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Activity and strategy

Tactile Schedule for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities

Tips to set up a daily tactile schedule for students with CVI, or visual impairments and multiple disabilities

This tactile schedule is a helpful way to assist students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities learn to anticipate daily activities in their school.

This schedule was created for a 17-year-old student of mine who has multiple disabilities, Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), and enjoys using tactile materials.

  • First, I retrieved a daily schedule from his special education teacher to get an idea as to what a typical day was like for their class.
  • Next, I chose materials that were meaningful to this student.  For example, he associated football with recess and a bell for music.
  • I designed all of the tiles and put velcro on the back of each of them so that they could stick to the APH All-In-One Board or the APH Felt Board.
  • I wrote what each tile represented, so that whether it was a teacher or a paraprofessional helping him, they knew what that tile represented.
  • I showed his paraprofessional and teacher the tiles. 
  • The paraprofessional and myself  gradually introduced the tiles to him.  He felt each tile before each of the daily activities. 
  • This gave him a schedule like everybody else in his classroom.

For all students with visual impairments, I find it is very helpful to use high contrast materials.  It’s also important to remember that sometimes “less is more.”  Too much detail with tactuals (especially pictures) can actually make it more difficult for a student to identify what they are touching.  Something like this, a tactual schedule, is meant to ease anxiety and not increase it.

Tactile schedule

I am currently making another tactual schedule like above, except this one is for a kindergarten student who is blind and is mainstreamed into a general education classroom.  For his, I am adding braille to each tile, so that he can associate the braille word to the tactile materials on the tiles. 

See also Object Communication and Calendar Systems.

 

Tactile schedule collage

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Student making orange juice with a teacher using a juicing machine.
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