Blindness and Low Vision Resources

This unit helps students understand that the part of the body affected by blindness or low vision is the eye, and that someone who is blind or has low vision can use a variety of useful techniques and assistive technology to be independent and to participate in activities of daily life.

Key themes:

  • Blindness and low vision are among the many traits that contribute to making a person the individual that he or she is.
  • Individuals can experience a broad spectrum of visual disabilities, from having some usable vision to extremely limited or no vision.
  • People with blindness and low vision make individual choices regarding mobility (sighted guide, cane, guide dog).
  • Technology is playing an increasingly important role in enabling people with blindness and low vision to do everyday tasks and to function more independently.
  • Blindness may affect the way someone does things, but they still want to be included and to have friends.

Suggested reading – Two great books!

We suggest reviewing our extensive guide to finding suggested reading titles online, for free or at very low cost, here https://understandingourdifferences.org/findbooks

Picture Book: Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Brailleby Jen Bryant

For Grades 1-4

 

Image shows cover art for book Six Dots; drawing of Louis Braille as a teenager with a book in front of him

Listen to author Jen Bryant talk about the inspiration for her wonderful book!

 

And go to her webpage for all things Six Dots:

https://www.jenbryant.com/books/inprint/bk_sixdots.html

including a downloadable discussion guide:

Image of discussion guide header for Six dots - links to downloadable pdf

Chapter BookBlind Guide to Stinkville, by Beth Vrabel

For Grades 2-7

Summary: Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.

 
Cover art of A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel
 
Questions to consider
  • How would you describe Alice to a friend?
  • Did characters make assumptions about a person with disabilities?  How did the characters change their attitude as the story progressed?
  • What challenges does someone with low vision have in school that may prevent them from being able to learn?  What tools can they use to help them?
  • How does Alice change as the story unfolds?  How does she advocate for herself? 
  • What tasks does she accomplish that surprised you?
  • Why do you think being independent is important to Alice?
  • What are some of the things Alice noticed that others in the story didn’t?
 
A Chat With Beth Vrabel About Her Middle Grade Novel “A Blind Guide to Stinkville”
 

Web-based resource: BrailleBug.org by American Printing House for the Blind

Braille Bug  Image of webpage Braille Bug

Learn about Braille, play games, write secret messages, and learn more about Louis Braille and Helen Keller.

Offline activity:

More about braille at BrailleBug.org:

Downloadable pdf of Braille Bug workbook