Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Multiple Disabilities

Screenshot of homepage of Active Learning Space
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
If you are a teacher or parent of a child with complex learning needs or significant multiple disabilities, you may already be familiar with Dr. Lilli Nielsen's Active Learning approach.  If not, we invite you to visit our sister website the ...



First/then schedule with pink stuffed animal and chapstick
Posted by Chevonne Sutter
First / Then Schedules can be used to help individuals understand what activity they are expected to be engaging in currently and what activity to anticipate next. They are a structured method of communicating about what is happening now and what is going to...



Young woman using a braillewriter while her teacher looks on
Posted by Siena Capistrano
There have been a number of stories shared here on Paths to Literacy by the mother of my student, Kara, who is from the Philippines and I wanted to share my perspective as her TVI.  Her earlier stories can be found below: Kara’s Turning...



PenFriend set up with braille cards and tactile symbols
Posted by Julianne Lemman
What is PenFriend? The PenFriend is a voice labeling system that uses a simple device to create recordings associated with sticker labels. The user taps a sticker with the PenFriend, makes a voice recording, then the PenFriend saves the voice recording...



Placing an item in a bag
Posted by Flavia Moreira
Children with multiple disabilities and visual impairments face difficulties in accessing information and often have limited communication. These children are part of a general heterogeneous group, with visual impairment (blindness or low vision) being a...



Pink background with yellow ducks
Posted by Adam Wilton
An animated PowerPoint story is designed to enhance the literacy experience by using movement and color to make a simple story more engaging for children who benefit from and qualify for alternate format literacy materials.  It takes some time and effort...



Black pegboard book with yellow slinky
Posted by Leslie Hagood
I created this pegboard book for a second grader with CVI that I worked with in Southern Oregon. He was in a wheelchair, had limited hand/arm strength, and showed difficulty with visually attending to objects, tracking, shift-of-gaze, and using a visually-...



Visually-guided reach (VGR) is a skill that we typically assess and often try to promote in our students, but what about students who have limited motor control and may not be able to extend their arms or control their reach at all?  Many students with cerebral palsy and other motor challenges may not be able to achieve this skill for motoric, rather than visual, reasons.  While the focus in this article is on students with CVI, some of the information applies to other students with complex learning needs a
Posted by Chris Russell
Visually-guided reach (VGR) is a skill that we typically assess and often try to promote in our students, but what about students who have limited motor control and may not be able to extend their arms or control their reach at all?  Many students with...



Student using Pictello on a tablet
Posted by Julianne Lemman
Pictello is an iOS app made by AssistiveWare that can be used to create experience stories and social stories using pictures, text, audio recordings, and video. Pictello can be used to build literacy skills, social skills, communication, social-emotional...



Photo cards on black background: help, spoon, syringe, food bowl, diaper
Posted by Sharon Elliott
We have successfully transitioned my son who is non-verbal and scored at a 2.5 on The CVI Range (Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy) at his initial assessment to a current score of 5++ by using whole objects in an object schedule system to using photographs of...



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...



Two pages of grocery photo book
Posted by Liz Eagan
As I teach my students cooking skills, we also learn how to write a grocery list for what we're cooking. But what if a student can't write the list? What if pictures are the media used to communicate, as well as read and write? I found this cool...



First slide of vision portfolio
Posted by Ann Bolin
My goal in working with students to create vision portfolios is to promote self-determination skills when talking to their classmates or teacher.  I want all of my students to be able to say more than just, "I wear glasses". I am sharing an...



Julie wearing mask
Posted by SarahSteele
and by Julie Lemman It can be difficult for learners with multiple disabilities or Deafblindness to understand various COVID-related concepts, such as the importance of wearing masks, staying home, and washing hands frequently.  We have put together two...



Sample lightbox slide with house and stick figure
Posted by Adam Wilton
The lightbox is a tool to provide access to literacy materials for students with multiple disabilities, including those with cortical or cerebral visual impairments (CVI).  In the past, the lightbox has typically been used to promote sensory efficiency,...



Woman signing "music"
Posted by Julianne Lemman
and by Sarah Steele As a follow up to our last blog post Family Engagement During Remote Instruction of Students with Deafblindness and Multiple Disabilities, we wanted to share some strategies that we have found help to optimize online learning for...



washing hands under running water
Posted by Stacey Chambers
and by Angela Campbell Each year brings new team members such as new classroom teachers, related services staff, speech pathologists, and paraprofessionals. This year has brought a new, very important member to our collaborative team - our families and...



Red plate, fork, and cup on black background
Posted by Derya Uyar
This week summer vacation ended and schools have started with distance education in Turkey. We continue online classes with our students. I have 3 students this year. All of them are with MDVI (multiple disabilities and visual impairment).  This year I...



Colorful stick figured superimposed on each other
Posted by SarahSteele
and Julianne Lemman During the last six months of online instruction, we have found that finding ways to support families of students with multiple disabilities or deafblindness is the key to success. Acknowledge Different Levels of Support at Home...



Side view of child's shoe
Posted by Amy Flores
Some children rely on others to help with activities of daily living, due to motor limitations.  Nonetheless, we can help build understanding and anticipation which will allow the child to mentally prepare for having their personal space entered to...



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