Early Childhood

for Children with Visual Impairments or Blindness

Because a great deal of an infant's learning is through the visual mode, it's important to understand the impact of visual impairment on child development.  Find out what types of intervention are most effective during these crucial formative years.  For resources specific to children with multiple disabilities including visual impairment or deafblindness, regardless of age or developmental stage, begin your search in the area for Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities or use the search box for topics of interest.

Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

Developmental Milestones: What Do They Mean?
Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
This article provides a simple introduction to the sequence of skills that children master as they learn and grow.

The Early Years, Future Reflections
National Foundation of the Blind (NFB)
This special issue of Future Reflections is devoted to the first years of a child's life.  It includes sections on learning at home, movement and mobility, touch, literacy, and formal education.

The Impact of Visual Impairment on Development
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Chris Strickling outlines the effect of vision loss on different areas of development, including sensory, motor, self-concept, cognition, social skills, and language.

A Unique Developmental Pattern: The Young Child with Blindness/Visual Impairment
Blind Children's Fund
Tanni Anthony explores the impact of visual impairment on development.

What Do Babies See?
Lighthouse International
Penny Glass describes what a typical baby can see in the first year of life.

What's Different about the Way Visually Impaired Children Learn?
Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
This article lists some of the ways in which children with a visual impairment learn about the world around them.  Specific suggestions are included on activities to encourage growth and development.

Research: Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

Divergent Adaptive Strategies in the Acquisition of Developmental Skills in Children Who Are Blind
International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Prof. Michael Brambring studies the alternative strategies that blind children apply to accomplish tasks, then uses that knowledge to promote the acquisition of developmental skills. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Promises to Keep: Early Education in the United States
International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Kay Alicyn Ferrell provides an overview of education for young children with visual impairments, including a brief history, the law, and a look at some of the major issues.

Organizations and Resources to Explore: Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

Blind Babies Foundation
The collection of fact sheets on this site contains information on six common visual diagnoses, as well as information on eye specialists and vision assessments.

Blind Children's Center
This site provides information on common eye conditions, links to additional resources, and a listing of publications available to order.

Blind Children's Resource Center
Information about blindness, education and development, independent movement and travel, sports, games, and leisure activities can be found on this site.

Early Childhood Curricula & Resources
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
This annotated list of curricula and resources provides a description of each item, with a list of subjects covered.

Early Childhood Products
American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
APH offers a wide range of products for parents and professionals to use in the education of young children, including assessment tools, curricula, and instructional materials.

General Information about Child Development

Child Development
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This site contains information on child development, including developmental screening and positive parenting tips.

Division for Early Childhood
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
This site contains position papers, information on public policy and advocacy, and publications available for purchase.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
NICHCY has sections on Help for Babies (0-3) and Early Intervention Providers.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)
NECTAC works to improve service systems and outcomes for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children with special needs and their families.  Their site contains extensive information on a wide range of topics, webinars, policy, and related information.

Zero to Three
A wealth of information can be found here on all topics related to infants and toddlers, and the adults who spend time with them.  The online information includes many specific tips on topics ranging from play to sleep.