Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Celebrating Deafblind Awareness Week!

Helen Keller reading an embossed book

Established  in 1984, Deafblind Awareness Week is celebrated the last week in June, in honor of Helen Keller's birthday on June 27th.   We celebrate all those who promote literacy for children who have a combined vision and hearing loss!  

This post includes some of our favorite activities and resources for individuals who are deafblind.  We invite you to share your ideas too!


Introductory Information

The introductory section on this site for Deafblindness has a range of information and resources, including: 

Overview of Literacy for Students Who Are Deafblind
Start here to learn about literacy means for individuals who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities.



Instructional Strategies for Students with Multiple Disabilities (Including Deafblindness)
This page includes an overview of language development, making choices and calendar boxes.

Also found in this section are Story BoxesBooks for Students with Multiple DisabilitiesCurriculum & AssessmentTechnologyEarly Literacy and Writing.  In addition, see the Special Considerations in the LMA (Learning Media Assessment) if a Child Has a Hearing Loss.

Young boy exploring tactile books


Activity Ideas

We regularly posts strategies and blogs that focus on literacy and learners with a dual sensory impairment.  Some of the most popular posts include:

You Can Do It!

This post by the mother of a young boy who is deafblind offers tips for families who are just getting started.  It offers tips for creating and adapting books, as well as making your own story boxes.

Contents of a conversation box about making toast



Creating a Conversation Box

Find out how to encourage language development while introducing braille or large print through a fun and meaningful activity, such as making toast.

See more posts by Liamsmom, a regular contributor and blogger who shares lots of helpful tips for helping young children who are deafblind to develop literacy skills.

Wellness exercise sheet



Wellness Program for Youth Who Are Deafblind

Suggestions on how to incorporate literacy into an exercise program for youth with a combined vision and hearing loss.


Teacher eating frosting while student looks on




The Importance of the Prefix "Co" in Non-Traditional Literacy Activities

Speech-Language Pathologist Megan Mogan demonstrates how to apply van Dijk's co-active movement theory to literacy activities with students who are deadfblind.



See the full list of activities for students with deafblindness and multiple disabilities.

Social Media

We share lots of ideas about deafblindness and literacy on our social media channels.

Deafblind Board on Pinterest


Are you following our Pinterest Board on Deafblindness

Follow us on Twitter to see new activities and blog posts.

Like us on Facebook and find out what's new!


Historical Information

Moon alphabet and Lord's Prayer

There is a wealth of information in the archives of Perkins School for the Blind on Helen Keller, Annie Sullivan, Laura Bridgman, and other students with combined vision and hearing loss. Find out the many different embossed systems that Helen Keller had to learn, and explore the amazing world of Laura Bridgman, who is the first person with deafblindness to receive a formal education in the United States.

Writing Systems for the Blind Used by Helen Keller
Perkins School for the Blind Archives

Laura Bridgman:  A Collection Revisited
Perkins School for the Blind Archives

Deafblind Collections from Perkins School for the Blind
Perkins School for the Blind Archives


Related Resources

Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss
National Center on Deafblindness

Scout:  Information Clearinghouse Section on Deafblindness
Perkins School for the Blind

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Tips for Home and School
Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project

Collage of celebrating Deafblind Awareness Week

Posted on June 23, 2020
Updated on: June 23, 2020