	  of	  teaching	  experience	  among	  them	  was	  18.5	  years	  (range	  15-­‐25	  years).	  At	  the	  beginning	  of	  the	  focus	  group	  and	  during	  email	  exchanges,	  The	  TVIs	  expressed	  interest	  in	  the	  topic	  and	  had	  worked	  with	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  at	  different	  times	  in	  their	  career.	  	  All	  the	  TVIs	  had	  participated	  in	  a	  Professional	  Learning	  Community	  that	  ran	  through	  a	  school	  year	  to	  pursue	  knowledge	  around	  different	  cultural	  viewpoints	  of	  visual	  impairments	  as	  a	  disability.	  The	  different	  ethnicities	  that	  the	  group	  worked	  with	  are	  highlighted	  in	  Table	  2.	  	  	  Some	  of	  these	  students	  had	  siblings	  with	  the	  same	  eye	  condition	  and	  TVIs	  often	  worked	  with	  these	  families	  over	  multiple	  years.	  	  TVIs	  have	  noticed	  an	  increase	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  from	  CLD	  families,	  however	  this	  increase	  is	  seen	  mainly	  in	  the	  urban	  areas	  versus	  rural	  communities	  among	  the	  outskirts	  of	  Calgary.	  	  Table	  2	  summarizes	  the	  demographic	  data	  of	  the	  TVI	  focus	  group.	  	   	  	   40	  Table	  2	  Demographic	  Information	  of	  TVI	  Focus	  Group	  Participants	  	  Participant	  Code	   TVI	  Experience	   Ethnic	  background	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairment	   DLSA	  Interactions	  	  	  1	   23	  Yrs.	   Vietnam,	  Lebanon,	  	  Afghanistan,	  Iran,	  	  Jamaica,	  Korea,	  Egypt,	  India,	  Pakistan,	  Germany,	  etc.	  	  -­‐Used	  DLSA	  as	  interpreter	  -­‐	  Helped	  with	  explaining	  	  visual	  impairment	  impact	  on	  culture	  to	  TVIs	  -­‐	  Used	  to	  communicate	  with	  family	  around	  school	  related	  situations	  	  2	   31	  Yrs.	  	   Chinese,	  Egypt,	  Lebanon,	  Nigeria,	  Vietnam,	  India	   -­‐	  Used	  DLSA	  as	  interpreter	  -­‐	  Helped	  with	  explaining	  visual	  impairment	  impact	  on	  culture	  to	  TVIs	  -­‐	  Collaborated	  on	  professional	  development	  3	   14	  Yrs.	   Korea,	  Egypt,	  Pakistan,	  Afghanistan	   -­‐	  Helped	  with	  explaining	  visual	  impairment	  impact	  on	  culture	  to	  TVIs	  -­‐	  Used	  to	  communicate	  with	  family	  around	  school	  related	  situations	  	  	  4	   5	  yrs.	  as	  TVI	  	  4	  yrs.	  as	  Paraprofessional	  	   Chinese,	  Egypt,	  Lebanon,	  Vietnam,	  India	   -­‐	  Helped	  with	  explaining	  visual	  impairment	  impact	  on	  culture	  to	  TVIs	  -­‐	  Used	  to	  communicate	  with	  family	  around	  school	  related	  situations	  	  Main	  themes.	  Based	  on	  the	  thematic	  analysis	  process	  used,	  five	  main	  themes	  emerged	  from	  the	  TVI	  focus	  group	  discussion	  transcripts.	  These	  themes	  were:	  	  relationship	  building	  and	  communication	  with	  the	  DLSA	  and	  classroom	  teacher,	  explanation	  of	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA,	  understanding	  cultural	  differences	  of	  visual	  impairments,	  inclusion	  of	  more	  cultural	  aspects	  in	  working	  with	  students	  with	  	   41	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  CLD,	  and	  struggle	  of	  understanding	  context	  of	  language	  in	  conversation	  and	  related	  outcomes.	  	  Within	  each	  main	  theme,	  several	  sub-­‐themes	  also	  emerged	  based	  on	  analysis	  of	  key	  words	  and	  vocabulary.	  These	  sub-­‐themes	  are	  discussed	  in	  the	  following	  sections.	  	  Table	  3	  summarizes	  the	  TVI	  focus	  group	  themes	  that	  are	  described	  in	  the	  next	  sections.	  	  Table	  3	  TVI	  Focus	  Group	  Themes	  Themes	   Examples	  Relationship	  Building	  &	  Communication	  with	  DLSAs	  &	  Classroom	  teachers	  	  -­‐ 	  “I’m	  sad	  we	  don’t	  have	  more	  discussion	  with	  classroom	  teachers,	  that’s	  always	  a	  piece	  I	  struggle	  with”	  -­‐ “Need	  to	  be	  better	  at	  setting	  up	  meetings,	  shouldn’t	  have	  blinkers	  on	  our	  area	  of	  expertise”	  -­‐ “Makes	  me	  realize	  that	  we	  should	  be	  trying	  to	  connect	  with	  the	  diversity	  workers	  on	  different	  levels”	  -­‐ “Struggle	  to	  deal	  with	  classroom	  teachers,	  we	  are	  in	  such	  a	  different	  point	  of	  view”	  -­‐ I	  don’t	  know	  where	  to	  start	  with	  diversity	  worker,	  if	  they	  have	  any	  idea	  with	  a	  blind	  child.”	  	  Explanation	  of	  Role	  of	  the	  DLSA	  	   -­‐ “There	  needs	  to	  be	  clarity	  on	  what	  their	  roles	  are”	  -­‐ “I’m	  not	  really	  sure	  –	  It	  was	  never	  really	  clearly	  stated	  what	  the	  difference	  is”	  -­‐ “DLSAs	  don’t	  want	  to	  be	  called	  “an	  interpreter”	  -­‐ They	  didn’t	  want	  to	  be	  called	  in	  when	  only	  interpretation	  is	  required”	  -­‐ “Working	  with	  different	  people	  interpreting	  all	  the	  time”	  	  	  	  	   42	  Themes	   Examples	  Understanding	  Cultural	  Differences	  of	  Visual	  Impairments	  	  	  -­‐ “Diversity	  person	  can	  help	  talk	  about	  vision	  and	  about	  their	  culture	  and	  how	  they	  perceive	  things.”	  	  -­‐ “Diversity	  worker	  was	  able	  to	  tell	  the	  student	  was	  that	  he	  shouldn’t	  marry	  first	  cousins,	  it	  was	  an	  aha	  moment.”	  -­‐ “Even	  if	  they	  are	  in	  a	  certain	  culture	  doesn’t	  mean	  they	  react	  the	  same	  way.”	  -­‐ “We	  cannot	  paint	  everybody	  with	  the	  same	  brush	  just	  because	  they	  have	  that	  (culture)	  commonality.”	  Struggle	  of	  Understanding	  Context	  of	  Language	  in	  Conversations	  and	  Outcome	  	  -­‐ “We	  have	  to	  be	  more	  proactive,	  with	  meetings	  to	  let	  people	  know	  what	  we	  need	  said.”	  -­‐ “Need	  frequent	  conversations	  to	  understand	  terms”	  -­‐ “Some	  of	  our	  terminology	  is	  complex	  and	  we	  should	  say	  it	  in	  very	  plain	  English.”	  -­‐ “I	  wasn’t	  sure	  exactly	  how	  things	  were	  being	  communicated	  and	  translated	  or	  if	  was	  getting	  lost	  in	  translation.”	  	  	  Relationship	  building	  and	  communication	  with	  DLSA	  and	  the	  classroom	  teacher.	  The	  TVIs	  discussed	  the	  theme	  of	  relationship	  building	  and	  communication	  in	  a	  couple	  of	  different	  ways.	  First,	  there	  was	  a	  general	  consensus	  between	  all	  TVI	  participants	  regarding	  a	  need	  for	  greater	  communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  among	  the	  IEP	  team,	  especially	  with	  classroom	  teachers,	  parents	  and	  the	  DLSA.	  	  	  	  The	  communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  will	  be	  different	  depending	  on	  which	  member	  of	  the	  IEP	  group	  that	  the	  TVI	  will	  be	  working	  with.	  	  For	  example,	  TVI	  participants	  felt	  that	  they	  needed	  to	  build	  more	  communication	  and	  presence	  with	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  around	  IEP	  meetings.	  TVIs	  wanted	  more	  involvement	  in	  being	  notified	  of	  IEP	  meetings	  in	  general	  and	  specifically	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	   43	  One	  TVI	  stated	  that,	  “It	  would	  help	  if	  they	  (classroom	  teachers)	  invite	  you	  to	  the	  IPP	  meeting.”	  The	  TVI	  group	  agreed	  that	  teachers	  have	  a	  different	  perspective	  on	  the	  student	  as	  they	  see	  the	  student	  on	  a	  daily	  basis	  and	  their	  goals	  and	  outcomes	  are	  different	  from	  the	  TVI.	  	  TVIs	  mentioned	  that	  it	  is	  difficult	  to	  balance	  academic	  requirements	  with	  time	  to	  work	  with	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  on	  the	  expanded	  core	  curriculum.	  The	  communication	  process	  between	  TVIs	  and	  DLSAs	  fluctuated	  between	  formal	  and	  informal	  requests	  based	  on	  the	  information	  and	  urgency	  of	  the	  situation	  with	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD.	  	  For	  example,	  the	  TVIs	  stated	  that	  once	  a	  need	  for	  DLSA	  help	  was	  identified,	  they	  would	  just	  email	  a	  DLSA	  and	  be	  directed	  to	  the	  appropriate	  one.	  On	  the	  other	  hand,	  TVIs	  also	  participated	  in	  requesting	  DLSA	  support	  through	  a	  school	  team	  referral.	  	  The	  TVI	  participants	  felt	  that	  DLSAs	  play	  an	  important	  role	  and	  appreciated	  how	  they	  were	  able	  to	  communicate	  with	  families	  and	  IEP	  team	  members.	  The	  DLSAs	  provided	  a	  cultural	  understanding	  via	  suggestions	  and	  information	  that	  TVIs	  felt	  that	  they	  were	  lacking	  in.	  One	  example	  of	  this	  was	  a	  suggestion	  to	  a	  TVI	  where	  “the	  DLSA	  stated	  that	  meetings	  with	  the	  family	  should	  happen	  in	  a	  neutral	  location,	  and	  not	  at	  school.”	  	  All	  TVIs	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  were	  able	  to	  relate	  with	  several	  examples	  showing	  the	  importance	  of	  involving	  DLSAs	  in	  the	  communication	  process	  with	  families.	  	  Explanation	  of	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA.	  	  	  TVIs	  repeatedly	  stressed	  the	  fact	  that	  there	  needed	  to	  be	  a	  better	  explanation	  of	  the	  role	  of	  a	  language	  interpreter	  versus	  the	  DLSA	  and	  when	  each	  would	  be	  deployed	  for	  meetings.	  	  	  As	  one	  TVI	  stated,	  “It	  	   44	  would	  be	  helpful	  to	  have	  some	  clarification	  around	  what’s	  expected	  between	  a	  interpreter	  and	  a	  DLSA”	  This	  was	  evident	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  where	  TVIs	  questioned	  the	  need	  to	  have	  both	  an	  interpreter	  and	  a	  DLSA	  involved	  in	  IEP	  meetings.	  For	  example,	  there	  were	  instances	  at	  IEP	  meetings	  where	  there	  was	  	  “a	  different	  interpreter	  every	  time	  for	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  until	  a	  DLSA	  [was]	  assigned	  to	  them	  to	  work	  through	  	  TVIs	  stated	  that	  DLSAs	  have	  tried	  to	  explain	  their	  role	  by	  initiating	  contact	  and	  explanation	  of	  when	  they	  would	  be	  needed.	  In	  past	  discussions	  with	  DLSAs,	  they	  want	  to	  “come	  to	  meetings”	  but	  do	  not	  want	  to	  just	  be	  called	  in	  for	  interpreter	  services.	  They	  wish	  to	  be	  “more	  involved	  in	  a	  school-­‐based	  team	  and	  discuss	  what	  their	  culture	  is	  and	  that	  kind	  of	  thing,	  not	  just	  language.”	  Another	  example	  that	  DLSAs	  are	  differentiating	  themselves	  from	  language	  interpreters	  was	  that	  DLSAs	  are	  able	  to	  and	  have	  helped	  the	  TVI	  team	  create	  professional	  opportunities	  to	  learn	  about	  some	  cultural	  differences	  of	  the	  families	  that	  they	  work	  with.	  	  Understanding	  cultural	  differences	  of	  visual	  impairments.	  	  	  TVIs	  felt	  that	  they	  need	  more	  information	  and	  time	  to	  discuss	  cultural	  differences	  of	  visual	  impairments,	  and	  “they	  could	  help	  explain	  to	  us	  how	  the	  family	  views	  a	  visual	  impairment,	  so	  we	  know	  where	  they	  are	  coming	  from.”	  	  One	  TVI	  felt	  that	  the	  cultural	  lens	  “has	  a	  huge	  bearing	  on	  everything.”	  	  There	  were	  several	  items	  that	  TVIs	  felt	  could	  help	  with	  their	  understanding	  of	  cultural	  implications	  of	  visual	  impairments.	  	  TVIs	  want	  to	  find	  out	  the	  cultural	  and	  personal	  experiences	  of	  the	  families	  when	  building	  relationships	  with	  them.	  TVIs	  have	  found	  that	  	  “some	  families	  already	  	   45	  view	  vision	  loss	  as	  a	  negative	  and	  automatically	  their	  child	  is	  going	  through	  a	  very	  negative	  life.”	  They	  viewed	  the	  DLSA	  as	  being	  a	  position	  to	  help	  with	  this	  perception.	  “The	  diversity	  advisor	  could	  come	  in	  and	  help	  with	  that	  and	  talk	  with	  them.”	  	  