Teaching Children Outside the U.S.A. Who Are Blind or Deafblind

The trend in recent years has been for all children, including those with blindness or visual impairments, to attend their local schools. However, there are still many challenges to providing quality services to all students: lack of trained teachers, scarcity of materials, and little information about these students’ needs.

The articles in this section explore some of the obstacles and offer suggestions for making education accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.

Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic:

For Teachers of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Assessment & Early Intervention

International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
An outline of the system used in Prague to assess the vision of young children.
 
Hesperian Foundation
Chapter 35 from David Werner’s book, Disabled Village Children, focuses on ways to encourage the development of young children.  Clear line drawings illustrate each point; also in Spanish.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Philip K. Bediako, of the Ejisuman Schools in Ghana, outlines the skill areas in which young children with visual impairment need special instruction.
 
Eyeway.org (India)
The impact of early vision loss, with suggestions for activities that promote development. Focus is on increasing awareness of people and the surroundings.
 
Eyeway.org
A chronological sequence of normal visual development during the first year of life.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
The importance of early intervention services for children with visual impairments, and a list of signs that may indicate a vision problem.
 
Hesperian Foundation
Hesperian texts are available in a PDF download after registering with their website.  "Toys You Can Make" is a section of their publication Helping Children Who Are Blind.
 

Caseload Analysis

Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI)
This tool is specifically tailored to meet objectives in British Columbia. Its purpose is to assist school districts determine the appropriate number of vision teacher hours required to support the students who are blind and visually impaired.
 

Classroom Teaching Techniques

International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
The English title is “Curricular Adaptations and Creation of Services for Multi-handicapped Blind Persons in Chile”; in Spanish.
 
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
This 134-page handbook advises the general classroom teacher on"curriculum plus skills," materials, adaptations, and additional resources.
 
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Self-study kit to help teachers create an inclusive, learning-friendly environment; in English and Bahasa Indonesia. Available as a PDF as well.
 
Eyeway.org (India)
Suggestions for creating tactile teaching aids, including clocks, a geometry kit, tactile maps, globe, chemical equation tiles, and more.
 

Orientation & Mobility

International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
This “active learning” approach incorporates play into mobility instruction. Advice for creating adaptations appropriate to local social, cultural and economic conditions.
 
Community Eye Health Journal
Sighted guide techniques with illustrations. A PDF is also available.
 

Working with Parents

Hesperian Foundation
Chapter 5, “Activities for the Young Baby.” This chapter from the Hesperian Foundation book, Helping Children Who Are Blind, focuses on helping babies to trust people and their surroundings, respond to sounds, and develop motor skills.
 
Independent Living Institute
Describes how a young man born blind in a remote Afghan village gained skills that allowed him to take his part in community life and later to earn his living. Transcriptions of a series of 1984 radio broadcasts for Afghan families.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
The importance of partnerships between professionals and families in the rehabilitation of children with visual impairments.
 
Hesperian Foundation
Chapter 45  from David Werner’s book, Disabled Village Children, describes two models of rehabilitation and offers suggestions to help community members organize themselves; in English and Spanish.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
The importance of toys and play in the development of children with visual impairment, with emphasis on the need for collaboration between the family and the school.
 

For Teachers of Children Who Are Deafblind

The trend in recent years has been for all children to attend their local schools, including those with deafblindness or multiple disabilities that include visual impairment. However, there are still many challenges to providing quality services to all students: lack of trained teachers, scarcity of materials, and little information about these students’ needs.

The articles in this section explore some of the obstacles and offer suggestions for making education accessible to students with deafblindness and multiple disabilities.

 

Classroom Teaching Techniques

International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
An overview of inclusive education. Addresses preparation and implementation, curricular approaches, communication, and a comparison of service delivery models.
 

Communication

World Health Organization (WHO)
This Zimbabwean handbook discusses communication, assessment, and goal planning for children with disabilities. Includes information on play, communicating in everyday situations, and working in groups.  The complete booklet is available in separate PDF downloads per chapter.  From this link, scroll down to the title for this publication and download PDFs for the Introduction and 12 Sections.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
The importance of communication and play in the education of children with deafblindness. English title: "Deaf-Blindness: A Possible Educational Approach ‘Giving Priority to Childhood’”; in Spanish.
 
International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Characteristics of individuals with deafblindness; features of a functional communication program. English title: “A Functional Ecological Program for Congenitally Deaf-Blind”; in Portuguese.
 

Transition

International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
How to develop a functional curriculum for students with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Emphasis on working with the family and the community; an overview of the Individualized Transition Plans.
 

Ask Scout

I need to know how to become a teacher for blind children, my background does not include any experience on teaching.
I am looking for resources to help a Spanish-speaking blind adult client . She would like to learn English and she would like to learn... read more