Social Studies Resources

In this section, teachers will find practical suggestions for making geography and social studies accessible for students who are blind or visually impaired. Included are tips for the classroom, ideas for activities, and techniques to adapt lessons and materials.

Aimed at parents, this page provides a brief overview of the challenges facing teenagers with visual impairment who are studying geography and history.

Source: Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Suggestions for creating tactile teaching aids, including clocks, a geometry kit, tactile maps, globe, chemical equation tiles, and more.

Source: (India)

Download this outline of the WBU’s comprehensive plan for the socio-economic integration of people with blindness, including a strategy for poverty reduction. From the General documents page, click the title Blindness, Poverty, and Development from the Development committee.

Source: World Blind Union (WBU)

This overview of community-based rehabilitation has links to related documents, including a matrix for designing a CBR strategy.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Some of the challenges, myths, and beliefs encountered in Kenya when addressing the needs of children with visual impairment and additional disabilities; suggestions for developing effective strategies.

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

Organized by grade level, the topics include the Amazon, Mexico, Gaza, Okavango, Tarantulas, the White House, and Wildlife Refuges.

Source: National Geographic Society

The 6-foot relief globe in the Perkins History Museum was made for the school's students in 1837, and may be the oldest such globe in the United States.

Source: Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind

Using these practical suggestions will make historical site visits meaningful to students who are blind and visually impaired. Tactile representations, audio recordings, and the use of large print are discussed.

Source: English Heritage

NCSS is the largest American association devoted solely to social studies education.

General guidelines for developing programs for students with visual impairment and additional disabilities, including deafblindness. Includes background information, the range of service delivery options, Indian disability legislation, resources for teacher training, and sample forms.

Source: Voice and Vision (India)

Brazilian trainers share their expertise in “Professionals and Parents--Partners in Habilitation and Rehabilitation of Visually Impaired Children: A Successful Experience”; in Portuguese.

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

This guide identifies the challenges faced by students doing fieldwork in geography, and suggests strategies for overcoming them. Included is advice on note taking, handouts, and the use of maps and other graphics.

Source: Geography Discipline Network

This is an annotated resource list of materials for teaching social studies to students who are blind and visually impaired.

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

RNIB's classroom resources pages contain suggestions for specific subject areas, including Geography

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Stuart Snowdon offers practical strategies for teaching geography to students with visual impairments, including ideas for instructional methods, materials, and mapwork.

Source: Staffordshire Learning Net

NCGE works to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning.  The site includes links to resources, publications, and events.

Barriers to the utilization of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) services for individuals with blindness in rural South India.

Source: Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

Understanding how disability affects people in villages, small towns, and cities, and the role of community-based rehabilitation in delivering services; in simplified language.

Source: Independent Living Institute