Visual Impairment and Blindness Resources

These resources cover the basics of visual impairment and blindness, covering the causes, as well as definitions of professional and medical terminology, descriptions of vision examination procedures, simulations, statistics, and recommendations for protecting the eyes and vision. This section also includes information on support groups for parents, families, and consumers, along with advice for environmental adaptations and tips for living with blindness and visual impairment.

For educational resources, please visit the sections grouped under Teaching Resources.

Contains A-Z information on diseases and disorders of the eye, basic eye anatomy, and eye care resources; also available in Spanish.

Source: National Eye Institute (NEI)

This article explains how learning about communication and language differs for a baby who is visually impaired, and offers suggestions for helping your child learn to communicate.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This article offers practical tips for helping a child to be more independent in the bathroom, including how to use unfamiliar bathrooms.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This guide summarizes the various visual impairments a child will have after hemispherectomy, TPO disconnection, and occipital lobectomy, and how they can affect a child’s daily living, functional mobility, and access to the educational curriculum in school.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Find out more about the history of teaching science at Perkins School for the Blind, including a tactile museum featuring objects from the natural world and science disciplines.

Source: Perkins History Museum—Perkins School for the Blind

Authored by Kay L. Clarke of the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education, this downloadable booklet includes detailed instructions for creating structures for safe and independent play.

Source: Ohio Center for Deafblind Education

A survey for identifying safety issues with many ideas for solutions and adaptations.

Source: VisionAware

Explains the importance of rehabilitation services for people who have recently lost vision; includes sample forms. Available as PDF. 

Source: Community Eye Health Journal

Understanding the degree of functional vision is important in planning the educational program for students with deafblindness. (PDF file from a newsletter.)

Source: Missouri Deafblind Technical Assistance Project

Video resumes are a way to show potential employers a student's abilities and achievements. This 2-page fact sheet lists tips for creating an effective video resume, a particularly effective way to document the abilities and achievements of students with severe disabilities.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

How visual acuity is calculated using the Snellen Eye Chart.

Source: Prevent Blindness

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

This article by DeAnn Hyatt-Foley offers a brief overview of the three components of the IEP: evaluation, curriculum, and placement. It includes a checklist for parents of information that should be written in the IEP document; available in Spanish.

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

This webpage offers NCDB products, links to articles and other publications, and Internet resources.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

In this two-page fact sheet, parents learn what they can do before, during, and after the IEP team meeting, with real life examples. Available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali.

Source: Center for Parent Information and 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)

An examination of the effectiveness of inclusive education in India, and a model for active partnership between special schools for the blind and teachers trained in general disabilities.

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

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.

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