Julie Conner, a teacher at the Virginia School for the Visually Impaired, works with a female student with vision impairment.
This article originally appeared on the George Mason University website and is reprinted with permission.
The United States is in desperate need of educators who can read and teach braille, according to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Less than 10% of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in the U.S. are able to read braille, according to a 2009 report by the NFB.
But few U.S. colleges offer programs that prepare teachers to educate students who are visually impaired, according to Kimberly Avila, professor-in-charge of the teacher preparation program in blindness and vision impairment within the College of Education and Human Development. Avila is also the coordinator for the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment.