Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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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...



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...



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...



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,...



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...



Portable communication choice board
Posted by gwyn52
Are you a teacher of students with visual impairments thinking about what belongs in your "toolbox" for the new school year?  Or perhaps you're a parent wondering what materials to use during the summer holidays with your child who is blind...



Girl using Ballyland
Posted by Kristie Smith
A few months ago, our vision department changed our student caseload and I was blessed to be given a bright, funny young student who has become a dual learner.  Enter my new first grade student who carries a small red and white cane, but who...



Shoppers in a mall
Posted by JennieO
What can you do with your students who are visually impaired in the middle of winter in the state of Maine (or anywhere else)? Mountain biking? I don’t think so! High cliff diving? Not a chance! Cross country skiing? Well yes, that of course, but...



traffic intersection with tactual models
Posted by Chris Tabb
The American Heritage Dictionary has two definitions for “literacy”. The first is, “The condition or quality of being literate, especially the ability to read and write.” The second definition is a bit more global, “The...



Bucket of materials for Frozen activity
Posted by gwyn52
Creating a holistic approach based on a theme or story enables children who are visually impaired to access and enjoy literacy and numeracy activities in a meaningful way.    The film "Frozen" has been tremendously popular...



Tactile symbol system
Posted by Megan Mogan
Let’s start with the good news. You have emerging readers with Visual Impairment who have learned the meaning of tactile name symbols for people in their lives.  The bad news? You are considering crossing that skill off your list of “Things...



Boy with iPad
Posted by Tara Mason
John is in tenth grade and has a visual impairment and cerebral palsy. He is attending high school in a one-to-one iPad school district, and his team would like to investigate the effectiveness of him using an iPad as Assistive Technology (AT). This device...



girl holding her face in her hands
Posted by Marnee Loftin
School is one of the most important factors in the life of a child.  It is the source of many of their feelings of self-esteem and competence as a person separate from their family.  Not surprisingly, difficulties at school often result in...



Tactile trees on page
Posted by Liz Eagan
Tactile books are a great way to foster the development of literacy skills with any child who is visually impaired, including children with other significant disabilities. These can be used at home for enjoyment, to support understanding and anticipation...



oreo reading book
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
We are so grateful to all of you in our online Community of Practice for sharing your ideas and support throughout the year!  While the latest blog post is emailed to you each week, there are many other posts throughout the week that you may have missed...



Two boys hanging ornaments on Christmas tree
Posted by Liamsmom
I am a mother of two sweet boys.  My oldest, Liam, is 6 years old.  He is deafblind.  My youngest, Finn, is 3 years old.  He has typical vision and hearing.  I really look forward to the Christmas season.  I enjoy finding...



Red ball on black background
Posted by Jbrown
After students with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment) have learned to view and identify real objects, they are ready to learn to identify two-dimensional pictures.  It is essential to recognize the differences in a student’s visual skill set before...



school supply labels
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam, who is deafblind, will be starting first grade in a couple of weeks in a mainstream classroom.  Last year, I bought all of Liam's supplies and labeled them myself.  This year I wanted Liam to be part of the process. And of course I...



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