Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Braille

Reading braille labels on can of green beans
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is 7 years old and is deafblind.  He is a braille reader and as of lately (this school year especially) he has really taken an interest in writing in braille as well!  Below are 10 ways that I try to encourage this new skill at...



A girls with glasses uses a braille writer at a desk in a public school classroom.
Posted by Tracy Fitch
As Teachers of the Visually Impaired one of the major parts of our jobs is to ensure that our students have access to the general education curriculum. This can be difficult throughout a student's school career, and can prove more difficult as the...



Hand-made tactile graphics of a wave
Posted by Tracy Fitch
You've got to think outside of the box!  It's NOT about being pretty!  It's NOT about looking exactly like the print!  It IS about being meaningful!  It IS about being understandable!  Our...



Hands on a braille writer
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
A member of our community asked if we had any activities or resources for teaching braille mechanics to students with Cerebral Palsy (CP) or decreased tactile sensitivity.  We have included tips for both reading and writing braille. There are many...



A student with low vision uses a video magnifier
Posted by Liz Eagan
Why is the grass greener on the other side?  “'The grass is always greener on the other side' because the other side knows what fertilizer to buy," I often heard growing up.  But is it?  Is the grass greener because they...



Boy reads braille on his Christmas stocking
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
The holidays are an exciting time of year for children and there are lots of opportunities to incorporate literacy into the fun!  The ideas here include suggestions to make Christmas and Hanukkah more accessible to children with visual impairments or...



icon of Jaws software on a desktop computer
Posted by Sharon@TSBVI
JAWS, Job Access With Speech, is a popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and braille output for the most popular computer applications...



Cloth book with textures
Posted by Holly Cooper
Leer en Español.     People often wonder what to get as a gift for a child who has a visual impairment.  Every child is unique and has their own interests, preferences, and abilities, so any advice must be considered with the...



Worksheets
Posted by gwyn52
This is the first post in a series about adapting worksheets for students who are blind or visually impaired.  It is designed to help teachers and assistants to think through the steps involved in providing access to materials.   Before you...



Girl putting dots on braille activity
Posted by Cheryl Brown
These tips and tools are designed to address skills for the young beginning braille reader who is ready to start braille instruction and who has received preschool instruction on concept development. For experienced TVIs, this will be a review of ideas and...



A child's hand reads braille about fall leaves
Posted by Liamsmom
It's all about the experience!  We have been using experiences to teach concepts or new ideas and vocabulary.    It is so important, especially for our children with vision impairments, to have real-life tangible experiences!...



An intervener and student are identifying a sink using tactile sign
Posted by Liamsmom
Taking purposeful trips to places in the community can be prove to be a motivating and meaningful way to focus on language goals.     My son, Liam, is 7 years old and happens to be deafblind. American Sign Language (ASL) is his first...



Perkins brailler
Posted by Tracy Fitch
Braille writing instruction will happen at the same time as braille reading instruction.  It is important to teach all braille learners the parts of the brailler, along with inserting paper. There are a number of braille writers available and...



Swing cell
Posted by Tracy Fitch
A Swing Cell is designed to help students understand the relationship between the braille cell and the keys on a braillewriter. In the closed position, the removable pegs inserted into the blocks represent the dots in a braille cell. In the open position, the...



Child using shapes to create patterns.
Posted by Tracy Fitch
This post will specifically discuss braille instruction strategies for students with multiple impairments or intellectual disabilities. We are assuming that you have done pre-braille activities up to this point. Examples of tools and resources for the pre...



Accessible bins in classroom
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
It’s that time of the year again!  The start of a new school year always brings a range of emotions: excitement, worry, anticipation, wistfulness to say goodbye to summer…  We hope that these ideas and resources will help to get the...



Tack-Tiles
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is 7 years old and will be starting 2nd grade this school year.  He is deafblind, uses tactile American Sign Language and is a braille reader.     I love Tack-Tiles.  I have often been asked how we used Tack-Tiles...



A boy writes a letter on a braillewriter.
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is 7 years old and he is deafblind.  Liam loves reading and writing braille.  I thought a great activity for summer break would be to learn about writing letters to our friends and family.  It was my hope that it would be fun and...



pictures shows student matching tactile shapes on a Velcro strip
Posted by Tracy Fitch
How many of us serve students who have both a severe visual impairment and multiple disabilities, including intellectual disabilities? How many of us have attempted literacy instruction or braille with this population of students? And, if you have, how...



Braille garden labels
Posted by Liamsmom
I have always wanted to make my son an accessible garden that my son could learn to take care of independently.  I was hoping a garden could be something he could learn to enjoy and learn from.     Earlier this year I applied for the...



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