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Blindness/Visual Impairments (updated July 2003)

What are teaching techniques that can be used with students who are blind or have visual impairments?

This file includes information about educating students who are blind or have visual impairments.

Following are links to related Internet resources and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

blindness OR visual impairments


teaching methods OR classroom techniques OR educational strategies

EJ629494 EC627856
Effective Classroom Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments.
Cox, Penny R.; Dykes, Mary K.
TEACHING Exceptional Children; v33 n6 p68-74 Jul-Aug 2001
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJJAN2002
This article discusses strategies for including students with visual impairments in general education settings. It explains categories of visual impairments and how students with visual impairments learn. Auditory learning and visual learning accommodations are addressed, and checklists for orientation and mobility adaptations, and for classroom strategies and adaptations are provided.
Descriptors: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); *Accessibility (for Disabled); Auditory Perception; Check Lists; Classroom Environment; *Classroom Techniques; Elementary Secondary Education; *Inclusive Schools; *Student Needs; Visually Impaired Mobility; *Visual Impairments

ED442215 EC307850
Literacy for Persons Who Are Deaf-Blind. DB-LINK Fact Sheet.
Miles, Barbara
Available from: DB-LINK, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth, OR 97361. Tel: 800-438-9376 (Toll Free); Tel: 800-854-7013 (Toll Free/TTY); Fax: 503-838-8150; e-mail: dblink@tr.wou.edu; Web site: http://www.tr.wou.edu/dblink.
EDRS Price: MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Oregon
Journal Announcement: RIEDEC2000
This fact sheet discusses the importance of literacy for individuals who are deaf-blind, the social functions of reading and writing, and conditions necessary for the development of literacy. Strategies for promoting literacy among this population are described and include: (1) invite children and adults who are deaf-blind to observe as you use the computer, read the newspaper, write notes, read signs, and engage in other literacy activities; (2) arrange specific opportunities for the child or adult to touch adults or young people as they read Braille; (3) read stories to children who are deaf-blind; (4) use accessible labels on rooms, shelves, coat hooks and furniture; (5) pause a moment as a child notices a label, be aware of the child's reaction, and make a simple comment; (6) pause often during story-reading times, notice the child's reactions, and respond to them; (7) use dialog journal with a child who is deaf-blind and who has some beginning reading and writing skills; (8) respond conversationally to any drawing, proto-writing, or writing attempt; (9) accumulate Braille books and other materials; (10) make a story box to accompany a Braille or print story; and (11) adapt storybooks by using textured pictures.
Descriptors: Adults; Children; *Classroom Techniques; *Deaf Blind; Family Environment; *Literacy; *Reading Instruction; *Reading Strategies; Story Reading; Student Motivation; *Writing Instruction

EJ585746 EC621970
A Teacher's Guide To Communicating with Students with Deaf-Blindness.
Engleman, Melissa Darrow; Griffin, Harold C.; Griffin, Linda Wheeler; Maddox, June I.
TEACHING Exceptional Children; v31 n5 p64-70 May-Jun 1999
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC1999
Provides guidelines and resources to assist teachers as they enable children with deaf-blindness to enlarge their lives through communication. Addresses the educational needs of children with deaf-blindness, prioritizing their curriculum needs, general strategies for communication, developing receptive communication, using communicative cues, inclusive programming, and assistive technology.
Descriptors: Assistive Devices (for Disabled); *Communication Skills; *Curriculum Design; *Deaf Blind; *Educational Strategies; Elementary Secondary Education; Inclusive Schools; *Interpersonal Communication; Teacher Role; Teaching Methods

EJ629455 EC627791
Teaching Transferable Compensatory Skills and Processes to Visually Impaired Adults.
Roberts, Alvin
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness; v95 n4 p234-37 Apr 2001
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJJAN2002
This article presents the eight laws of association theory and applies four of them to strategies for teaching transferable skills to individuals with visual impairments. Strategies described include situation forecasting, generalization, sense shifting, performing skills repetitively to facilitate the transfer habit, and assigning an intensity rating to situations.
Descriptors: Adults; Association (Psychology); *Associative Learning; *Daily Living Skills; Educational Strategies; *Generalization; *Skill Development; *Visual Impairments

