VISTAS Education Partners (VISTAS) is a specialized educational services company that is dedicated to providing high-quality Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) instructional and consultative services for vision impaired students in K-12 schools throughout New Jersey. VISTAS promotes self-empowerment for individuals with vision impairments through school and community-based learning opportunities that support learning in essential areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum. We believe that all students with vision impairments deserve access to qualified VI professionals who maintain high expectations, implement innovative, research-based, learning, and maintain effective, collaborative relationships with members of a student’s educational team. VISTAS was founded in 2016 by Monique Coleman, who has more than 17 years of experience as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) with students in public and private school settings. Monique started VISTAS in order to expand her work in schools and fill a critical need for out of school time enrichment activities that are accessible for kids with visual impairments. Over the past couple of years, VISTAS organized several fun nights for vision impaired kids and their families, held its inaugural summer camp for kids with special needs, offered Saturday enrichment classes, and facilitated recreational activities by coordinating salsa dance classes for vision impaired teens and adults.
Owner and President
Monique began her TVI career at St Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, NJ, where she worked for several years as a classroom teacher for students with multiple disabilities and an early intervention specialist. Monique has also worked for many years as an independent, itinerant TVI for various public and private schools in NJ. Monique is passionate about braille and technology literacy, educational equity, and inclusive education. Monique is pursuing national literary braille transcribing certification through the National Federation of the Blind. Monique graduated from Teachers College with a MA in Special Education, specializing in Blindness and Visual Impairment. Interested in research-based educational practice and issues of educational equity, Monique is currently a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University.
As a native braille reader and experienced TVI, Kristen is a highly qualified braille instructor who teaches students from K-12. Kristen has been totally blind since birth. She earned her B.A. in English with minors in German and secondary education. She holds a M.A. in gifted education, a M.Ed. in teaching students who are blind or visually impaired, and she worked as a TVI at West Virginia School for the Blind. Kristen also has an MFA in writing fiction. She is currently the curriculum and content editor for Learning Ally’s College Success Program and is the author of several published nonfiction articles and two short fiction books. Kristen lives in Highland Park with her husband and two young sons.