Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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Emergent Literacy

A boy with glasses holds his hands over his ears
Posted by Peg Palmer
Recently I had yet another conversation with a distraught parent from another state, who was upset that her child who has cortical visual impairment (CVI) was not being included in the story/circle time at preschool. “He doesn’t need to see the...



Preschool student with her arms out wide
Posted by Jodi Floyd
Systematic building of skills in toddlers and pre-schoolers will facilitate learning to read and write braille in the future! Skills to build include: concepts such as same and different, tactual awareness and perception, and fine motor such as exploring...



A child scoops the seeds out of a pumpkin
Posted by Megan Mogan
Around 4 pm every day, something wonderful happens to me.  I get to reunite with my 3 children after school/work and find out how their days went.  I get to hear about spelling tests, lunchbox trades, science experiments, and playground drama....



Braille Tracking sheet and Feely Meely
Posted by Mary McCarthy
I am currently working with a child who has decreased sensitivity. Below are a few suggestions. I try to keep each activity to five minutes or less and provide lots of praise.   First I had the OT do a sensitivity test and she was able to...



Clifford the Big Red Dog against black background
Posted by Diane Sheline
Children with cortical visual impairment (CVI) present a unique challenge to educators and families, and many wonder what the impact is on the development of literacy skills.  The information presented here is designed to be an overview of some of the...



Dollar bills
Posted by Lisa Pruner
By Lisa Pruner and Catherine Summ, State of Connecticut, DORS-Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind, Windsor, CT   Over the past few years, we have created a collection of literacy skills kits for children with blindness or...



Baby on tactile blanket
Posted by Lisa Jacobs
Tactile baby blankets are a wonderful way to encourage exploration among our youngest children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or deafblindness.  Presenting the child with a variety of tactile elements...



Gluing tactile materials onto the page of a book.
Posted by laceyjo22
As an itinerant TVI/COMS for a multi-district special education unit, it can be difficult to provide quality professional development for teachers specifically for students with visual impairments. One area that I felt was necessary to provide training for...



A young child touches a yellow flower
Posted by gwyn52
Daniel Downes, Teacher of Vision Impairments, has developed a programme called SEE (Sensory Enriched Experiences) which puts rich literacy experiences at its heart. In the first of a 3-part series, Gwyn, Director of Positive Eye writes about the importance...



Yellow duck and red ladybug
Posted by Deena Recker
Using information obtained from Christine Roman-Lantzy’s book, Cortical Visual Impairment, An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, these books are designed to help bring literacy to students who are diagnosed with or demonstrating the...



A boy holds a bowl while using tactile sign.
Posted by Liamsmom
Storyboxes are a great way to make stories come alive for our children with vision impairments.  Storyboxes are also a way to make pictures in a children's story accessible.  A story box is simply a way to use objects to represent parts of a...



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...



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...



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 young boy touches a turtle.
Posted by dwilkinson
Exposure to pictures is a prerequisite to successful literacy. Pictures provide the first step to literacy for sighted children and serve as a bridge between the pages of the books they will eventually read and the three-dimensional world around them...



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!...



Writing alphabet letters
Posted by Roxana Cziker
This is the first of five parts created by Low Vision Therapist, Dr. Roxana Elena Cziker, focusing on the needs of students with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI)   The series is designed to address challenges for children with CVI who...



Tactile clipboard
Posted by Katie Armstrong
A resource for teachers or parents of tactual learners When many people first think of literacy skills, or pre-braille skills they think of things like tracking braille lines, identifying tactual or textured pictures or exploring objects in a story box, just...



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...



Child choosing Chex from snack menu wall
Posted by Jbrown
Through incidental learning, young children learn to read environmental print, which is an important stage in their literacy development.  According to the website Reading Rockets, which is part of a national initiative to teach literacy skills,...



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