ED396511 EC304893
Teaching Visually Impaired Children. Second Edition.
Bishop, Virginia E.
1996; 251p.
ISBN: 0-398-06595-0
Available From: Charles C. Thomas, 2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62794-9265 (hardcover: ISBN-0-398-06595-0, $48.95; paperback: ISBN-0-398-06596-9, $33.95).
Document Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Document Type: BOOK (010); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Illinois
Journal Announcement: RIENOV96
Target Audience: Practitioners
Intended for either the general educator or the specialist, this text offers principles and teaching strategies for teaching students with visual impairments including both blind students and those with low vision. The book is organized into three sections: "Vision," "Learning," and "Testing and Transitions." The four chapters in the "Vision" section describe the visual system, what can go wrong with it, how it is evaluated, and how it can be enhanced. The five chapters in the "Learning" section discuss how a visual impairment affects learning in general, early development, and specific subject areas in school. The chapters analyze what special compensatory skills are needed and how multiple disabilities are related to visual impairment. The "Testing and Transitions" section explores diagnostic teaching methods, comprehensive assessments, and the various changes that occur during the school years and beyond for a student with visual impairments. Extensive appendices provide supplementary information on: the Individualized Family Service Plan, listening games and activities, handwriting using the braille cell as a reference, a typing curriculum, a list of assessments, an outline for evaluating functional vision, the structure of a Learning Media Assessment, a comprehensive list of resources, and a "Time-Line of Events Related to the Field of Visual Impairment." A glossary of terms is also provided.
Descriptors: *Adaptive Behavior (of Disabled); Blindness; Child Development; Clinical Diagnosis; Developmental Stages; Diagnostic Teaching; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; *Learning Processes; Multiple Disabilities; Partial Vision; Preschool Education; Student Evaluation; *Teaching Methods; *Testing; Transitional Programs; *Vision; *Visual Impairments

ED404839 EC305439
Starting Points: Instructional Practices for Young Children Whose Multiple Disabilities Include Visual Impairment.
Chen, Deborah; Dote-Kwan, Jamie
Blind Childrens Center, Los Angeles, CA. 1995
174p. EDRS Price - MF01/PC07 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: BOOK (010); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; California
Journal Announcement: RIEJUL97
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
This handbook provides basic information on the needs of young children (ages 3-8) whose multiple disabilities include visual impairments. Chapters address: (1) common disabilities associated with visual impairment, the primary educational needs of these children, and the complexity involved in teaching them; (2) the need for clearly defined program philosophies, goals, and practices to promote meaningful learning opportunities, including meeting exceptional learning needs, involving the child as an active learner, and integrating objectives from various disciplines; (3) procedures to develop and plan instruction that are meaningful to the child and important to the family; (4) selected instructional strategies such as task analysis, chaining and shaping, use of natural cues and instructional prompts, fading, and creating an environment that encourages active participation; (5) strategies for promoting communication with nonverbal children and those who have severe language difficulties; (6) specific adaptations and strategies for working on daily living skills; (7) roles and responsibilities of a behavior support team, orientation and mobility specialists, and an occupational therapist; (8) the development of an instructional program for a 4-year-old child with multiple disabilities, including visual impairment; and (9) strategies for facilitating communication between the special education and regular education teacher.
Descriptors: Behavior Problems; *Communication Skills; *Daily Living Skills; Early Childhood Education; Educational Strategies; *Instructional Development; Interpersonal Communication; *Multiple Disabilities; Occupational Therapy; Regular and Special Education Relationship; Staff Role; Student Needs; Teacher Collaboration; Teaching Methods; *Visual Impairments; Visually Impaired Mobility; *Young Children

ED388000 EC304355
Welcoming Students Who Are Deaf-Blind into Typical Classrooms: Facilitating School Participation, Learning, and Friendships.
Haring, Norris G., Ed.; Romer, Lyle T., Ed.
1995; 447p.
ISBN: 1-55766-144-8
Available From: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624.
Document Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Document Type: BOOK (010); COLLECTION (020); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL(055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Maryland
Journal Announcement: RIEMAR96
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
This collection of 18 papers focuses on the inclusion of students who are deaf-blind in regular classrooms. Papers include: "Inclusion of Students Who Are Deaf-Blind: What Does the Future Hold?"; "A History of Federal Support for Students with Deaf-Blindness"; "Perceptions of Inclusion by Parents of Children Who AreDeaf-Blind";"Establishing Inclusive School Communities"; "Teacher Preparation" (Barbara A.B. McLetchie); "Developing Educational Plans To Support Valued Lifestyles"; "UsingSocial-Validity Assessments To Identify Meaningful Outcomes for Students with Deaf-Blindness";"Collaborative Teaming ToSupport Participation in InclusiveEducation Settings"; "Adapting Environments To Support the Inclusion of Students Who AreDeaf-Blind"; "Functional Communication in Inclusive Settings for Students Who AreDeaf-Blind"; "Social Relationships Among Students with Deaf-Blindness and Their Peers inInclusive Settings";"Behavioral Support in Inclusive School Settings"; "Supporting the Medicaland Physical Needs of Students in Inclusive Settings"; "Teaching Orientation and Mobility:Access, Information, and Travel";"Instructional Strategies in Early Intervention Programs forChildren with Deaf-Blindness";"Facilitating Active and Informed Learning and Participation in Inclusive School Settings";"Joining the Community"; and "Improving Educational Outcomes forStudents with Deaf-Blindness: Rethinking Current Practices".
Descriptors: Access to Education; Classroom Techniques; Communication Skills; Community Involvement; *Deaf Blind; Early Intervention; Educational Cooperation; Educational Environment; *Educational Strategies; Elementary School Students; Elementary Secondary Education; Federal Legislation; Government Role; *Inclusive Schools; Interpersonal Competence; Mainstreaming; Medical Services; Parent Attitudes; Peer Relationship; Preschool Education; *Program Development; *Regular and Special Education Relationship; Secondary School Students; Social Integration; Staff Development; Student Educational Objectives; Student Needs; Student Participation; Teacher Education; *Teaching Methods; Teamwork Identifiers: Teacher Collaboration

