SECD master’s student receives grant for ability awareness curriculum

Monique Fenner headshot; Barkley Memorial Center photo with red overlay behind

SECD master’s student receives grant for ability awareness curriculum

07 Mar 2023     By Kelcey Buck

Monique Fenner, a student in the orientation and mobility master’s program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was recently awarded a grant to help students without visual impairments better understand and accept their peers with visual impairments. 

Fenner, a teacher of students with visual impairments and blindness (TVI) at Williamsburg James City County Public Schools in Williamsburg, Virginia, was awarded the grant of more than $2,500 from the WJCC Public Schools Foundation. The innovative learning grants funded by the foundation are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize, and reward innovative and creative instructional approaches to the accomplishment of school division objectives.  

“My goal is that students without visual impairments will better understand the experiences of their peers with visual impairments and gain an appreciation for the accommodations made available to them,” Fenner said. “The increased peer understanding and acceptance will help my students with visual impairments more comfortably use their accommodations. This helps them experience greater success in their academic, self-determination, and social interaction skills, while creating a learning environment of respect and collaboration.” 

Fenner plans to use her grant to create an ability awareness curriculum that acknowledges the abilities, supports, experiences and strengths of students with visual impairments through innovative social interactions to reduce the stigma around blindness. With Fenner’s curriculum, students will use low-vision simulation goggles and low-vision tools to complete activities such as reading, writing, math, coding, and games.

Special Education and Communication Disorders
College of Education and Human Sciences

Comprehensive Health & Well-Being