General Teaching Tips Resources

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.

Articles assembled by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, associated with the National Federation of the Blind, Information includes accommodation tips for classroom teachers, understanding the needs of students who are blind.  Articles include:
Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

Practical tips to integrate a child with visual impairments into a preschool classroom

Source: Future Reflections, National Federation of the Blind

Overview of who is involved in the education of children with visual impairments, including the TVI and the classroom teacher

Source: Family Connect

Phil Hatlen offers an introduction to the Core Curriculum and Expanded Core Curriculum, including information on the delivery of the core curriculum for blind and visually impaired students.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This document by Sharon Nichols offers a basic introduction to IEPs, including who is responsible for developing the IEP, what must be on it, what information must be considered as the IEP is developed, and the role parents can play on the team.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

The Legal Framework is a template that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic. The Legal Framework includes an A-Z index, frameworks, a glossary of special education terms and acronyms, links to statutes, citations, websites, guidance and resources. Multiple features are translated into Spanish; however, legal citations reflect English only.

Source: Texas Education Agency

The critical role of the TVI in education of children with visual impairments. This is a position paper from the Division on Visual Impairments, Council of Exceptional Children by Susan Jay Spungin and Kay Alicyn Ferrell.

The introductory paragraph reads: Infants, children, and youth with visual impairments receive special education and related services in a variety of settings that bring them into contact with a range of personnel. A critical member of this team of professionals is the teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI), whose specialized training and experience establish him or her as the individual best qualified to address the unique learning needs created by a visual impairment. Because of recent legislation mandating highly qualified general and special education teachers, however, there is often confusion about the role, functions, and responsibilities of the TSVI.

Source: Council for Exceptional Children – Division on Visual Impairments (DVI)

A rehabilitation program in Brazil that fosters collaboration between the home and school to teach children daily living skills.

Source: International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)

This tutorial presents two webcast interviews with Dr. van Dijk, in which he explains and demonstrates his educational theories. Continuing education credits can be purchased, but the videos are available freely.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

Written as a letter to a teacher who will be having a student with visual impairments in the classroom

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Teachers will find many practical suggestions for incorporating braille into a regular classroom. Projects, games, and activities designed to introduce sighted students to braille and help them feel comfortable with their classmates who are blind.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Tips for general educators who are preparing their classroom for a braille reader

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Aimed at families and educators, the "Tool Kit brings together the most current and accurate information … designed to improve instruction, assessment, and accountability for students with disabilities."

Source: U.S. Office of Special Education Programs

Developed for students ages 3 to 22, this curriculum focuses on developing life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.

Source: Perkins Products

This 48-page training package helps community rehabilitation workers and families understand low vision. Explains intervention strategies, mobility, and independent living skills; also in French.

PDF version (illustrated; not accessible to screen readers)

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Feedback to general education, from the parent of a child with visual impairment.

Source: Future Reflections, National Federation of the Blind

A checklist for assessing a student's ability to use an alternative communication system that requires some vision. (PDF file)

Source: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)

Jean Bugbee shares her experiences using the Active Learning Approach with her adopted daughter, Renee.

Source: Future Reflections, 2006, National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

The following is from the Wikki Stix Website describing the composition and uses of Wikki Stix.  They come in very handy for builiding raised lines on the fly and should be included in every TVIs bag of tricks. 

What are Wikki Stix made of?

Wikki Stix are made of hand-knitting yarn enhanced with a microcrystalline food-grade, non-toxic wax, the kind used in bubble gum and lipstick. They do not contain latex, gluten, nor peanut or other nut oils or byproducts, which makes them an ideal creative activity toy for children with allergies.

Simply stated…they stick! No glue, no paste, no mess. Just press them down with light fingertip pressure and they will adhere to almost any smooth surface. They are also easy to peel up and reposition so “mistakes” virtually disappear, which helps build self-confidence.

There is no preparation, no clean-up, no mess. Press ‘em down, peel ‘em off… it’s that simple!

A few more details

Wikki Stix do not break or tear apart, but cut easily with scissors. Wikki Stix conform to all U.S. Consumer Safety Standards including ASTM D-4236 and F-963, as well as the European Standard BS5665/EN71.

FamilyConnect describes the role of each member of the educational team. There are links to related documents, including strategies for success, the role of the paraprofessional and the TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired).

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments