Teaching Assistive Technology to Students with Visual Impairments

Material in this section is specific to teaching individuals who are blind or visually impaired how to use certain assistive devices.

General Resources

Assistive Technology
Paths to Common Core, Perkins eLearning 
Tips for teachers: how using assistive technology can help students with visual impairments to access the curriculum and Common Core State Standards.

Michigan Department of Education
These guidelines for Michigan teachers are useful for any educator whose student needs instruction in assistive technology. Includes downloadable checklists in Word and PDF format.
California School for the Blind (CSB)
You'll find a large collection of resources on the school's Assistive Technology Center page.  There are Curriculum Guides, checklists for evaluating a student's computer and AT skills, JAWS exercises for Internet searching, and more.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Keep the environment in mind when providing assistive technology for student use.  TSBVI provides a simple question-checklist for ensuring that all conditions enhance the student's ability to learn.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Within educational settings, and the language of IEPs, "assistive technology" has specific legal definitions.  Learn more about the terminology of assistive technology and guidelines for educational settings from TSBVI.
Denise Robinson YouTube Channel
Educator Denise Robinson shares many dozens of videos of hands-on assistive technology lessons. Some lessons are basic, others at the mastery level. Use the search field to find the product for which you need tutoring.

Evaluation and Assessment

WATI (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative)
Download the complete text of this resource by Chapters in Word or PDF. Chapter 12 is specific to Blindness and Low Vision. The Vision questionnaire is also a useful tool.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Looking for a template for assessing students with visual impairments? TSBVI provides an example for download, which can be modified as needed. Includes assessment of accessing and producing written communication, physical requirements for computer use, and recommendations.  Other templates are available in PDF and RTF form for the major types and brands of assistive technology for users who are blind or visually impaired.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
A self-paced online course for teams assessing the assistive technology needs of students with visual impairment. Includes videos to demonstrate assessment techniques and student interaction with the potential equipment..

Information For...

Paths to Literacy provides a portal page to various resources for braille technology, refreshable braille, and other electronic devices that incorporate braille.  Screen readers and talking devices are also addressed.
Entitled "Teaching Computer Skills To Children with Visual Impairments: A Concept-Based Approach," the Carroll Center lists the computer skills a student needs to be fully in command of a PC and its assistive technology.
Paths to Literacy collects papers and presentations on the topic of technology and emerging literacy.  You will also find here information on the latest applications for iPad and other iOS devices that engage students who are visually impaired in the learning process.  For more topics on technology for literacy, visit the Paths to Literacy technology section.
This thorough list of resources from TSBVI includes general training information, specific device information, and programming accessibility.
For topics and technology specific to low vision, explore this area of the Paths to Literacy website.  Optical aids, magnification, CCTV, are discussed here.  A link to the Visually Impaired Resource Guide from SET-BC (Special Education Technology, British Columbia) is also provided.
Information on switch technology, multimedia/multimodal learning, programmable keyboards and Smart Boards can be found here, as well as links to academic papers on deafblindness and multiple disabilities including visual impairment.


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Hi I am the Chair for our elementary school's Vision Table for Diversity Day where we teach 3rd and 5th graders every year about... read more
Hi I am the Chair for our elementary school's Vision Table for Diversity Day where we teach 3rd and 5th graders every year about... read more