The	  building	  of	  a	  relationship	  relies	  on	  how	  much	  the	  family	  is	  willing	  to	  disclose	  on	  what	  their	  beliefs	  of	  visual	  impairments	  are	  and	  any	  negative	  or	  positive	  events	  that	  have	  happened	  to	  shape	  that.	  	  	  	   TVIs	  would	  like	  some	  assistance	  in	  understanding	  how	  concept	  development	  is	  viewed	  in	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment’s	  native	  culture.	  	  The	  focus	  group	  felt	  that	  if	  they	  were	  able	  to	  know	  the	  context	  of	  how	  things	  are	  taught	  in	  their	  native	  country/culture	  then	  they	  would	  be	  able	  to	  incorporate	  these	  strategies	  into	  teaching	  concept	  development	  and	  the	  ECC.	  	  For	  example,	  “when	  you	  get	  a	  totally	  blind	  child	  from	  another	  culture,	  but	  we	  don’t	  have	  a	  clue	  to	  provide	  connections	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  help	  the	  family	  look	  at	  concept	  development	  their	  way.”	  	  TVIs	  also	  wanted	  to	  find	  out	  differences	  about	  what	  families	  from	  different	  cultures	  believed	  about	  the	  concepts	  of	  time	  and	  community.	  	  TVIs	  commented	  that	  with	  their	  past	  experiences,	  the	  concept	  of	  time	  was	  different	  and	  timelines	  that	  TVIs	  had	  were	  very	  different	  to	  ones	  that	  the	  family	  wanted.	  	  For	  example,	  conflict	  existed	  around	  the	  length	  of	  time	  given	  for	  the	  completion	  of	  IEP	  goals.	  This	  difference	  of	  opinions	  also	  was	  felt	  with	  the	  concept	  of	  community.	  The	  group	  stated	  that	  community	  had	  a	  different	  meaning	  compared	  to	  what	  community	  meant	  to	  the	  TVI.	  One	  TVI	  stated	  that	  	  “we	  want	  the	  students	  to	  be	  independent	  and	  push	  independence	  but	  [some	  families]	  believed	  that	  the	  cultural	  community	  often	  will	  help	  the	  child.”	  	  These	  concepts	  and	  topic	  ideas	  brought	  up	  by	  the	  TVIs	  were	  	   46	  discussed	  as	  important	  to	  have	  professional	  development	  created	  to	  deepen	  the	  understanding	  of	  how	  a	  visual	  impairment	  is	  viewed	  in	  a	  cultural	  context.	  	  Struggle	  of	  understanding	  context	  of	  language	  in	  conversation	  and	  outcome.	  	  TVIs	  were	  very	  positive	  about	  their	  interactions	  with	  DLSAs	  and	  found	  that	  their	  roles	  are	  imperative	  in	  working	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  children	  who	  have	  a	  VI.	  	  There	  were	  also	  some	  areas	  that	  TVIs	  have	  found	  to	  be	  barriers	  to	  their	  work	  in	  the	  IEP	  process	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  TVIs	  established	  that	  although	  interpreters	  and	  DLSAs	  are	  very	  knowledgeable	  with	  their	  language	  skills,	  there	  is	  a	  gap	  in	  how	  much	  information	  is	  relayed	  back	  to	  the	  TVI	  in	  meetings.	  	  	  TVIs	  found	  that	  there	  would	  be	  large	  time	  delays	  with	  language	  translation	  to	  which	  they	  felt	  one-­‐sided	  communication	  was	  occurring.	  The	  participants	  all	  acknowledged	  that	  there	  are	  many	  terms	  that	  are	  specifically	  related	  to	  the	  field	  of	  working	  with	  a	  student	  who	  has	  a	  VI,	  that	  are	  being	  relayed	  by	  someone	  who	  is	  not	  in	  the	  field.	  For	  example,	  TVIs	  mentioned	  it	  was	  difficult	  conveying	  information	  on	  	  “degenerative	  eye	  conditions	  and	  instruction	  of	  braille	  being	  the	  next	  step.”	  	  TVIs	  are	  relying	  on	  the	  professionalism	  that	  the	  language	  interpreters	  and	  DLSAs	  understand	  them	  in	  the	  correct	  context	  within	  the	  IEP	  document.	  TVIs	  felt	  confused	  when	  parents	  would	  shake	  hands	  and	  appear	  very	  happy	  with	  the	  results;	  however,	  TVIs	  were	  unsure	  whether	  or	  not	  parents	  actually	  understood	  what	  was	  going	  on.	  	  	   	  The	  participants	  also	  discussed	  the	  fact	  that	  although	  DLSAs	  are	  very	  professional,	  they	  could	  not	  determine	  how	  much	  of	  their	  own	  thoughts	  and	  	   47	  personal	  opinions	  were	  passed	  to	  the	  families	  without	  prejudice.	  	  TVIs	  wondered	  “how	  they	  (DLSAs)	  view	  the	  blind	  and	  visually	  impaired	  community,	  which	  then	  reflects	  back	  to	  how	  they	  are	  going	  to	  explain	  things	  to	  the	  families.”	  TVIs	  also	  felt	  that	  there	  was	  an	  additional	  expectation	  of	  needing	  to	  provide	  background	  information	  and	  context	  about	  how	  the	  visual	  impairment	  relates	  to	  the	  student’s	  learning	  needs	  with	  different	  language	  interpreters	  within	  the	  short	  period	  of	  time	  that	  is	  allotted	  for	  the	  IEP	  meeting.	  	  Participants	  felt	  that	  they	  still	  had	  much	  groundwork	  and	  education	  to	  provide	  to	  DLSAs	  to	  encourage	  what	  people	  who	  are	  visually	  impaired	  are	  capable	  of.	  	  	  TVIs	  also	  came	  up	  with	  some	  solutions	  that	  could	  help	  alleviate	  a	  better	  understanding	  of	  interpreting	  and	  conveying	  technical	  terminology	  for	  DLSAs	  and	  language	  interpreters.	  One	  of	  these	  strategies	  was	  the	  use	  of	  language	  that	  would	  be	  easier	  to	  understand	  by	  everyone	  on	  the	  team.	  Another	  strategy	  was	  to	  explain	  and	  show	  the	  DLSAs	  the	  actual	  equipment	  so	  that	  the	  DLSA	  could	  “explain	  the	  reasoning	  and	  why	  it	  was	  used	  in	  a	  really,	  really	  clear	  way.”	  	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Group	  Themes	  	  Demographics.	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  who	  participated	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  came	  from	  an	  elementary	  school	  setting.	  There	  were	  3	  classroom	  teacher	  participants	  and	  their	  combined	  average	  years	  of	  teaching	  experience	  was	  12.6	  years	  (range	  10-­‐15	  years).	  They	  all	  had	  at	  least	  one	  or	  two	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  in	  their	  classes	  within	  the	  last	  5	  school	  years.	  The	  focus	  group	  met	  for	  75	  minutes.	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  also	  had	  some	  experience	  working	  with	  DLSAs	  in	  different	  settings.	  These	  included	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  other	  	   48	  students	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  The	  teachers	  were	  interested	  in	  participating	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion,	  as	  they	  felt	  that	  there	  was	  not	  much	  discussion	  about	  this	  topic	  on	  a	  school	  wide	  level	  as	  most	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  make	  up	  a	  small	  portion	  of	  the	  school	  population.	  Their	  interactions	  with	  TVIs	  and	  DLSAs	  were	  limited	  to	  school	  based	  meetings	  around	  the	  IEP	  involving	  other	  team	  members	  and	  have	  not	  worked	  with	  DLSAs	  independently.	  	  Table	  4	  summarizes	  the	  demographics	  of	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  participants.	  Table	  4	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Focus	  Group	  Demographics	  Participant	  Code	   Teaching	  	  Experience	   Ethnic	  Background	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	   DLSA	  Interactions	  	  	  	  1	   16	  Yrs.	   Philippines,	  Indian	  	   -­‐	  Used	  as	  translator	  2	   12	  Yrs.	   Korea,	  Russia,	  Canada	   -­‐	  Used	  as	  translator	  -­‐	  Took	  time	  to	  explain	  some	  information	  to	  families	  3	   10	  Yrs.	  	   Korea,	  Egypt,	  Pakistan,	  Afghanistan	   -­‐	  Used	  as	  translator	  	  Main	  themes.	  Four	  main	  themes	  surfaced	  from	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  group:	  need	  to	  differentiate	  the	  role	  of	  a	  DLSA	  vs.	  language	  interpreter,	  teachers	  wanting	  to	  be	  culturally	  competent	  in	  working	  with	  students	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  CLD,	  improved	  communication	  with	  TVIs,	  and	  terms	  that	  are	  ‘lost	  in	  translation’,	  or	  lose	  their	  original	  meaning	  when	  translated	  from	  one	  language	  to	  another.	  Table	  5	  summarizes	  classroom	  teacher	  focus	  group	  themes	  that	  are	  discussed	  in	  the	  next	  sections.	  	  	   49	  Table	  5	  Classroom	  Teacher	  Focus	  Group	  Themes	  Themes	   Examples	  Teachers	  wish	  to	  be	  culturally	  competent	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  who	  are	  CLD	  	  	  -­‐ 	  “Cultural	  piece	  that	  is	  personal	  with	  family	  and	  help	  us	  understand	  things	  happening	  at	  home”	  -­‐ “Understand	  in	  the	  context	  of	  classroom”	  -­‐ “Build	  stronger	  connection	  with	  parent	  involvement	  and	  teacher	  in	  school	  and	  other	  specialist”	  -­‐ “Give	  broader	  picture	  of	  who	  the	  student”	  -­‐ “Diversity	  advisor	  can	  help	  you	  understand	  a	  culture	  views	  somebody	  with	  visual	  impairments	  differently”	  	  Clear	  need	  for	  explanation	  of	  role	  of	  DLSA	  vs.	  Language	  interpreter	  	  	  -­‐ 	  “Didn’t	  know	  they	  existed”	  -­‐ “I	  didn’t	  know	  there	  was	  someone	  who	  could	  support	  me”	  -­‐ “if	  they	  are	  new	  in	  Canada	  and	  new	  to	  the	  system,	  it	  would	  be	  nice	  we	  had	  someone	  else	  to	  speak	  to	  like	  a	  diversity	  worker”	  -­‐ “She	  just	  translated,	  that	  was	  it”	  -­‐ “I	  had	  no	  idea	  there	  was	  a	  difference”	  	  Terms	  are	  lost	  in	  Translation	  	  	  	   Terms:	  Disconnected,	  translating	  -­‐ “Things	  get	  lost	  in	  translation	  by	  the	  time	  you	  are	  trying	  to	  explain	  something	  and	  you	  get	  cut	  off”	  -­‐ “Its	  very	  removed	  and	  static	  and	  it	  just	  take	  such	  a	  long	  time	  to	  say	  what	  they	  need	  to	  say”	  -­‐ Just	  have	  to	  them	  focus	  on	  translating”	  -­‐ “Briefing	  translator	  before	  they	  pick	  up	  job”	  -­‐ “Realize	  the	  complexities	  of	  the	  meeting”	  	  	  	  	  	  	   50	  Themes	   Examples	  Improve	  communication	  with	  TVIs	  	  	   Terms:	  Communication	  	  	  -­‐ “Need	  to	  know	  the	  curriculum	  that	  classroom	  teacher	  has	  to	  deal	  with	  or	  else	  there’s	  a	  huge	  disconnect	  between	  two	  teachers”	  -­‐ “vision	  teacher	  might	  not	  be	  fully	  briefed	  of	  what	  that	  child’s	  expectations	  in	  inclusive	  environment	  	  -­‐ “work	  as	  a	  team,	  because	  the	  student	  will	  be	  	  spending	  most	  of	  their	  time	  in	  classroom”	  -­‐ “need	  to	  figure	  out	  as	  a	  team	  what’s	  really	  important	  for	  this	  child”	  -­‐ “vision	  teacher	  needs	  to	  really	  connect	  pieces	  and	  be	  willing	  to	  branch	  out	  	  	  Clear	  need	  for	  explanation	  of	  role	  of	  DLSA	  vs.	  language	  interpreter.	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  were	  unable	  to	  see	  the	  difference	  in	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA	  and	  the	  language	  interpreters	  that	  attended	  IEP	  meetings.	  They	  felt	  that	  there	  needs	  to	  be	  a	  clear	  explanation	  between	  the	  two	  roles,	  as	  there	  would	  be	  different	  professionals	  that	  showed	  up	  to	  IEP	  meetings	  for	  this	  student	  population.	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  who	  participated	  had	  assumed	  that	  language	  interpreters	  were	  DLSAs.	  Therefore	  found	  it	  very	  surprising	  that	  there	  was	  a	  DLSA	  role	  available.	  A	  couple	  the	  participants	  were	  able	  to	  describe	  some	  responsibilities	  that	  the	  DLSA	  such	  as	  providing	  cultural	  information	  about	  parent	  reactions	  to	  IEP	  meetings.	  