Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Multiple Disabilities

student using symbols to make a list
Posted by Faye Gonzalez
By Faye Gonzalez, TVI & COMS I had a dilemma over the past year in working with my students who have Visual & Multiple Disabilities (V&MD). One student in particular challenged my teaching methods. My dilemma was: Sensory activities...



mystic storykit
Posted by Cindy Reed-Brown
Like most TVIs, the preschool Education Consultants at CT Services for the Blind have been using “storyboxes” for many years with our students. Also, like most TVIs, we’ve tried to provide a variety of social activities for our young...



young girl combing her hair
Posted by ScarlettsEyes
Without reliable access to clear visual information, children who are visually impaired must rely on additional modes of learning, such as through touch and auditory information. So what do you do with a child who will only sing and is reluctant to explore...



Collage for selecting iPad apps
Posted by Linda Mamer
  Making decisions about which applications (apps) for iPads are the most suitable for specific students involves a number of different steps.  This article looks at: Considerations for iPad App Selection How to Choose an...



Classroom shelf
Posted by Katie Armstrong
Recently I submitted a post called Montessori Activities to Promote Pre-Literacy Skills for Tactual Learners. This post was about fun Montessori activities, how to get started creating a few activities, and how they reinforce beginning braille readiness...



Tactile communication board
Posted by Faye Gonzalez
  In an earlier blog post, I discussed guidelines for Using a Picture Symbol System for Communication and Literacy.  In addition to the factors discussed in that post, another crucial consideration in designing a communication system for students...



A young boy puts toast into a toaster
Posted by Liamsmom
My son Liam (a happy, social, deaf-blind preschooler) has an intervener/interpreter that is with him at school.  Liam’s intervener and I wanted to create a conversation box that he could use at school.  We came up with an experience Liam...



Story box toy bar
Posted by Jaime Brown
Toy bars are a wonderful tool when teaching pre-literacy skills.  Object awareness and knowledge can be introduced and reinforced through toy bars. Students learn about the characteristics of items through all of their learning channels. They have...



woman holds baby in pool
Posted by ScarlettsEyes
Firstly I'd like to introduce myself:  my name is Charlotte and I am a single mother of two.  I have Scarlett, who is blind and three and a half, and Sonny, who is two and a half and fully sighted.  I run an online parents' support...



A boy holds the outstretched hands of a girl in a wheelchair.
Posted by Megan Mogan
I had the absolute pleasure of being part of a Perkins eLearning workshop for the last 5 weeks, focusing on AAC strategies to use with students who are Visually Impaired and have additional disabilities.  I referred to this population of students as...



Collage of Montessori Activities for Tactual Learners
Posted by Katie Armstrong
Here is another resource for teachers and parents of young tactual learners! I am always thinking in the back of my mind about "literacy" ideas to share.  Yesterday I was taking time setting up my classroom, organizing some work, pondering who...



A young boy who is deafblind signs with his mother
Posted by Liamsmom
My 4-year-old, deafblind son Liam goes to gymnastics every Friday; a perfect opportunity for us to have a ‘go’ at making our first experience book together.                 What is an experience...



Abstract picture symbols
Posted by Faye Gonzalez
Many students who are blind or visually impaired with multiple disabilities (MDVI) use some kind of augmentative communication or symbol system.  While symbol systems can be the foundation of communication and literacy, it is essential to develop a...



Two young brothers explore books
Posted by Liamsmom
Create your own books and activities for the blind or deafblind child in your life! Liam’s story A brief summary (very brief) of our Liam’s story:  When my son was 2 ½ years old, he became sick with meningitis, the end result...



Ms. Katie, Ms. Katie Who Do You See?
Posted by Katie Armstrong
In a strategy posted by Charlotte called Labeling the Environment in an Accessible Format, she talked about texture symbols and object symbols. Name symbols are something that I have used in my preschool classroom for years!  This practice is an easy...



Frank John preparing backstage
Posted by Megan Mogan
About 3 years ago I found myself in the middle of what I thought was a routine Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team meeting for a high school student who also happened to be present at the table.  After a discussion of Eligibility categories and well into...



student using an iPad math app in her classroom
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
Updated on May 2022 Using iPads can be an important educational tool with children who are blind or have a visual impairment, including those who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities. This post includes ideas for using an iPad as an assessment...



Young child in a Little Room
Posted by Charlotte Cushman
When Dr. Lilli Nielsen died last month, the fields of blindness, deafblindness, and the education of children with multiple disabilities lost a great friend and teacher.  Dr. Nielsen was born in Denmark in 1926, and worked as a preschool teacher, a...



Plaques with textures and braille
Posted by Liamsmom
Liam's playground: Constantly evolving to encourage play, independence and most importantly fun for our deafblind son.  Description: We wanted to create a playground that both of our sons could enjoy....



Confirmation activity
Posted by Megan Mogan
I live in Arizona and my mom lives in Illinois.  Last week I found myself ordering her Mother’s Day gift online. After typing my financial and personal information and checking the order twice, I hovered the cursor over the word PURCHASE. “...



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