Families

A family member with blindness or a visual impairment has a significant impact on family life. Parents and relatives face a variety of challenges when making decisions about education, rehabilitation and other services. These websites for families include information on workshops, services, education, and many other resources.
 
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.
 
 

Children with Visual Impairments

Perkins School for the Blind
List of resources for families of children who are blind or visually impaired on topics such as Parenting and General Information, Family Life and Siblings, Literacy, Braille Books and Learning Materials, and Education, Advocacy & Early Intervention.
 
WonderBaby.org is dedicated to helping parents of young children with visual impairments as well as children with multiple disabilities. Here you'll find a database of articles written by parents who want to share with others what they've learned about playing with and teaching a blind child. We focus on real-life advice and real-life experiences.
 
Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)
Recommendations and guidelines on daily living skills for parents of children with visual impairments.
 
Future Reflections, 2006, National Federation of the Blind (NFB) 
Social skills expert Barbara Cheadle reiterates the importance of a parent's influence on their child's future success.
 
Family Connect 
Family Connect provides concrete advice for parents of an infant with visual impairment.  Tips may also help for a vision loss diagnosis in older children.  Article available in English and Spanish.
 
Thomas Marshall Does it All 
A collection of links curated by a mother of a child who is visually impaired. Find information on raising a child who is blind, braille book sources, feeding tube information and more.
 
Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind
In this keynote address for the Discover Conference, speakers Dr, Katharine Shepherd & Susan LaVenture share their personal and professional experiences to illustrate the powerful role that parents play in children’s lives.
 

Children with Deafblindness

Perkins eLearning Webcast
Families feel the greatest impact of, and provide the greatest support to, people who are deafblind. In this webcast, viewers learn some of the common responses to a diagnosis of deafblindness, and how to find parent peer support for daily life and future planning.
 
Perkins eLearning Webcasts
In this webcast, Stephen Perreault of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults discusses the often sensitive issue of the relationship between the parents of a child with disabilities and the professionals who serve and educate the child.
 
 

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources

Children with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) & National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI)
This comprehensive site "gives parents of visually impaired children a place to support each other, share stories and concerns, and find resources on raising their children from birth to adulthood."
 
Lighthouse International
Tele-support groups for parents and for teens planning to attend college. The Lighthouse site also has information about children's vision and education.
 
NAPVI "helps parents to find information and locate resources for their children. It also advocates on a national level for the resources necessary to educate those children."
 
National Federation of the Blind
Dedicated to creating "a climate of opportunity for blind children," the NOPBC "is a national membership organization of parents and friends of blind children reaching out to each other to give vital support, encouragement, and information." Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind, NOPBC publishes Future Reflections, a publication for parents and families.
 
The Little Rock Foundation is a volunteer-run non-profit organization "dedicated to improving the lives of the blind and visually impaired, from early childhood through adulthood.  By providing resource information, leading social programs, advancing legislation, and presenting educational programs, the Foundation is focused on supporting all of the challenges facing families and individuals living with visual impairment."
 
The NFADB is a non-profit, volunteer-based family association. Our philosophy is that individuals who are deaf-blind are valued members of society and are entitled to the same opportunities and choices as other members of the community. NFADB is the largest national network of families focusing on issues surrounding deaf-blindness.
 

General Information

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) no longer exists, but its resources are now here. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications in the CPIR's Library.
 
"The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities."
 
Join a network of special-needs families exchanging their gently-used adaptive equipment.  The Lollipop Kids Equipment Closet contains durable big-ticket items like adapted seating, ramps, bathroom equipment, etc., that children have outgrown.
 
This website provides support for siblings of people who have special developmental or mental health needs. The project provides workshops, resources, and opportunities for siblings of all ages to connect with each other.
 

Regional Organizations and Resources

The Family Cafe
Serving families in Florida, this organization sponsors an annual conference for individuals with disabilities and their families. Attendees can meet with state agencies, non-profit organizations, service providers, and most importantly, other families. Click here to join their mailing list.
 
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, this website offers support to parents and families who have a child with special needs. It features information on workshops, a resource directory, a mailing list, and the opportunity to be personally matched by trained staff with another parent who is facing similar issues.
 
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
For residents of the U.K., sources of information, organizations, and groups that can help if you are a blind or partially sighted parent.
 
 
 

 

Ask Scout

I have a student who is 4 and is blind. He is very self-directed and does not explore objects in his environment unless they are... read more
I have a student in my classroom who is blind and learning braille. We have moved from tennis balls to ping pong balls. He can spell... read more