Expanded Core Curriculum

Independent Living Skills

These skills are highly correlated with the achievement of lifelong goals for students who are blind or visually impaired. “This area encompasses all the tasks and functions people perform, according to their abilities, in order to live as independently as possible.” (Hatlen, 1996) Curriculum designed to address the development of independent living skills includes instruction in such areas as personal hygiene, food preparation, money and time management, home management, and organization of personal belongings and space to accommodate the lack of visual input. While similar skills may be taught within the public school curriculum, they do not provide sufficient opportunity for the meaningful and frequent practice required for students who are blind or visually impaired. The content of the regular curriculum is often based on the assumption of the presence of a basic level of knowledge acquired incidentally through vision. As with the skills of social interaction, students who are blind or visually impaired cannot learn these skills without direct, sequential instruction by knowledgeable people.

Taken from:
Alberta Education. Special Programs Branch. (2006).  Appendix A of Essential Components of Educational Programming for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

Helpful Links

BALANCE for Blind Adults is a Canadian organization offering support for adults who are living with vision loss.  This site contains a wealth of information, particularly with respect to daily living skills.  Their site focuses on healthy living and wellness as well as independent travel within the community.  While their content is geared primarily towards adults who are living independently, a lot of the skills that are covered are also elements of the Expanded Core Curriculum. 

TSBVI Independent Living Skills
The Texas School for the Blind’s resource page for Independent Living Skills.  Contains links to ILS curricula and resources.

CNIB Independent Living Skills
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s website offers hints and tips for many different areas of independent living.

TSBVI Recipe Page
This page, found on the TSBVI website, contains a large variety of easy-to-make recipes containing commonly found 'boxed' or packaged foods.