ED387984 EC304338
Hand in Hand: Selected Reprints and Annotated Bibliography on Working with Students Who Are Deaf-Blind.
Huebner, Kathleen Mary, Ed.; And Others
American Foundation for the Blind, New York, N.Y. 1995
300p. Sponsoring Agency: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Contract No: H086A00005; ISBN: 0-89128-938-0
EDRS Price - MF01/PC12 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: BIBLIOGRAPHY (131); BOOK (010); COLLECTION (020)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Journal Announcement: RIEMAR96
Target Audience: Practitioners
The items in this collection of reprints and an annotated bibliography were selected because of their value to classroom teachers working with deaf-blind students. Reprinted articles, originally published in various periodicals between 1978 and 1993, are grouped into five categories: (1) communication, (2) orientation and mobility, (3) functional skills, (4) implications of various etiologies, and (5) instructional strategies and intervention issues. Among topics considered in the reprints are: prelanguage communication, preverbal communication of blind infants, tactile iconicity, the Tadoma Method, interpreting for deaf-blind students, orientation and mobility (O&M) services for those with severe multiple disabilities, O&M for those with severe visual and multiple disabilities, modifications of the long cane for a multiply impaired child, developing vision use within functional daily activities, choice-making and autonomy by persons with severe disabilities, teaching self-dressing skills, the impact of retinitis pigmentosa on young adults, the Usher's Syndrome adolescent, perspectives of parents, functional vision screening for children with severe disabilities, developmental scales versus observational measures for deaf-blind children, early intervention, instructional strategies in integrated settings, a classroom environment checklist, the role of classroom interpreters, maximizing the independence of deaf-blind teenagers, a local team approach, and supported employment for persons with deaf-blindness and mental retardation. The annotated bibliography lists approximately 135 print materials and 33 audiovisual materials by title and author.
Descriptors: Adolescents; Annotated Bibliographies; *Basic Skills; Check Lists; Child Development; Children; Classroom Environment; *Communication Skills; Daily Living Skills; *Deaf Blind; Deaf Interpreting; Early Intervention; Elementary Secondary Education; Etiology; Inclusive Schools; Infants; Intervention; Language Acquisition; Multiple Disabilities; Parent Attitudes; Personal Autonomy; Preschool Education; Self Care Skills; *Severe Disabilities; Supported Employment; Tactile Adaptation; *Teaching Methods; Vision Tests; *Visually Impaired Mobility

ED414700 EC306046
Talk From the VI Teachers' Lounge.
Hurst, Judith
1997; 61p. EDRS Price - MF01/PC03 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; West Virginia
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY98
Target Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Gathered from teachers around the country, this collection of teaching ideas and lesson plans is designed to provide teachers with activities and strategies for educating students with visual impairments. Tips and information are provided on: making tactile teddy bears; memory strategies; making tactile books; creating art kits; using magnifiers; an informal braille competency test; science models; reading resources; travel prerequisites for low vision drivers; storage equipment; braille videos; illuminated story books; vision books; recorded books; books for older children; Christmas gifts for children with visual impairments; independent living skills equipment; simple shoelaces; forming a braille club; a lesson plan for an edible braille cell; literacy activities; a lesson plan on clothes and grooming supplies; glow-in-the-dark activities; a lesson plan on money and work; poetry; braille flashcards; bake-offs; cooking games; low vision assessment kits; a checklist for children with visual impairments; independent living skills; tactile quilts and pillows; tips for reading a test aloud; an informal assessment of slate skills; and perquisite skills for braille slate instruction.
Descriptors: *Blindness; Classroom Techniques; *Daily Living Skills; Elementary Secondary Education; Independent Living; Lesson Plans; Self Care Skills; Student Evaluation; *Tactile Adaptation; Tactile Stimuli; *Teaching Methods; *Visual Impairments

