When I first started working as a TVI, I was under the impression that my students would want to work with me -- just like I wanted to work for my teachers when I was growing up. The first braille learner student I worked with was a dual-media student who clearly preferred grinding her teeth over touching the braille I prepared for her.
I've been working on creating some books for some of my younger students who are prebraille readers. The latest book I made is a book for a young student who has CVI (cortical visual impairment). I chose to create a shape book that included a black background, shapes that were both contrasting in colors but also fun to touch (and would make sound when "scratched"), braille and large print. This book is smaller in size, as a lot of work I do with him is with a small table-like working space.
My goals for him right now are for him to:
Older students can practice their braille literacy skills while also enjoying the feeling of helping others when making books for pre-braille readers.
This was definitely a “think outside of the box” moment for me. Transformations are difficult to understand in the beginning for many students, sighted and visually impaired alike. Making it hands-on simplifies it a bit and builds the foundation of understanding for students. Before you try to incorporate higher level technology for graphing, it is important first to teach the foundational concepts using graphics and tactile materials.
What are Transformations?
The different transformations when graphing are:
Strategies to teach graphing transformations to students who are blind or visually impaired using a graphing board and push pins to make the graphs accessible
To reinforce and practice a new skill, teachers often use worksheets with their students. It is important for students to have opportunities to strengthen skills with repetition. I want to share 4 different ways I have created "worksheets" for my son Liam (age 9, deafblind). I wanted worksheet-type activities that would not only allow for practice of a set skill, but that would be motivating, quick to create and support independent work.
Interactive "Wheels on the Bus" is a great way to engage children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities through more meaningful and active participation. I noticed that my students with significant multiple disabilities were often unengaged when the rest of the class was singing this song and I wanted to find a way to make it a more meaningful activity for them, where we could work on some of their goals. I made a cardboard school bus with moveable parts for students to move with the song.
Interactive Wheels on the Bus is a great way to engage children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities through more meaningful and active participation.
I am a retired teacher of students with visual impairment and now I run a small group for adults who have deteriorating vision and want to learn braille. I work at a resource centre with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) in the United Kingdom. I have been doing this for nearly a year now. It would be great to get in touch with other similar groups!
Activity ideas from a teacher who runs a group for adults who have deteriorating vision and want to learn braille
Paige Morra wanted to be an engineer. She thought her career goals were all set until she interned and completed her practicum for Dr. Edward Bell, a professor who directs the Louisiana Tech Graduate Programs for the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness.
During an I.E.P. meeting in May, a parent realized that her five-year-old, who is blind, would need time for study as well as play during the summer. The concern for the parent was that she did not know braille or the English language in order to help her daughter retain the signs learned. TVI Anna Gayle decided to create bilingual flash cards, so that both the child and the parent would be able to study braille together. With the help of another Hispanic student in high school, the flashcard set was created.
These bilingual braille flash cards enabled a parent who does not speak English to review the braille code with her 5-year-old daughter who is blind.