Internet Resources for Parents
Parents, Kids, and Teachers
Recommended websites and online newsletters for parents of young children with blindness, visual impairment, or visual impairment with multiple disabilities.
Parenting & General Information
In Touch: The Newsletter of the New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects
Watertown, Mass.: New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects
Click on Resources for full-text archives of the newsletter since 2002. Offers "information that is useful for parents, teachers, and administrators who have children or students who are deafblind."
See/Hear: A Quarterly Newsletter about Visual Impairments and Deafblindness for Families and Professionals
Austin: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Newsletter rich in information about the development and education of children with visual impairments or deafblindness. Searchable by topic; back issues to 1997 are archived online.
Future Reflections: The National Federation of the Blind Magazine for Parents and Teachers of Blind Children
Baltimore: National Federation of the Blind
"Covers the issues surrounding blind children as they grow from birth through college. Each issue provides resources and information for parents and teachers as well as a positive philosophy about blindness." Full text of issues to 1991 are online.
SESA Newsletter / Keeping in Touch Newsletter
Anchorage: Special Education Service Agency
Click on Newsletters. SESA Newsletter is a rich source of information for parents of children with disabilities, including visual impairmens. Keeping in Touch is for parents of children with deafblindness. Be sure to check the excellent factsheets in The Reference Shelf.
CHARGE Accounts: A Quarterly Newsletter for Family and Friends
Columbia, Missouri: CHARGE Syndrome Foundation
On online newsletter focusing on the needs and concerns of parents whose children have CHARGE Syndrome, many of whom are deafblind.
Deafblind Focus / News and Notes
Terre Haute: Indiana Deafblind Services Project, Blumberg Center, Indiana State University
Deafblind Focus "typically presents information on a single topic related to issues for children with deafblindness." News and Notes focuses on regional events and announcements but occasionally offers excellent topical articles.
San Francisco: California Deaf-Blind Services
Click on Newsletters. Each issue focuses on a concern of parents whose children are deafblind. Click on Fact Sheets for a large selection of useful topical information.
New York: Lighthouse International
Click on Newsletters and Publications. Practical advice for parents of children with visual impairments.
Freeman, Peggy. Deafblind Disabled Baby: Program of Care for Parents of the Deafblind Baby with Multiple Disabilities
Download at http://dblink.org/lib/docs/freeman-7.doc, 2001.
The author is both the mother of a deafblind daughter and a teacher of students with deafblindness. Aimed at parents of an infant with deafblindness, this booklet offers excellent advice for bonding, establishing communication, fostering relationships, and stimulating sensory development.
"The Reference Shelf: The Strength of Siblings"
Anchorage, AK: Special Education Service Agency
Packed with helpful advice and information.
"Brothers and Sisters: Supporting Siblings of Children Who Are Deaf-Blind"
San Francisco: California Deaf-Blind Services Fact Sheets
http://www.sfsu.edu/~cadbs/32BrothersSisters.pdf (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Brief but to-the-point, this overview helps in understanding the perspective of siblings of children with disabilities.
Columbus: Ohio Legal Rights Services
How parents can understand and provide for the emotional needs of children whose sibling has a disability.
"Braille Resources for Parents"
New York: American Foundation for the Blind
Age-appropriate ideas for encouraging literacy skills by making braille a natural and enjoyable part of everyday life.
"Good Toys for Blind Kids: Suggestions from Parents"
Baltimore: National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Tested and approved by kids. Many toys are simple and inexpensive.
Toys: Universal Tool for Learning, Communication and Inclusion for Children with Disabilities
Minneapolis: Simon Technology Center
12-page booklet with guidelines for selecting toys. Includes list of developmental areas and the types of toys that stimulate them.
Let's Play: A Guide to Toys for Children with Special Needs
Toy Industry Foundation, Inc.; Alliance for Technology Access; AFB
Toys are coded as appropriate for children with physical, visual, hearing, or developmental disabilities. Describes why toy is appropriate, so parents can apply that knowledge to the selection of other toys.
Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids
Toys R Us, 2005
Toys in this guide are selected for qualities that stimulate the skills and development of children with disabilities. Symbols show what abilities are promoted, e.g., cognitive, fine motor skills, etc. Many toys are appropriate for children with visual impairment are featured.
"Recipes for Fun"
Visually Impaired Preschool Services, in Future Reflections, Convention issue, 2002.
