Expanded Core Curriculum Resources

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) provides a framework for instruction in a specialized set of vision-related skills for students who are blind or visually impaired. While students who are blind or visually impaired are expected to follow the same core curriculum as their sighted peers, there are certain areas in which they need specific instruction because of their vision loss. These areas are referred to as the Expanded Core Curriculum: Compensatory Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Social Interaction, Independent Living, Recreation and Leisure, Sensory Efficiency, Assistive Technology, Career Education, and Self-Determination.

Resources in this area deal specifically with ECC topics and concepts, or with Core Curriculum concerns specific to students who are blind or visually impaired. Additional resources are available in the specific topic areas.

In this two-page fact sheet, parents learn what they can do before, during, and after the IEP team meeting, with real life examples. Available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali.

Source: Center for Parent Information and Resources

This article includes sections on learning table skills, helping to prepare simple snacks and meals, and tips for good kitchen habits.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This article introduces families to the IFSP process by explaining what it is, what services are provided, what is included in the plan, and how it supports the family.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This 417-page document downloads as a PDF, and has extensive information about the Expanded Core Curriculum, including chapters on Self-Determination Skills (pp. 117-138) and Social Interaction Skills (pp. 137-152). Learning Expectations and Performance Indicators are provided for each age range.

Source: Iowa Department of Education

Published in India, this downloadable 152-page manual is universally useful for parents and caregivers of children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities. It includes a general introduction, guidelines, checklists of skills, and activities to enhance them; by Blind People's Association in collaboration with the Hilton/Perkins Program.

Source: Blind People's Association

Includes both Math and ELA (English/Language Arts). These frameworks are based on the same Maryland Common Core Curriculum Frameworks that were adopted by the State Board and include the identified braille skills and expectations at each grade level (Pre-kindergarten through grade 12) for students who read braille. The standards provide a clear roadmap of braille instruction for teachers and parents to improve literacy skills for students who read braille.

Source: Maryland School Performance

In this webcast, Perkins Occupational Therapist Sue Shannon discusses the importance of mealtime skills in teaching social skills and concept development. Video demonstrations include many practical tips and helpful strategies; close-captioned, includes downloadable PowerPoint slides.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins eLearning

NCDB is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for information about deafblindness. While most resources focus on the needs of children and youth, there is wealth of information here in the Adult Services section.

This 13-page paper outlines some of the key issues in the provision of services in natural environments.  It describes the unique developmental needs of children with visual impairments and offers strategies for services and advocacy.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

An annotated bibliography of Mathematics information on the World Wide Web, compiled and reviewed by the NCAC. This resource is not dated. Some web addresses may have changed.

Source: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum

Dedicated to enhancing educational services provided to students under 21 with vision and hearing impairments, this organization provides on-site assistance, support resources to parents and educators. Also in Spanish.

Project SALUTE explains object cues, a "concrete means of supporting conversational interactions and language development." Included are examples, advantages, disadvantages, and specific strategies; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

Perkins' preschool program assesses each child's needs and creates an individualized program of education, teaming with clinical specialists and with parents on a coordinated home-school program.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

Educator and Researcher Phil Hatlen outlines benefits of the Expanded Core (ECC) for parents and professionals. Also available in Spanish.

Source: FamilyConnect

AFB Press maintains a detailed list of print and multimedia publications, organized by core area.  Many of the resources are available for purchase.  Titles link you to the AFB store.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Peggy Freeman gives advice on the importance of routines to parents of babies who are deafblind with multiple disabilities, with detailed suggestions for routines for feeding, sleeping, bathing, dressing and undressing, and toileting.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

This 20 minute video can serve your staff training needs for topics in physical education and visual impairments, by addressing eye conditions, human guide techniques, guide-running techniques, pre-teaching, specific instructional strategies, infusion of Expanded Core Curriculum concepts, safety, and variables related to choice making and self-determination.

Source: Perkins eLearning Tutorial

A resource guide for parents, teachers, and administrators, who want to address the unique curricular needs of the learner who is visually impaired, in compliance with the Arizona State Standards.

Source: AER Arizona

This information sheet provides a thorough introduction to tactile communication strategies, including general interaction tips, suggestions for encouraging communication, and requirements for a communication system; in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

This introduction to tangible symbols includes a definition, examples, considerations, and a list of advantages and disadvantages; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

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