Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities
Students with multiple disabilities study the Core Curriculum along with their classmates, with accommodations such as tactile aids, alternate formats, and assistive technology. In addition, students with blindness or visual impairment require the Expanded Core Curriculum, with subjects unique to their needs: mastering appropriate literacy mediums, Orientation & Mobility skills, social interaction, leisure, and independence skills. In this section, families and educators will find information on classroom subjects in both the Core and Expanded Core Curriculum for students with multiple disabilities.
Building a Curriculum Bridge: The Challenge of Itinerant Teaching (2008), Provincial Centre: Special Education Technology
Focuses on the learning styles of children with visual impairments with and without additional disabilities and on early orientation and mobility development.
Educational Programming for Deafblind Adolescents: Preparation for Transition to Adult Life, National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness
Mary Zatta's Power Point presentation outlines the range of curricular approaches for adolescents who are deafblind and discusses the considerations in selecting a particular curriculum.
Making Abstract Core Curriculum Accessible to Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities, The Access Center – Webinar Archives
Dr. June Downing identifies "ways to make even abstract core curriculum relevant and meaningful to those students with labels of significant and multiple impairments." This site has links to a Power Point presentation, related resources, and the Webinar recording.
Vision Technology & the Expanded Core Curriculum (2006), Provincial Centre: Special Education Technology
In this training module you will explore vision technologies and learn how to use British Columbia’s Expanded Core Curriculum for Technology to provide effective instruction for students.
Expanded Core Curriculum
This is "an assessment tool designed to pinpoint exactly how a child is currently communicating" and to assist in creating communication goals. This user-friendly online version is aimed at parents whose children have severe multiple disabilities; available in English and Spanish.
Communication Symbols, Project SALUTE
Project SALUTE describes the hierarchy of communication symbols, from most abstract to most concrete. Color photographs of each of the eleven symbols are included; available in English and Spanish..
Tactile Communication Strategies, Project SALUTE
This information sheet provides a thorough introduction to tactile communication strategies, including general interaction tips, suggestions for encouraging communication, and requirements for a communication system; in English and Spanish.
Object Cue, Project SALUTE
Project SALUTE explains object cues, a "concrete means of supporting conversational interactions and language development." Included are examples, advantages, disadvantages, and specific strategies; available in English and Spanish,
Touch Cues, Project SALUTE
This information sheet introduces touch cues, including their purpose, examples of their use, considerations, advantages, and disadvantages; available in English and Spanish.
Tangible Symbols, Project SALUTE
This introduction to tangible symbols includes a definition, examples, considerations, and a list of advantages and disadvantages; available in English and Spanish.
Tangible Symbol Systems: Making the Right to Communicate a Reality for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) – Ideas that Work, Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities
Charity Rowland and Philip Schweigert provide an in-depth introduction to tangible symbol systems, including their purpose, and their use for both receptive and expressive communication. They include information about how to get started and how to monitor and promote progress.
Communication, Family Connect
The articles in this section offer a wealth of information on alternate methods of communication, including symbol systems, schedules, and sign language.
See also: Establishing Communication
Independent Living Skills
The Need for Targeted Instruction in Independent Living Skills in the Curriculum of Students with Visual Impairments (Lewis)
Council for Exceptional Children – Division on Visual Impairments (DVI)
This position paper by Sandra Lewis affirms that "the acquisition of independent living skills is crucial for the post-school success of students who are blind or who have low vision."
Learning through Doing, Blind People's Association
Published in India, this 152-page manual is universally useful for parents and caregivers of children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities. It includes a general introduction, guidelines, checklists of skills, and activities to enhance them; by Blind People's Association in collaboration with the Hilton/Perkins Program.
Toilet Training And Personal Hygiene
Applying Structured Teaching Principles to Toilet Training, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH)
TEACCH outlines the steps in toilet training, including assessment, physical structure, establishing a routine and communication system, and troubleshooting. A list of children's books about toilet training is included.
Toilet Training Made Semi-Easy, Down Syndrome: Health Issues
Kent Moreno lists a protocol for toilet training individuals who have a developmental disability, including data collection, the development of a schedule, cueing, and making the experience in the bathroom a positive one.
Dressing for Success, Art Beyond Sight
"Focused on dressing skills and self-expression through dressing … the [Dressing for Success] project integrates occupational therapy, daily living skills development, and art education to improve academic and functional performance…" Included are goals, objectives, and teaching strategies aligned with New York Learning Standards.
Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources
Adaptive Clothing, Family Village
Family Village offers links to many types of resources, including clothing for wheelchair users, premature babies, and people with incontinence; weighted T-shirts for sensorimotor integration.
Mealtime Skills, Perkins School for the Blind
In this webcast, Perkins Occupational Therapist Sue Shannon discusses the importance of mealtime skills in teaching social skills and concept development. Video demonstrations of pouring, serving, utensil use, and cutting include many practical tips and helpful strategies, with an emphasis on encouraging the child to be an active participant; close-captioned, includes downloadable powerpoint slides.
Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in Children, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA explains the nature of feeding and swallowing disorders, their signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Web-based Organizations and Internet Resources
New Visions offers information to "professionals and parents working with infants and children with feeding, swallowing, oral-motor, and pre-speech problems."
Safe and Sound: A Safety Awareness Curriculum for Students Who Are Visually Impaired and Have Multiple Disabilities, California School for the Blind
This curriculum addresses the unique vulnerabilities and safety needs of children with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Topics covered include identifying and escaping from danger, avoiding sexual abuse, assault, and robbery.
Career Education -- Prevocational Skills
My Older Brother Daryl
Written by the brother of a teen with deafblindness, the author makes an excellent case for teaching functional skills that are founded in basic concepts and supportive of daily living tasks.
Creating Vocational Portfolios for Adolescents with Significant Disabilities, Perkins School for the Blind
This webcast presented by Mary Zatta uses closed captioning and a power point presentation to describe the purpose and components of a vocational portfolio. It lasts approximately 30 minutes and addresses the how's and why's of vocational portfolios, including development processes and effective contents.
For more information on this topic, see this title from Perkins Publications: School to Work - Developing Transitional Portfolios for Students with Significant Disabilities
How to Create a Winning Video Resume, California Deaf-Blind Services
This 2-page fact sheet lists tips for creating a video resumé, a particularly effective way to document the abilities and achievements of students with severe disabilities.
See Transition section