Education for Students with Blindness or Visual Impairments

 

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    Classroom teachers will find information on providing access to the curriculum for students who are blind or visually impaired. These teaching tips, educational strategies, accommodations, and instructional adaptations are useful in both inclusive and special education settings.

    Educating Blind and Visually Impaired Students
    Basic advice for teachers and tutors on working with a student who is blind or visually impaired.

    Instructional Strategies to Help Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
    Ten easy reminders for classroom instructors, compiled by Guilford Technical Community College. Great for handouts, bulletin boards, in-service training. See also this bullet list from the Australian Council for Private Education and Training: Communication tips for teaching students who are blind or vision impaired

    Listening Skills
    BrailleSC.org
    A tip sheet for teaching/practicing listening skills at various grade levels, for students with typical cognitive development. Ideas can be modified according to a child's abilities.

    Tips for Working with Blind Students
    This handout also contains valuable tips on working with the Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) assigned to your classroom or student(s).

    Twelve Tips for Classroom Teachers
    Feedback to general education, from the parent of a child with visual impairment.

     

    Full-Text Articles

    Reading Strategies for Students with Visual Impairments: A Classroom Teacher’s Guide
    Special Education Technology British Columbia
    A “resource to provide classroom teachers with a selection of strategies to address the reading needs of students with visual impairments.”

    Educational Practices
    This section of the DB-LINK website has several articles about educational practices related to students who are deafblind.

    Tactile Graphics: A Beginner's Guide to Graphics for Visually Impaired Children
    The Reginald Phillips Research Programme, University of Sussex
    A teacher's basic introduction to creating tactile graphics.

    Project Math Access
    Research and Development Institute, Sycamore, Illinois
    A comprehensive program that addresses the difficulties visually impaired students encounter when studying math; aimed at improving their skills and academic performance.

    Curriculum Adaptations: Tactual Art, VI Guide
    Enhancing art appreciation in preschool and elementary school children with projects and activities that teach the children to enjoy beauty tactilely.

    Web-Based Organizations and Resources

    AIM in Your State
    This site's state-by-state menu makes it easy to locate, in one place, agency contact information for Accessible Information Materials and National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard(NIMAS) for your U.S. state or territory.

    Carroll Tech
    The Carroll Center for the Blind
    Carroll Tech offers training in popular Windows-based applications to those who use a screen reader or screen magnification program to access a computer.

    Common Core Toolkit
    Engage NY
    The Common Core Toolkit for Parents and Families is a collection of materials and resources that will help parents and families understand the New York State Common Core implementation.

    Division on Visual Impairments
    The Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments (DVI) advances the education of children and youth who have visual impairments that impede their educational progress. Members receive the DVI Quarterly.
    To browse selected articles from the CECDVI archive, visit this Position Papers and DVIQ sections of their website.

    IDEA Reauthorization Update
    Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
    Beth Dennis “provides a summary of the bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate to reauthorize IDEA”; available in English and Spanish.

    The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard(NIMAS) is a technical standard established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that was created to make it possible for students with print disabilities to receive learning materials in formats they need as quickly as possible. NIMAS sources are designed to be easily converted into specialized formats, including braille, audio, large print, and digital text.  Parents approaching accessible educational materials for the first time should begin with Basics for Families.  See also AIM in Your State for local information.

    Oakmont Visual Aids Workshop
    Located in Santa Rosa, CA, the workshop specializes in classroom-quality tactile books and teaching aids. Products are available at no charge to students; schools are asked to pay what they can.

    Scholarships and Grants for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
    American Foundation for the Blind maintains a list of organizations offering financial support for qualifying individuals and academic programs.  Browse them here.

    Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
    This resource from Saskatchewan Learning offers basic information to help provide successful school experiences for students who are blind or visually impaired.

    The PALM Initiative
    The National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials wants to insure that institutions Purchase Accessible Learning Materials; the PALM Initiative was launched to influence standards and policies with publishers and developers, to include accessible features from the design phase.

    Universal Design for Learning
    Perkins Webcasts
    This webcast, produced in partnership with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), outlines the principles of Universal Design for Learning and curriculum reform.

    U.S. Department of Education Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) site
    The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law on Dec. 3, 2004 and ensures “services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.”  This website separates Part B (school-age) and Part C (early education) information for easy reference.

    Video Clips on Blindness Tips
    Washington State School for the Blind
    Video clips on useful skills and various daily activities for students who are blind.