EJ526004 EC613814
Beginning Braille: A Whole Language-Based Strategy.
Lamb, G.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v90 n3 p184-89 May-Jun 1996
Special issue on literacy.
ISSN: 0145-482XLanguage: English
Journal Announcement: CIJNOV96
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
This article describes the whole-language philosophy of teaching reading and writing and its application to teaching braille reading to blind children. It suggests activities that are effective for enhancing the development of early reading behaviors in children who use braille and that integrate the critical components of literacy learning with the special skills needed for reading by touch.
Descriptors: *Beginning Reading; *Blindness; *Braille; Elementary Education; *Emergent Literacy; Learning Activities; Literacy Education; *Reading Instruction; Teaching Methods; *Whole Language Approach; Writing Instruction

ED407776 EC305532
Teaching Students with Visual Impairments. Programming for Students with Special Needs. No. 5.
Alberta Dept. of Education, Edmonton. Special Education Branch. 1996
101p. ISBN: 0-7732-1797-5
EDRS Price - MF01/PC05 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: TEACHING GUIDE (052); DIRECTORY (132)
Geographic Source: Canada; Alberta
Journal Announcement: RIEOCT97
Government: Foreign
Target Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
This resource guide offers suggestions and resources to help provide successful school experiences for students who are blind or visually impaired. Individual sections address: (1) the nature of visual impairment, the specific needs and expectations of students with visual impairment, and the educational implications of visual impairment; (2) gathering student information and the educational team; (3) instructional strategies (including classroom accommodations, instructional modifications, and instruction in social and life skills); (4) the use of specialized materials, equipment, and technology; (5) orientation and mobility instruction; and (6) students with visual impairments along with other disabilities. Fourteen appendices include: a sample data collection forms; information on Braille and closed circuit TV systems; information on orientation/mobility and sighted guide techniques; guidelines for using the long white cane; suggestions for teaching peer names and voices; and information for a substitute teacher. Additional resource sections include a glossary, a list of teaching resources, a list of publishers addresses, and a list of community resources in Alberta (Canada), and an annotated bibliography.
Descriptors: Assistive Devices (for Disabled); *Blindness; Definitions; Educational Media; *Educational Needs; Educational Technology; Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Instructional Materials; Student Needs; Teaching Methods; *Visual Impairments; Visually Impaired Mobility Identifiers: Alberta

ED384155 EC303985
Delivering Effective Instruction to Students with Deaf-Blindness and/or Other Severe Disabilities.
North Carolina State Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh. 1995
208p.; A product of the Exceptional Children Support Team.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC09 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; North Carolina
Journal Announcement: RIENOV95
Government: State
Target Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
A guide to identifying, placing, and instructing children with severe disabilities, including deaf-blindness, is presented. Identification and placement information focuses on locating and referring children in need of special education services, the role of committees and staff members, the individualized education program, entrance and placement criteria, inclusive education, curriculum content, additional services available to the child, building standards, and instructional materials. Instructional suggestions focus on: positions for children with poor physical/muscle control, communication with students with multisensory disabilities, visual and auditory perception training, tactile perception training, motor training, cognitive and conceptual skills training, behavior management, recreational activities, and orientation and mobility training. Appendices include: a chart detailing 20 classroom assessment instruments, a list of 105 exemplary curricula for severely/profoundly mentally handicapped and multiply handicapped persons, a list of 27 publishers of curricular and learning materials, a list of 7 journals and 28 books on curricula, a list of 41 toys/activities and 16 toy companies, descriptions of 130 U.S. resource organizations and selected publications, a list of 129 North Carolina organizations, and a 29-item bibliography.
Descriptors: Ancillary School Services; *Classroom Techniques; Communication Skills; *Deaf Blind; *Disability Identification; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Evaluation Methods; Perceptual Motor Learning; *Severe Disabilities; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; Tactual Perception; *Teaching Methods; Visual Perception
Identifiers: North Carolina

Available at your library or book store:

Equals in Partnership: Basic Rights for Families of Children with Blindness or Visual Impairment. By Pamela Crane, Diana Cuthbertson, Kay Alicyn Ferrell, and Hazel Scherb. Available from National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI), PO Box 317, Watertown, MA 02471. 800.562.6265 or 617.972.7441. http://www.spedex.com/NAPVI/

FOCUSed On: Social Skills (video series and booklets). Edited by Karen E. Wolffe and Sharon Zell Sacks. Available from American Foundation for the Blind, 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, NY 10001. (800) 232-3044. http://www.afb.org/

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