Books for children diagnosed with CVI are one of the most requested products for development from American Printing House for the Blind. It is not an easy task. The challenge is that children’s needs in this area are so individualized that a book appropriate for one child is not appropriate for others. This website will attempt to provide some steps for children with CVI on the path to literacy, allowing teachers and families to join that path at the place that is appropriate for their child. This site will offer a spectrum of strategies, based on individual student needs. Children with severe CVI may need many accommodations addressing the need for light, color, movement etc. and other children may need simple interventions to reduce crowding and complexity. Because children with CVI have or are developing the use of their vision, some of the resources will be strategies that are appropriate for children with typically developing vision, others will be strategies designed for tactile learners. Children deserve the opportunity to determine which mode of learning is best for them in the moment and in their future. Learning Media Assessments are crucial in this determination.
Emergent literacy opportunities need to be addressed before children are ready for formal reading instruction. An important first goal should be for the child to develop a love of books. This comes from enjoyable experiences, bonding time, stories about what is important and fun for them. Once a child loves books, they will want more…more with their families, teachers, and peers. This will create the desire to learn to read…so that they can eventually get “more” independently.
“The goal of literacy is to gain meaning through reading or to convey meaning through writing.” Koenig, A.J. (1992). A framework for understanding the literacy of individuals with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 86, 277-284.
“Emergent literacy extends from birth to the beginning of formal instruction in reading and writing.” Koenig, A.J. (1992). A framework for understanding the literacy of individuals with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 86, 277-284. Stratton, J. M. (1996). Emergent literacy: A new perspective. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 90, 177-183.
“For students with disabilities, three areas are vital to the development of emergent literacy: environments that support and encourage emergent literacy, teaching strategies and activities that support the growth of emergent literacy, and the role of teachers in promoting the development of emergent literacy.” Justice, L. M., & Pullen, P. C. (2003). Promising interventions for promoting emergent literacy skills: Three evidenced-based approaches. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 23, 99-113.
“Literacy, for all children, is a gradual process that emerges from a foundation that is formed as all of the child’s development and experiences combine and interact from birth. The opportunity for optimum development and the experiences that are so important in developing literacy are every child’s right.” Stratton, J. M., & Wright, S. (1991). On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.
“Infants, toddlers and preschoolers who are blind or visually impaired need early literacy experiences that are offered in a planned and direct, not incidental, manner.” Pogrund, R. L., & Fazzi, D. L. (Eds.). (2002). Early focus: Working with young children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. New York, NY: AFB Press.