Expanded Core Curriculum Resources

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) provides a framework for instruction in a specialized set of vision-related skills for students who are blind or visually impaired. While students who are blind or visually impaired are expected to follow the same core curriculum as their sighted peers, there are certain areas in which they need specific instruction because of their vision loss. These areas are referred to as the Expanded Core Curriculum: Compensatory Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Social Interaction, Independent Living, Recreation and Leisure, Sensory Efficiency, Assistive Technology, Career Education, and Self-Determination.

Resources in this area deal specifically with ECC topics and concepts, or with Core Curriculum concerns specific to students who are blind or visually impaired. Additional resources are available in the specific topic areas.

This article introduces families to the IFSP process by explaining what it is, what services are provided, what is included in the plan, and how it supports the family.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This 417-page document downloads as a PDF, and has extensive information about the Expanded Core Curriculum, including chapters on Self-Determination Skills (pp. 117-138) and Social Interaction Skills (pp. 137-152). Learning Expectations and Performance Indicators are provided for each age range.

Source: Iowa Department of Education

Published in India, this downloadable 152-page manual is universally useful for parents and caregivers of children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities. It includes a general introduction, guidelines, checklists of skills, and activities to enhance them; by Blind People's Association in collaboration with the Hilton/Perkins Program.

Source: Blind People's Association

Includes both Math and ELA (English/Language Arts). These frameworks are based on the same Maryland Common Core Curriculum Frameworks that were adopted by the State Board and include the identified braille skills and expectations at each grade level (Pre-kindergarten through grade 12) for students who read braille. The standards provide a clear roadmap of braille instruction for teachers and parents to improve literacy skills for students who read braille.

Source: School Improvement in Maryland

In this webcast, Perkins Occupational Therapist Sue Shannon discusses the importance of mealtime skills in teaching social skills and concept development. Video demonstrations include many practical tips and helpful strategies; close-captioned, includes downloadable PowerPoint slides.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins eLearning

NCDB is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for information about deafblindness. While most resources focus on the needs of children and youth, there is wealth of information here in the Adult Services section.

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.

Project SALUTE explains object cues, a "concrete means of supporting conversational interactions and language development." Included are examples, advantages, disadvantages, and specific strategies; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

Perkins' preschool program assesses each child's needs and creates an individualized program of education, teaming with clinical specialists and with parents on a coordinated home-school program.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

Educator and Researcher Phil Hatlen outlines benefits of the Expanded Core (ECC) for parents and professionals. Also available in Spanish.

Source: FamilyConnect

AFB Press maintains a detailed list of print and multimedia publications, organized by core area.  Many of the resources are available for purchase.  Titles link you to the AFB store.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Peggy Freeman gives advice on the importance of routines to parents of babies who are deafblind with multiple disabilities, with detailed suggestions for routines for feeding, sleeping, bathing, dressing and undressing, and toileting.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

A resource guide for parents, teachers, and administrators, who want to address the unique curricular needs of the learner who is visually impaired, in compliance with the Arizona State Standards.

Source: AER Arizona

This introduction to tangible symbols includes a definition, examples, considerations, and a list of advantages and disadvantages; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

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.

TSBVI shares the revised curriculum approved by the National Agenda Steering Committee.  This document includes complete description of the Expanded Core areas.

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

K.C. Dignan provides a comprehensive introduction to the ECC as a chapter in a larger resource for administrators.

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

This website offers introductory information about the ECC, with sections on each of the 9 areas, as well as activity ideas for each.

Source: TeachingVisuallyImpaired.com

This tip sheet by Cheryl Gannon provides an overview of the core and expanded core curricula, including a look at who is responsible for the implementation of ECC.

Source: NH Professional Development Center for Vision Education

This presentation by Kathleen M. Huebner explores the challenges itinerant teachers face in providing instruction in all of the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum.  She offers strategies for making the best use of available time. Download of the original PowerPoint presentation is also available here.

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

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