Garrison Tsinajinie - Visual Impairments - University of Arizona

Garrison Tsinajinie is of the Black Streak Wood People (Tsi’naajinii) born into the Big Water Clan (Tótsohnii) from the Navajo Nation. He attended the University of Arizona (UA) and completed his Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Special Education in 2010. While an undergraduate Mcnair Scholar and in collaboration with faculty mentors, Garrison found his appreciation for experimental design by exploring self determination theory and the vitality of its relationship to promote independence, specifically among Native Americans with visual impairments. The research he conducted with the UA McNair Achievement Program allowed him to transition into a Masters of Arts program in special education to further specialize in teaching students with visual impairments. In 2011, he completed his Masters of Arts in Special Education with the UA Specialization in Visual Impairment Program. From 2011­2016, he worked as an Itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) with the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind ­ Eastern Highlands Regional Cooperative. As an itinerant TVI, Garrison worked with children from ages 3 ­- 21 within multiple school districts on the Navajo Reservation evaluating students with visual impairments through functional vision and learning media assessments, using data to convene with team members to plan appropriate student centered individualized education plans, and implementing programs through direct instruction using his students’ primary literacy media. During summer breaks, he has worked with the Navajo Nation Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation in providing training to adults with visual impairments in independent living skills and assistive technology. Most recently, he has worked with young adults transitioning to high school as an Orientation and Mobility Intern with the Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired Ready­Set­Go Summer Program. Garrison has been a member of the Arizona Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired since 2010. Garrison will return to the University of Arizona to complete doctoral study in special education. He would like to conduct further research to justify the improvement of services and funding for children and adults with visual impairments in rural communities. In his spare time, Garrison enjoys listening to audiobooks, traveling, and camping.