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 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

Leslie Fansler, who is the mother of a deafblind boy, shares her reflections on what she has learned raising her son; available in English and Spanish.

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

The Kids Zone is the catalog of audio, braille, and print/braille NLS books for preschool through grade 8, which includes links to award-winning books, bibliographies, and selected series.

Source: National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

This section of the FamilyConnect website includes information on the rights of your child, including the following:  IDEA: What Parents Need to Know; Accommodations and Modifications at a Glance; What If My Child Has Not Been Assigned a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments?; When You Have Concerns; and Being an Advocate for Your Child. There are numerous links to related information, all of which is designed for parents.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Find out about some common concerns in the language development of young children with visual impairments and learn what you can do to help.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Dr. Lea Hyvärinen, a Finnish ophthalmologist, shares information and resources on of pediatric vision tests and tests for assessment of visual capabilities in occupational health services and in assessment of low vision.  Available in multiple languages.

Includes video demonstrations, infant vision, lectures on assessment of functional vision, information for parents, assement of vision and hearing of individuals who are deafblind, and testing the vision of a child with Down Syndrome.

This article discusses the importance of play in the development of social and language skills.  It lists specific suggestions for encouraging social interaction with other toddlers, through parallel play and pretend play.

Source: FamilyConnect

Jacki Harth, mother of a two-year-old boy who is blind, discusses some of the important skills that a child can learn by exploring household objects.

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

This website is a primary source of information on Active Learning and the sole source of Active Learning equipment authorized by Dr. Lilli Nielsen in North America.

A wealth of articles with literacy tips for every stage of development.

Source: FamilyConnect

Join a network of special-needs families exchanging their gently-used adaptive equipment.  The Lollipop Kids Equipment Closet contains durable big-ticket items like adapted seating, ramps, bathroom equipment, etc., that children have outgrown.

Source: Lollipop Kids Foundation

This tip sheet offers specific suggestions to assist a child in understanding and adjusting to changes in routine.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

Although not aimed at parents of children with visual impairments, this site has useful general information, including strategies for teaching big mathematical concepts, activities that reinforce math skills in the daily routine, and links to additional resources.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

New Visions offers information to professionals and parents working with infants and children with feeding, swallowing, oral-motor, and pre-speech problems.

Source: New Visions

In this webcast, Perkins Occupational Therapist Sue Shannon discusses the importance of mealtime skills in teaching social skills and concept development. Video demonstrations include many practical tips and helpful strategies; close-captioned, includes downloadable PowerPoint slides.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins eLearning

This San Antonio Wonderland opened in 2010 as the first family amusement designed with ultra-accessibility in mind. The 25-acre park and playland accommodates guests of all abilities on its rides, playscapes, theatres, and comfort stations

This site is a resource for parents, featuring a range of articles and links on communication, socialization, orientation and mobility, and transition, and more. Also in Spanish.

Source: Family Connect

This section of the Family Connect site is a gold mine for parents and other family members who are looking for information and resources on children who have additional disabilities.

Source: FamilyConnect