Recipes for making bubble compound, modeling clay, finger paints, etc., from simple, inexpensive ingredients.
New York: American Foundation for the Blind
This is probably the best single source of online information about your child's educational rights and what you need to know to be your child's advocate. Be sure to check the Related Links as well.
"Are all your students with visual impairments receiving appropriate services?: An update on the National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities"
See/Hear Newsletter, v.7, n.4, Fall 2002, pp. 30-31, Austin: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
A succinct checklist and action plan for assessing the quality of education offered to children who are blind, visually impaired, or multiply handicapped.
National Center for Low-Incidence Disabilities, University of Northern Colorado
A collection of comments parents often hear at their children's Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, with exploration of the underlying issues and suggested responses that are respectful and effective.
Both of the following books are aimed at teachers, but provide information useful to parents. The author explores the impact of visual impairment on infants and young children, and offers activities and exercises for stimulating growth and development.
Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments
Bishop, Virginia. Austin: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Download at http://www.tsbvi.edu/curriculum-a-publications/1051-infants-and-toddlers-with-visual-impairments-by-virginia-bishop
Focuses on infants and toddlers.
Preschool Children with Visual Impairments
Bishop, Virginia. Austin: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Download at http://www.tsbvi.edu/curriculum-a-publications/3/1069-preschool-children-with-visual-impairments-by-virginia-bishop
Focuses on slightly older children.
http://www.nfadb.org/—The National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB) is a non-profit, volunteer-based family association. Our philosophy is that individuals who are deaf-blind are valued members of society and are entitled to the same opportunities and choices as other members of the community. NFADB is the largest national network of families focusing on issues surrounding deaf-blindness.
http://www.hknc.org/—HKNC is a national program that provides evaluation, short-term comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training, work experience training and assistance to students for job and residential placements. HKNC operates an extensive nationwide network of field services through its ten regional offices that provide consultation and technical assistance to persons with deaf-blindness and their families and to public and private agencies in their regions.
http://www.dblink.org/—DB-LINK is a federally funded information and referral service that collects, develops, and distributes information to help improve the education and lives of children and youth who are deaf-blind. Services include: an information center where information specialists are available to respond to individual requests for information, including in-depth research; referrals to other organizations; topical publications on issues related to the education of deaf-blind children (some available in Spanish); and an extensive web site containing access to the DB-LINK electronic catalog and resource databases, full text copies of DB-LINK publications, links to other deaf-blind and disability resources on the Internet, and job opportunities. All DB-LINK services and materials are free of charge.
http://www.aadb.org/—American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) is a national consumer advocacy organization for people who have combined hearing and vision impairments. AADB is open to all persons who are deaf-blind and individuals directly concerned with their well being, including spouses, children, friends, and health care professionals.
http://www.nichcy.org/—NICHCY provides free information to assist parents, educators, caregivers, advocates and others in helping children and youth with disabilities participate as fully as possible in school, at home, and in the community. Services include: personal responses to specific questions, referrals to other organizations/sources of help, prepared information packets, publications on current issues, technical assistance to parent and professional groups.
http://www.pacer.org/—An educational advocacy organization providing parent education and training to help families understand the special laws and obtain appropriate special education school programs for their children and young adults. Offers workshops and programs on a variety of topics as well as in-service training, interpreter services, computer resource center, transition planning, newsletters, booklets, videos, etc. The Alliance, a national technical assistance project, works out of PACER and coordinates the delivery of technical assistance to all parent training and information centers in the U.S. Interpreter services provided at workshops upon request.
http://www.spedex.com/napvi/—"The National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) is a non-profit organization of, by and for parents committed to providing support to the parents of children who have visual impairments…NAPVI is a national organization that enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities…NAPVI provides leadership, support, and training to assist parents in helping children reach their potential."
http://www.e-advisor.us/—e-ADVISOR is a collaborative project of eleven agencies that serve children with visual impairments. The information is presented in non-technical language, and is designed to facilitate communication between parents, teachers and doctors of visually impaired children. Includes information sheets on eye disorders; virtual tours and tutorials; parent narratives and resources; and discussion boards.
Resources assembled by the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library at Perkins School for the Blind. We invite you to contact the Samuel P. Hayes Research Librarian at 617-972-7250 or HayesLibrary@Perkins.org with any specific questions or requests.