Tips, Advice, and Networks to Support Your Family when Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision
Disclaimer: Throughout this series, we will be using the diagnostic language and terms that most people who are searching the Internet will use to find information. We fully understand that using any term to categorize children may result in generalizations that may not apply to every child, stigmas associated with that term, and the possibility of overlooking the many beautiful positive traits that exist when we look at the whole child. We celebrate the differences that make us unique individuals and learners, and we write everything in this series with the hopes of benefiting all children and their families. Resources are provided as options for you, may not represent the views and opinions of A2Z Homeschooling, and in no way are meant to replace medical or other professional advice.
If you are already homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision, or you are just thinking about it, you know that your homeschool will require specialized materials and additional resources. You know that you must not only cover the core curriculum, the traditional curriculum that builds skills and strategies to make young adults college-and-career ready, but also the expanded core curriculum, which provides your child with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the world with limited or no vision. What you can always use is some support! There are families who have completed—or are still on—this journey, and they can be a valuable network for you. There are organizations and online resources, too.
To help you on your way, A2Z Homeschooling has collected some resources that will help you as you homeschool your child who is blind or has limited vision:
|Advice and Stories from Families Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision|
|Support Groups for Families Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision|
*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Although most of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials.
Tips and Considerations for Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision
There are a lot of unknowns when you begin homeschooling, and there may be more unknowns when you begin homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision. Here are some resources that you can explore right away to gain an understanding of how homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision can be:
A Blind Child’s Pathway to Learning: Developing Cognition without Sight $
By Dr. William Cavitt (Author)
“Our purpose is to translate the knowledge provided by these professionals into ideas and concepts that can be readily understood and applied by parents, teachers, and other caregivers of blind children. Throughout the book, we will be dealing with highly specialized concepts and theories of education, psychology, and human development. We have done our best to translate the professional and academic jargon into what most people would call ‘simple English’.”
Educational Options for Blind and Visually Impaired Kids | Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Read about traditional schools, schools for the blind, and homeschooling/online courses, as well as some questions to consider when making your decision.
For Parents Who Are Suddenly Homeschooling | American Foundation for the Blind
Here you will find links to valuable resources for parents who have suddenly found themselves homeschooling. Included are activities for home, free daily lessons, a homework hotline, and more!
How to Homeschool a Blind or Visually Impaired Child | wikiHow
Find out about homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision through these four topics: 1) Getting Started as a Home Educator, 2) Providing Assistive Technology, 3) Teaching a Blind or Visually Impaired Child, and 4) Developing a Social Network for Your Child.
You Can Homeschool Your Blind Child, and the School Can Help! | American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
This article, by Darcie Whelan Kortan, discusses laws, related services for the blind, other services not related to blindness, books to read, technology, and more!
Advice and Stories from Families Who Are Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision
There is nothing quite like learning from families who are similar to yours (at least in the fact that they are homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision). Here are some insights into the experiences of other families:
Anyone Else Homeschooling a Blind or Seriously Visually Impaired Child? | The Well-Trained Mind
Explore this forum to find out responses to the question, “Anyone else homeschooling a blind or seriously visually impaired child?”
Six Reasons to Homeschool Your Blind Child | WonderBaby
Read one mother’s post about why homeschooling can be the best option for homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision.
Support Groups for Families Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision
Connecting with other homeschool families like yours can be beneficial to both you and your child. While there may not be a lot of support groups targeting homeschooling and blindness or limited vision, you can also join general homeschool support groups or special needs homeschool support groups. Here are just a couple support groups specifically designed for homeschoolers with children who are blind or have limited vision:
“This group was created for families who are homeschooling blind children or blind families homeschooling sighted children.”
Homeschooling and Vision Therapy
“We are a group of homeschooling families who have children in vision therapy! We are here to share stories, ideas and curriculum and support each other on this journey!”
Some resources are simply beneficial, but they may not necessarily focus on homeschooling. For example, organizations that provide technology solutions can be an invaluable resource for your homeschool. Here are some resources that may help both your homeschool and life outside of homeschool:
Blind Abilities (Podcast)
By Blind Abilities Team (Author)
“The most comprehensive resource for Assistive Technology, Accessible Devices, Blind and Low Vision Technology, iPhone demonstrations, success Stories, Job Insights, College and Career Pathways and all with a Blindness Perspective.”
International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind | National Federation of the Blind
“The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind is a comprehensive technology evaluation, demonstration, and training facility located at our national headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. The IBTC serves as a resource for vendor-free advice on all aspects of access technology,” showcases the latest technology, and provides access to technology experts.
Macsome Audiobook Converter
“As an all-in-one Audible Audiobook Converter, Macsome Audiobook Converter enables you to download Audible AA/AAX audiobooks to your Mac. And then convert Audible AA or AAX audiobooks to MP3, M4A and M4B with ID3 tags preserve, including Title, Artist, Author, Year, Genre, Comments, etc.” Check out other technologies options from Macsome as well.
“VoiceOver is an industry‑leading screen reader that describes exactly what’s happening on your device. Auditory descriptions of onscreen elements help you easily navigate your screen through a Bluetooth keyboard or simple gestures on a touchscreen or trackpad. And with unique rotor gestures that function like a dial on the trackpad, you can make content such as websites a breeze to browse.” Another version, VoiceOver + Braille, is also available.
These are just some of the resources that can help to support you on your homeschool journey. Enjoy this tremendous experience and check out our post on Curriculum and Resources for Homeschooling a Child Who is Blind or Has Limited Vision or our Special Needs section for even more resources!
Have you been homeschooling a child who is blind or has limited vision? Please share suggestions or resources with other families in the comments below. If you are considering this path or have just started this journey, feel free to ask questions as well!