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 checklist is "a tool to help parents who want to make sure that their child receives the special education and related services listed in their IEP."

Source: National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC)

Future Reflections (1997)

This article by Doris M. Willoughby contains IEP Goals and Objectives for Self-Advocacy for three age groups, from preschool through twelfth grade. It also includes recommendations made by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and the National Federation of the Blind regarding the provisions and proposed rules which impact blind and visually impaired children.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Find practical suggestions on how to teach basic cognitive skills, such as spatial awareness, positional concepts, and object permanence.

Source: Wonder Baby

This article includes sections on learning table skills, helping to prepare simple snacks and meals, and tips for good kitchen habits.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Independence Science provides talking and sensory products to increase accessibility in the science lab. This is a robust website of technological and tactile solutions or experimentation and modeling.

Dr. Natalie Barraga explains six stages in development in which parents and various team members are involved as children grow.  Also available in Spanish.

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

This page has links to documents on IEP planning and writing IEPs.

Source: DisabilityResources.org

This section of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) website presents the legislation regarding the IFSP.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

This article introduces families to the IFSP process by explaining what it is, what services are provided, what is included in the plan, and how it supports the family.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law on Dec. 3, 2004 and ensures “services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.”

Source: U.S. Department of Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 ensures "services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities."

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Dr. Grace Lappin's case study suggests that massage may strengthen parental bonds and be a great developmental stimulant for infants with blindness (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

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

This handbook by Dr. Virginia E. Bishop helps families and educators understand the importance of early identification, and how visual impairments may impede development if appropriate intervention is not provided.

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

This information packet from NFB includes a selection of articles, fliers, braille alphabet cards, and related resources; much of the material can be downloaded from the site.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

A wealth of information can be found here on all topics related to infants and toddlers, and the adults who spend time with them. The online information includes many specific tips on topics ranging from play to sleep.

Prof. Grace Lappin describes how infant massage can provide another way for the caregiver and child to interact, establish contact and communication, and develop a deep bond. (Microsoft Word Document)

Source: DVI Quarterly, 2003, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)Division on Visual Impairments

Millie Smith discusses the impact of current federal legislation on the development of IEPs for students with severe disabilities,” and examines research-based instructional strategies.

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

The purpose of ICEB is "to coordinate and improve standards for braille usage for all English-speaking users of braille." One of their key initiatives is Unified English Braille.

The importance of partnerships between professionals and families in the rehabilitation of children with visual impairments.

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

Cyral Miller “provides families with some guidelines to help assess if the IEP is meeting the vision-related needs of a child with a visual impairment”; available in Spanish.

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

This article provides suggestions to consider when approaching toilet training with a child who has a visual impairment.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

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