Motor Skills Resources

In this section, families and educators can explore the importance of touch in bonding and communicating with a baby who is blind or visually impaired. Touch and movement are integral to development of fine and gross motor skills, encouraging young children to reach out and to actively explore the world around them.

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 7-minute video was created by Elina Mullen, Ed.D. and demonstrates different types of equipment for various sports, such as hockey, racquet games, and more.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

This PowerPoint presentation focuses on the learning styles of children with visual impairments with and without additional disabilities and on early orientation and mobility development.

Source: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (British Columbia)

Aimed at parents, with clear, nonclinical language. This is a compilation of three different developmental scales for evaluating social/emotional, communication, cognitive, fine motor, and gross motor development.

Source: WonderBaby

Motor and cognitive skills essential to literacy are presented in a grid that shows how they interrelate and support a child's development (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Source: Paths to Literacy

ASHA explains the nature of feeding and swallowing disorders, their signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Chris Tabb offers tips on encouraging purposeful movement, developing sensory efficiency, and grasping concepts as lessons of O&M for students with significant disabilities.

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

The joys of woodworking. Includes safety tips. 

Source: Vision Aware

O&M skills begin when a baby learns to balance and walk. Advice for enhancing confidence and development.

Source: FamilyConnect

This guide summarizes the various visual impairments a child will have after hemispherectomy, TPO disconnection, and occipital lobectomy, and how they can affect a child’s daily living, functional mobility, and access to the educational curriculum in school.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Educators and authors D. Jay Gense and Marilyn Gense provide educational strategies in this illustrated article that places Orientation & Mobility in context for learners with deafblindness. Also in PDF format, English or Spanish.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Begin your exploration of orientation and mobility topics for clients with deafblindness on the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness page, where several resources are listed.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

New Visions offers information to professionals and parents working with infants and children with feeding, swallowing, oral-motor, and pre-speech problems.

Source: New Visions

This short checklist from DVI Quarterly was developed by educators "to determine the need for an orientation and mobility evaluation for a student with multiple impairments by a certified O&M specialist."

Source: Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Visual Impairments (CECDVI)

The information in this section of the BCRC site is designed to help parents encourage movement in their young children who are blind.

Source: Blind Children's Resource Center

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.

"This site provides information and resources that can enable people with disabilities to become as physically active as they choose to be."

Lisa Ricketts, OTR, discusses the impact of visual impairment on sensory integration, and how sensory integration disorder manifests in students with blindness and visual impairments. Treatment approaches and educational interventions are also described.

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

This article by Jill Brody discusses the role of occupational therapists, definitions, and intervention strategies for working with young children with visual impairments and additional disabilities.

Source: Project SALUTE

Dona Sauerburger is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist whose website contains this resource list of handouts and fact sheets.

Source: Dona Sauerburger

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