Multiple Disabilities: Educational Resources

In addition to blindness or visual impairment, a child may have additional disabilities, such as cognitive, developmental, hearing, or mobility impairments. Every student with multiple disabilities presents a unique educational challenge. Teachers need specialized training and skills to understand how these students experience and understand the world. In this section, families and educators will find introductions to the educational needs of these students, as well as best practice and policy overviews.
 
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.
 

General Resources

VisionAware 
Many people with visual impairments also have undiagnosed autism characteristics. Nancy Duncan discusses the importance of identifying and delivering appropriate rehabilitation services for individuals.
 
Scottish Sensory Centre
This online book examines the effect of CP on the visual system and child development, with collaborative strategies for practitioners, educators, and families
 
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials
In this primer on the Universal Design for Learning framework, Dr. Richard Jackson argues that creating a curriculum that accommodates students with low-incidence disabilities is beneficial to all learners.
 
Council of Exceptional Children/Division on Visual Impairments (DVI)
This 5-page position paper by Rosanne Silberman and Sharon Sacks outlines the competencies for teachers of students with visual impairments, and the additional skills necessary when children have other disabilities.
 
Region 18 (TX) Education Service Center & Texas Education Agency
The Legal Framework is a template that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic. The Legal Framework includes an A-Z index, frameworks, a glossary of special education terms and acronyms, links to statutes, citations, websites, guidance and resources. Multiple features are translated into Spanish; however, legal citations reflect English only.
 
Future Reflections, 2010, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Future Reflections dedicated this issue to the needs of children with multiple disabilities, including visual impairment.
 
Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project
This one-page tip sheet identifies key components of best practices, including functional age-appropriate curricula, inclusion, behavior issues, transition planning, and parent involvement.
 
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
A mother realizes her own low expectations limit the independence of her daughter with multiple disabilities, and describes how she encourages the child to do more for herself. This is an entry from the listserv sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children.
 
 

Web-Based Organizations & Internet Resources

Family Connect: For Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
This site is a resource for parents, featuring a range of articles and links on communication, socialization, orientation and mobility, and transition, and more. Also in Spanish.
 
NCDB "works collaboratively with families, federal, state and local agencies to provide technical assistance, information and personnel training." This site offers a broad range of information on all topics related to children and youth with deafblindness, including communication, behavior, assessment, and educational practices.
 
Dedicated to enhancing educational services provided to students under 21 with vision and hearing impairments, this organization provides on-site assistance, support resources to parents and educators. Also in Spanish.
 
TASH is "an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm." Topics on their site include positive behavior support, inclusive education, communication, and community living.
 
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities (NCSSD)
This page has links to research-based practices, emerging research, and dissertations on low-incidence disabilities, including visual and hearing impairments and severe disabilities.
 

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