Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Blog Posts

Below are recently created blog posts.



A worksheet with words and images
By Brenda Biernat
Novelty. Complexity of array. Sensory complexity. Preferred color. These are some of the characteristics of cortical visual impairment. More importantly, these are descriptors for my son’s vision. Such words have become a second language. At times it...



Helen Keller reading a book
By Charlotte Cushman
  Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 and we pause this week to salute a woman who devoted her life to the rights of people who are blind or deafblind.  She was a prolific reader and writer, and many of her original letters are housed in the...



A young girl uses a braillewriter
By PennyR
Editor's Note:  Please note that these free lessons are offered as an introduction to the braille code and are not intended to be complete. These lessons are designed to give families and other individuals who are sighted an understanding...



A student reads a braille passage during the Braille Challenge.
By Scott Baltisberger
In a nation with a large immigrant population, issues regarding bilingual education for learners with visual impairment arise on a regular basis. As children from Latin American backgrounds continue to comprise the majority of students with limited English...



Happy Birthday tag in print and braille
By Liamsmom
My son Liam recently turned eight years old!  He is a braille reader and every year for his birthday I have made him a birthday book that included pages from friends that have come to his party.  Here are some of the ideas we've done in the past...



Braille Tracking sheet and Feely Meely
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...



Adult seated with child on Resonance Board
By Kate Hurst
One of the least flashy pieces of equipment or “perceptualizing aids” created by Dr. Lilli Nielsen is the Resonance Board.  For all of its lack of flash, in my opinion it is one of the most valuable and versatile pieces of equipment ever...



Clifford the Big Red Dog against black background
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...



Two women in discussion at a table covered with papers
By Charlotte Cushman
In the five years since Paths to Literacy was launched, we have found a growing number of personnel preparation programs are using the Paths to Literacy website as part of their coursework.  There are programs around the world training people to become...



Jasper with his friend
By Brenda Biernat
On our way home from afternoon preschool, we stop at the playground. This has become our habit on these warm spring days. We were not there long before Jasper made a friend, Robin, or rather, she befriended him. “Let’s go slide together, Jasper...



Dollar bills
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
By Lisa Jacobs
Tactile baby blankets or quilts 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...



two magnets labeled in print and braille, one says dirty dishes and the other says clean dishes
By Liamsmom
Learning independent living skills starts at home! My son Liam is in second grade and is deafblind.  I continually think of ways that he can help out around the house and do everyday tasks as independently as possible. Of course I think of ways that I...



a young woman is sitting on a swing with a child in her lap, facing her
By Wendy Miller
By TVIs Krista Papish and Wendy Miller, with support from Cindy White-Botello   How does learning occur?  While many of us do this with very little effort, for children with visual impairments and additional disabilities it is an ongoing...



“Story Box for Spring” including books and objects such as gloves, rakes, water bottles, picture cards for pages of the book
By Deedra Finch
My name is Deedra Finch and I am an itinerant TVI. It’s also my 17th year of teaching (11 years special education, 6 years in both public and residential vision settings). My caseload consists of students who are visually impaired with additional...



Cooking pikelets
By Debra Goodsir
I love Paths to Literacy and often use the ideas it presents with my students. I read everything I can, pass it on to other TVIs and class teachers and discuss it with my students. I also love working collegially with creative, enthusiastic classroom...



Object symbols with braille of grocery items
By Liamsmom
I am the mother of two sweet boys.  My oldest, Liam, is 7 years old and is deafblind.  His first language is American Sign Language.   My youngest, Finn, is 4 years old and has typical vision and hearing.  Going to the grocery store...



a group of students under a Braille Challenge banner
By Tracy Fitch
The Braille Challenge hosted by The Braille Institute is an exciting competition of braille skills!  The braille challenge encourages students to hone their braille skills in the hopes of placing first in their level. There are five levels: Apprentice...



Gluing tactile materials onto the page of a book.
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
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...



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