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

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

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

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

Barbara Cheadle's child-rearing advice for parents whose children have visual impairments.

Source: Future Reflections, 2004, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

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)

In this webcast, Diana Autin presents family companion guides that include fact sheets, mini-guides and an IEP Meeting Checklist. These materials provide a framework to support the development of meaningful, appropriate programming for students with deafblindness. 

Source: Perkins eLearning

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)

Stacy Shafer outlines some of Dr. Lilli Nielsen's recommendations for designing a learning environment for a child with visual impairments and multiple disabilities.

Source: Future Reflections, 2005, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

JAN has the answers to your questions about ADA regulations, workplace accommodations, advocacy and accessibility. JAN is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, in the U.S. Department of Labor

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

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