However	  they	  were	  not	  aware	  of	  the	  role.	  	  Furthermore,	  classroom	  teachers	  saw	  the	  need	  of	  DLSAs	  and	  how	  their	  role	  could	  be	  used	  more	  effectively	  to	  connect	  with	  parents	  and	  that	  they	  could	  to	  bring	  parents	  in	  to	  “build	  a	  stronger	  connections	  with	  their	  involvement,	  with	  the	  teacher	  in	  school	  and	  other	  specialists.”	  The	  participants	  felt	  that	  despite	  the	  support	  of	  	   51	  other	  service	  units	  from	  TVIs	  and	  other	  specialists	  that	  “the	  cultural	  piece	  that	  is	  personal	  with	  the	  family	  helps	  us	  understand	  things	  that	  were	  happening	  at	  home.”	  	  Teachers	  want	  to	  be	  culturally	  competent	  when	  interacting	  with	  families	  and	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  Classroom	  teachers	  felt	  that	  they	  need	  to	  have	  information	  of	  how	  education	  is	  viewed	  through	  the	  family’s	  eyes	  and	  what	  type	  of	  education	  experiences	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  went	  through.	  	  Teachers	  empathized	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  as	  “everything	  is	  new,	  and	  how	  different	  school	  looks,	  how	  they	  participate.”	  	  Teachers	  felt	  that	  with	  this	  background	  information	  they	  are	  equipped	  to	  program	  for	  that	  student.	  	  The	  participants	  recognized	  that	  the	  DLSAs	  play	  an	  important	  role	  because	  they	  can	  help	  “you	  understand	  how	  a	  culture	  views	  somebody	  with	  visual	  impairments	  differently.”	  	  	  Teachers	  also	  mentioned	  that	  it	  was	  important	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  be	  consistent	  in	  working	  with	  families	  because	  more	  information	  tends	  to	  be	  revealed	  about	  the	  family’s	  life	  outside	  of	  school	  and	  its	  effects	  on	  the	  child	  the	  longer	  that	  DLSAs	  work	  with	  them.	  The	  more	  the	  relationship	  grows	  between	  the	  DLSA	  and	  the	  family,	  the	  more	  they	  are	  willing	  to	  trust	  the	  school.	  	  This	  is	  especially	  true	  with	  families	  who	  are	  “new	  to	  Canada	  and	  currently	  at	  home	  and	  have	  no	  one	  to	  turn	  to.”	  	  Teachers	  commented	  that	  a	  balance	  between	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  timeliness	  of	  information	  is	  important.	  Teachers	  have	  had	  experiences	  with	  students	  who	  are	  CLD	  and/or	  students	  who	  have	  a	  visual	  impairment	  arriving	  at	  anytime	  during	  the	  school	  year	  and	  being	  registered	  in	  their	  classrooms	  without	  any	  notice.	  This	  leaves	  very	  little	  time	  to	  prepare	  and	  they	  have	  noted	  that	  teachers	  have	  	   52	  relied	  on	  their	  own	  experiences	  and	  have	  “preparedness	  on	  the	  fly.”	  	  	  This	  balance	  is	  also	  extended	  to	  the	  need	  for	  a	  classroom	  teacher	  understanding	  the	  student	  as	  a	  learner	  with	  their	  personality	  and	  ability	  to	  integrate	  into	  the	  learning	  community.	  	  Communication	  with	  the	  TVI.	  The	  participants	  involved	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  found	  that	  they	  struggled	  with	  communicating	  with	  TVIs.	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  felt	  that	  communication	  was	  lacking	  in	  how	  services	  were	  provided	  and	  its	  role	  in	  the	  education	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  They	  felt	  that	  there	  is	  a	  huge	  gap	  in	  understanding	  each	  other’s	  roles,	  and	  that	  classroom	  teachers	  have	  a	  	  “lot	  of	  curriculum	  to	  deal	  with”	  that	  TVIs	  might	  not	  understand.	  	  The	  teachers	  felt	  that	  there	  needs	  to	  be	  a	  team	  approach	  in	  communicating	  with	  them	  (classroom	  teachers)	  because	  “that’s	  where	  most	  of	  [the	  student’s]	  time	  is	  spent.”	  	  One	  classroom	  teacher	  felt	  the	  TVI	  needs	  to	  spend	  more	  time	  in	  the	  classroom	  and	  appreciate	  the	  diversity	  found	  in	  different	  classrooms.	  For	  example,	  participants	  felt	  that	  they	  are	  not	  “able	  to	  program	  for	  one	  student	  most	  of	  the	  time	  out	  of	  25-­‐27	  kids.”	  	  	   A	  focus	  group	  participant	  was	  frank	  in	  disclosing	  that	  “it’s	  a	  relief	  not	  to	  have	  to	  teach	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment,”	  due	  to	  the	  fact	  that	  there	  are	  many	  adults	  and	  supports	  that	  come	  in	  to	  provide	  strategies	  and	  the	  student	  is	  not	  provided	  with	  skills	  that	  they	  require	  to	  become	  more	  independent.	  	  The	  group	  felt	  that	  a	  more	  concentrated	  effort	  is	  needed	  to	  realize	  that	  adult	  support	  for	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  is	  not	  always	  productive	  for	  the	  student	  to	  become	  independent.	  The	  participants	  felt	  that	  there	  needs	  to	  be	  more	  opportunities	  for	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  to	  be	  celebrated	  as	  individual	  learners.	  	   53	  Frustrations	  around	  communication	  were	  generalized	  by	  the	  classroom	  teachers,	  related	  to	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  CLD	  but	  also	  more	  generally	  to	  any	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment.	  Terms	  are	  lost	  in	  translation.	  	  Classroom	  teachers	  commented	  that	  translated	  conversations	  during	  IEP	  meetings	  were	  removed	  and	  static,	  as	  “things	  got	  lost	  in	  translation	  and	  by	  the	  time	  you	  are	  trying	  to	  explain	  something	  they	  are	  cutting	  you	  off	  to	  translate.	  It	  creates	  a	  sense	  of	  disconnect	  in	  the	  conversation.”	  However,	  classroom	  teachers	  also	  responded	  that	  it	  improves	  when	  terms	  that	  are	  frequently	  used	  in	  IEP	  meetings	  such	  as	  headings	  and	  acronyms	  are	  brought	  up	  again	  and	  again	  and	  so	  a	  language	  interpreters	  and	  DLSAs	  were	  able	  to	  more	  quickly	  adapt	  to	  those	  terms.	  	  Since	  the	  classroom	  teachers	  worked	  with	  both	  interpreters	  and	  DLSAs	  they	  discussed	  several	  solutions	  that	  would	  help	  to	  alleviate	  the	  sense	  of	  disconnect	  in	  IEP	  meetings.	  One	  solution	  was	  to	  be	  sure	  to	  brief	  the	  interpreter	  and	  DLSA	  to	  understand	  the	  complexities	  of	  the	  family	  and	  student.	  For	  example,	  there	  may	  be	  important	  terms	  or	  situations	  that	  need	  to	  be	  clarified	  before	  families	  arrive.	  Another	  solution	  was	  to	  have	  the	  same	  interpreter	  and	  DLSA	  work	  with	  the	  family	  (as	  much	  as	  possible)	  for	  consistency	  and	  to	  build	  a	  relationship	  that	  “feels	  good	  at	  the	  beginning.”	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  also	  suggested	  that	  it	  was	  a	  good	  idea	  to	  divide	  IEP	  topics	  across	  several	  meetings	  with	  the	  relevant	  individual	  team	  members	  so	  that	  a	  clear,	  concise	  picture	  is	  painted	  for	  the	  family.	  For	  example,	  having	  small	  meetings	  with	  IEP	  members	  involved	  with	  the	  goal	  versus	  all	  members	  gathered	  for	  one	  meeting.	  	  	   54	  DLSA	  Group	  Themes	  	  Demographics.	  Three	  DLSAs	  participated	  in	  the	  focus	  group.	  The	  DLSAs	  all	  had	  limited	  experience	  in	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  families	  before	  coming	  to	  the	  present	  school	  board.	  	  The	  participants	  came	  from	  various	  countries	  in	  Asia	  including	  India,	  China	  and	  South	  Korea.	  	  They	  held	  positions	  in	  their	  native	  countries	  as	  teachers	  (pre-­‐school,	  elementary)	  and	  as	  a	  social	  worker.	  The	  average	  years	  of	  experience	  as	  DLSAs	  was	  9.33	  years	  (range	  7-­‐15	  years).	  	  	  The	  DLSA	  role	  is	  unique	  to	  this	  school	  board	  as	  the	  roles	  and	  responsibilities	  of	  the	  DLSA	  go	  beyond	  interpreting	  and	  include	  cultural	  brokering	  along	  with	  their	  understanding	  of	  school	  policies	  and	  programs	  impact	  a	  student.	  The	  DLSAs	  have	  ties	  to	  their	  own	  cultural	  communities	  and	  have	  an	  understanding	  of	  how	  school	  systems	  function	  in	  their	  native	  countries	  compared	  to	  the	  school	  system	  in	  Canada.	  	  Table	  6	  summarizes	  the	  demographics	  of	  the	  DLSA	  focus	  group	  participants.	  	  	   	  	   55	  Table	  6	  Demographics	  of	  DLSA	  Focus	  Group	  Participants	  Participant	  Code	   Previous	  Work	  Experience	  	   DLSA	  Experience	   Ethnic	  Group	  (Languages	  Spoken)	  	  1	   Social	  Worker	   15	  Years	   East	  Indian	  (Punjabi	  and	  Urdu)	  2	   Pre-­‐School	  Teacher	   6	   Korean	  (Korean)	  3	   Teacher	   7	   Chinese	  (Mandarin)	  	  	   Main	  themes.	  The	  focus	  group	  met	  for	  75	  minutes.	  Five	  main	  themes	  emerged	  for	  this	  focus	  group.	  These	  were:	  DSLAs	  being	  different	  from	  interpreters	  (role	  clarification),	  acceptance	  of	  visual	  impairment	  being	  different	  in	  different	  countries,	  communication	  with	  IEP	  members	  being	  crucial	  in	  relaying	  information	  and	  understanding	  visual	  impairment	  implications	  for	  families,	  relationship	  building	  with	  families,	  and	  some	  terms	  are	  lost	  in	  translation	  with	  DLSAs	  having	  to	  be	  creative	  to	  provide	  information.	  Perspectives	  within	  the	  themes	  were	  more	  varied	  and	  at	  times	  loosely	  connected	  since	  each	  DLSA’s	  native	  culture	  views	  and	  treats	  visual	  impairments	  in	  a	  different	  way.	  Table	  7	  summarizes	  DLSA	  focus	  group	  themes,	  and	  related	  evidence	  discussed	  in	  the	  next	  sections.	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   56	  Table	  7	  DLSA	  Focus	  Group	  Themes	  Themes	   Examples	  DLSAs	  are	  Different	  from	  Interpreters	   -­‐ “Work	  with	  the	  school	  parents	  to	  view	  issues	  from	  a	  cultural	  perspective”	  -­‐ “We	  can	  ask	  questions,	  we	  also	  work	  on	  individual	  plan	  for	  students	  and	  families.”	  -­‐ WE	  can	  make	  suggestions	  whereas	  the	  role	  of	  the	  interpreters	  is	  just	  semantics.”	  -­‐ “Work	  closely	  with	  our	  cultural	  communities	  ad	  we	  see	  support	  from	  elders	  or	  church	  leaders.”	  -­‐ “We	  work	  with	  different	  agencies	  such	  as	  immigrant	  service	  etc.”	  Acceptance	  of	  Visual	  Impairments	  differ	  within	  Different	  Cultures	   -­‐ “Sex	  of	  the	  child	  changes	  approach	  with	  parents,	  sensitive	  especially	  for	  female	  children	  if	  there	  is	  visual	  impairment”	  -­‐ “Things	  are	  changing,	  braille	  is	  more	  commonly	  used,	  slowly	  as	  education	  spreads.”	  -­‐ “In	  China	  there	  is	  support	  for	  people	  with	  visual	  impairment	  with	  facilities	  and	  tools”	  -­‐ “Culturally	  it	  does	  not	  fit	  our	  norms	  when	  a	  child	  has	  multiple	  disabilities”	  Communication	  with	  IEP	  Members	  is	  crucial	  in	  relaying	  Information	  and	  Understanding	  Visual	  Impairment	  Implication	  for	  Family	  -­‐ “Sometimes	  I	  don’t	  agree	  with	  some	  goals	  in	  IPP”	  -­‐ “It	  has	  been	  difficult	  working	  with	  complex	  students,	  I’ve	  asked	  a	  few	  kids	  (especially	  the	  visually	  impaired	  ones)	  who	  have	  been	  through	  psychology	  assessment	  and	  they	  don’t	  understand	  what	  they	  were	  being	  asked,	  we	  need	  to	  work	  with	  them	  (psychologists)”	  -­‐ “I	  consult	  with	  other	  professionals,	  I	  refer	  more.”	  