Did you know that a struggling student who is clumsy, has poor handwriting and can’t sit still may, in fact be suffering from a vision disorder?  Did you know that 64% of those who don’t graduate high school read at basic or below?  Research shows that 75% of juvenile delinquents suffer from vision disorders. Such disorders are not related to acuity (20/20 vision) and are often referred to as “The Hidden Disability”. Awareness of the relationship between vision disorders and learning is becoming more widely recognized in the academic community; however the symptoms are still almost unknown. It is important for educators in particular and the public in general, to be aware of and alert to the multiple vague symptoms that together indicate a struggling student or athlete may have a vision or visual processing disorder.

We are honored this year to have as Keynote speaker Dr. David Damari, Dean of the Michigan College of Optometry and CVC’s Founding Director.  Dr. Glen Steele is one of the country’s foremost specialists in pediatric vision and will share about how to detect vision disorders in small children and infants.  Patricia Andrich is a leading authority on Retained Primitive Reflexes. And since the re-institution of penmanship into the Mississippi curriculum begins with this school year, her discussion of the relationship between penmanship and brain development will be of particular value.  Dr. Miranda Maynard has recently opened a portion of her clinic dedicated to vision therapy in Pontotoc.  Keri Pickle is an Occupational Therapist with a local rehabilitation center who will provide hands-on instruction in making tools that can be used for vision training in the classroom.

The U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that learning disabilities do NOT include learning problems that are primarily due to visual, hearing or motor disabilities. That is because these disorders are treatable when discovered, and in most cases, correctable. Attendees at this conference will learn the relationship of vision disorders to the learning process.

Targeted Audience: All Teachers and their stakeholders, especially school board and parent organization members, school nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, MDE, and the Legislature.