Editor's page.
Author: Geruschat, Duane R.
Pub Date: 02/01/2012
Publication: Name: Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness Publisher: American Foundation for the Blind Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 American Foundation for the Blind ISSN: 0145-482X
Issue: Date: Feb, 2012 Source Volume: 106 Source Issue: 2
Accession Number: 282068137
Full Text: I conducted a little experiment as I drafted this February Editor's Page. Instead of reading the issue from front to back, as I have always done, I wrote the first draft of this editorial by only reading the journal's new structured abstracts. The purpose of my investigation was to determine how accurately I could describe the articles without having read them in their entirety. What I found was that reading the abstracts provided all the talking points I needed to write this overview of the issue, and that reading the full articles did not prompt me to need to change the language of this editorial. Although I learned more details about the studies featured in this month's issue by reading the entire articles, my experiment proved that the new structured abstracts serve their purpose: to provide readers and researchers a new opportunity to quickly and easily assess the methods, outcomes, and implications of a given article.

With structured abstracts, readers are now able to find, on the first page of every article, an introduction that identifies the major issues of a study, how they were examined, what was learned, and how to apply the findings in practical settings. In other words, structured abstracts provide a convenient way for readers to learn about new topics. Since the interests of our field and the populations we serve are incredibly diverse, it is not possible for every article in JVIB to capture readers' attention. I invite each of you to read the structured abstracts in this issue in order to expand your own knowledge on topics that may be of nominal interest to you.

The lead article this month features a description of response to intervention (RTI). According to the authors, RTI has become widely recognized in education. As experienced teachers know, students with visual impairments are rarely considered when new programs are established. The RTI approach is no exception. Since RTI was not conceptualized with the needs of students with visual impairments in mind, it is our responsibility to lead the conversation on the application of RTI for students with visual impairments. This article, by Kamei-Hannan, Holbrook, and Ricci, is required reading for anyone involved in education.

Next, Brown and Beamish describe the changing roles and practices of teachers of students who are visually impaired in Australia. Finding that the role of teachers in Australia is representative of what occurs in most developed countries, the authors identify three main concerns related to teaching: the complexity of the job; the amount of time that that is required to do the job, especially in terms of collaboration; and the importance of the expanded core curriculum.

Colleagues from Norway provide the findings of a retrospective study of the mathematics education of Norwegian braille-reading students. Most studies are conducted on a sample of the population, with the theory being that one can generalize to the entire population by studying a small subset. Although Norway has a relatively small population, it is nevertheless amazing that "all the students who had received braille education in the past four decades prior to the study were included" in the investigation. Rarely does any researcher attempt a study of an entire population. The good news is that Klingenberg and colleagues found braille readers were performing at grade level in mathematics.

The final article evaluates the effectiveness of physical education for children with CHARGE syndrome. Lieberman, Haibach, and Schedlin find that the type of placement and access to a support staff were key predictors of parental satisfaction with physical education.

The issue concludes with a report on the communication skills of a man with autism spectrum disorder and vision loss. Using a single-subject design, Kee and colleagues evaluated a program on eating and drinking behavior.

Practitioners will be certain to find something of interest and that has practice implications in this issue, and I know that the rest of the journal's readers will learn something new in half the time by reading the issue's structured abstracts. That's what I calla win-win situation.


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