Literacy Resources for Families of Children with Visual Impairments

In this section parents can learn how to foster literacy in children of all ages. Topics include the importance of early literacy preparation, how children learn to read, suggestions for games and activities, and instructions for making tactile books.
 
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.
 

Infants

FamilyConnect
Parents learn the importance of exposing children with visual impairments to literacy skills from a very early age; includes activities to enjoy together.
 

Preschool

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
These activities integrate literacy into a preschooler's play, storytime, and daily activities.
 
Perkins School for the Blind
The Perkins Panda materials "teach fundamental early literacy skills to children and help parents be more involved in their child's development."  This site includes information about early literacy, the importance of experiences in developing literacy skills, and the Perkins Panda.
 
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
AFB's article offers specific strategies to help preschool children develop essential literacy skills.
 
FamilyConnect
The author offers ideas parents can use to foster a love of reading and writing in preschool-age children with visual impairments.
 
FamilyConnect
AFB's Family Connect shares tips on choosing books to read with small children, adding tactile drawings and braille to a book, and making story bags or story boxes.
 
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Diane Miller shares her experiences in helping her blind daughter to develop literacy skills. She describes the importance of bridging concepts, her search for braille books, homemade books, and how she created a literate environment.
 

Reinforcing Reading Skills

FamilyConnect
The importance of a firm grounding in literacy skills is stressed in this article. It includes a list of ideas for fostering these skills during the elementary school years.
 
FamilyConnect
This article introduces parents to braille, the tools used to read and write it, what to expect when their child goes to school, and the role of the Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI).
 
DVI Quarterly, (2007) Council for Exceptional Children
In this special Partnering with Parents issue, Missy Garber and Lynne Davis Dellinger talk about the importance of continuity between the use of braille at school and home (pp. 11-15). Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
 

Research

Future Reflections, (1995) The National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Christopher Craig presents his research on emergent literacy in the home and offers specific suggestions for parents to provide literacy experiences.
 

Web-Based Organizations and Internet Resources

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
"Parents of preschool children with visual or physical disabilities will find … a wide range of information to assist them in promoting their children's development from infancy to age five." The listing includes many publishers and producers of children's book in alternate formats.  
 
FamilyConnect
A wealth of articles with literacy tips for every stage of development.