Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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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...



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...



Red ball on black background
Posted by Jbrown
After students with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) have learned to view and identify real objects, they are ready to learn to identify two-dimensional pictures.  It is essential to recognize the differences in a student’s visual skill set before...



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...



Screenshot of Google Drive
Posted by Sharon@TSBVI
Google recommends Mozilla Firefox Internet browser for working with screen readers when using Google Apps. I have found it is the only browser which consistently works. When entering Google Drive online it is important to turn of the virtual cursor by...



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...



teacher showing student interactive whiteboard
Posted by Sharon@TSBVI
Is there an easy way for students with low vision to efficiently view an interactive whiteboard? Yes and no. Think of the classroom teacher using the interactive whiteboard, and all the students are engaged watching the lesson....



theme books collage
Posted by Liz Eagan
I created these books for my low vision students in life skills and classrooms of students with multiple impairments. These were my way of trying to help add to their functional vocabulary. I created a "Teacher's Guide" to go with it to help the...



Academic Apps collage
Posted by Linda Mamer
Applications (apps) for iOS devices change quickly, but I have compiled a list of apps for academic students with visual impairments.  I have used many of these apps, however I have not used all of them personally.  They have all been used by...



Ideas for Developing Functional Literacy Skills
Posted by Frank Mead
    I have been a teacher in the Secondary Program at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts for more than 30 years, and I am retiring this spring. I was asked to share some of my thoughts and strategies on...



Tactile graphics collage
Posted by gwyn52
Graphs and charts can be very challenging for students who are blind or visually impaired, whether they are using tactile graphs or large print graphs.  Students with visual impairments must be specifically taught how to interpret tactile graphics and...



A student holds a 3-D math manipulative
Posted by Tara Mason
There are numerous materials that will help students access the Common Core State Standards. These materials may be used to: access materials, exhibit knowledge and skills, or enhance learning activities associated with the CCSS. Presley and D’Andrea...



Collage of handwriting tips
Posted by gwyn52
Top Access Tips: Writing Students with visual impairments often benefit from the use of specialized tools and materials.  Special paper, writing tools, lighting and other equipment can make it easier for them to write.  It is important to...



Bumble Bee with good contrast
Posted by gwyn52
Pictures 1.  Size of graphic Present clear, well contrasting, simple large graphics. Remove detail and visual clutter from graphic. Add black outlines to shapes and main key features. Remove complex colouring. Use...



Top access tips for print media
Posted by gwyn52
The following tips sheet is aimed at offering short, clear guidance to class teachers regarding print media access for children and young people with visual impairment. Each child's access is individiual and a careful and thorough assessment of their...



Curved pieces of Handwriting Without Tears
Posted by Katie Armstrong
Handwriting Without Tears (now called "Learning Without Tears") is a multi-sensory writing curriculum created for early childhood through 5th grade.  I have been using the pre-school program called, Get Set For School, in my early...



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