Early Childhood Resources

Because a great deal of an infant's learning is through the visual mode, it's important to understand the effect of visual impairment on child development. Find out what types of intervention are most effective during these crucial formative years. Materials for older students can be found under the appropriate categories.

The focus here is safety, with specific suggestions for when a child starts to move around independently.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Krystyna Gawlik and Anna Zwierzchowska present a comparative study of the conditioning abilities of adolescents who are deaf and blind.

Source: Journal of Human Kinetics, 2006

Treasure Baskets are collections of real objects that encourage a child to explore different sensory characteristics. This article offers suggestions of items to include in the baskets and discusses some of the educational benefits for young children.

Source: Nursery World

Written by an Occupational Therapist (OT), this 80-page document includes an overview of CVI, and information on the evaluation and education of children with CVI.

The author describes her passionate advocacy for her daughter and all blind children, particularly for braille literacy.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Toy evaluations by an independent nonprofit agency that fosters play for children with disabilities. The online database rates the toys for suitability for children with cognitive, physical, sensory, or communicative disabilities (searchers may combine two categories).

This overview of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) includes information about sensory-avoiding children and sensory-seeking children, as well a list of common motor skill problems. There are numerous links to other aspects of SPD on this site.

Source: Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation

A project developed between Penrickton Center for the Blind in Michigan, Perkins School for the Blind, and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides resources and a community of practice around the work of Dr. Lilli Nielsen and Active Learning. The site includes discussion of Active Learning principles, assessment, implementation, materials, equipment, and other events and resources. Active Learning is most effective for those with significant multiple disabilities and in the 0-48 month developmental level. 

This is an excerpt from Dr. Lilli Nielsen's book, Early Learning Step by Step. It outlines her Active Learning Approach and explains the importance of the learning environment for childen with visual impairments and multiple disabilities.

Source: Future Reflections, 2004, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

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.

Source: Hesperian Foundation

These activities integrate literacy into a preschooler's play, storytime, and daily activities.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

These activities integrate literacy into a preschooler's play, storytime, and daily activities.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Outlines Head Start policy and practice for accommodating and integrating children with disabilities into its programs.

Source: HeadStart

Linda Burkhart outlines the many skills that can be reinforced through adapted play, including cognitive, communication, and fine and gross motor skills.  She also offers suggestions for expanding communication skills and interaction through play.

Source: Simplified Technology

These suggestions are aimed at families, but are equally valuable to other caregivers and teachers.  Adaptations include strategies to optimize a child's use of vision, using textures and touch to provide clues, enhancing safety, and maximizing organization.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This site's state-by-state menu makes it easy to locate, in one place, agency contact information for Accessible Information Materials and National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard(NIMAS) for your U.S. state or territory.

Source: National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

Basic description of nystagmus, FAQs, information for parents of school-age children with the condition.

The American Printing House for the Blind is the world's largest producer of books and products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired K-12 students in the U.S.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind

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