The Blind Readers' Page--Main Menu

FOR PARENTS OF BLIND AND VISUALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN

A. BOOKS AND WEB SITES

"About Children's Vision (A Guide for Parents)," National Association for Visually Handicapped. Pamphlet; free upon request to members; $0.50 for others.

The American Foundation for the Blind is a good source of scholarly and popular material on education and childhood, including education services, braille, sex education, orientation and mobility, residential schools and the arts.

The American Printing House for the Blind has two excellent guides for parents who want to help their visually handicapped child learn to read and love reading: "Discovering the Magic of Reading: `Elizabeth's Story'" is a VHS video and booklet; it "follows the course of a child's various experiences involving books" ($24.95; booklet only, $10.00). The material is based on a fuller treatment by Josephine Stratton and Suzette Wright, "On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children" (Louisville, KY: APH, 1991; $18.00, print or casette). The APH also publishes "Developmental Guidelines for Infants with Visual Impairment: A Manual for Early Intervention" (Louisville, KY: APH, 1998), by Amanda Hall Lueck, et al., which covers the gamut of developmental stages in infants with visual impairments.

The "Assistive Technology Resource Manual" was intended "to help school districts in Illinois meet the assistive technology needs of its students with disabilities" but its ideas, tips, strategies and samples will be useful to teachers and parents everywhere.

Barrier Free Education is "a website dedicated to fulfilling the promise of universal access" to math and science education, directed at students, parents and teachers. It includes downloadable sample lab experiments modified for accessibility as well as links to sources of information about tactile graphics and adaptive computer technology.

The Blind Children's Center (Los Angeles, CA) educational booklets, training manuals and videos dealing with feeding, playing, movement, language and other topics of interest.

The Blind Children's Fund offers a variety of products and services, including braille blocks for preschoolers.

Books on Special Children (BOSC); mail-order source for books on a wide variety of disabilities.

The Braille Institute's "Insight Series" of videotapes includes several on preschoolers, orientation and mobility, and on social skills.

Children With Disabilities "presents families, service providers, and other interested individuals with information about advocacy, education, employment, health, housing, recreation, technical assistance, and transportation. It contains material about a broad array of developmental, physical, and emotional disabilities, including learning disabilities, such as attention deficit disorder; debilitating illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and cancer; and physical challenges, such as blindness and deafness."

"Children's Literature & Disability" is a resource list "intended to help parents and professionals identify books that are written about or include characters who have a disability," including: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), autism, Down Syndrome, hearing impairment including deafness, learning disabilities, mental retardation, serious or life-threatening conditions, sibling issues, physical disabilities, visual impairment including blindness, and other disabilities. The list was prepared by The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities.

"Creating Options: A Resource on Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities" (2001 Edition), by the Heath Resource Center, covers the various types of aid available, application procedures, timelines, resources and the responsibilities of the people involved in the process of obtaining financial aid. It can be downloaded in PDF format.

The Family Center on Technology and Disability assists "organizations and programs who serve families of children with disabilities by providing information and support on accessing and using assistive technology."

"Family Guide: Growth and Development of the Partially Seeing Child," National Association for Visually Handicapped. Pamphlet; free upon request to members; $0.60 for others.

Denise Ferrin's wide-ranging compilation, Guide to Resources for Children and Youth with Visual Impairments, Third Edition, is now out of print, but is available, much revised and expanded, at the web site of Six Friends: Resources for Christian Families Living with a Visual Impairment..

Hands and Eyes Newsletter: Art and Learning Activities for Visually Impaired Students and Their Friends, by Holly Cooper--a newsletter full of activities for parents, teachers and children, with back issues posted too.

HEATH Resource Center (American Council on Education): "an information exchange about educational support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary training entities." The Center's publications and studies are downloadable.

M. Cay Holbrook, ed., "Children with Visual Impairments: A Parents' Guide" (Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 1996; ISBN:0-933149-36-0): chapters on medical and legal issues, daily and family life, development, self-esteem, education, literacy and orientation and mobility; includes a glossary, resource list and reading guide.

