Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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General Literacy

traffic intersection with tactual models
Posted by Chris Tabb
The American Heritage Dictionary has two definitions for “literacy”. The first is, “The condition or quality of being literate, especially the ability to read and write.” The second definition is a bit more global, “The...



Boy with iPad
Posted by Tara Mason
John is in tenth grade and has a visual impairment and cerebral palsy. He is attending high school in a one-to-one iPad school district, and his team would like to investigate the effectiveness of him using an iPad as Assistive Technology (AT). This device...



girl holding her face in her hands
Posted by Marnee Loftin
School is one of the most important factors in the life of a child.  It is the source of many of their feelings of self-esteem and competence as a person separate from their family.  Not surprisingly, difficulties at school often result in...



Posted by Liamsmom
Last year my son started all-day Kindergarten  in a public mainstream classroom.  I was (and still am) a huge advocate for inclusion for my son Liam who is deafblind.   One of my biggest hopes and goals for inclusion was all about the "...



Tactile trees on page
Posted by Liz Eagan
Tactile books are a great way to foster the development of literacy skills with any child who is visually impaired, including children with other significant disabilities. These can be used at home for enjoyment, to support understanding and anticipation...



oreo reading book
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
We are so grateful to all of you in our online Community of Practice for sharing your ideas and support throughout the year!  While the latest blog post is emailed to you each week, there are many other posts throughout the week that you may have missed...



Two teenage girls
Posted by Alison Prskawetz
Alison Prskawetz is the Co-ordinator of Visual Resource Centres at Blind Low Vision Education Network New Zealand (BLENNZ). For more information about BLENNZ, visit them at:   http://blennzonline.edublogs.org/ As part of literacy...



Logos for JAWS, NVDA, Window-Eyes
Posted by Sharon@TSBVI
JAWS NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) WindowEyes   When I teach a new student to use a screen reading software, I always teach the Windows shortcut keys first because they are the same no matter what screen reading...



Girl with her hand resting on teacher's hand
Posted by Liz Eagan
I have been asked repeatedly how I come up with goals and how I document progress or regression on them. Good questions! In coming up with goals, it all starts with some form of assessment. I don’t pull goals out of midair. Texas School for the Blind...



A girl uses an abacus and a braille writer.
Posted by Marnee Loftin
Jonathan has been receiving educational services since the age of thirteen months.  His family has been an active participant in this process always ensuring that Jonathan has been surrounded by braille in his home and with books available for reading...



Student using tactile symbols with braille
Posted by Megan Mogan
Whether you are raring to go and have your materials all organized, or your vacation flight arrives home the night before your first day back, it’s time. Here are just a few things I like to remind myself this back-to-school time of year. ...



school supply labels
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam, who is deafblind, will be starting first grade in a couple of weeks in a mainstream classroom.  Last year, I bought all of Liam's supplies and labeled them myself.  This year I wanted Liam to be part of the process. And of course I...



Collage of academic apps
Posted by Linda Mamer
New apps (applications) for iOS devices are frequently released, and the following is list compiled of the apps which were most highly rated by students who are blind or visually impaired.  Many of these help to support various areas of the Expanded...



Puzzle pieces fitting together in model of collaboration
Posted by Liz Eagan
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word collaborate means “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something”. The student with a visual impairment has many needs that can be best met through collaborating...



Collage of Vision Apps
Posted by Linda Mamer
There are many applications (apps) available to assist teachers of students with visual impairments and other vision professionals in their work.  I have collected some of my favorite apps in the following categories: Apps for Vision Information...



iep goals collage
Posted by Liamsmom
Phew.  My son Liam's IEP meeting and IEP are now complete and we have a fresh set of goals for the next school year!  IEP season is a mixture of feelings: determination, expectations, excitement and exhaustion!  I love the working with...



teacher and student
Posted by Liz Eagan
Students with visual impairments are the frequent recipients of assistance, but rarely are they given the opportunity to "give back".  When they are given the opportunity, they are often unclear of how or where to start.   One...



Two students examine oranges
Posted by Jane Erin
From the time children with visual impairments are infants, they grow accustomed to being directed by others: “Pick up the ball!”, “Come over here”, “Give Grandma a hug!” Even as they grow older, their boundaries are...



Posted by Charlotte Cushman
Paths to Literacy is an active community of practice, which means that teachers, families, and others are invited to share their voices, ideas, and questions!  Many of you receive this weekly blog delivered via email, but you may not have taken the time...



Student using video magnifier
Posted by Tara Mason
Whenever I think about the Common Core State Standards and students with visual impairments, I cannot overlook the connection between technology and student access and learning. Our world is changing rapidly and the call for students who are blind or...



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