Literacy is key for accessing education and becoming a successful adult. Children who are blind or visually impaired need reading material in a format that is accessible to them. Such formats include large print, braille, audio, and digital text. Text may also be accessed with assistive technology or low-vision devices. The TVI will perform a Learning Media Assessment (LMA) to determine your child’s mode of access to text. The LMA may be an ongoing process because the student’s vision and skills may change over time. The TVI and a literacy specialist can then work together to provide reading and writing opportunities in your child’s literacy modes. It is also imperative for your child to have books at home in his or her literacy mode. The more children read with their family and friends at home and in school, the stronger their literacy foundation will become.
The following are some resources related to literacy for children who are B/VI:
They provide an introduction to braille for guardians.
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers an online family education program. Course topics range from blind basics, early childhood, braille, technology, the human eye, and independent living.
Paths to Literacy provides a braille resource packet for parents of young children.
Seedlings Braille Books provides free or inexpensive braille books for children.
Ohio Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled
The National Library Service for the Blind and Visually Impaired has a free braille and talking book program. To be able to use the program, you must complete an application process, which requires a doctor’s statement of your child’s visual condition. Once eligible, your child can receive free braille or audio books, magazines, and music materials.
Bookshare offers school-age students free electronic braille, large-print, audio, and online accessible books, periodicals, and magazines. They also include some school textbooks.
Braille Institute offers free braille books for families. Subscribers may order up to 12 books per year.
For all kinds of braille texts, games, labelers, and products for school, daily life, and recreation, check out the American Printing House.