Working with Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

There are many excellent resources and tools available online for parents and educators. We’ve compiled a set of links to those we think may be most valuable to you, or a sample of some of the many resources from larger websites, in hopes that you’ll explore them more.


Robin Bliven
Director of Outreach Services






Scroll down to see links for

  • Resources from the Virginia Department of Education
  • Other resources and tools for families and professionals
  • Unified English Braille (UEB)

Resources from the Virginia Department of Education

Guidelines For Working With Students Who Are Blind Or Visually Impaired In Virginia Public Schools (PDF)

Training & Technical Assistance Centers (T/TAC)– funded by VDOE, work to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children and youth with disabilities (birth – 22 years).

Materials for Professionals working with infants and young children with deafness/hearing loss, blindness/visual impairment, or deaf-blindness, provided by Outreach Services, VSDB 2014 and on loan from TTAC lending libraries (Description)

Guidelines For School Division Policy Regarding Service Dogs In Virginia’s Public Schools (PDF)

Standards of Learning (SOL) and Testing: Participation and Inclusion

Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Special Test Accommodations, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources and Tools for Families and Professionals

Active Learning Space – a place for parents and professionals to learn about Dr. Lilli Nielson’s Active Learning Theory; site established by Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Texas School for the Blind and Perkins School for the Blind.

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers:

American Printing House for the Blind (APH) offers:


Audio Games Audiogames, as opposed to video games, are computer games with sound as main output rather than graphics. Using sound, games can have dimensions of atmosphere, and are far more accessible to people with all levels of sight. (These games have not been previewed for appropriateness for students.)

Braille Authority of North America (BANA) – offers guidance on the transition to Unified English Braille:

  • ABCs of UEB: A Guide for the Transition from English Braille American Edition (EBAE) to The Rules of Unified English Braille, by Constance Risjord (fully downloadable) provides example and practice exercises.
  • Braille Music Code, 2015, from BANA– a completely revised publication available for free download in two electronic versions—PDF and BRF. Hardcopy versions will be produced and sold by the American Printing House for the Blind.
  • General information regarding the transition to UEB, frequently asked questions, rules and guidelines, tutorials, resources, and example documents in UEB.

Braille Praxis study guide is online from ETS

CanNect offers more than 150 courses for people who are blind or visually impaired in accessible format.

Colleges and universities help students with visual disabilities earn degrees through improved technology

College Guide for Students with Visual Impairments– includes data, assistive technology, student interviews, and scholarship information.

Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, Learning from role models who are blind or visually impaired, Part I on YouTube (See menu on right for Part II and 8 more videos from role models.)

Computer accessibility for people who are blind by Lexi Westigate

Cortical Visual Impairment resources

CVI Society website of Professor Gordon Dutton, Emeritus Professor of Visual Science at Glasgow Caledonian University and Patron CVI Society

CVI – Strategy to See Diane Sheline’s website for those who care for and work with children with cerebral/cortical visual impairment (C/CVI)

Described and Captioned Media Programs

Great Expectations: Bringing Picture Books Alive to Blind Kids

Educational Apps for use with Windows 8

Essential Assessments Rubric , a resource for teachers of children with visual impairment ages birth to 22 years. TVIs use the essential assessment framework to secure data that drives eligibility, educational programming and instruction.

Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Sensory Impairments, by Ferrell, Bruce, & Luckner, published by University of Florida, 2014

Hadley School for the Blind offers:


Kansas School for the Deaf and Blind – Video Outreach resources

Michigan Vision Services Severity Rating Scales (MVSSR)– a tool developed by the Michigan Department of Education to assist their Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) in determining the amount of time needed for service delivery for each student who is blind or visually impaired.

National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities, Revised

National Braille Press


National Federation for the Blind


NOAH: mission is to act as a conduit for accurate and authoritative information about all aspects of living with albinism and to provide a place where people with albinism and their families, in the United States and Canada, can find acceptance, support and fellowship.

“Out of Sight,” an animated short video (5:30) that contains no dialogue and is not described.This Disability Movie website has included a complete description that can be read aloud with the video, providing a focus for discussion of the why and how of described video.

Part C Screening for infants and toddlers with visual impairments– from the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Paths to Literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired

Pediatric Services offers considerations in assessment of development of children with visual impairment and strategies for intervention.

People with Albinism,inspirational stories told by persons with albinism, their supporters assisting them medically and those advocating for their human rights

Perkins School for the Blind offers:


Scholarship information for students who are blind/visually impaired

Simulations of vision caused by eye disease from the National Institute of Health/s National Eye Institute and from Perkins Scout

Sportable provides adaptive sports and recreation opportunities in Richmond, VA, with the goal of transforming the lives of people with physical and visual disabilities through sport!

Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired addresses all aspects from diagnosis and referral to adaptations and unique instruction; provides a wide range of resources.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers:

Virginia Family Special Education Connection: provides a one-stop shop for parents, families, and caregivers of children with special needs; provided by Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers.

Unified English Braille

UEB Online developed by the Renwick Centre in Australia. A free web-based course.

Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts from BANA

Hadley School for the Blind is a new course for professionals who know current code and wish to transition to UEB.

UEB webinars from Hadley

Provisional Guidance for Transcribing Foreign Language Materials in UEB from BANA

Six Dot Celebration – (Email BRL2 Publishing directly: ) almost 300 pages of UEB reading and writing practice for students from middle elementary through high school, provided on a USB drive that allows an individual teacher to print and emboss whatever they need to use with their students

UEB Guidelines for Technical Materials produced by the Math Focus Group of the International Council of English Braille (ICEB), a subgroup of the former UEB Rules Committee during the UEB development phase. The purpose of this document is to give transcribers information and examples to produce Mathematics, Science and Computer notation in Unified English Braille.