Literacy at its simplest means the ability to read and write, but it starts with comprehension and encompasses many media and formats, including listening, speaking, and object communication. Most children aim for basic or academic literacy, which is the ability to use reading as a tool to gain more knowledge. Others will strive to attain functional literacy, which supports the activities of daily life. This section offers an introduction to the forms of literacy for children who are blind and visually impaired, ranging from tactile symbols and calendar boxes to print and braille.
This interactive site is an online hub for all aspects of literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. A collaboration between Perkins School for the Blind and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Paths to Literacy invites users to share strategies, technology, resources, and research. Get a tour of the site here.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Writer and AFB Member Deborah Kendrick summarizes an informal survey of consumers with varying degrees of visual impairment in regard to note-taking and information management.
Special Education Technology British Columbia
A “resource to provide classroom teachers with a selection of strategies to address the reading needs of students with visual impairments.”
Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
This article introduces the range of literacy options for children with visual impairments, including print, braille, and symbol systems.
Perkins eLearning Tutorial
This tutorial suggests fun and motivating story telling and writing exercises for students who are blind or visually impaired.
Colorado Department of Education
Reaching literacy goals for students with blindness or visual impairment calls for a team approach. These information sheets provide guidelines for each member of the education team, and help parents understand their own integral role. These PDF documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.