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Information about Emergent Literacy and Sharing Books with a Young Child with a Visual Impairment

The material provided in the links below is part of a larger book of information available from APH, On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Children with Visual Impairments. Occasional references may be made to another section of that book which is not available for download at this website.

On the Way to Literacy Book Sections

More resources

For information on a wide range of topics related to literacy for a child with a visual impairment, visit the Paths to Literacy website, developed and maintained by Perkins School for the Blind and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This is a growing resource intended for both parents and teachers.

And this video, created by The Early Literacy Program for Children with Visual Impairments (British Columbia), posted at the Paths to Literacy website, demonstrates a parent reading aloud to her child from a book with tactile illustrations. As she reads she supports her child’s understanding of the book by asking questions, referring to the braille text, and supporting her child’s exploration of the braille and raised line illustrations. There are many types of tactile illustrations. Those that use rich textures and real objects are among the first used with children. Raised line illustrations are more abstract and used later on. The book shown is from APH’s On the Way to Literacy series of storybooks.

For many further ideas, inspiration, and information about parenting a little one with a visual impairment, take time to examine the offerings at Wonderbaby.org. This page at Wonderbaby contains a variety of resources and information about literacy for a young child who is likely to become a braille reader.

And to link to other parents and information about parenting a child with a visual impairment, from birth to adulthood, visit the FamilyConnect website. FamilyConnect is the result of a collaboration between the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments and the American Foundation for the Blind. Its offerings span many subjects, including literacy and literacy resources.

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