Relationship	  Building	  with	  Families	  	   -­‐ “Our	  relationship	  is	  a	  long	  term	  one,	  not	  for	  just	  one	  single	  meeting	  and	  can	  also	  last	  from	  K	  to	  12”	  -­‐ “Help	  with	  parenting	  issues,	  such	  as	  help	  parent	  control	  habits	  in	  the	  evening”	  -­‐ “Parents	  don’t	  understand	  and	  need	  some	  clarification.”	  	  	   57	  Themes	   Examples	  Some	  terms	  are	  lost	  in	  translation;	  have	  to	  be	  creative	  to	  provide	  information	  in	  a	  meaningful	  way	  -­‐ “In	  a	  psych	  assessment	  there	  is	  wording	  that	  is	  different	  and	  there	  words	  that	  don’t	  exist	  in	  the	  first	  language”	  -­‐ “Sometimes	  things	  translated	  in	  Korean	  can	  have	  2	  different	  terms	  and	  it	  can	  translate	  into	  different	  meanings”	  -­‐ “Use	  examples	  such	  as	  faith	  to	  get	  parents	  on	  board”	  	  *	  IPP	  is	  the	  equivalent	  of	  IEP	  (Individualized	  Education	  Plan)	  in	  Alberta	  	  	  DLSAs	  are	  different	  from	  interpreters.	  The	  participants	  in	  this	  group	  were	  very	  passionate	  in	  defining	  the	  difference	  between	  themselves	  and	  interpreters.	  DLSAs	  are	  able	  to	  seek	  clarification	  and	  ask	  questions	  to	  all	  different	  service	  units	  and	  can	  work	  with	  them	  to	  assist	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  The	  DLSAs’	  role	  is	  to	  “work	  with	  the	  school,	  parents,	  teachers	  and	  other	  experts	  such	  as	  the	  psychologist,	  to	  view	  issues	  from	  a	  cultural	  perspective	  and	  to	  ask	  for	  parental	  consent	  and	  cooperation	  for	  services.”	  	  DLSAs	  also	  noted	  that	  they	  are	  able	  to	  ask	  questions	  on	  behalf	  of	  the	  parents	  and	  make	  suggestions	  to	  them.	  They	  stated	  that	  they	  work	  on	  individual	  plans	  for	  students	  and	  families	  on	  their	  caseload.	  They	  give	  advice	  to	  schools	  so	  that	  they	  are	  “more	  culturally	  sensitive	  to	  the	  issues	  and	  advocate	  for	  families.”	  	  It	  is	  important	  to	  note	  that	  DLSAs	  “may	  disagree	  with	  school	  decisions,	  they	  are	  also	  strategic	  and	  skillful	  in	  working	  with	  the	  school	  to	  understand	  the	  family’s	  needs.	  “	  	  The	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA	  is	  not	  limited	  to	  working	  with	  service	  units	  within	  the	  school	  board	  but	  with	  outside	  agencies	  as	  well.	  DLSAs	  mentioned	  also	  working	  with	  “health	  professionals	  like	  doctors,	  CDC	  (Child	  Developmental	  Clinic)	  to	  understand	  that	  medical	  reasons	  may	  affect	  student	  achievement	  in	  school”	  as	  well	  as	  “navigate	  	   58	  the	  family	  through	  the	  Canadian	  health	  care	  system.”	  DLSA	  also	  stressed	  that	  the	  community	  ties	  they	  have	  provide	  meaningful	  connections	  for	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  DLSAs	  see	  supports	  from	  community	  groups	  such	  as	  elders,	  church	  leaders	  and	  different	  agencies	  such	  as	  immigrant	  service	  agencies	  as	  being	  helpful	  for	  families.	  	  The	  DLSAs’	  emphasize	  that	  the	  interpreter’s	  role	  is	  “purely	  semantics,	  and	  is	  just	  translating	  from	  language	  to	  language.”	  They	  must	  first	  take	  a	  language	  test	  and	  then	  interpreters	  have	  to	  undergo	  a	  training	  program.	  One	  participant	  works	  as	  an	  interpreter	  and	  as	  a	  DLSA.	  	  The	  difference	  between	  the	  two	  roles	  is	  that	  the	  interpreter	  works	  to	  “provide	  direct	  interpretation	  of	  what	  the	  teachers	  say	  and	  what,	  you	  know,	  the	  communication	  between	  the	  two	  parties.”	  	  	  Acceptance	  of	  visual	  impairments	  differ	  within	  different	  cultures.	  	  The	  DLSAs	  spoke	  about	  the	  viewpoints	  of	  having	  a	  visual	  impairment	  in	  the	  context	  of	  their	  own	  culture.	  The	  three	  different	  cultures	  all	  stem	  from	  Asia,	  and	  have	  contrasts	  in	  the	  different	  approaches	  that	  each	  culture	  takes.	  	  	  South	  Korea.	  The	  DLSA	  from	  South	  Korea	  stated	  that	  in	  Korea	  there	  is	  no	  acceptance	  of	  disabilities.	  A	  lot	  of	  disabilities	  are	  hidden,	  and	  those	  persons	  are	  ostracized.	  	  There	  are	  very	  little	  opportunities	  for	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  to	  obtain	  their	  high	  school	  diploma	  and	  are	  not	  considered	  for	  many	  things.	  There	  are	  gradual	  changes	  to	  this	  line	  of	  thinking,	  however,	  with	  opportunities	  being	  reserved	  for	  those	  in	  higher	  socio-­‐economic	  rank,	  but	  still	  being	  very	  limited.	  	  	  China.	  The	  DLSA	  from	  China	  stated	  that	  the	  Chinese	  culture	  is	  very	  accepting	  of	  visual	  impairments	  and	  have	  centres	  and	  facilities	  built	  to	  help	  families.	  However,	  	   59	  families	  have	  hesitations	  in	  seeking	  help	  as	  disabilities	  may	  be	  considered	  a	  shame	  to	  some	  families.	  	  	  India.	  	  The	  DLSA	  from	  India	  stated	  that	  the	  gender	  of	  the	  child	  who	  has	  the	  visual	  impairment	  changes	  the	  approach	  that	  the	  DLSA	  takes	  towards	  the	  parents.	  If	  the	  child	  is	  a	  female,	  they	  are	  considered	  unmarriageable.	  This	  is	  not	  acceptable	  in	  the	  East	  Indian	  culture	  where	  marriage	  is	  a	  “big	  thing”	  in	  the	  community.	  For	  the	  male	  child	  it	  is	  more	  accepted	  because	  there	  is	  opportunity	  to	  acquire	  a	  profession	  and	  find	  a	  partner.	  Religion/faith	  based	  language	  needs	  to	  be	  used	  in	  order	  to	  bring	  parents	  on	  board.	  	  Communication	  with	  IEP	  members	  is	  crucial	  in	  relaying	  information	  and	  understanding	  visual	  impairment	  implications	  for	  family.	  The	  DLSA’s	  role	  is	  part	  of	  an	  intervention	  process	  and	  they	  are	  brought	  in	  to	  provide	  support	  or	  resolve	  an	  issue.	  The	  DLSAs	  remarked	  when	  they	  find	  out	  that	  they	  have	  been	  asked	  to	  support	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD	  and	  their	  family	  they	  do	  several	  things	  to	  gain	  more	  understanding	  of	  the	  visual	  impairment.	  	  Participants	  were	  proactive	  in	  finding	  “community	  resources	  that	  would	  benefit	  the	  students	  and	  their	  families.”	  	  The	  DLSA	  mentioned	  gathering	  as	  much	  information	  as	  possible	  before	  talking	  to	  parents	  including	  doctor	  reports,	  information	  about	  supports	  that	  are	  in	  place	  and	  the	  goals	  for	  the	  DLSA	  involvement.	  	  They	  would	  even	  meet	  with	  the	  TVI	  beforehand	  to	  understand	  the	  implications	  of	  the	  “sight	  issue”	  because	  every	  child	  is	  different.	  	  	  	   60	  Relationship	  building	  with	  families.	  DLSAs	  spent	  time	  building	  their	  relationship	  with	  the	  family	  through	  “empathy,	  providing	  emotional	  support,	  and	  help[ing]	  parents	  identify	  the	  strengths	  of	  the	  child.”	  They	  also	  help	  parents	  build	  their	  relationships	  with	  the	  school	  and	  use	  different	  community	  resources.	  	  DLSA’s	  stressed	  the	  need	  to	  build	  rapport	  and	  trust,	  which	  occurs	  over	  a	  period	  of	  time.	  Some	  of	  the	  relationships	  that	  are	  built	  with	  families	  vary	  in	  length	  of	  time	  but	  can	  start	  from	  kindergarten	  up	  to	  grade	  12	  and	  beyond.	  DLSAs	  provided	  several	  examples	  of	  how	  they	  have	  build	  relationships	  with	  families.	  For	  example,	  DLSAs	  have	  even	  helped	  families	  with	  parenting	  issues	  around	  schedules;	  the	  parent	  would	  not	  know	  how	  much	  sleep	  their	  child	  should	  receive	  and	  provided	  information	  that	  was	  helpful	  to	  set	  up	  a	  routine.	  	  	  One	  strategy	  that	  worked	  with	  the	  East	  Indian	  parent	  group	  that	  the	  DLSA	  participant	  used	  was	  to	  “initially	  accept	  the	  parents’	  point	  of	  view	  and	  then	  start	  using	  the	  cultural	  piece.”	  The	  DLSA	  would	  draw	  connections	  to	  similar	  tasks	  that	  children	  would	  perform	  if	  they	  were	  in	  their	  native	  country.	  	  The	  DLSA	  would	  persuade	  the	  parents	  to	  allow	  the	  child	  to	  complete	  an	  activity	  under	  supervision	  and	  then	  reassure	  them.	  The	  DLSA	  participant	  provided	  an	  example	  of	  bus	  travel	  where	  parents	  were	  “Let	  her	  take	  the	  bus,	  follow	  her	  behind	  with	  the	  car	  see	  if	  she	  gets	  off	  at	  the	  right	  stop	  and	  if	  she	  did,	  she	  will	  be	  safe.”	  There	  are	  several	  strategies	  that	  the	  DLSAs	  mentioned	  providing	  to	  the	  TVI	  and	  classroom	  teacher	  to	  build	  a	  relationship	  with	  the	  family.	  One	  example	  was	  to	  use	  multiple	  opportunities	  to	  build	  reassurance	  for	  families	  that	  their	  child	  with	  a	  	   61	  visual	  impairment	  can	  be	  successful	  in	  life	  as	  well	  as	  take	  the	  opportunity	  to	  learn	  more	  of	  the	  culture.	  	  Some	  terms	  are	  lost	  in	  translation;	  DLSAs	  have	  to	  be	  creative	  to	  provide	  information	  in	  a	  meaningful	  way.	  	  DLSAs	  found	  themselves	  in	  difficult	  situations	  in	  their	  roles.	  	  During	  language	  interpretation	  portions	  of	  their	  work,	  they	  found	  that	  there	  are	  words	  that	  do	  not	  exist	  in	  the	  first	  language	  that	  may	  appear	  in	  special	  reports.	  The	  participants	  stated	  that	  they	  used	  examples	  from	  their	  own	  experiences	  to	  translate	  and	  provide	  a	  parallel	  example	  for	  parents	  to	  have	  a	  common	  ground	  to	  connect	  to.	  	  The	  translation	  process	  was	  also	  sensitive	  to	  the	  many	  different	  terms	  that	  may	  have	  synonyms	  and	  require	  the	  DLSA	  to	  be	  deliberate	  in	  the	  choice	  of	  term	  so	  as	  to	  not	  alter	  the	  meaning	  and	  also	  be	  mindful	  of	  how	  a	  parent	  may	  react	  as	  it	  could	  have	  a	  negative	  connotation.	  For	  example,	  the	  DLSA	  from	  a	  Korean	  background	  stated	  that,	  “a	  term	  that	  is	  often	  used	  is	  disability,	  when	  translated	  in	  Korean,	  there	  are	  two	  different	  terms,	  where	  one	  has	  more	  negative	  meaning	  and	  the	  other	  one	  doesn’t.”	  Common	  Themes	  	  The	  data	  gathered	  during	  the	  three	  focus	  group	  discussions	  revealed	  some	  commonalities	  within	  the	  themes	  shared	  by	  all	  three	  groups.	  	  The	  following	  four	  areas	  represent	  these	  commonalities	  and	  are	  an	  indication	  of	  starting	  places	  for	  improving	  the	  collaborative	  relationship	  of	  DLSAs,	  TVIs,	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  in	  improving	  supports	  to	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  their	  families.	  	  There	  were	  also	  differences	  in	  themes	  amount	  of	  focus	  on	  different	  themes	  related	  to	  the	  learning	  team	  relationship.	  These	  contrasts	  will	  be	  discussed	  further	  in	  Chapter	  5	  as	  	   62	  they	  specifically	  relate	  to	  the	  research	  questions	  of	  the	  study.	  Table	  8	  provides	  examples	  from	  all	  three	  focus	  group	  discussions	  that	  support	  the	  common	  themes.	  	  