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.

Guidelines for offering practical assistance to people who are blind or visually impaired, including etiquette tips and sighted guide techniques. Available as a PDF.

Source: Community Eye Health Journal

The Perkins Assistive Device Center is a workshop that creates customized materials for children with disabilities. Custom-made items meet the unique needs of individuals while being affordable, durable and attractive.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

This section of the Teaching Visually Impaired website includes an Overview of Assistive Technology (AT); Types of VI AT; AT Instruction; Apps for VI; Braillewriter Repair; AT Resources; and Vendors.

Source: Teaching Visually Impaired

Begin your understanding of assistive technology with this overview of the tools and devices used by the visually impaired to assist their daily activities, and then browse resources and activities on topics such as 3D printing, apps, coding, iPads and tablets, and screen readers.

Source: Paths to Literacy

Looking for a template for assessing students with visual impairments? TSBVI provides an example for download, which can be modified as needed. Includes assessment of accessing and producing written communication, physical requirements for computer use, and recommendations.  Other templates are available in PDF and RTF form for the major types and brands of assistive technology for users who are blind or visually impaired.

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

This 10-page document defines commonly used terminology associated with assistive technology.

Source: Georgia Project for Assistive Technology

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.

ADDP's mission is to promote and ensure the strength of the community-based provider community and its members so that our members can be successful in improving the quality, access and value of community based services.  To that end, the ADDP is committed to enhancing the political, financial and professional/educational health of member organizations that care for people with disabilities, including developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries, and their families.

For more information see: http://addp.org/

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)

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