A young boy with glasses looks at a picture book

Emergent Literacy

Find out how to help young children who are blind or visually impaired to develop early literacy skills.

Emerging literacy is a process of learning language and concepts, linking them together, and sharing stories in many different forms. Successful literacy is based on building skills in all developmental areas, including movement (both gross and fine motor), social interaction, cognitive concepts, and tactile skills. Come find out how to support successful early literacy

Make your own Story Box

Wondering how to use a story box with a child who is blind or deafblind? These tips will help you get started bringing books to life for young children with visual impairments or multiple disabilities!

Creating Tactile Books for Young Children

Creating exciting early literacy can involve adapting existing books and/or creating your own. Always base reading on lived experiences with real objects and people.  Adding tactile features to an existing book, and/or accompanying the book reading with real objects that are interesting brings the concepts and the book to life.  How do you make reading meaningful and fun?

Learn more.

Tips to develop hand skills in young readers

Children who are tactile learners need to strengthen their fine motor skills in order to be ready for braille instruction. Get ideas to increase tactile discrimination, finger isolation, hand strength, bimanual coordination, tracking, and more. Do you know how to make these activities fun and engaging for young learners?

Get ideas for strengthening hands and fingers in young children.

When should assistive technology be introduced to young children?

How do we introduce braille literacy through assistive technology for young children with visual impairments? We make it fun, developmental, and meaningful!  Watch a video demonstration showing how tech skills, such as scrolling and 4-chords, can be introduced using a braille notetaker, while also working on attention to auditory details.  How do you introduce tech to young children?

Watch the video!

Where can I learn more about emergent literacy for kids with visual impairments?

Visit the Paths to Literacy website to learn more about emergent literacy. You’ll find tips for helping young children developing literacy skills and supportive routines, story box ideas from Norma Drissel, tactile experience books, pre-braille, emergent writing, and technology. There is also information about early literacy for students with multiple disabilities.

Learn more about how you can support emergent literacy in young children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or deafblindness.

Student fingers on the Monarch. APH's photo.

Making math more accessible: Monarch’s Word processor

Cartoon caterpillar on a half eaten leaf reading a book.

Butterflies part 1: Caterpillars

Monarch multiline braille display

Graphing with the Monarch and Desmos