Table	  8	  	  Common	  Themes	  Among	  Focus	  Groups	  	  Common	  Themes	   TVI	   Classroom	  Teacher	   DLSA	  	  	  A	  Need	  to	  have	  Clarification	  of	  Roles	  between	  DLSA	  and	  Translators	  	  -­‐	  “DLSAs	  don’t	  want	  to	  be	  called	  “an	  interpreter”	  -­‐	  “They	  didn’t	  want	  to	  be	  called	  in	  when	  only	  interpretation	  is	  required”	  -­‐	  “Working	  with	  different	  people	  interpreting	  all	  the	  time”	  -­‐	  “Didn’t	  know	  they	  existed”	  -­‐	  “I	  didn’t	  know	  there	  was	  someone	  who	  could	  support	  me”	  -­‐	  “if	  they	  are	  new	  in	  Canada	  and	  new	  to	  the	  system,	  it	  would	  be	  nice	  we	  had	  someone	  else	  to	  speak	  to	  like	  a	  diversity	  worker”	  -­‐	  “I	  also	  moonlight	  as	  an	  interpreter	  for	  the	  CBE	  and	  our	  role	  is	  to	  do	  direct	  interpretation	  of	  what	  the	  teachers	  say	  and	  what”	  -­‐	  “Very	  restrictive	  when	  translating”	  -­‐	  “DLSAs	  can	  ask	  for	  clarification”	  	  Communication	  and	  Inclusion	  of	  Cultural	  	  Understanding	  around	  Visual	  Impairments	  and	  the	  Students	  with	  a	  Visual	  Impairment’s	  Education	  Experiences	  	  	  “Diversity	  worker	  was	  able	  to	  tell	  the	  student	  was	  that	  he	  shouldn’t	  marry	  first	  cousins,	  it	  was	  an	  aha	  moment.”	  “Even	  if	  they	  are	  in	  a	  certain	  culture	  doesn’t	  mean	  they	  react	  the	  same	  way.”	  “We	  cannot	  paint	  everybody	  with	  the	  same	  brush	  just	  because	  they	  have	  that	  (culture)	  commonality.”	  -­‐	  “Understand	  in	  the	  context	  of	  classroom”	  -­‐	  “Build	  stronger	  connection	  with	  parent	  involvement	  and	  teacher	  in	  school	  and	  other	  specialist”	  -­‐	  “Give	  broader	  picture	  of	  who	  the	  student”	  -­‐“Faith	  has	  to	  be	  taken	  into	  account	  and	  make	  them	  understand	  that	  its	  ok	  for	  a	  child	  to	  be	  visually	  impaired”	  -­‐	  “Use	  what	  they	  are	  to	  teach/talk	  to	  them.”	  	  	  	   63	  Common	  Themes	   TVI	   Classroom	  Teacher	   DLSA	  	  	  	  Terms	  are	  often	  Lost	  in	  Translation	  which	  has	  produced	  some	  Feelings	  of	  	  Disconnect	  in	  the	  IEP	  Discussions	  	  	  	  “Some	  of	  our	  terminology	  is	  complex	  and	  we	  should	  say	  it	  in	  very	  plain	  English.”	  “I	  wasn’t	  sure	  exactly	  how	  things	  were	  being	  communicated	  and	  translated	  or	  if	  was	  getting	  lost	  in	  translation.”	  	  	  -­‐	  “Things	  get	  lost	  in	  translation	  by	  the	  time	  you	  are	  trying	  to	  explain	  something	  and	  you	  get	  cut	  off”	  -­‐	  “Its	  very	  removed	  and	  static	  and	  it	  just	  take	  such	  a	  long	  time	  to	  say	  what	  they	  need	  to	  say”	  	  	  -­‐	  “Sometimes	  things	  translated	  in	  Korean	  can	  have	  2	  different	  terms	  and	  it	  can	  translate	  into	  different	  meanings”	  -­‐	  “Parents	  might	  not	  want	  to	  get	  help,	  and	  don’t	  understand	  there	  is	  help	  for	  them.”	  	  Communication	  and	  Relationship	  building	  among	  IEP	  Team	  Members	  (Classroom	  Teachers	  and	  TVIs)	  and	  Families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  Students	  with	  a	  Visual	  Impairment	  	  -­‐“Struggle	  to	  deal	  with	  classroom	  teachers,	  we	  are	  in	  such	  a	  different	  point	  of	  view”	  -­‐I	  don’t	  know	  where	  to	  start	  with	  diversity	  worker,	  if	  they	  have	  any	  idea	  with	  a	  blind	  child.”	  	  “Vision	  teacher	  might	  not	  be	  fully	  briefed	  of	  what	  that	  child’s	  expectations	  in	  inclusive	  environment	  	  “Work	  as	  a	  team,	  because	  the	  student	  will	  be	  spending	  most	  of	  their	  time	  in	  classroom”	  	  -­‐	  “Vision	  strategist	  and	  teacher	  try	  to	  gain	  more	  knowledge	  of	  culture	  to	  help	  student	  with	  reassurance	  for	  family”	  	  -­‐	  “Talk	  to	  the	  vision	  strategist,	  and	  teacher,	  and	  other	  agencies.”	  	  A	  need	  to	  have	  clarification	  of	  roles	  between	  DLSA	  and	  interpreters.	  The	  need	  to	  have	  clarification	  over	  language	  interpreters	  and	  DLSAs	  were	  mentioned	  frequently	  in	  all	  three	  groups.	  Although	  the	  CBE	  has	  documentation	  available	  to	  school	  teams,	  even	  the	  DLSAs	  found	  it	  difficult	  to	  have	  to	  explain	  their	  own	  roles	  and	  responsibilities	  over	  and	  over	  again	  to	  different	  service	  units.	  	  	   64	  Communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  among	  IEP	  team	  members.	  Communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  were	  key	  components	  throughout	  the	  three	  groups	  as	  it	  was	  important	  to	  be	  able	  to	  convey	  each	  group’s	  thoughts	  and	  opinions	  about	  their	  own	  roles	  in	  the	  IEP	  for	  the	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD.	  	  TVIs,	  classroom	  teachers,	  and	  DLSAs	  were	  able	  to	  pinpoint	  and	  provide	  examples	  of	  how	  each	  group	  was	  important	  but	  found	  communication	  to	  break	  down	  in	  some	  instances	  or	  be	  difficult	  to	  facilitate.	  While	  each	  group	  tended	  to	  focus	  on	  different	  learning	  team	  members	  in	  terms	  of	  communication	  needs,	  the	  commonality	  of	  the	  general	  theme	  highlights	  a	  need	  to	  find	  ways	  to	  strengthen	  communication.	  Communication	  and	  inclusion	  of	  cultural	  understanding	  around	  visual	  impairments	  and	  the	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment’s	  education	  experiences.	  	  The	  focus	  group	  participants	  found	  it	  crucial	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  inquire	  and	  probe	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  around	  their	  point	  of	  view	  about	  having	  a	  child	  with	  a	  VI.	  The	  groups	  felt	  that	  it	  was	  important	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  broker	  information	  between	  their	  native	  culture	  and	  mainstream	  cultural	  belief	  systems	  in	  understanding	  education	  experiences	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  This	  is	  further	  supported	  with	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  sharing	  similar	  responses	  in	  supporting	  the	  need	  to	  have	  to	  DLSAs	  be	  able	  to	  share	  information	  in	  a	  cultural	  context.	  Terms	  are	  often	  lost	  in	  translation	  which	  has	  produced	  some	  feelings	  of	  disconnect	  in	  the	  IEP	  discussions.	  	  Responses	  from	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  were	  very	  similar	  in	  having	  feelings	  of	  disconnect	  in	  the	  translation	  process	  during	  	   65	  IEP	  meetings.	  This	  was	  further	  supported	  by	  DLSAs	  who	  stated	  that	  certain	  terms	  were	  not	  able	  to	  be	  translated	  because	  they	  do	  not	  exist	  in	  their	  native	  language.	  They	  often	  would	  use	  examples	  to	  provide	  a	  context	  for	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  to	  understand.	  The	  process	  of	  trying	  to	  convey	  pertinent	  information	  about	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  to	  the	  family	  is	  important	  information	  for	  TVIs,	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  other	  IEP	  members	  to	  understand.	  	  It	  may	  be	  one	  of	  the	  reasons	  that	  interpretation	  appears	  to	  be	  longer	  then	  the	  original	  content	  relayed	  in	  English.	  	  	  	   	  	   66	  Chapter	  5	  –	  Discussion	  	   “Alone	  we	  can	  do	  so	  little;	  together	  we	  can	  do	  so	  much.”	  Helen	  Keller	  This	  study	  explored	  how	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA	  changed	  within	  learning	  teams	  who	  are	  working	  with	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families.	  Discussions	  in	  the	  focus	  groups	  were	  directly	  related	  to	  the	  role	  of	  the	  DLSA,	  with	  several	  commonalities	  as	  well	  as	  differences	  evolving.	  	  The	  focus	  group	  discussions	  were	  platforms	  for	  each	  group	  to	  share	  successes	  in	  the	  educational	  stories	  of	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  families.	  	  The	  discussions	  uncovered	  areas	  of	  growth	  and	  achievement	  that	  indicate	  these	  three	  groups	  need	  to	  plan	  and	  continue	  to	  work	  towards	  an	  intentional	  and	  meaningful	  collaborative	  relationship.	  	  	  Each	  group	  has	  an	  impact	  on	  the	  support	  of	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  families;	  however,	  together	  the	  impact	  is	  felt	  on	  a	  deeper	  level	  that	  brings	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  the	  melding	  of	  mainstream	  culture’s	  “new”	  ideas	  of	  education	  to	  existing	  culture’s	  “old”	  to	  create	  a	  unique	  experience.	  	  	  The	  research	  questions	  provided	  a	  basis	  for	  the	  guiding	  questions	  used	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions.	  The	  data	  that	  was	  generated	  from	  the	  discussions	  formed	  themes	  that	  were	  seen	  throughout	  all	  the	  groups	  and	  can	  be	  related	  back	  to	  the	  main	  questions	  posed	  as	  the	  premise	  of	  the	  study.	  Research	  Question	  One	  Several	  questions	  posed	  during	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions	  targeted	  the	  research	  question:	  How	  are	  the	  perspectives	  of	  the	  stakeholders	  (DLSAs,	  TVIs,	  and	  classroom	  teachers)	  the	  same	  or	  different	  when	  reflecting	  on	  the	  collaborative	  nature	  	   67	  of	  the	  learning	  team?	  	  Each	  of	  the	  focus	  groups	  were	  very	  clear	  in	  their	  role	  and	  had	  similar	  reflections	  on	  when	  they	  are	  trying	  to	  build	  a	  relationship	  with	  the	  family	  who	  is	  CLD	  and	  have	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  The	  focus	  groups	  felt	  that	  there	  was	  a	  need	  to	  share	  information	  and	  involve	  parents	  in	  the	  IEP	  process	  along	  with	  an	  understanding	  of	  what	  their	  child	  is	  learning.	  	  Specific	  roles	  on	  the	  learning	  team	  were	  important	  and	  there	  was	  a	  mutual	  respect	  held	  for	  all	  different	  members	  of	  the	  learning	  team.	  The	  classroom	  teachers’	  role	  was	  to	  convey	  the	  curriculum	  to	  any	  student	  in	  their	  classroom,	  the	  TVIs	  were	  mandated	  to	  teach	  the	  ECC	  to	  students	  with	  a	  VI,	  and	  the	  DLSAs	  were	  available	  upon	  a	  referral	  process	  to	  intervene	  on	  situations	  that	  involved	  a	  cultural	  perspective.	  	  	  There	  was	  a	  consensus	  among	  the	  three	  groups	  that	  the	  integration	  of	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  personal	  experiences	  of	  the	  family	  are	  important	  to	  maintain	  a	  working	  relationship	  around	  the	  learning	  needs	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD.	  	  	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  both	  felt	  that	  initial	  success	  in	  building	  a	  relationship	  with	  parents	  was	  achieved	  through	  some	  type	  of	  language	  intervention	  from	  a	  language	  translator	  or	  a	  DLSA.	  This	  was	  important	  because	  it	  allowed	  parents	  to	  understand	  what	  the	  school	  experiences	  and	  expectations	  are	  for	  the	  student	  and	  in	  turn	  share	  some	  school	  experiences	  that	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  had.	  	  It	  also	  allowed	  them	  to	  know	  what	  information	  parents	  knew	  or	  understood	  of	  their	  child’s	  visual	  impairment	  and,	  for	  teachers,	  what	  learning	  experiences	  the	  child	  had	  before	  entering	  school.	  	  	  The	  difference	  of	  perspectives	  between	  the	  groups	  stemmed	  from	  the	  various	  levels	  of	  involvement	  in	  direct	  interaction	  with	  the	  family	  and	  student	  with	  	   68	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  Classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  worked	  directly	  with	  students	  and	  families,	  and	  wanted	  to	  find	  ways	  to	  enhance	  student	  learning	  and	  the	  school	  experience.	  