One of the earliest literacy activities for young children with visual impairments or those who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities is to collect real objects from a routine activity, such as bath time, and to place them in a “discussion box”. This gives the child a chance to review what objects are used in a given activity, which is a link to talking about an activity before or after it happens. Being able to anticipate something or reminisce about it is an important step in communication.
Once the items have been gathered and placed in a bin, the bin can be labeled with the word “Bath”. Then, when it’s time for a bath, the child can help the adult to get the box from the consistent location where it’s stored and talk about the items in the box.
Creating a Story from the Objects in the Discussion Box
After the child has developed an understanding of the objects in the Discussion Box, you can write a story about the Bath Time experience. In this example, I used repetition and simple language, as well as clear photographs. Braille or tactile symbols can be added to the pages, as appropriate for an individual child.
Pages of Bath Time Book