Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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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 boy hugging a horse
Posted by Keveny Glynn
One of my students participated in an 11-week therapeutic riding program this fall and we wanted to find a way to incorporate literacy, communication, social interaction, and other skills.  He kept a weekly "journal" of his experience, which is...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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...



Tactile graphic organizer of pumpkin
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam is a first grader in a mainstream classroom and he happens to be deafblind.  I was inspired recently by a classroom letter that was sent home in his backpack.  The children were expected to write stories that had a beginning, middle,...



Adapted literacy collage
Posted by Megan Mogan
By Megan Mogan   Buried deep in the Paths to Literacy archives is a little post called Adapted Adapted Literacy.  It describes how my TVI colleague Sheryl Katzen and I worked together to adapt parts of our school’s conventional...



Student with teacher and pink balloon
Posted by Linda Hagood
Editor's Note:  Please refer to the background article:  Writing CAN Be Child's Play:  A Collaborative Writing Program.   Students in the Writing Together Program have produced many kinds of interesting stories.  I will be...



scribble on paper
Posted by Liamsmom
When I was first introduced to the idea of "scribbling" for my son Liam who is deafblind, I remember thinking, “Scribbling doesn’t really make sense for my son since he can’t see what he is scribbling”. Well, I came to...



Collage of handwriting tips
Posted by gwyn52
Top Access Tips: Writing Students with visual impairments often benefit from the use of specialized tools and materials.  Special paper, writing tools, lighting and other equipment can make it easier for them to write.  It is important to...



Pages open in app
Posted by Sharon@TSBVI
Recently I had a student ask me if there were any apps for the iPad which would allow her to format and edit a document. She was currently emailing her documents she created in the Notes app to the classroom teacher and wanted to continue that process but...



Curved pieces of Handwriting Without Tears
Posted by Katie Armstrong
Handwriting Without Tears, HWT, is a multi-sensory writing curriculum created for early childhood through 5th grade.  I have been using the pre-school program called, Get Set For School, in my early childhood classroom for children with visual...



Student using ACC device to write
Posted by fayegonzalez
Kids with visual and multiple disabilities often struggle with writing.  Let’s face it, these students often struggle with being effective communicators, much less with being effective writers!   In the maze of challenges our students...



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