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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Educating children with visual impairments : a caseload analysis for British Columbia De Souza, Julianna


Itinerant teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) in British Columbia have long been concerned with the size of their caseloads. TVIs' caseloads are effected by the demands of traveling from student to student, consultations, collaboration meetings, adapting materials as well as other aspects of service management. These can all make providing quality education to children with visual impairments difficult to accomplish within the time given by district and school administrators. In order to ensure quality education, including the Expanded Core Curriculum for visually impaired children, a TV1 must have a manageable caseload. Not having a manageable caseload affects not only the education of children, but also the stress level and attrition of qualified teachers. The stress and attrition of TVIs could lead to further reduction of quality of service for BC's visually impaired population. One way to ensure quality education is being provided is to make sure a TVI has a manageable caseload. This can be accomplished through conducting a caseload analysis. British Columbia does not have a standard method of caseload analysis for its TVIs. Some school districts may be using an established method of caseload analysis, but many are not. Because the incidence of visual impairments for school-aged children is relatively low, teachers may be providing service to children in many districts, and their caseloads should be manageable as well. It is hoped that having one standard method throughout British Columbia will ensure continuity throughout the province as well as provide administrators with a basis for accountability. To establish a standard caseload analysis for BC, a review of already established methods of caseload analysis for TVIs was conducted. Using the same population of students, children attending the Howe Sound School District during the 2002/2003 school year who had been referred for TVI services, each caseload analysis method was utilized. The results and methods of the caseload analysis were compared by professionals in the educational field of visual impairments through a questionnaire and focus group discussion. Their comments and recommendations were compiled and served as a basis for creating a new British Columbia caseload analysis tool (B-CAT).

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