Literacy for Students with Multiple Disabilities or Deafblindness

For students with deafblindness or multiple disabilities that include blindness, literacy may call for options other than braille or print. This section offers many suggestions for creating tactile representations of experiences, modifications and adaptations to teaching techniques, and appropriate reading materials.
In Touch, 2008, New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects
Martha Majors, of the Perkins Deafblind Program, defines literacy for students with blindness, deafblindness, or additional disabilities. and explores alignment of the curriculum with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Dyslexia is not limited to print readers or the visual pathway, and it can affect braille readers. This annotated essay from addresses the issue.
Perkins School for the Blind
Deirdre Leech’s webcast explores the meaning of literacy for students with multiple disabilities or deafblindness, and discusses specialized formats that maximize access.
Project SALUTE
This information sheet offers advice for creating tactile representations of real life experiences.
In Touch, 2008, New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects
Patricia Weismer and Deirdre Leech share specific strategies (pp. 6-13) for teaching reading to children with deafblindness or multiple disabilities, including suggestions for adaptations, modifications of materials. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Perkins eLearning Webinar
Presenters from the Perkins Deafblind program describe the types of vision loss they encounter (total blindness, low vision, CVI) and the use of the appropriate materials for young learners who are deafblind.
In Touch, 2008, New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects
Patricia Weismer and Deirdre Leech list activities to make literacy fun for students with deafblindness. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Barbara Miles defines literacy, its social functions, and the conditions necessary for its development. She includes numerous specific suggestions and activities to increase literacy skills.
Colorado Services for Children who are Deafblind
This entire newsletter issue is devoted to development of literacy skills for students who are deafblind; including extensive information on assistive technology and on the role of speech language pathologists in facilitating literacy development. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project
"Tips for Home or School" are suggestions for encouraging children with significant disabilities to write. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Family Connect
This article introduces the range of literacy options for children with multiple disabilities, including print, braille, and symbol systems.

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources

Paths to Literacy
This section of the Paths to Literacy site includes an overview of literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities, including deafblindness. Includes information about instructional strategies, tips for creating books, and more.
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
NCDB offers extensive resources on literacy, including products, articles, publications, bibliographies, Internet resources, and research.