Where to Start – Some Basic Resources for Parents, Guardians, Other Family Members of Children with Vision Loss, As Well As for Teachers and Other Professionals
Here is a list of some helpful resources for any parent, guardian, family member, teacher or other professional who wants to do their best to support a child or youth who is blind, low vision or deafblind. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of any other resources for supporting children with vision loss.
Online Videos by David Lepofksy, visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School
Visit Osgoode Hall Law School’s YouTube page for tips for parents of students with disabilities on how to advocate for their child’s needs at school, as well as for an introduction to the duty to accommodate people with disabilities.
Check out Reach Out and Teach: Helping Your Child Who Is Visually Impaired Learn and Grow by Kay Ferrell. This book is an excellent resource for parents of children with vision loss, as well as educators who work with children with vision loss.
An excellent place to get some braille transcriptions is the CNIB Brailleroom.
See also Seedlings Braille Books for Children.
The American Foundation for the Blind (“AFB”) provides literacy resources for teaching children who are blind or who have low vision to read and write. The following resources can be found on the AFB’s website:
- Tips for promoting your child’s braille literacy skills
- Methods for literacy for children who are blind or visually impaired
- An overview of braille
- Beyond Braillewriter Mechanics: Guidelines for Teaching Writing
- Touch and Read: Early Tools of Literacy for Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired
- Choosing the right iPad app for teaching braille literacy
- Promoting Your Preschooler’s Development of Reading and Writing Skills
- Helping your grade schooler develop literacy skills
- How students who are blind read and write
- How students with low vision read and write
- Reading and making tactile books with your child
The American Foundation for the Blind also provides resources for teachers of braille. The following can be found on the AFB’s resources for teachers website:
- Resources for learning and refreshing literary braille skills
- Tips for promoting braille in your community
- Tips for promoting braille in the classroom
- Sources of braille children’s books and magazines
- Selected resources for teaching braille reading and writing
Founded in 1918, CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. Their work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. You can find some relevant supports for children, youth and families found on CNIB’s website.
Paths to Literacy is a website that provides educational resources for identifying dyslexia in children with visual impairments. Visit Paths to Literacy’s page about Understanding Dyslexia in Children with Visual Impairments.
Paths to Literacy also provides educational resources for children with visual impairments and those who have other disabilities. See
- Braille Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Second Language Acquisition in Children with Vision and Hearing Loss
- The iPad & Students with Visual and Multiple Disabilities: Apps for Communication
- Braille Letter Song: A Fun Way to Teach the Braille Alphabet
- Bringing Literacy to Life Through Storyboxes
- Creating a Literacy Kit
- Using Reference Objects to Improve Literacy
- Assistive Technology for Math
- Teaching Literacy and Math Skills through Cooking
- 56 Tactile Math Ideas: Ideas and Suggestions for Development of Early Math Skills
Moreover, the Hadley School for the Blind provides information for braille on their website. Some programs for Bling or Deaflind students at the W. Ross McDonald School for the Blind can be found at the links below.
The National Federation of the Blind provides distance education resources here.
The American Council of the Blind provides educational information here.
Built Environment and Orientation/Mobility Resources
If your visually impaired child might need one or two artificial eyes, check out Ontario’s network of professionals in this field: https://artificialeyes.net/ocularists/canada/ontario/
For supports available to families of pre-school children who are blind, deafblind or low vision, check out Ontario’s Blind Low Vision program. Visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/blind-low-vision-early-intervention-program
The CNIB Foundation developed the first edition of Clearing Our Path in 1998, to address the need for information on creating accessible environments for people who are blind.
- Design Basics for Visually Impaired and Blind Individuals (Layout, Lighting, Colour and Brightness, Acoustics)
- Exteriors and Interiors, including:
- Paths of Travel
- Protruding Objects and Other Obstacles
- Tactile Walking Surface Indicators
- Platform Edges
- Information and Communication Systems
The CNIB also provides resources on how visually impaired and blind people navigate the built environment:
- Getting around with a white cane
- Information on Guide Dogs
- GPS and Navigation Applications
- Sighted Guide Techniques
The Hadley School for the Blind provides resources for Navigating Unfamiliar Places and Spaces Series
- Smartphone Apps and Resources for People with Vision Loss or Impairment
- ABC’s of iOS
- New Tech for People with Low Vision or Blindness
- Literary Services for People who are Blind
- Screen Readers
- Magnification for Windows Operators
- How to Save Money on Adaptive Technology
Health and Medical:
- Ontario Government Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program
- Ontario Government Assistance Paying for Visual Aids
- Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – Special Services at Home Program
- Information for Physicians Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program
If your child has CVI (cortical visual impairment) there are resources available to you, such as CVI Now and the CVI Fact Sheet sheet-families-professionals.
There are many sports opportunities for children, youth and adults with vision loss. For example, check out:
- Halloween crafts for visually impaired and blind children
- 20 Outdoor Activities for Blind and Visually Impaired Children
- Tips to Adapt Games for Children with Vision Impairments
- Yoga and How Can It Benefit My Child with a Visual Impairment
- Crafts that Engage Sensory Play
- Hadley School for the Blind Sports and Exercise Videos (Running, Biking, Skiing, Boating and Open Water Swimming, Exercise Classes, Home Workouts, Working out at the Gym)
- Hadley School for the Blind Playing and Adapting Games
- CNIB Foundation Children and Youth Programs