Education of Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

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A Brief Look At The Education Of Blind Children: An Overview
National Federation of the Blind
A look at educational settings, curriculum, and some of the challenges in educating children with visual impairments

Guidelines for Working with Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired in Virginia Public Schools
Virginia Department of Education
This 42-page manual provides information for the provision of services to students who are blind or visually impaired to support their educational goals. These Guidelines provide a resource of suggestions for implementing services and are written for any individual interested in serving the academic needs of students who are blind or visually impaired.

Special Education Technology British Columbia
A “resource to provide classroom teachers with a selection of strategies to address the reading needs of students with visual impairments.”
This section of the DB-LINK website has several articles about educational practices related to students who are deafblind.
Enhancing art appreciation in preschool and elementary school children with projects and activities that teach the children to enjoy beauty tactilely.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) provides guidelines for using descriptive language in educational materials.  This link from AFB provides context for the guidelines and history of their adoption.  You can find many more materials on education under the topic Education for Students with Blindness or Visual Impairments. Additional information on audio description is filed under Audio Description.

Web-Based Organizations and Resources

This site's state-by-state menu makes it easy to locate, in one place, agency contact information for Accessible Information Materials and National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard(NIMAS) for your U.S. state or territory.
The Carroll Center for the Blind
Carroll Tech offers training in popular Windows-based applications to those who use a screen reader or screen magnification program to access a computer.
The Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments (DVI) advances the education of children and youth who have visual impairments that impede their educational progress. Members receive the DVI Quarterly.
To browse selected articles from the CECDVI archive, visit this Position Papers and DVIQ sections of their website.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Beth Dennis “provides a summary of the bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate to reauthorize IDEA”; available in English and Spanish.
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a technical standard established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that was created to make it possible for students with print disabilities to receive learning materials in formats they need as quickly as possible. NIMAS sources are designed to be easily converted into specialized formats, including braille, audio, large print, and digital text.  See also AIM in Your State for local information.
Located in Santa Rosa, CA, the workshop specializes in classroom-quality tactile books and teaching aids. Products are available at no charge to students; schools are asked to pay what they can.
American Foundation for the Blind maintains a list of organizations offering financial support for qualifying individuals and academic programs.  Browse them here.
This resource from Saskatchewan Learning offers basic information to help provide successful school experiences for students who are blind or visually impaired.
The National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials wants to insure that institutions Purchase Accessible Learning Materials; the PALM Initiative was launched to influence standards and policies with publishers and developers, to include accessible features from the design phase.
Perkins Webcasts
This webcast, produced in partnership with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), outlines the principles of Universal Design for Learning and curriculum reform.
The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law on Dec. 3, 2004 and ensures “services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.”  This website separates Part B (school-age) and Part C (early education) information for easy reference.
Washington State School for the Blind
Video clips on useful skills and various daily activities for students who are blind.


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