LDOnLine: The Interactive Guide to Learning Disabilities for Parents, Teachers, and Children: summaries of the issues and resources, many valuable links.

Lighthouse International publishes "EnVision: A Publication for Parents and Educators of Children with Impaired Vision." Current issues are available on-line.

Diane D. Miller, "Reading Comes Naturally: A Mother and Her Blind Child's Experiences"--from the IBRC Resource Library. IBRC Resource Library.

"MUMS is a National Parent to Parent Network whose mission is to help parents who have a child with any disorder, medical condition, mental or emotional disorder or rare diagnosis make connections with other parents whose children have the same or similar condition. If possible matches are made according to age, geographical location, gender, and severity of the symptoms." There is a downloadable application form.

National Center to Improve Practicein Special Eduction Through Technology, Media and Materials lists organizations supporting the visually impaired and state agencies that administer special education and rehabilitation services. The "Parents of Blind and Visually Impaired Children Resource Page" has lots of well-organized links that parents will find useful.

"The Special Ed Advocate" is an on-line newsletter about special education law, advocacy, research and other topics. It is produced by Wrightslaw.

V.I. Guide: A Guide to Internet Resources About Visual Impairments for Parents and Teachers: covers vision-related services, special education services, assistive technology, assistive products, legal considerations, medical information and much more.

Braille Instruction for Parents and Teachers

Castellano, Carol and Dawn Kosman. "The Bridge to Braille." Baltimore, MD: National Organization of Parents of Blind Children/National Federation of the Blind, 1997. $12.95.

Curran, Eileen P. "Just Enough to Know Better: A Braille Primer." 3rd edition. Boston, MA: National Braille Press, 1993. ISBN 0939173158.

"Instruction Manual for Learning to Read Braille by Sight." Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.

Ashcroft, S. C. "New Programmed Instruction in Braille." 2nd edition. Nashville, TN: Scalars Publishing , 1991. 374pp.

The Hadley School for the Blind has a free correspondence course for parents and relatives of blind children who would like to learn braille along with a child, as well as many other courses.

Warren, David H. "Blindness and Children: An Individual Differences Approach." Cambridge, England and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0521451094. This is a standard textbook, though not at all dry, full of information and with an extensive bibliography.

Willoughby, Doris. "Handbook for Itinerant and Resource Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired Students" ( Baltimore, MD: National Federation of the Blind, 1989): the standard text for teachers, it will greatly enlarge any parent's sense of the possibilities for educating a blind child.

Doris M. Willoughby and Sharon L. Monthei. "Modular Instruction for Independent Travel for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Preschool Through High School." Baltimore, MD: National Federation of the Blind, 1998. 398 p. ISBN: 1885218095. Although intended for teachers, this book will also be extremely valuable for any parent wanting to encourage a child's mobility skills and independence.


"Spinoza ... the Bear Who Speaks from the Heart" is a furry bear containing a two-speed cassette player that will play both the Spinoza collection of nine tapes encouraging self-esteem, conflict resolution and other topics, as well as Library of Congress four-track tapes.

The Braille Resource and Literacy Center (The BRL Center) has over 50 children's storybooks available in double-spaced, non-interpoint, Grade 1 (or alphabetic) Braille. The Braille appears on the right side of the page and the print equivalent of each line appears on the left side. These books are bound with a spiral wire binding. Titles include many children's classic fairy tales and other stories, such as "The Little Mermaid," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Hansel and Gretel," "Mother Goose Rhymes," and "The Three Little Pigs." Other titles are books written for beginning readers, such as the series of "Frog and Toad" books. Teachers and parents may purchase the books at a price of 2 books for $6.00. One free book will be given to any child upon request. For more information contact:
The BRL Center
1094 South 350 West, Orem, UT 84058
Phone: 801-224-333.

The Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative is a statewide project funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to help all school districts develop or improve their assistive technology services. WATI also works with Birth to 3 programs through a grant from the Wisconsin Birth to 3 Program. The site, aimed at teachers, has sections on best practices, materials, assessment forms, traning, literacy and assistive technology and art.

Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the umbrella organization for residential and outreach educational programming and consultation in the state.

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