Family Resources

Having a family member who is blind or visually impaired can affect many areas of family life. Parents and relatives face a variety of challenges when making decisions about education, rehabilitation and other services. Older adults may want information on resources, tools, or ways to learn new skills they need to live independently. These websites for families include information on workshops, services, education, and many other resources.

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

Many people with visual impairments also have undiagnosed autism characteristics. Nancy Duncan discusses the importance of identifying and delivering appropriate rehabilitation services for individuals.

Source: VisionAware

This site provides a good overview on the effect of visual impairments on learning, types of assistive technology, and the kinds of accommodations provided at colleges. Includes a list of scholarships and grants.

Source: Affordable Colleges Online

A useful guide through the alphabet soup of educational terms and abbreviations. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Source: Community Crossroads NH

Checklists of signs and symptoms of vision impairments in children.

Source: Optometrists Network

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

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

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Some of the visual skills that need to be evaluated as part of a child's comprehensive vision examination.

Source: Optometrists Network

Bookmark this page for job listings, many of which ask for experience within the blindness community, or services to people with disabilities.

Source: American Council of the Blind (ACB)

Access-Able Travel Source is dedicated to aiding travelers with disabilities and the mature traveler. The data base has not only accessible accommodations, but everything to make a trip fun and exciting. We have information about scuba diving for persons withall types of disabilities. There are accessible safaris, sailing, raft trips and even a place where you can learn to sky sail. The basis of Access-Able is to emphasize the positive. Includes information about transportation, accommodations, attractions, adventures, travel resources, equipment rental, repair, medical, travel agents, airports, and cruises.

Source: Acess-able.com

A selected list of museums with exhibit consideration for people who are blind or visually impaired, such as touch-tours and multi-sensory exhibits

Source: New York Public Library

This free downloadable podcatcher is a tool for finding, downloading, archiving, and sharing poscasts.

This interactive website is full of practical ideas for hands-on lessons, resources, materials, and more. Subscribe to the blog, ask questions, and share your ideas with an online community of practice of educators interested in making science accessible to students with visual impairments.

Source: Perkins eLearning

In this webcast, Perkins science teacher Kate Fraser outlines teaching strategies and adaptations to make science lessons and activities accessible to students who are visually impaired. Find even more resources more at the Perkins Accessible Science website.

Source: Webcast, Perkins School for the Blind

Aimed at parents, this page provides a brief overview of the challenges facing teenagers with visual impairment who are studying geography and history.

Source: Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

"The AccessSTEM website is a space where K-12 teachers, postsecondary educators, and employers learn to make classroom and employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) accessible to individuals with disabilities, and share promising practices."

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 article suggests bringing a buddy to an IEP meeting, and also lists strategies for parents to try if it appears that the meeting will be stressful; also available in Spanish.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

A program for children with visual impairments and additional disabilities shares its objectives, activities, methods, information on financial resources, and its impact on families; also in Spanish.

Source: International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)

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