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Interdisciplinary Training for Early Intervention and Visual Impairment (IT-EIVI)

Research Team

Name Name

Principal Investigator: Mackenzie Savaiano

Co-Principal Investigators: HyeonJin Yoon, Johanna Higgins

Funding Information

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education—Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Award Date: Oct 1, 2021

End Date: Sep 30, 2026


This project is designed to recruit and train new teachers in low-incidence areas, such as visual impairments. It focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to appropriate assessment, instruction and accommodations for children with visual impairment in itinerant settings. 

The project is a collaboration among the three degree programs in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders — early childhood special education, teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs), and orientation and mobility (O&M).

The program is designed for non-traditional graduate students — typically, working teachers seeking to slightly adjust their career focus.

Three cohorts of 12 scholars each will be recruited from the rural Mid-Plains region, where there are shortages of TVIs and O&M specialists. 

The two-year curriculum is primarily online, with some collaborative in-person coursework and field experiences. The grant covers the cost of tuition, textbooks, summer travel and lodging, and other academic expenses.

Scholars will acquire competencies identified by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Academy of Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) as necessary for TVIs and O&M specialists.

Early Education & Development, Academic Intervention & Learning

Mackenzie Savaiano, associate professor of practice in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, is leading a project to recruit and train new teachers to meet the needs of students with visual impairments.
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