Whereas,	  the	  DLSAs	  stated	  that	  they	  work	  with	  families	  in	  order	  to	  secure	  supports	  and	  to	  “understand	  the	  Canadian	  school	  system.”	  	  TVIs	  and	  DLSAs	  were	  often	  in	  contact	  to	  discuss	  cultural	  differences	  around	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  was	  CLD	  to	  provide	  information	  for	  each	  other	  as	  needed.	  However,	  the	  classroom	  teacher	  focus	  group	  did	  not	  draw	  any	  connections	  nor	  did	  they	  have	  many	  experiences	  involving	  the	  DLSA.	  	  The	  classroom	  teachers	  were	  willing	  to	  use	  the	  DLSAs	  as	  a	  resource	  more	  often	  if	  they	  were	  more	  aware	  of	  their	  services.	  	  Research	  Question	  Two	  Another	  aspect	  of	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  revolved	  around	  the	  research	  question:	  In	  what	  ways	  can	  teachers	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  school	  learning	  teams	  assist	  the	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  support	  advisor	  to	  provide	  accurate	  information	  and	  build	  a	  reciprocating	  relationship	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse?	  Themes	  related	  to	  this	  question	  emerged	  in	  two	  different	  ways:	  what	  TVIs	  might	  do	  to	  support	  DLSA	  understanding	  of	  disability	  specific	  information	  and	  what	  the	  DLSA	  viewed	  as	  important	  for	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  to	  do	  to	  create	  a	  reciprocating	  relationship	  culturally.	  	  	  Since	  there	  was	  a	  significant	  amount	  of	  ambiguity	  around	  the	  role	  definition	  of	  a	  DLSA	  and	  a	  language	  interpreter,	  few	  suggestions	  were	  put	  forth	  by	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  in	  building	  an	  open	  relationship	  to	  share	  information.	  Once	  TVIs	  	   69	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  are	  made	  aware	  of	  how	  DLSAs	  could	  build	  their	  cultural	  competency,	  there	  would	  be	  the	  potential	  of	  discussions	  and	  a	  reciprocating	  relationship	  among	  all	  three	  groups.	  	  TVIs	  felt	  that	  they	  had	  a	  lot	  of	  technical	  information	  to	  share	  with	  DLSAs	  around	  visual	  impairments	  in	  order	  to	  provide	  an	  accurate	  picture	  for	  parents	  around	  their	  child’s	  learning	  needs.	  However,	  the	  TVI	  group	  stated	  that	  it	  was	  important	  for	  them	  to	  create	  a	  relationship	  first,	  then	  have	  DLSAs	  culturally	  liaise	  opportunities	  for	  the	  TVI	  to	  introduce	  skills	  that	  would	  help	  their	  child	  succeed.	  	  DLSAs	  explained	  that	  it	  was	  crucial	  for	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  to	  continue	  to	  build	  the	  “self-­‐confidence	  and	  assurance	  to	  parents	  that	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  could	  achieve	  success	  in	  life	  and	  beyond.”	  Research	  (Berg,	  2013)	  has	  shown	  that	  a	  cross-­‐cultural	  framework	  would	  help	  provide	  effective	  interactions	  among	  professionals.	  Some	  examples	  of	  incorporating	  a	  cross-­‐cultural	  framework	  includes	  use	  of	  dual	  language	  story	  books,	  projects	  and	  opportunities	  that	  allow	  students	  to	  share	  their	  cultural	  heritage	  (Moyer	  &	  Clymer,	  2009).	  The	  themes	  that	  were	  developed	  from	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  have	  indicated	  that	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  are	  willing	  to	  become	  more	  culturally	  competent	  and	  require	  the	  correct	  guidance	  to	  do	  so.	  	  Research	  Question	  Three	  The	  final	  research	  question	  that	  guided	  the	  types	  of	  questions	  posed	  during	  the	  focus	  groups	  asked:	  How	  does	  the	  work	  of	  a	  Diversity	  and	  Learning	  Support	  Advisor	  (DLSA)	  change	  when	  interacting	  with	  a	  family	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment?	  	  DLSAs	  initially	  did	  not	  find	  or	  view	  that	  their	  work	  changed.,	  However,	  	   70	  as	  discussion	  progressed,	  focus	  group	  questions	  one	  and	  three	  (see	  Table	  1)	  drew	  out	  examples	  of	  situations	  where	  DLSAs	  had	  to	  change	  their	  approach	  to	  work	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  DLSAs	  disclosed	  that	  in	  all	  three	  cultures	  (East	  Indian,	  Korean	  and	  Chinese)	  parents	  did	  not	  generally	  accept	  help	  in	  the	  form	  of	  “counseling	  or	  additional	  parenting	  courses”	  for	  themselves	  as	  it	  is	  seen	  as	  failure	  to	  be	  able	  to	  parent.	  To	  combat	  this	  frame	  of	  mind	  from	  parents,	  the	  DLSAs	  have	  used	  analogies	  and	  positive	  language	  to	  frame	  the	  visual	  impairment	  in	  a	  different	  light	  for	  the	  family.	  For	  example,	  “god	  has	  given	  you	  the	  gift	  of	  this	  child,	  and	  entrusted	  you	  to	  nurture	  him/her.”	  	  	  The	  DLSAs	  also	  noted	  that	  their	  role	  has	  differed	  from	  an	  intervention	  process	  to	  a	  referral	  process.	  They	  have	  provided	  advice	  and	  individual	  action	  plans	  for	  families;	  however,	  since	  they	  are	  not	  knowledgeable	  to	  services	  around	  the	  visual	  impairment	  community,	  there	  is	  a	  lot	  of	  conversation	  and	  teamwork	  with	  the	  TVIs	  to	  understand	  the	  needs	  of	  the	  student	  and	  family	  and	  then	  seek	  out	  specific	  community	  supports.	  	  Implications	  of	  the	  Commonality	  Across	  Themes	  	  As	  described	  in	  Chapter	  4,	  the	  data	  analysis	  process	  of	  the	  three	  discussions	  helped	  to	  uncover	  four	  common	  themes,	  which	  reoccurred	  throughout	  the	  transcription	  data.	  These	  themes	  have	  an	  impact	  on	  the	  work	  that	  the	  groups	  do	  within	  the	  school	  board	  with	  each	  other	  and	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  with	  a	  child	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  The	  themes	  provide	  some	  direction	  into	  considerations	  to	  make	  during	  future	  partnerships	  to	  create	  clarity	  on	  how	  each	  	   71	  group	  provides	  support	  in	  the	  educational	  growth	  of	  the	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD	  and	  their	  families.	  	  	  	  	   A	  need	  to	  have	  clarification	  of	  roles	  between	  DLSA	  and	  translators.	  	   	  All	  three	  focus	  groups	  found	  that	  a	  there	  was	  a	  need	  to	  clarify	  the	  differences	  in	  roles	  and	  responsibilities	  of	  the	  DLSA	  and	  translators.	  Classroom	  teachers	  found	  it	  difficult	  to	  differentiate	  between	  the	  two	  roles	  and	  often	  pieced	  together	  their	  understanding	  of	  their	  roles	  through	  different	  experiences	  that	  they	  had	  with	  students	  who	  were	  CLD	  and	  their	  families	  through	  translation	  services	  or	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  who	  were	  CLD.	  TVIs	  had	  a	  slightly	  more	  in-­‐depth	  understanding	  of	  the	  DLSA	  role,	  through	  various	  professional	  development	  opportunities	  and	  direct	  discussions	  around	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  on	  their	  caseloads;	  however,	  they	  were	  concerned	  with	  different	  translators	  coming	  to	  support	  the	  team	  during	  the	  IEP	  process	  rather	  then	  having	  DLSA	  support.	  	  	  The	  confusion	  or	  roles	  could	  lead	  to	  a	  mismanagement	  of	  how	  DLSAs	  are	  being	  utilized	  and	  deployed	  to	  IEP	  teams	  compared	  to	  when	  translation	  services	  would	  be	  sufficient,	  which	  could	  potentially	  stall	  the	  processing	  time	  to	  have	  appropriate	  strategies	  in	  place	  for	  students.	  It	  is	  interesting	  to	  note	  that	  DLSAs	  found	  it	  difficult	  to	  keep	  explaining	  their	  role	  as	  being	  different	  from	  translators.	  	  The	  DLSA’s	  work	  stems	  from	  an	  intervention	  process	  or	  procedure;	  they	  are	  requested	  when	  there	  is	  problem	  where	  cultural	  brokering	  is	  required	  on	  behalf	  of	  the	  school	  perspective	  to	  the	  family	  perspective	  or	  vice	  versa.	  This	  dilemma	  presents	  the	  need	  to	  have	  specific	  clarification	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  present	  themselves	  and	  their	  services	  to	  the	  school	  board,	  and	  an	  ability	  of	  the	  team	  to	  be	  able	  to	  identify	  a	  	   72	  need	  for	  cultural	  brokering.	  The	  DLSA	  team	  members	  bring	  many	  previous	  experiences	  from	  their	  former	  careers	  working	  with	  families	  and	  could	  draw	  connections	  to	  when	  their	  services	  are	  required	  when	  schools	  complete	  a	  referral	  form	  to	  request	  services	  of	  a	  DLSA.	  	  	  	  	  	  	  If	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  are	  not	  able	  to	  differentiate	  between	  the	  two	  roles,	  it	  is	  possible	  that	  other	  service	  units	  would	  also	  be	  confused.	  To	  supplement	  the	  school	  board	  documents	  that	  already	  exist,	  it	  may	  be	  useful	  to	  create	  explanatory	  or	  decision-­‐making	  documents	  in	  the	  format	  of	  a	  flow	  chart	  or	  a	  presentation	  that	  would	  outline	  specific	  examples	  of	  how	  each	  role	  is	  to	  be	  used.	  	  A	  subtheme	  that	  surfaced	  from	  this	  role	  specification	  was	  the	  need	  to	  have	  more	  DLSAs	  available	  to	  provide	  cultural	  brokering	  opportunities	  that	  are	  reflective	  of	  discussions	  around	  IEPs	  with	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  that	  would	  be	  in	  the	  “moment”	  as	  it	  happens	  during	  IEP	  meetings.	  	  The	  investment	  into	  having	  more	  DLSAs	  available	  for	  schools	  provide	  IEP	  team	  members	  authentic	  experiences	  of	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  the	  opportunity	  to	  clarify	  with	  parents	  right	  away.	  	  	  If	  there	  are	  more	  resources,	  available	  then	  the	  review	  of	  how	  services	  provided	  could	  be	  better	  maintained	  for	  the	  integrity	  of	  their	  role.	  To	  address	  the	  shortage	  of	  DLSAs,	  some	  translators	  may	  have	  qualities	  to	  move	  into	  the	  DLSA	  role.	  Research	  has	  indicated	  that	  there	  is	  a	  need	  to	  have	  more	  cultural	  brokering	  opportunities	  for	  translators	  (Conroy,	  2012;	  Gallimore,	  2005).	  	  It	  is	  important	  to	  highlight	  that	  the	  DLSA	  role	  is	  specific	  to	  CBE.	  	  The	  specialization	  and	  creation	  of	  the	  DLSA	  role	  indicates	  the	  school	  board’s	  acknowledgment	  that	  professionals	  having	  experience	  working	  with	  children	  in	  	   73	  their	  native	  country	  are	  vital	  to	  providing	  the	  cultural	  bridge	  to	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  could	  be	  newcomers	  to	  Canada.	  Other	  school	  boards	  who	  recognize	  the	  need	  for	  cultural	  brokers,	  however,	  may	  still	  benefit	  from	  the	  distinctions	  of	  roles	  and	  importance	  of	  having	  both	  type	  of	  roles	  available.	  Communication	  and	  relationship	  building	  among	  IEP	  team	  members.	  	  The	  collective	  experiences	  between	  the	  three	  groups	  (classroom	  teachers,	  TVIs,	  and	  DLSAs)	  were	  mostly	  positive.	  TVIs	  and	  DLSAs	  already	  have	  a	  continuous	  relationship	  as	  they	  meet	  as	  required	  and	  repeatedly	  in	  regards	  to	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  over	  a	  period	  of	  time.	  	  The	  growth	  of	  the	  relationship	  has	  recently	  increased	  with	  a	  larger	  population	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  entering	  the	  school	  system.	  