Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) provides a framework for instruction in a specialized set of vision-related skills for students who are blind or visually impaired.  While students who are blind or visually impaired are expected to follow the same core curriculum as their sighted peers, there are certain areas in which they need specific instruction because of their vision loss. These areas are referred to as the Expanded Core Curriculum: Compensatory Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Social Interaction, Independent Living, Recreation and Leisure, Sensory Efficiency, Assistive Technology, Career Education, and Self-Determination.
 
References in this area deal specifically with ECC topics and concepts, or with Core Curriculum concerns specific to students who are blind or visually impaired.  For additional ECC topics regarding students with additional disabilities, or deafblindness, see also Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities / Curriculum.
 
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
TSBVI shares the revised curriculum approved by the National Agenda Steering Committee.  This document includes complete description of the Expanded Core areas.
 
 

Resources for the Classroom

NH Professional Development Center for Vision Education
This tip sheet by Cheryl Gannon provides an overview of the core and expanded core curricula, including a look at who is responsible for the implementation of ECC.
 
Iowa Department of Education
This 417-page document downloads as a PDF, and has extensive information about the Expanded Core Curriculum, including chapters on Self-Determination Skills (pp. 117-138) and Social Interaction Skills (pp. 137-152). Learning Expectations and Performance Indicators are provided for each age range.
 
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
AFB Press maintains a detailed list of print and multimedia publications, organized by core area.  Many of the resources are available for purchase.  Titles link you to the AFB store.
 
University of Arizona and TSBVI
Pages 16-24 of this document focus on Social Interaction Skills, with sections listing skills in the following areas: Functional (3-21 years), Readiness (Kindergarten), Foundations (grades 1-3), Essentials (grades 4-8), and Proficiency (grades 9-12).
 

Full-Text Articles

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Link here to a text transcript of a slide presentation by Karen Blankenship and Mary Ann Siller. Download of the original PowerPoint presentation is also available.
 
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
This presentation by Kathleen M. Huebner explores the challenges itinerant teachers face in providing instruction in all of the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum.  She offers strategies for making the best use of available time. Download of the original PowerPoint presentation is also available here.
 
Council for Exceptional Children – Division on Visual Impairments (CECDVI)
Sandra Lewis, of Florida State University, authored this divisional position paper proposing functional skills lessons within classroom instruction.
 
Family Connect
Educator and Researcher Phil Hatlen outlines benefits of the Expanded Core (ECC) for parents and professionals. Also available in Spanish.
 
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
AFB introduces the Core curriculum concept, and outlines Expanded Core curriculum for blind and visually impaired children and youths.
 
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Director of Outreach Cyral Miller offers an overview of the Expanded Core Curriculum; available in English and Spanish.
 

Web-Based Organizations and Resources

Perkins eLearning Webinars
Student with visual impairments often demonstrate a preferred sensory channel that can hold the key to learning strategy. Ellen Mazel explores assessment of the sensory channels for understanding the child’s access strengths and areas of access need.
 
FamilyConnect
Explains Expanded Core concepts from a parent's point of view, with additional advice from experts on individual ECC areas. Also available in Spanish.
 
Networking Website for TVIs provides a number of resources across the field of education of students with visual impairments. This link brings you to the Expanded Core area.
 

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