Kaizen addresses the specialized instructional needs of blind and visually-impaired immigrants and refugees learning English as a Second Language (ESL).
The program also provides training, consultation and support for volunteers and professionals working with beginning, intermediate and advanced new English learners who are blind or visually impaired.
News and information
In 2000 and 2001 Kaizen staff conducted its Population Survey, subtitled Survey To Gain An Estimate Of The Population Of Potential New English Learners With Visual Limitations In The Seattle Area And Estimate Of How Many Are Currently Receiving Assistance In Learning English And Orientation To American Culture. Read or download the complete 2000-2001 Survey.
Read or download a paper that gives an overview of the special problems encountered by new English learners with visual limitations plus:
Read or download a paper titled Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities.
This paper was submitted by Robby Barnes and Sylvie Kashdan of Kaizen and Cecilia Erin Walsh of St. James ESL Program as part of our participation in the Symposium and published in: A Celebration of Solutions: National Symposium on Literacy for Adults with Visual Disabilities. The symposium was organized by the American Foundation for the Blind's National Literacy Center and took place in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 20, 2002.
Use the above link to read or download an article written by Kaizen's Curriculum Coordinator Sylvie Kashdan. It describes how the core staff combines personal knowledge of adapting to living with visual impairments and extensive knowledge and experience of how to tailor teaching to diverse students’ individual needs and goals; problems faced by immigrants and refugees with visual limitations; and some approaches to teaching English to immigrants and refugees with visual limitations.
Extending the Bridge: Helping Tutors, Teachers, and Other Service Providers and Their Organizations to Better Serve Blind and Visually-Impaired Adults Learning English as a Second Language (ESL), Focusing on Literacy Acquisition, a six-session series of information and discussion.
This series was presented in May and June of 2003. It was funded primarily by a grant from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). In 2002, the presenters, Sylvie Kashdan, Robby Barnes and Cecilia Erin Walsh, attended a three-day training presented by the American Foundation For The Blind National Literacy Center, entitled Bridging the Gap: Best Practices for Instructing Adults Who Are Visually Impaired and Have Low Literacy Skills. Following this training we were invited to submit a proposal for sharing what we had learned. Hence, this series, Extending the Bridge. Other funding sources were St. James ESL Program, Kaizen Program for New English Learners with Visual Limitations, and Washington State Office of Adult Literacy. We also received help from volunteers with research and organizational tasks.
If you want further information or have specific questions about assisting blind and visually-impaired immigrants and refugees to learn English, feel free to contact us by email or phone.
We will be glad to discuss your challenges and interests as well as share materials not yet posted on this site.Additional Information
Kaizen is a non-profit corporation recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Revenue Code. Contributions to the program are tax-deductible. Kaizen does not exclude any person in any way from participation as student, instructor, staff, board member, volunteer assistant, or in any other role because of race, ethnic, political or social background. Kaizen welcomes and invites the participation of people from all backgrounds in furthering the purposes of the program.
Kaizen | 810-A Hiawatha Place | South Seattle, WA 98144-2824