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.

A self-paced online course for teams assessing the assistive technology needs of students with visual impairment. Includes videos to demonstrate assessment techniques and student interaction with the potential equipment..

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

A brief overview of some of the primary types of assistive technology for people with visual impairments, including Screen-Reading Software, Magnification Software, Dictation Software, Refreshable Braille Displays, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Systems, Video Magnifiers or Closed-Circuit Televisions (CCTVs), and Portable Magnifiers.

Source: Mobility International USA

Explore information designed for parents and family members on a range of assistive technology topics, including Accessing Printed Information; Accessing Electronic Information; Tools for Writing; Taking Care of Assistive Devices; Students Using Technology; and Kitchen Appliance Accessibility.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

These guidelines for Michigan teachers are useful for any educator whose student needs instruction in assistive technology. Includes downloadable checklists in Word and PDF format.

Source: Michigan Department of Education

ATIA is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of assistive technology devices and/or services.

ADP lists television programs by network, and gives instructions for enabling the service on home TVs.

Source: The Audio Description Project

The charts in this 6-page document by Marilyn and Jay Gense compare typical development, development of children who are blind or visually impaired, and children who have autism as well as visual impairments. The charts focus on communication, social interactions, patterns of behavior, and responses to sensory information.

Source: FocusFamilies

Babies Count was first created in 1995 and is the only national database in the US to collect epidemiologic and demographic information on infants and toddlers between the ages of birth and 36 months who are blind or visually impaired. Information from this database has been used to make policy and budget decisions, to expand programs, to drive medical and educational research, and to track the changing face of blindness of children in our country today. The database is currently being reconstructed to reflect the ways that data is collected in the 21st century and to meet the evolving needs of participating agencies.

Source: Babies Count

For itinerant TVIs who are adapting chemistry for a braille student, these guidelines will be invaluable.   The 20-page document includes:

  • Basic Guidance on When to Switch
  • UEB Rule for Use of Opening and Closing Nemeth Indicators
  • Additional Guidelines
  • Formatting

The guidelines are available for free download in PDF or BRF format on the BANA (Braille Authority of North America) website.

 

Authors Perla and Ducret explain how the design of an O&M program for students with multiple disabilities should start with understanding the child's most basic needs, such as communication, safety, independence, and consistency.

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

Visually Impaired and Blind Youth Camp

Tips for parents on observing skills development, missing or delayed skills in children with visual impairments, and dealing with difficult or challenging behaviors.

Source: FamilyConnect

Three behavioral characteristics are commonly found among individuals with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. Author John Walters stresses the necessity of understanding the whole person and the function of behaviors before considering intervention.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

In your education of (and advocacy for) others, you may find these talking points helpful for getting the message across that orientation and mobility are important lifelong learning processes. This link presents both English and Spanish text.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and VIsually Impaired

In this 11-page document, Sam Morgan describes biobehavioral states and explains why they are important when working with students with profound disabilities.

Source: Hunter College

This article introduces two ways to classify states of awareness in "individuals with profound disabilities."  (This is a scanned document and is not accessible to screen readers.)

Maylene Bird shares teaching tips on cells, microscopes, diagrams and models, dissecting, and measuring.

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

This page has links to various biology lessons, a list of errors and omissions in the Holt Biology Book (2004), and diagrams that can be downloaded to accompany the text.

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

Overview of bioptic driving requirements, fitting and pricing, with state-by-state laws for bi-optic drivers in the United States.

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