PRCVI provides the following services to students with visual impairments, and their teachers and parents.
- Alternate Format Instructional Materials
- Specialized Equipment
- Professional Resource Publications
- Braille Services
- Materials Produced by PRCVI
- Training for Educational Assistants and Transcribers
- PRCVI Outreach Coordinators
Alternate Format Instructional Materials
Our alternate format materials for primary and secondary students includes braille, large print, and a variety of digital formats available to registered users through ARC-BC.
Our specialized equipment and resources for loan include:
- assessment materials
- braille writers
- beginning braille resources
- talking calculators
- science models
- tactile maps, globes and diagrams
- mathematical aids and kits
- early learning materials and kits
All alternate format instructional resources and specialized equipment are listed in the PRCVI online catalogue. Ordering is restricted to the student’s vision teacher or their designate.
Professional Resource Publications
Our professional library includes books, kits, digital resources and journals pertaining to visual impairment, blindness and deaf-blindness. This collection is available for loan to teachers in public and group I or II independent schools.
PRCVI has a mandate to produce BC provincially recommended learning resources in Braille to meet the instructional needs of students K-12.
The process of transcribing textbooks into high-quality Braille resources is time-consuming and expensive; however, producing them in one centre saves costs to individual schools. PRCVI will seek to borrow Braille books from other resource centres or libraries where possible, and similarly, we loan out our resources thus saving costs and time for other provinces.
Materials Produced By PRCVI
We prioritize the production of provincially recommended textbooks and examinations. PRCVI is not able to produce consumable worksheets, teachers’ blackline masters and portions of workbooks; this is a responsibility of the individual school districts. However, in certain circumstances PRCVI will strive to assist school districts with workbooks, time and finances permitting. It is always worth checking with us before undertaking a large workbook, especially if it is being used in its entirety or as the primary teaching resource.
We produce high-quality e-text which has been checked for accuracy and formatted to Canadian Braille Authority (now known as Braille Literacy Canada) standards. All available digital files may be downloaded directly from ARC-BC. These files can be viewed on an electronic device with a refreshable Braille display; however they do not contain any tactile diagrams. In some cases, PRCVI provides supplementary tactile volumes to accompany ARC-BC e-text files. Braille displays and screen readers such as JAWS will not display spatial math, scientific formulas or font attributes well, so we are not able to produce math or higher level science materials in e-text.
Corel Files (.cdr)
The PRCVI Corel Draw braille tactile collection is available for download on ARC-BC. The catalogue only contains the most commonly used images; not all images from any particular textbook are available online.
In order to ensure that your students will have the materials they require PRCVI would like to receive all requests for transcription well in advance. In some cases, we already hold the required books but if we have to transcribe them this process will take up to eight months where there are maps and/or diagrams, (this includes transcribing, creating tactile diagrams, proofreading, embossing, binding, cataloguing, labeling and shipping). We normally have a production queue so our team is committed many months ahead of time.
PRCVI sends out a reminder each year, normally at the beginning of March, for braille requests to be submitted for the following school year. Even if your student is on a semester system, we still need to know what they will require for the second semester to ensure their request gets prioritized in the production queue. Where schools are reluctant to confirm class allocations or resources anticipated, PRCVI Outreach Coordinators are available to assist you to work with school administrators. Classroom teachers and administrators need to understand the importance of knowing what materials are needed early in order for your student to receive the alternate format learning resources they require to meet their learning objectives.
Training for Educational Assistants and Transcribers
We do support the school districts by offering training to educational assistants in the Literary and Nemeth Braille Transcriber Courses. Please refer to the Braille Instructional Program for Educational Assistants page.
Our highly skilled team of Alternate Format Transcribers offer training programs on Braille Translation software and the production of tactile illustrations. They also offer ongoing support via email or telephone to individual transcribers and teachers in the province. The Outreach Coordinators are happy to offer suggestions on implementation and appropriate format choices available. Emails or phone calls to transcribers or coordinators are welcome any time and their contact info can be found on the PRCVI contact page.
PRCVI Outreach Coordinators
PRCVI Outreach Coordinators are qualified Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments. Upon request, they provide a variety of support services to school districts, teachers of the visually impaired and district administrators.
These services include:
- Consultation support to district administrators, teachers of the visually impaired and other professionals who work directly with students who are blind or partially sighted, including students with additional disabilities (e.g. caseload analysis, caseload management, appropriate format selection and consultation around specific student needs).
- Assistance in the selection, administration and interpretation of assessment tools and inventories (e.g. functional vision assessment).
- Facilitate resource development and implementation of the expanded core curriculum areas and consultation in the selection and adaptation of student learning materials.
- Collaborate on the development and implementation of various student activity days.
- Provide leadership in research projects, best practice initiatives and the development of instructional resources (e.g. GPS Project, Provincial Vision Focus Group, Shared Vision multi-interest group).
- Present and coordinate professional development activities specific to best practices in the education of students with visual impairments.
- Review and approval of Certification of Eligibility for vision resources requests.
- Lead and coordinate the Accessible Resource Centre (ARC-BC).
For more information, please see the PRCVI Outreach Services page.