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.

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

A questionnaire for determining whether a vision evaluation is needed; includes links to related topics such as pediatric care, vision therapy, vision checklists and learning disabilities.

Source: Optometrists Network

APH offers a wide range of products for parents and professionals to use in the education of young children, including assessment tools, curricula, and instructional materials.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

Susan Osterhaus offers suggestions for materials, activities, and resources to help young children develop simple mathematical concepts.

Source: Susan's Math Technology Corner, Texas School for the Blind (TSBVI)

This section includes articles on the importance of preschool education, language development, motor skills, the role of parents as teachers, and more.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind

Deborah Gleason offers parents a wealth of ideas on making a child's world safe and understandable. Also available in Spanish, and downloadable in Indonesian.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

This introduction describes the purpose of early intervention, the support for families, types of services, and information on where services can be found.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

"...[R]esources you can use to support the growth and development of your baby or toddler from birth to five years, including the Early Support Developmental Journal ... which is a key resource."

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

This article includes sections on teaching your infant about food, starting solid food, and helping your toddler learn table manners.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

The Family Connect website is a good place to start for parents and teachers who want to understand what their child needs to learn in order to succeed in school and in life. Outlines the educational needs and rights and development of children who are blind, from infancy to the college years.

Source: Family Connect

Future Reflections (1985)

This checklist prepared by Nebraska Advocacy Services contains both the legal requirements that define the IEP process and some common sense issues that parents may wish to consider during the IEP preparation and meetings. A later (1995) version prepared by Maryland Disability Law Center is linked here.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Educational Advocacy is a self-directed tutorial that addresses topics of educational advocacy for parents, educators, and policymakers. Continuing education credits are available.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

This page offers suggestions for helping young children develop greater independence in all areas of daily living, including mobility, toileting, eating, dressing and undressing.

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)