SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Message from the President, Teresa Gest
Greetings Michigan AER Members,
Congratulations to everyone who continues to focus on learning and education that impacts blind and visually impaired persons despite the continued challenges COVID-19 has brought to our nation. I’d like to share some highlights of this year’s conference. There were a total of 29 sessions available targeting orientation & mobility, teaching children with visual impairments, and rehabilitation. We had a total of 225 attendees, and were able to extend access to the conference content through May 20th.
There has been a delay in receiving your continuing education certificates. The online platform of this year’s conference brought some unexpected glitches. The board members are volunteers and are working diligently with outside services to get this done as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience as we work through these delays. If you have not yet received your SCECHs certificates for the completed courses, they should be arriving soon.
MAER board members have already started planning for the 2022 conference. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Delta Conference Center in Kalamazoo on April 21 & 22, 2022. Additional information will be available in the fall. If interested in presenting, please contact a board member.
The eleven member board consists of the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and six Directors. This elected group of professionals from various fields are committed to our mission to promote, develop and improve all phases of education and rehabilitation of persons with BVI of all ages. One of our main purposes is to coordinate and offer an excellent conference. The yearly conference has offered professionals within the field of blindness and low vision something to increase their skill set and network within our field. Past conferences have set the standard we continue to work towards and hope to exceed. We look forward to seeing you there.
MAER President 2021-22
NEWS FOR YOU
Sports Camp! The Sports Education Camp team and the Michigan Blind Athletic Association have been hard at work to adapt our camp to a virtual setting! This will be a series of FREE 30-60 minutes Zoom meetings where we will highlight a sport and its adaptations. This series will begin Friday May 7th at 6pm. Future dates will be sporadic throughout the summer. The next event is Friday, July 16 at 6pm.
During the live event we will have some level of interactive instruction and an opportunity for you to ask questions. This is open to youth with blindness and low vision between the ages of 9-18, low vision specialists, and teachers. For more information follow the Michigan Blind Athletic Association or request to join our private Facebook group at this link: Michigan Sports Camp for Athletes with Visual Impairments Facebook Group. Events are being recorded and are available on the Facebook page!
We are excited to do this and can’t wait to see you there!
We hope to cover the following in this series
- Blind Hockey
- Basic skills
- Personal fitness
- 5-a-side Soccer
- The adaptive sports model
- And more
Submitted by Leanne Ford
Upcoming BVI Events from MDE-LIO
Don’t forget to check out the exciting events that are coming up this fall from MDE-LIO! Camp Tuhsmeheta will be opening back up in the fall, there will be webinars for best practices in the field, an online webinar series about finances for middle and high school students who are blind/visually impaired, braille class and more! Visit the events page for more information: Home Upcoming Events
DID YOU KNOW?
MARSE Rule Changes Effective June 21, 2021
Changes to R 340.1708 and R 340.1721e of the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education are effective June 21, 2021.
The rule changes to R 340.1708: Visual Impairment explained; determination address eligibility for special education programs and services for students with visual impairments.
Changes to R 340.1721e: Individualized Education Program changes address procedures for developing individualized education programs for students who are placed in special education programs outside of their resident districts.
The Office of Special Education has also updated the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education with Related Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Federal Regulations to reflect the rule changes.
If you have any questions about these rules or other special education questions, contact the Special Education Information Line at 888-320-8384 or email@example.com.
MDE-LIO SUPPORT SERVICES
The MDE-LIO has a team of education consultants who are available to support families and school districts serving students who are BVI. For more information, visit: BVI Outreach Support
In addition the MDE-LIO Support Team was created to help develop competent, informed and knowledgeable teachers and teachers of students who are visually impaired (TVIs), teacher consultants of students who are visually impaired (TCVIs), and certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS) in Michigan schools. For more information, visit: Support for New School Personnel
New Board Members
Please welcome our new Board members, President Patty Killey and Directors Jessica Klenk and Dr. Joe Todd. Thank you to Amy McDonald-Lamiman, Micah Bormann, Patty Killey, and Liz Mulligan for your service on the MAER Board!
SAVE THE DATE! “Gateway to Community” AER International Conference 2022 will be held at Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri July 21-25, 2022.
HANG ON TO YOUR ACVREP CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
At the last meeting of the MAER Board of Directors, the charge for obtaining a replacement ACVREP Certificate of Completion was raised to $25. The decision was based on the need to offset the time involved in providing replacement paperwork.
So, hang on to yours! Create a file for your next recertification and toss all your supporting documents into it for safekeeping!
Submitted by Roberta McCall
MEMBERS SPEAK OUT
Do you have an article, resource, or other information you would like added to the MAER newsletter? Use this opportunity to get information to other members. The next newsletter goes out in January. Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2021!
Visit our new website at Michigan AER.
MAER Board Officers and Directors
Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
PRESIDENT: Teresa Gest
PAST PRESIDENT: Micah Bohrmann
PRESIDENT ELECT: Patty Killey
SECRETARY: Roberta McCall
TREASURER: Amy Schreiner
DIRECTORS: Beth Brabbs, Leanne Ford, Jessica Klenk, John Metz, Amber Strasz, and Dr. Joe Todd
Our AER Mission: To render all possible assistance to the promotion, development and improvement of all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired persons of all ages.