Resources for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

These resources for teachers offer advice, professional supports, and explanation of team roles and responsibilities in the education of students who are blind or visually impaired. 
 
One useful site to bookmark is called Teaching Students with Visual Impairments,  which defines itself as "a web resource designed for all teachers and related service personnel who are involved in educating students with visual impairments." Classroom teachers who do not have a background in teaching students who are blind or visually impaired will also find useful terminology, adaptations, and assessment information here.
 

Full-Text Articles

 
Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Visual Impairments (CECDVI) The collection of position papers by the of the Division on Visual Impairments, Council for Exceptional Children provides an overview of the responsibilities and special expertise of teachers who work with students who are blind or visually impaired. These link automatically download the Word documents.
 
A position paper on this O&M professionals importance in the education of children with visual impairments.
 
The critical role of the TVI in education of children with visual impairments.
 
CECDVI outlines their belief "that special consideration must be given to the issues facing those who are twice exceptional." 
 
Alberta Education – Special Education Branch.  
This 100-page resource guide offers suggestions and resources to help provide successful school experiences for students who are blind or visually impaired.
 
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH)
Published in 2003, these guidelines based on field research address design accommodations for all computer-based testing environments, and reach beyond "alternative testing" for students who might otherwise find computer-based testing a challenge. The authors assert that most testing, in any subject, can be designed in a manner that is universally accessible. Includes bibliography and Appendix of online resources.
 

Web-Based Organizations and Resources

Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind
Dr. Bruce shares examples of action research studies that were conducted at Perkins School for the Blind.
 
The Quick Tips video series provides weekly ideas (under 5 minutes) for incorporating American Printing House for the Blind (APH) resources into your lessons. Bookmark this idea bank and visit often!
 
The "Resources for Parents and Professionals" offers fact sheets with information on six common visual diagnoses, with specific information on eye specialists, vision assessments, effects of vision and behavior, common misconceptions. The Teaching Strategies section will be of particular interest to educators.
 
Perkins eLearning Tutorials
Earn your continuing education points through this 3-part tutorial on Universal Design for Learning, featuring Perkins' popular Accessible Science curriculum, as well as methods for adapting physical education activities.
 
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
Aimed at eductors of children with visual impairments or deafblindness, this publication has advice for the classroom and the team meeting room. Available in PDF or Word formats.
 
 
The Minger Foundation
The Minger Foundation is named for Michael Minger, who perished in a fire while he was a college student.  The Foundation is dedicated to preventing deaths like Michael's by preparing students with disabilities to respond to dangerous situations, particularly fire.  The link above leads you to Train the Trainer materials for teaching fire safety to students with disabilities.  The project site contains downloadable resources, and training videos.
 
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Descriptionkey.org provides guidelines for using descriptive language in educational materials.  This link from AFB provides context for the guidelines and history of their adoption.  You can find many more materials on education under the topic Education for Students with Blindness or Visual Impairments. Additional information on audio description is filed under Audio Description.
 
The IRIS Center, Vanderbilt University
This interactive training module presents the challenge of what to do to accommodate a student with a visual impairment in one’s classroom.  It is made up of five components: a Challenge (realistic scenario), Initial Thoughts (first response to the scenario), Perspectives and Resources (nuggets of information), Assessment (a self-evaluation tool), and Wrap up (summary of the information).
 
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials
NIMAS is a national technical standard that requires learning materials be made accessible to students with print disabilities as quickly as possible. All NIMAS sources are easily converted into braille, audio, large print, and digital text.  See also AIM in Your State for local information.
 
National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials
The Purchase Accessible Learning Materials (PALM) Initiative was launched to influence publishers and developers. Institutions' collaboration will increase demand and availability of accessible learning materials.