Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

California School for the Blind Mindfulness Curriculum - now online

illustration of children seated on the floor in a meditative pose

Adrian Amandi, Director of the Education Resource Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired at California School for the Blind (CSB-CDE) presents their Mindfulness Curriculum, released in July 2020, complete with guided interactions and step-by-step lessons to explore mindfulness with blind and low vision students. Different from most curricula available, CSB developed their Mindfulness program to focus on students' sensory experiences. Activities for a small group of five to six students can be modified for a smaller or bigger group depending on the circumstances.

Sample this lesson, Engaging the Senses Intentionally:

 “That’s what our group is all about: Paying attention to what is happening right now. Sometimes, we’re so busy and distracted that we’re thinking about something that happened before, or something that will happen next. Mindfulness helps us notice what is happening right now. Let’s try some more things to help us pay attention to what we’re feeling now.”

Distribute essential oils to rub on wrists (present two options and allow students to smell both and choose which they’d like to use. Encourage them to rub their wrists together to activate the smell. Can the student’s describe the smell or what it reminds them of? Do they feel their skin getting warmer when they rub them together? Does the smell get stronger?

Listening to singing bowls. If you do not have a singing bowl available, search youtube for a recording of singing bowls in 1 minute increments. Ask the students to raise their hands when they stop hearing the sound. Do this three times total.

Distribute flavored water. Ask the students to describe the sensations, for example, the flavor, the temperature, the moistness.

If students express feelings/judgments about sensations, validate simply but try to end conversation (e.g., student says, I don’t like the way the water tastes, you say, I understand that you don’t like how the water tastes. That’s ok. You don’t need to drink any more.)

View California School for the Blind Lessons and Curricula

Download and bookmark Direct link to Mindfulness Curriculum

The curriculum includes guided meditations, creating a calming space, and learning about mindfulness. Feel free to adapt to make it work best for you and your students. If you come up with extra elements that are fantastic please share back so we can update our own practices.