There	  is	  no	  hesitation	  in	  contacting	  DLSAs	  for	  assistance	  with	  the	  increasing	  need	  to	  have	  cultural	  understanding	  of	  visual	  impairment	  in	  their	  native	  cultures.	  The	  relationship	  is	  mutually	  rewarding	  as	  it	  provides	  information	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  learn	  more	  about	  visual	  impairments	  and	  services	  from	  the	  TVIs	  as	  well.	  	  DLSAs	  did	  not	  really	  comment	  on	  the	  relationship	  between	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  saw	  that	  the	  work	  they	  performed	  was	  focused	  on	  the	  process	  of	  cultural	  brokering	  for	  the	  student	  and	  their	  family	  in	  meetings	  and	  in	  securing	  outside	  resources.	  DLSAs	  do	  not	  enter	  into	  classrooms	  to	  provide	  direct	  support	  to	  students	  who	  have	  English	  language	  learning	  (ELL)	  needs	  and	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  Direct	  support	  in	  the	  classroom	  can	  be	  requested	  through	  other	  service	  units	  that	  help	  ELL	  learners	  and	  resources	  from	  school	  administration	  teams.	  	  	   74	  The	  relationship	  between	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions	  was	  more	  apprehensive.	  Both	  groups	  found	  that	  there	  were	  situations	  that	  caused	  disconnect	  in	  communication,	  which	  stemmed	  from	  the	  different	  responsibilities	  each	  role	  had	  in	  the	  education	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  	  There	  are	  multiple	  reasons	  that	  disconnect	  could	  happen,	  since	  this	  is	  a	  small	  focus	  group	  discussion	  this	  apprehension	  is	  limited	  to	  the	  personal	  experiences	  of	  the	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers.	  However,	  while	  this	  finding	  may	  not	  directly	  relate	  to	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD,	  it	  does	  suggest	  that	  a	  closer	  look	  may	  need	  to	  occur	  in	  regard	  to	  how	  the	  TVI	  and	  classroom	  teacher	  attempt	  to	  build	  a	  mutually	  respectful	  relationship	  so	  that	  they	  are	  more	  able	  to	  jointly	  address	  specific	  needs	  related	  to	  a	  student	  with	  visual	  impairment	  being	  CLD	  when	  they	  arise.	  	  It	  is	  interesting	  to	  note	  that	  the	  work	  that	  DLSAs	  do	  may	  cause	  conflict	  among	  other	  service	  units.	  	  DLSAs	  are	  trying	  to	  provide	  community	  connections	  as	  well	  as	  provide	  understanding	  to	  families	  who	  are	  unaware	  of	  how	  the	  education	  system	  works,	  and	  they	  are	  allowed	  to	  advocate	  for	  families	  on	  their	  behalf.	  DLSAs	  have	  commented	  that	  they	  are	  cautious	  in	  how	  to	  convey	  thoughts	  and	  opinions	  to	  colleagues	  in	  respect	  to	  their	  specialization.	  DLSAs	  have	  stated	  that	  they	  “advocate	  for	  parents	  who	  don’t	  even	  know	  what	  questions	  to	  ask.”	  DLSAs	  work	  in	  a	  delicate	  balance	  as	  they	  often	  will	  have	  to	  advocate	  for	  parents	  who	  do	  not	  understand	  the	  school	  system	  and	  still	  be	  accountable	  for	  their	  work	  to	  the	  school	  board	  in	  intervening	  in	  situations	  within	  a	  cultural	  perspective.	  	  Another	  complexity	  within	  the	  DLSAs	  role	  is	  to	  provide	  cultural	  brokering	  while	  avoiding	  stereotypical	  or	  over-­‐	   75	  generalizations	  of	  cultural	  viewpoints	  (e.g.,	  general	  assumptions	  about	  children	  with	  special	  needs	  within	  the	  culture).	  They	  must	  keep	  in	  mind	  that	  the	  family,	  even	  though	  from	  the	  same	  culture,	  may	  have	  differing	  viewpoints	  from	  the	  DLSA	  that	  need	  to	  be	  interpreted	  and	  understand	  by	  the	  team.	  	  	  This	  brings	  to	  light	  the	  complexities	  of	  services	  and	  relationships.	  It	  highlights	  how	  important	  it	  is	  to	  address	  the	  process	  and	  reason	  for	  cultural	  brokering	  among	  service	  units.	  	  Cultural	  competency	  and	  sensitivity	  has	  the	  potential	  to	  cause	  some	  friction	  in	  processes	  that	  are	  already	  in	  place	  within	  a	  school	  board.	  Flexibility	  on	  part	  of	  all	  team	  members	  to	  make	  a	  situation	  accessible	  to	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  is	  imperative.	  Communication	  and	  inclusion	  of	  cultural	  understanding	  around	  visual	  impairments	  and	  the	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment’s	  education	  experiences.	  	  All	  focus	  groups	  felt	  that	  there	  was	  a	  need	  to	  incorporate	  more	  personal	  experiences	  around	  education	  from	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  families	  to	  build	  the	  cultural	  understanding	  for	  educators	  who	  work	  with	  them.	  The	  work	  of	  navigating	  between	  native	  culture	  and	  mainstream	  cultural	  belief	  systems	  was	  seen	  by	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  who	  felt	  that	  it	  would	  be	  a	  starting	  point	  for	  them	  to	  create	  the	  communication	  process.	  	  Education	  experiences	  are	  unique	  to	  individuals	  and	  it	  is	  difficult	  to	  try	  to	  fit	  a	  new	  school	  system’s	  beliefs	  into	  pre-­‐existing	  routines	  and	  expectations	  for	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  Cultural	  brokering	  in	  the	  education	  field	  is	  a	  complicated	  process	  because	  the	  exchange	  of	  information	  also	  brings	  expectations	  of	  elements	  of	  change	  from	  both	  the	  school	  and	  families.	  	  	   76	  The	  intervention	  process	  of	  the	  DLSA	  team	  is	  also	  expected	  to	  create	  a	  stronger	  connection	  to	  parent	  involvement	  with	  teachers	  in	  schools,	  TVIs	  and	  other	  IEP	  team	  members,	  and	  the	  community.	  One	  of	  the	  roles	  that	  DLSAs	  have	  is	  to	  build	  the	  capacity	  of	  school	  staff	  with	  families.	  	  This	  could	  empower	  staff	  to	  increase	  their	  cultural	  competency	  and	  build	  cross-­‐cultural	  activities	  within	  the	  abilities	  of	  the	  school.	  	  Finding	  ways	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  do	  this	  more	  frequently	  would	  be	  beneficial.	  	  	   There	  was	  also	  unanimous	  agreement	  that	  there	  is	  a	  need	  to	  know	  how	  visual	  impairments	  are	  viewed	  in	  the	  native	  culture	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  VI	  who	  is	  CLD.	  The	  interactions	  with	  cultural	  cues	  that	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  learn	  affect	  how	  they	  grow	  and	  progress	  as	  learners	  (Conroy,	  2012).	  	  This	  information	  also	  provides	  a	  foundation	  for	  TVIs	  to	  create	  lessons	  that	  are	  culturally	  sensitive	  to	  the	  student.	  	  It	  would	  be	  important	  that	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  are	  provided	  opportunities	  in	  multiple	  ways	  to	  build	  a	  relationship	  with	  their	  classroom	  teacher	  and	  TVI.	  The	  student	  needs	  to	  see	  that	  their	  learning	  is	  built	  around	  a	  community	  that	  is	  specific	  to	  their	  needs	  (Chu,	  2012).	  	  The	  building	  of	  the	  community	  for	  the	  student	  also	  extends	  to	  families.	  The	  DLSA’s	  unique	  position	  allows	  them	  promote	  what	  the	  school	  thinks	  is	  important	  to	  parents.	  DLSAs	  can	  also	  do	  the	  same	  with	  parents	  by	  conveying	  their	  cultural	  viewpoints	  to	  the	  school;	  this	  creates	  an	  interpersonal	  relationship,	  which	  strengthens	  the	  community	  for	  the	  student	  (Jung,	  2011).	  	  Student	  needs	  and	  learning	  strategies	  could	  be	  communicated	  through	  DLSAs	  on	  behalf	  of	  the	  school	  to	  families.	  DLSAs	  have	  permission	  to	  seek	  and	  advocate	  on	  behalf	  of	  the	  families	  and	  school,	  which	  would	  allow	  families	  to	  have	  a	  	   77	  greater	  understanding	  of	  services	  that	  are	  provided	  to	  their	  child	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  provide	  their	  viewpoint	  to	  back	  to	  the	  school.	  	  Terms	  are	  often	  lost	  in	  translation	  which	  has	  produced	  some	  feelings	  of	  disconnect	  in	  the	  IEP	  discussions.	  The	  three	  groups	  all	  found	  that	  terms	  were	  often	  lost	  in	  translation	  that	  left	  members	  not	  fully	  able	  to	  trust	  in	  the	  process	  of	  the	  IEP	  meeting.	  TVIs	  have	  self	  reflected	  as	  a	  group	  that	  they	  need	  to	  use	  language	  that	  is	  simplified	  in	  order	  for	  non-­‐experts	  to	  be	  able	  to	  understand.	  One	  way	  that	  this	  can	  be	  completed	  is	  a	  creation	  of	  a	  simple	  glossary	  of	  terms	  or	  an	  in-­‐service	  package	  around	  the	  student	  with	  a	  VI	  to	  provide	  clarity.	  	  Another	  way	  that	  information	  can	  be	  provided	  in	  a	  timely	  manner	  is	  having	  more	  face-­‐to-­‐face	  meetings	  and	  emails	  to	  convey	  information	  and	  allow	  questions	  to	  be	  answered	  as	  needed.	  However,	  a	  barrier	  that	  is	  part	  of	  the	  work	  is	  the	  lack	  of	  resources	  that	  is	  available	  for	  TVIs	  and	  DLSAs.	  There	  are	  not	  enough	  DLSAs	  for	  the	  student	  needs	  that	  exist.	  More	  et	  al.,	  (2013)	  outlined	  detailed	  strategies	  that	  would	  help	  to	  provide	  guidance	  with	  interactions	  with	  language	  translators	  that	  could	  be	  directed	  towards	  DLSAs.	  These	  strategies	  included	  setting	  ground	  rules	  of	  how	  the	  translation	  process	  should	  flow,	  and	  conducting	  multiple	  meetings	  with	  the	  language	  translator	  before	  the	  parent	  meeting	  to	  make	  sure	  that	  terms	  and	  discussion	  topics	  are	  understood.	  	  Implications	  for	  Practice	  	   Based	  on	  the	  focus	  group	  discussions	  around	  the	  research	  questions	  and	  the	  commonalities	  and	  differences	  of	  the	  themes	  that	  emerged,	  the	  following	  lists	  contain	  recommendations	  that	  would	  support	  the	  continued	  development	  of	  strong	  	   78	  learning	  support	  teams	  when	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  their	  families.	  Suggestions	  for	  Classroom	  Teachers:	  	  	   -­‐ Participate	  in	  the	  referral	  process	  to	  access	  DLSAs	  who	  can	  provide	  professional	  development	  opportunities	  or	  discussions	  to	  understand	  the	  implications	  of	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  ‘s	  cultural	  beliefs	  and	  norms.	  	  -­‐ Request	  meetings	  with	  the	  TVI	  to	  understand	  the	  implications	  on	  learning	  for	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD.	  	  -­‐ Ensure	  that	  goals	  are	  set	  out	  in	  the	  IEP	  document	  that	  clearly	  outline	  both	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  TVIs	  roles	  and	  working	  relationship.	  	  	  -­‐ Look	  for	  opportunities	  to	  include	  a	  cultural	  aspect	  in	  curriculum.	  	  -­‐ Have	  discussions	  with	  the	  student	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  is	  CLD	  to	  find	  out	  their	  experiences	  in	  learning.	  	  Suggestions	  for	  TVIs:	  -­‐ Create	  an	  in-­‐service	  that	  introduces	  the	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  key	  considerations	  to	  provide	  to	  the	  DLSA	  and	  classroom	  teacher.	  This	  way	  the	  DLSA	  has	  time	  to	  prepare	  explanations	  if	  they	  do	  not	  exist	  in	  their	  native	  language.	  	  -­‐ Create	  a	  list	  of	  terms	  that	  are	  often	  used	  and	  related	  to	  visual	  impairments	  for	  DLSAs	  to	  find	  language	  and	  cultural	  equivalents.	  	  	  -­‐ Clearly	  outline	  the	  role	  and	  responsibilities	  that	  TVIs	  have	  within	  the	  school	  board	  for	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  DLSAs.	  	  	   