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Activity and strategy

Grocery Shopping Book

Using tactile symbols to support grocery shopping with children who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities

Everyone goes shopping for groceries. We all take a list with us (or we should so we get everything we need!). Teaching our students to create lists for shopping is also important. The lists can be created in print, large print, recordings, pictures/icons, or symbols. For a student of mine who goes shopping for his own items while shopping with his mom, we created one using APH’s Tactile Connections Kit


  • Mini binder (approximately 5 1/2″ x 8″)
  • Plastic shopping bag
  • Paper
  • Two plastic pocket folders
  • Velcro
  • Tactile Connections Cards


A mini binder (approximately 5 1/2″ x 8″) was used. The cover was marked with a piece of a plastic shopping bag.

a small binder labeled
The cover of the mini binder has a piece of a shopping bag on it.

Inside are pages of items he is shopping for.  The list was made at home with the family prior to the shopping trip. The pages are made from plastic two pocket folders. I use the plastic ones, as they are more durable and last longer. The Velcro is long on each page so we can progress from one item per page to possibly two in the future. The items are caulked to the Tactile Connections Cards and I’ve written under it the item name so anyone shopping with him will know the symbol name.

a page with velcro and the item labeled pancake sausage
Symbol card for pancake sausage
an item labeled laundry detergent
Symbol card for laundry detergent
item page labeled body wash
Symbol card for body wash
item page labeled body scrubber
Symbol card for body scrubber

The items used for each symbol was decided as a team with the family. Right now we only have the few pictured, but more are coming. As the student increases his shopping abilities, the number of items he is responsible to shop for. will also increase.   The family has done an excellent job of letting his educational team know what works and what doesn’t. They have an amazing routine for grocery shopping, and this will be used to enhance their routine and keep the student focused while doing his shopping. 

Collage of creating a grocery shopping book for students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities
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