Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)
provides technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

TASN KIC Conference: Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities, Including Cortical Vision Impairment

December 03, 2021 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm


Students with significant disabilities, including those with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) pose an overwhelming challenge to professionals who are working to build students’ communication and literacy skills.  This session will give an overview of evidence-based emergent literacy activities: shared reading, predictable chart writing, alphabet/phonological awareness activities, scribbling/writing with the alphabet, and independent reading. Because the ability to communicate is central to all literacy learning, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) will be infused throughout the workshop, including resources for light tech AAC supports. Suggestions for modifying materials for students with CVI will be shown throughout the day. Participants will leave with a list of practical ideas for Monday morning!


About Gretchen:

Gretchen has worked in the field of assistive technology and literacy for students with significant disabilities for over 25 years.  She is an educator and an occupational therapist.  Her primary focus has been on augmentative and alternative communication and literacy for students with the most significant disabilities.  She has worked in a variety of educational settings developing model classrooms, developing school based assistive technology centers, providing teacher and related service provider trainings, participating in assistive technology assessment teams and working directly with students and staff in the classroom.  Gretchen has taught university classes and presents nationally and internationally on these subjects.  She is currently the Director of Assistive Technology and Literacy Instruction at the International Academy of Hope in New York City.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Summarize the 6 emergent literacy components recommended by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies to be included in a daily schedule for all students who have not yet developed conventional literacy.
  2. Identify at least 3 strategies for modifying literacy materials for students with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI).  
  3. Identify 3 activities for supporting emergent writing using an alternative pencil which contains the full alphabet.
  4. Summarize 2 alphabet activities.
  5. Summarize 2 phonological awareness activities.
  6. Identify 3 resources for age respectful, accessible books.

This session will not be recorded. 


Kansas Infinitec, Infinite Potential Through Technology



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Time December 03, 2021 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Check In at 08:00 AM
Format Meet Online
5.5 Professional Learning Contact Hours
Provider(s) Infinitec
Contact Kansas Infinitec
Trainer Gretchen Hanser PhD, MS, OTR/L
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