Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Writing

Student writing on an adapted sheet of paper with bold lines, highlighted, and less lines on the paper
Posted by Megan Chapman
How many different types of paper are our students asked to write on in school? The worksheets look different, the lines look different, the pages are cluttered, and our students are trying their best but many times struggle to keep their writing within...



Studio recorder
Posted by Diane Shifflett
Cut, paste, delete.  It's really that simple. Radio broadcasting for students who are blind or visually impaired might seem intimidating at first, but with user-friendly software called Studio Recorder from the American Printing House for the...



A boy feels water balloons in a plastic bin.
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
Our field lost a treasured friend and visionary colleague with the passing of Linda Hagood this month. She has contributed an enormous amount to the field, through her writing, her teaching, and her modeling of innovative techniques.  As a speech...



Sketch of dog's head
Posted by Liz Eagan
Letter writing can be a way for students to feel safe asking questions, while working on braille skills in a real world activity.  One of my students started corresponding with the speech therapist's dog, which gave him a chance to practice...



Braillewriter with green vertical separators
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
Many young children and beginning braille users struggle to keep their fingers on the correct keys when using a braillewriter.  While we always want to encourage them to keep their fingers in the correct place, sometimes it's helpful to create ways...



Perkins brailler with parts labelled
Posted by Laurie Hudson
Like many teachers of the visually impaired, I have often introduced people to Perkins Braillewriters.  I’ve shown this tool to not only my students, but also to their families and their teachers and classmates if they are in inclusion settings....



Student using Pictello on a tablet
Posted by Julianne Lemman
Pictello is an iOS app made by AssistiveWare that can be used to create experience stories and social stories using pictures, text, audio recordings, and video. Pictello can be used to build literacy skills, social skills, communication, social-emotional...



Child using braille notetaker with refreshable braille display
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is 11 years old and in sixth grade.  He got a Braillenote Touch Plus last year at school and has been learning to use it.  He loves his "computer".  So far he uses the device as a calculator, for writing and saving...



Cover of Adventure Lands
Posted by Jay Hiller
Sometimes all I want is for someone to tell me a story.  Tell me about how you traveled to India by yourself and it took a long time for you to understand that the customs officer wanted to let you into the country and would, if only you would bribe him...



Gross sandwich: bread with socks
Posted by Jay Hiller
Hey, was working and teaching from home in your plan a month ago?   It wasn’t in mine either.  But here I sit, writing home based activities for my students in my adult daughter’s former bedroom, accompanied by two young dogs that...



Mother's Day card
Posted by Linda Choy
My daughter Kara was born on 10/14/1998, at 6.5 months gestation.  She weighed 1.2 kgs, and had an extremely difficult survival course.  As a result, she is blind due to retinopathy of prematurity, she also has mild cerebral palsy and has global...



Two classmates read braille postcards
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
Many teachers around the world struggle to meet the divergent needs of students who are different ages with very different needs and abilities.  Not every school has the luxury of grouping students by age and ability, and this can be a challenge for both...



Teen age girl holding Kermit the frog near her mouth
Posted by Linda Hagood
Katrina loves Frogs and Braille. During the past school year, she has become an authority on her favorite frog, Kermit, especially in his Sesame Street role as "News Flash Reporter." She has created a series of fantasy stories in which she and...



Shoppers in a mall
Posted by JennieO
What can you do with your students who are visually impaired in the middle of winter in the state of Maine (or anywhere else)? Mountain biking? I don’t think so! High cliff diving? Not a chance! Cross country skiing? Well yes, that of course, but...



two people sitting on the floor leaning back-to-back
Posted by Linda Hagood
This is the third part of a 3-part series on Yoga and Literacy.  See also Using Yoga to Support Language and Literacy Development and Yoga Activities to Increase Literacy Skills. One application of yoga which I have especially enjoyed as a...



A boy reads a braille book while wearing a Burger King crown
Posted by Liamsmom
I am the mother of two busy boys.  Liam, 8 years old, is deafblind.   Finn, 5 years old, has typical vision and hearing.   I am always very excited when summer finally arrives and I get to spend a lot of quality time with them outdoors. I...



Star student poster
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is a third-grader in a mainstream classroom. Liam is deafblind and a braille reader. His class does something called "Star Student". This is where one child is highlighted for the week; the student gets to write on a special poster that...



Reading the yoga routine cards in print
Posted by maloneyk
This is the second part of a 3-part series on Yoga and Literacy.  See also Using Yoga to Support Language and Literacy Development and Addressing Narrative Language Goals in Yoga Activities. A long, long, time ago, I was originally...



Robo brailler
Posted by Linda Hagood
Through the years, I have co-created many stories with many kids—some with autism, some who were blind, some who were deafblind, and some who were just Interesting Kids (without any diagnoses at all!). Sometimes we just make up a story together, other...



Adult using Perkins brailler
Posted by Penny Rosenblum
The title for this post comes from an experience I had recently.  As many of us do, I posted about that experience on Facebook.  My language was casual as this posting was intended for my “friends” (Okay, many of my friends are also in...



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