Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA) for Youth with Visual Impairments


The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) at Louisiana Tech University have released the National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA) for Youth with Visual Impairments.  This assessment has been developed with three purposes in mind:

  1. to determine the most appropriate reading medium/media for students who are blind/visually impaired;
  2. to ensure that the reading medium is appropriately identified both for current as well as for future need;
  3. and to ensure that student success is not hampered by incorrect identification of literacy needs.

The target population for this tool is youth with an identified visual impairment who have enough visual functioning to identify print letters or shapes by sight.

According to Dr. Edward Bell, principal investigator of the research,  “The primary findings from our assessment showed 14 percent more youth as needing Braille than prior assessments, and 36 percent more youth as needing Braille than who are actually getting it. Clearly this new approach is sorely needed in order to improve the education of blind children.”

This service is free of charge and is intended for use by Teachers of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired (TVIs).  Online accounts can be created at:

We would be interested in hearing about your experiences using this new tool.  We invite you to share your comments here!


Posted on November 24, 2012
Updated on: December 20, 2018