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.

This article explores the pros and cons of surgery, with information about procedures, outcomes, and recovery.

Source: Sacramento Network of Care

This self-guided tutorial compiles several presentations and addresses by parents of children who are visually impaired, and asks the viewer to consider what it means to families to be placed in this "ambassador" role.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

This site contains information on child development, including developmental screening and positive parenting tips.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This page offers a sampling of toys and a list of tips to help parents select the best toys for children with blindness or visual impairments.

Source: WonderBaby

This list of common abbreviations may be helpful in interpreting an eye report.

Source: Root Eye Network

The articles in this section offer a wealth of information on alternate methods of communication, including symbol systems, schedules, and sign language.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Project SALUTE describes the hierarchy of communication symbols, from most abstract to most concrete. Color photographs of each of the eleven symbols are included; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

An explanation of the elements of an eye examination and what the specialist is evaluating.

Source: American Optometric Association

Project SPARKLE describes the three types of concepts (concrete, semi-concrete, and abstract) and general strategies to assist children who are deafblind in concept development; includes a glossary and links to resources.

Source: Project SPARKLE

Sue Elan Holmes writes "about her experience with the Little Room, and what the Active Learning approach has meant for her son, Jimmy."

Source: Future Reflections, 2006, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Elizabeth Hartmann focuses on three main aspects of environments in this article (page 3): space, people, and time. Giving each appropriate attention "make them more conducive to meaningful communication" for children with deafblindness.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

This 3-page article (on pp.6-8 of the newsletter) offers strategies for planning an effective transition from school to adult life. It includes information about the members of the team and creating an effective futures plan.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

In this 30-minute webcast, Mary Zatta describes the purpose and components of a vocational portfolio, and discusses the importance of development processes.

For more information on this topic, see this title from Perkins Publications: School to Work - Developing Transitional Portfolios for Students with Significant Disabilities

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

This self-study course in braille, designed for people with vision and presented in Spanish, was created by Carmen Roig and is available online at no charge. 

Source: ONCE

This fact sheet has been developed to guide families through the development of an individualized education program for a child with deafblindness. It is available as a free download, below, or hard copies can be bought at the link in the resource title. It references both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Deafblindness: Educational Service Guidelines . 

Expert Advice: Developed at Perkins, guide offers advice on working with your child’s team to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Learn about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Deafblindness: Educational Service Guidelines.

Download a copy of the Developing an Effective IEP mini-guide in Spanish: Spanish (PDF)

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

Barbara Miles and Barbara McLetchie describe types of concepts and the relationships, attitudes, and environments that promote their development in students who are deafblind; in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Explains the differences between vision screening, testing, and eye examinations.

Source: Vision First Foundation

Census data on the impact of disability on families. Visual and hearing impairments are counted together and not differentiated.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

The CEC's Division on Visual Impairment and Deafblindness advances the education of children and youth who have visual impairments or deafblindness. Browse selected articles and position papers here.

Source: Council for Exceptional Children

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