NASHVILLE — Blind children often have to cope with a second handicap, for they rarely receive preschool help in developing learning skills. However, a professor wants to change that with a teaching program he hopes will become a national model.
The program focuses on skills of orientation--sensing where one is in the environment--and learning to move about in those surroundings, said Dr. Everett Hill, assistant professor of special education at Vanderbilt University's George Peabody Teachers College.
"Many blind kids have delayed development because they don't move around well in their environment," Hill said. "It's better to prevent delays early than spend time later on rehabilitation when a child is 18."
Such training traditionally has involved only adults and school-age children because preschoolers are not ready to use canes, cross streets or use public transportation, Hill said.