Rachel Schles - Blindness/Visually Impaired - University of Pittsburgh 

Rachel Schles is excited to be moving to Pittsburgh to pursue her PhD in Vision Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 4 years Rachel worked as an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) in Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia. During her time in Virginia, Rachel placed an emphasis on collaborating with other TVIs in her district to develop consist, high quality assessments for students with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities or deafblindness. Rachel was a founding member of the vision program’s first Parent Outreach Committee, and continually searched for ways to help families with limited English proficiency learn more about the special education process so that they could advocate for their children’s needs. As a NLCSD Scholar, Rachel is eager to expand an approach she developed to use student portfolios and project based learning to teach students with visual impairments expanded core curriculum skills. Rachel is currently Chair of the Education Curriculum Division of AER and Editor of the CollAERborations Newsletter. Rachel received a MEd. in Visual Disabilities at Vanderbilt University, and a BA in History at Vassar College. Born and raised in New York, Rachel enjoyed living in Tennessee and Virginia, but is looking forward to moving to Pennsylvania to once again experience all four seasons and hopes to go snowshoeing more often! In her free time Rachel is an avid quilter, enjoys cooking, and loves to travel.