79	  -­‐ Request	  meetings	  with	  DLSAs	  as	  needed	  to	  understand	  the	  cultural	  implications	  for	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment.	  	  -­‐ Have	  discussions	  with	  the	  student	  who	  has	  a	  visual	  impairment	  and	  is	  CLD	  to	  find	  out	  their	  experiences	  in	  learning.	  	  Suggestions	  for	  DLSAs:	  -­‐ Create	  a	  brochure/flow	  chart	  of	  how	  services	  differ	  between	  DLSA	  and	  language	  translators	  for	  schools	  to	  access	  services	  more	  effectively	  and	  efficiently.	  	  -­‐ Clearly	  provide	  the	  differing	  cultural	  viewpoints	  from	  parents	  to	  other	  team	  members	  and	  vice	  versa	  at	  the	  beginning	  of	  meetings	  and	  continue	  with	  the	  cultural	  exchange	  during	  meetings;	  so	  that	  all	  team	  members	  are	  engaging	  at	  the	  same	  level	  of	  understanding	  -­‐ Provide	  professional	  development	  opportunities/workshops	  for	  classroom	  teachers	  and	  other	  service	  units	  to	  engage	  in	  the	  practice	  of	  increasing	  their	  level	  of	  cultural	  competency.	  	  -­‐ Seek	  out	  information	  from	  the	  TVI	  about	  aspects	  of	  visual	  impairment	  that	  are	  not	  clear.	  	  -­‐ Set	  up	  a	  chart	  that	  describes	  the	  process	  of	  how	  DLSAs	  set	  up	  their	  IEP	  or	  family	  meetings	  that	  provides	  explanations	  of	  before,	  during,	  after	  meeting	  strategies	  that	  they	  use	  to	  provide	  accountability	  to	  their	  work	  (More,	  et	  al.,	  2013)	  	  	  -­‐ Documentation	  and	  follow	  up	  meetings	  with	  IEP	  team	  and	  supervisors	  if	  DLSAs	  feel	  that	  that	  they	  are	  in	  an	  uncomfortable	  situation	  with	  a	  family.	  	  	   80	  Beyond	  specific	  implications	  targeting	  the	  three	  focus	  groups	  studied,	  results	  have	  implications	  for	  the	  broader	  system	  that	  uses	  DLSAs.	  	  	  A	  clarification	  of	  the	  DLSA	  role	  and	  their	  responsibilities	  by	  the	  school	  board	  would	  allow	  for	  greater	  understanding	  and	  lead	  to	  better	  use	  of	  the	  service.	  	  This	  process	  of	  clarifying	  roles	  can	  be	  used	  in	  other	  areas	  of	  the	  school	  board	  beyond	  working	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  and	  their	  families	  who	  are	  CLD.	  	  In	  addition,	  the	  consideration	  by	  the	  school	  board	  to	  invest	  resources	  to	  expand	  the	  number	  of	  available	  DLSAs	  would	  provide	  additional	  opportunities	  to	  build	  cultural	  understanding	  and	  competency	  in	  a	  more	  authentic	  manner	  within	  the	  school	  community.	  	  	  Researcher	  Perspective	  The	  focus	  group	  discussions	  were	  very	  informative	  and	  provided	  opportunities	  to	  self	  reflect	  on	  the	  role	  that	  I	  have	  as	  a	  TVI.	  It	  was	  interesting	  to	  participate	  in	  the	  focus	  group	  discussion	  as	  a	  moderator	  as	  I	  am	  tasked	  to	  move	  the	  discussion	  along	  and	  gather	  responses	  to	  the	  focus	  group	  questions.	  	  I	  was	  able	  to	  empathize	  with	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers.	  	  Through	  their	  responses	  I	  could	  also	  see	  how	  these	  two	  groups	  of	  professionals	  could	  have	  a	  difficult	  time	  in	  understanding	  the	  cultural	  complexities	  that	  the	  family	  had.	  	  	  Often	  there	  was	  doubt	  cast	  on	  whether	  parents	  understood	  the	  IEP	  process	  and	  if	  the	  assessments	  that	  TVIs	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  performed	  were	  truthful	  and	  authentic	  based	  on	  the	  student’s	  ability.	  	  This	  doubt	  also	  transferred	  onto	  parent	  teacher	  conferences	  with	  the	  appearance	  of	  different	  language	  translators	  versus	  DLSAs.	  	  	   81	  The	  specialized	  role	  and	  responsibilities	  of	  the	  DLSA	  was	  designed	  to	  benefit	  families	  who	  are	  CLD	  and	  school	  learning	  teams;	  however,	  there	  are	  not	  enough	  DLSAs	  to	  help	  with	  multiple	  needs	  that	  could	  occur	  in	  the	  school	  board.	  	  	  It	  is	  also	  interesting	  to	  note,	  that	  some	  ethnic	  values	  that	  were	  described	  in	  the	  DLSA	  focus	  group	  were	  very	  similar	  to	  ones	  that	  I	  had	  experienced	  growing	  up	  within	  the	  Chinese	  community.	  TVI	  and	  classroom	  teachers	  as	  well	  as	  school-­‐based	  professionals	  have	  often	  asked	  for	  clarification	  of	  norms,	  to	  which	  I	  was	  able	  to	  assist	  in	  explaining.	  This	  provided	  me	  reassurance	  that	  the	  information	  was	  correct.	  	  Limitations	  of	  the	  Study	  	  It	  is	  imperative	  to	  discuss	  some	  limitations	  of	  this	  study.	  	  One	  limitation	  was	  the	  number	  of	  participants	  in	  the	  focus	  groups.	  	  Traditionally	  focus	  groups	  range	  between	  6-­‐8	  participants,	  however	  this	  study	  only	  had	  3-­‐4	  participants	  in	  each	  group.	  The	  small	  number	  of	  participants	  is	  due	  to	  the	  highly	  specialized	  roles	  and	  criteria	  that	  the	  study	  required.	  There	  are	  only	  a	  small	  number	  of	  TVIs	  in	  the	  geographical	  area	  and	  DLSAs	  are	  specific	  to	  the	  CBE	  school	  board.	  The	  criteria	  for	  classroom	  teachers	  also	  reduced	  the	  pool,	  as	  they	  must	  have	  worked	  with	  a	  student	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  who	  is	  CLD	  and	  had	  interactions	  with	  DLSAs.	  	  While	  findings	  of	  this	  study	  do	  cannot	  be	  considered	  to	  generalize	  outside	  of	  the	  context	  of	  the	  CBE,	  the	  main	  themes	  are	  informative	  to	  other	  situations	  in	  terms	  of	  supporting	  students	  with	  visual	  impairment	  and	  CLD	  through	  cultural	  brokering.	  	  Another	  limitation	  was	  that	  the	  data	  collection	  and	  analysis	  was	  centered	  around	  written	  notes	  and	  discussion	  transcriptions	  by	  a	  third	  party	  individual.	  There	  may	  have	  been	  important	  physical	  cues	  that	  participants	 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 Correa-­‐Torres,	  S.M.	  (2013).	  Connecting	  with	  families	  from	  	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse	  backgrounds:	  A	  self-­‐reflection	  process.	  Division	  on	  Visual	  Impairment	  Quarterly,	  58(2),	  40-­‐51.	  Zebehazy,	  K.	  T.,	  &	  Wilton,	  A.	  P.	  (2014).	  Straight	  from	  the	  source:	  Perceptions	  of	  	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  about	  graphic	  use.	  Journal	  of	  Visual	  Impairment	  &	  Blindness,	  108(4),	  275-­‐286	   91	  Appendix	  A	  	  Classroom	  Teacher	  	  Demographic	  Form	  	  	  Thank	  you	  for	  agreeing	  to	  participate	  in	  this	  study.	  Please	  complete	  the	  demographic	  questionnaire.	  	  	  Please	  note	  that	  the	  information	  collected	  in	  this	  questionnaire	  is	  confidential	  and	  will	  only	  be	  used	  for	  the	  purposes	  of	  this	  research	  study.	  	  Your	  name	  will	  not	  be	  attached	  to	  any	  results	  or	  data	  from	  the	  study.	  	  	  Code	  Number:	  _________________________	  	  Name:	  _________________________________	  	  	  My	  gender	  is:	  	  ____________	  Female	  	  	  _____________	  Male	  	  	  My	  age	  is:	  	  ___________	  23-­‐30	  	  _________	  	  31-­‐40	  	  ____________	  	  	  41-­‐50	  	  	  ________	  50	  +	  	  	  What	  is	  your	  ethnic	  background?	  	  ________________________	  	  What	  grade/subject	  do	  you	  teach?	  _____________________________________________________	  	  How	  long	  have	  you	  been	  a	  teacher?	  	  _____________________	  	  Have	  you	  taught	  in	  any	  other	  countries	  other	  than	  Canada?	  	  _______________	  	  If	  yes,	  have	  you	  had	  the	  opportunity	  to	  work	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  in	  that/those	  countries?	  	  	  How	  many	  students	  with	  a	  visual	  impairment	  have	  you	  had	  in	  your	  class?	  Do	  you	  know	  what	  ethnic	  background	  they	  are	  from?	  	  	  When	  do	  you	  require	  the	  services	  a	  diversity	  advisor?	  How	  often	  do	  you	  meet	  with	  the	  diversity	  advisor?	  	  	  How	  does	  the	  service	  level	  of	  a	  diversity	  advisor	  change	  for	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  who	  are	  culturally	  and	  linguistically	  diverse?	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   92	  	   Teacher	  of	  Students	  with	  Visual	  Impairments	  (TVI)	  Demographic	  Form	  	  Thank	  you	  for	  agreeing	  to	  participate	  in	  this	  study.	  Please	  complete	  the	  demographic	  questionnaire.	  	  	  Please	  note	  that	  the	  information	  collected	  in	  this	  questionnaire	  is	  confidential	  and	  will	  only	  be	  used	  for	  the	  purposes	  of	  this	  research	  study.	  	  Your	  name	  will	  not	  be	  attached	  to	  any	  results	  or	  data	  from	  the	  study.	  	  	  Code	  Number:	  _________________________	  	  Name:	  _________________________________	  	  	  My	  gender	  is:	  	  ____________	  Female	  	  	  _____________	  Male	  	  	  My	  age	  is:	  	  ___________	  23-­‐30	  	  _________	  	  31-­‐40	  	  ____________	  	  	  41-­‐50	  	  	  ________	  50	  +	  	  	  What	  grade/subject	  do	  you	  teach?	  _____________________________________________________	  	  What	  is	  your	  ethnic	  background?	  	  ________________________	  	  How	  long	  have	  you	  been	  a	  TVI?	  	  _____________________	  	  Have	  you	  taught	  in	  any	  other	  countries	  other	  than	  Canada?	  	  _______________	  	  	  If	  yes,	  have	  you	  had	  the	  opportunity	  to	  work	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  in	  that/those	  countries?	  	  	  	  When	  do	  you	  require	  the	  services	  a	  diversity	  advisor?	  How	  often	  do	  you	  meet	  with	  the	  diversity	  advisor?	  	  	  In	  what	  capacity	  does	  the	  diversity	  advisor	  assist	  you	  with	  students	  and	  families?	  	  	   	  	   93	  Diversity	  Advisor	  	  Demographic	  Form	  	  Thank	  you	  for	  agreeing	  to	  participate	  in	  this	  study.	  Please	  complete	  the	  demographic	  questionnaire.	  	  	  Please	  note	  that	  the	  information	  collected	  in	  this	  questionnaire	  is	  confidential	  and	  will	  only	  be	  used	  for	  the	  proposes	  of	  this	  research	  study.	  	  	  	  Name:	  _________________________________	  	  	  My	  gender	  is:	  	  ____________	  Female	  	  	  _____________	  Male	  	  	  My	  age	  is:	  	  ___________	  23-­‐30	  	  _________	  	  31-­‐40	  	  ____________	  	  	  41-­‐50	  	  	  ________	  50	  +	  	  	  	  What	  is	  your	  ethnic	  background?	  	  	  	  In	  what	  languages	  do	  you	  provide	  language	  interpretation/translation?	  	  	  Can	  you	  briefly	  describe	  your	  work	  experience	  before	  becoming	  a	  Diversity	  advisor	  with	  CBE?	  	  	  How	  long	  have	  you	  been	  a	  Diversity	  Advisor?	  What	  are	  some	  general	  responsibilities	  of	  a	  Diversity	  Advisor?	  	  	  	  Can	  you	  provide	  a	  brief	  description	  as	  to	  why	  you	  wanted	  to	  be	  a	  Diversity	  Advisor?	  	  	  	  How	  many	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  have	  you	  worked	  with	  since	  being	  a	  diversity	  advisor?	  	  	  Do	  you	  currently	  work	  with	  a	  student	  with	  visual	  impairments?	  And/or	  when	  did	  you	  last	  work	  with	  a	  student	  with	  visual	  impairments?	  	  How	  often	  do	  you	  meet	  with	  the	  families	  of	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments?	  	  	  In	  what	  capacity	  do	  you	  help	  the	  student	  and	  family?	  	  	  	  Have	  you	  had	  the	  opportunity	  to	  work	  with	  students	  with	  visual	  impairments	  in	  your	  native	  country?	  	  	  	  


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