Sometimes you find a great idea or resource you’re eager to share with others in your field. Or maybe you have a question or challenge you’d like advice on.

For school personnel supporting students who are Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI), regional swap meets provide an opportunity to gather, learn, and “swap” resources and strategies. The format might differ slightly between swap meets, but a portion of the day is typically set aside for a few planned presentations before opening the discussion to anyone who would like to share and discuss new ideas and resources.

In January, teacher consultants for the visually impaired (TCVI) and orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists from Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties attended the Tri-County Swap Meet.

Before the swap began, MDE-LIO Education Consultant Pat Love-Sypho and Tech Team Member Ann McKay-Bacon discussed assistive technology assessments, and MDE-LIO Education Consultant Johanna Brutvan gave an overview of cortical visual impairment. O&M specialists learned about audio games from ObjectiveEd and gained white cane resources and tips from Dawn Anderson, an assistant professor of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University.

For the swap portion of the day, each participant typically brings something to share, such as a helpful website or an effective strategy for a topic like braille instruction or technology. Participants may also pose a question about a challenge they’re experiencing. Each participant has a chance to share their resource or pose a question, and other participants weigh in on the topic or ask their own questions. After the swap, the group often discusses various topics and challenges related to their role.

Participate in a Swap Meet

In addition to the annual Tri-County Swap Meet, swap meets are also held in West Michigan and in the Metro Detroit area. To receive information on upcoming swap meets, subscribe to the Michigan VI listserv by emailing susanlangendonk@gmail.com.