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July 13th 2010:Turning Vision Challenges into Visible Successes

Melanie Cooper, the first legally blind teacher to graduate in Ontario, founded the Connect Learning Centre. Dr Stuart Wittenstein is the superintendent of the California School for the Blind. Melanie explains her experience with vision loss and the challenges it created for her. She talks about the history of Connect Learning Centre, and speaks about the types of vision challenges of the adults attending the center. She discusses the career paths for the trainees when they leave the center. Dr Wittenstein describes the history and work of the California School for the Blind. He talks about th

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Melanie Cooper

Melanie Cooper founded of the Connect Learning Centre which recently opened in Toronto. She’s a visually impaired teacher who has experienced many challenges. She became legally blind while a 21 year old university student when she suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed on the left side. She had to interrupt her 4th year at the university to undergo extensive rehabilitation. Throughout her rehab, she maintained a positive attitude, determined to fulfill her dream to be a teacher. For her re-training in basic life skills, she attended a program provided by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It was this program, she says, that changed her life. Then she return
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Stuart Wittenstein

Dr Stuart Wittenstein is an experienced teacher and administrator in programs for children who are blind or visually impaired. He’s in his 15th year as superintendent of the California School for the Blind. He’s president of the Council of Schools for the Blind, a national organization of superintendents of special schools for blind learners. He’s co-editor of the textbook “Collaborative Assessment: Working with Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired”. He’s the chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. A strong advocate for Braille literacy, he’s taught Braille at Hunter College and Teachers College, Columbia University. He’s a major wr
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