Dr. Irene Topor is an associate professor of practice for the specialization in visual impairment at The University of Arizona in Tucson. For the last 22 years, she has prepared teachers to work with children who are low vision or blind. Her job responsibilities include teaching the basic and advanced low vision and visual functioning and methods of teaching students who have visual impairments courses. She also places and supervises students in practica and internship sites in Tucson, Phoenix, and northern Arizona. She is certified as a low vision therapist and teacher of children with visual impairments.
Dr. Topor is the coordinator of the state VI Phoenix distance education grant to prepare 20-40 teachers in the area of visual impairment. She is also the co-principal investigator (with Dr. Jane Erin) of the federally funded grant, Preparation of Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments through Parallel Models, with Community Mentor Support. This grant will prepare 30 VI teachers with on-campus and summers-only programs. Other activities include teaching the FVA course as an adjunct professor at Cal State University, Los Angeles.
She has worked as a local and national consultant for programs serving students who are low vision or blind in the areas of vision assessment and instruction. For example, she presented information about children who have traumatic brain injury and visual function to 80 participants at the U of A Speech and Hearing Grunewald-Blitz Clinic for Communication Disorders, Pediatric TBI: From Injury to Recovery Conference. She also did a one-day presentation on functional vision assessment to 100 participants at the AER Utah State Conference in Salt Lake City.
Dr. Topor has authored and co-authored seven chapters in textbooks that are used by the field of visual impairment on topics such as functional vision assessment, instruction of students with low vision, diversity, and visual impairment, and collaboration among team members serving students with visual impairments.
As a certified personal trainer through the American Council of Exercise, Dr. Topor has provided opportunities for students to be fit and healthy through offering three National Sports Education Camps, the establishment of Arizona Association of Athletes who are Blind and Visually Impaired.