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CEC Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblindness seeks to provide $1,000 to provide support for innovative teaching practices, research, or programs for children with visual impairments. Eligible applicants must be a member of a DVIDB and work in the field of visual impairments.


2021 winner: Erika Fundelius

Project Title: Do all paths lead to the same destination? Impact of preparation on working knowledge of self-determination for teachers of students with visual impairments 

Erica headshot

Erika is beginning her third year this fall as a doctoral student at Florida State University’s Visual Disabilities program. Through two decades of working in the field of education in a variety of capacities, she has developed an interest in early intervention and service delivery to children with visual impairments. She finds working in the field of providing services to students who are blind and who have low vision a challenge due to its low incidence status and society's lack of understanding towards its complexities. Her dissertation research focuses on current working knowledge of self-determination and instructional strategies used for instruction of self-determination by teachers of students with visual impairments. Twitter: Erika_TVICOMS


2022 winner: Debra Hofmeister
Debra Hofmeister

Project Title: The goal of the proposed project is to develop and implement five literacy-based units that will be used to provide individualize instruction to 10 preschool students who have multiple disabilities including visual impairment as part of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Preschool Early Intervention program.

Each unit will include an object cue associated with a song, a book, and an adapted book or story box. An individualized literacy routine will be set up for each student designed to meet his or her unique access and learning needs. All team members will be included in setting up the literacy routine for each student. Collaboration is essential to meeting the unique physical, communication, and sensory needs of each student.


2022 winner: Marites Altuna and Hillary Joy-Sims
Maritas Altuna
Hillary Joy

Project Title: Music & Me.  A monthly 30-minute online session for parents and children ages birth to 5 with visual impairments or deaf-blindness.

 The session is conducted by a music therapist who is also a special education teacher and a teacher for students with visual impairment, with support from the director of the Kansas Deaf-Blind Project. The director is an early childhood special educator, teacher of students with visual impairment, and trained in deaf-blindness. Parents are introduced to music therapy and strategies supporting their child’s learning at home. Children learn meaningful concepts through their interactive participation. This grant proposal will fund Music & Me kits to support the implementation of this project. The kit will be mailed to parents for use at home during and after Music & Me activities. We will gather feedback from families about the quality, relevance, and usefulness of this project to evaluate the effectiveness of our program. 

Last Updated:  21 June, 2021

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