Introduction to Emergent Literacy
What is Emergent Literacy?
Sighted children typically have been exposed to a flood of language, books, and experiences before they are formally taught to read and write. Children who are blind or visually impaired, however, do not have the same access to incidental learning, and thus must be taught specific concepts that other children develop naturally. Immersion in a language-rich environment in which objects are described, and events are discussed can help to establish a foundation for the development of literacy skills.
The Opportunity to Build a Strong Foundation for Literacy is Every Child's Right
Literacy for the blind or visually impaired child is a gradual process which develops from experiences that are meaningful to him. He needs opportunities to:
- Develop motor skills fully
- Develop language that is meaningful to him
- Listen to many stories that do not depend on visual experiences or pictures
- Explore the environment tactually
- Handle books that are tactually interesting to him
- Gain added enjoyment and meaning from stories through tactile interaction
From: On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children, APH for the Blind, Louisville, KY ©1991.
Graphic based on the original found in One the Way to Literacy, it has been simplified and colorized for optimal Internet viewing.
The materials in this section appeared on the e-advisor site, which was originally hosted by Boston Children's Hospital. This material has now been moved to the website of Perkins School for the Blind.