Multiple Disabilities Resources

In addition to blindness or visual impairment, a child may have additional disabilities, such as cognitive, developmental, hearing, or mobility impairments. Every student with multiple disabilities presents a unique educational challenge. Teachers need specialized training and skills to understand how these students experience and understand the world. In this section, families and educators will find introductions to the educational needs of these students, as well as best practice and policy overviews.

Find more Camp Ability locations located in:
Massachusetts, Ireland, Bangladesh, Portugal, Utah, Costa Rica, Olympia, Puerto Rico


Source: Camp Abilities

Dr. Stephanie MacFarland, who specializes in training teachers of students with multiple disabilities, outlines van Dijk's learning theory for children who are deafblind.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness

Camp in Oakland, Maine

This is Chapter 7 from Peggy Freeman's book, The Deafblind Disabled Baby: A Program of Care for Parents of the Deafblind Baby with Multiple Disabilities. She discusses the importance of play and outlines six stages of play, with many simple activities to try at home. Downloads as a Microsoft Word Document.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Information on the most prevalent eye diseases globally, and WHO's work to eradicate them.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

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. 

"Tips for Home or School" are suggestions for encouraging children with significant disabilities to write. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Source: Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project

Addresses early detection, assessment, mobility, self-help, and communication; includes a short section on children with CP and visual impairments.

PDF version (illustrated; not accessible to screen readers).

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Peggy Freeman gives advice on the importance of routines to parents of babies who are deafblind with multiple disabilities, with detailed suggestions for routines for feeding, sleeping, bathing, dressing and undressing, and toileting.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

This site offers links to numerous articles, including "Preemies and Sensory Integration", "Adoption and Sensory Integration", and more.

Source: Come Unity

In this 5-page article, neurologist Dr. Fernette Eide explains the biology of sensory integration dysfunction and the role of occupational therapy in its treatment.

Source: Research Gate

The main challenges of providing services for children with visual impairments and additional disabilities in Nepal.

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

Eileen Hammar and Anne Malatchi list seven ways to make the IEP team an effective one; available in Spanish.

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

This webpage offers guidelines for determining the best intervention for sleep disorders; includes links to related resources and articles.

Source: Utah Collaborative Medical Home Project

Video resources can be highly informative, especially when explaining Space for Active Learning (SAL). On this page, you'll find three videos demonstrating various types of SALs. (For best results, use Internet Explorer to view Videos.) Be sure to also read the FAQ page offered here.

Source: Washington Sensory Disabilities Services

Future Reflections dedicated this issue to the needs of children with multiple disabilities, including visual impairment.

Source: National Federation of the Blind

Perkins provides a series of webcasts that explore in-depth the special educational, developmental, and social issues for individuals with CHARGE Syndrome. This link takes you to a landing page of webcasts, and 2 tutorial offerings for continuing education credits.

Source: Perkins eLearning

24-page document has practical suggestions for early intervention, and strategies for pre-school, elementary, and high school; includes students with multiple disabilities.

Source: Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)

This article provides specific suggestions to help children develop eating skills and independence at mealtime.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This information sheet provides a thorough introduction to tactile communication strategies, including general interaction tips, suggestions for encouraging communication, and requirements for a communication system; in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE