Students with Multiple Disabilities

Handouts from an Alberta workshop by Dr. Jan van Dijk:
General Resources for Working with Students who have Multiple Disabilities

Lilliworks Active Learning Foundation
‘Active Learning’, a term coined by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, describes a learning technique that was developed for use with children who have multiple disabilities.  Active Learning techniques often involve the use of specialized equipment.  This website provides more information about using this approach, as well as an on-line discussion board and a venue from which one can purchase Active Learning equipment and additional resources.

Basic Orientation and Mobility for Students with Multiple Disabilities
This article, written by Fabiana Perla (Optometrist) and Walter Ducret (Overbrook School for the Blind), provides a list of considerations that one should keep in mind when working on O & M skills with children who have multiple disabilities.

TSBVI’s Directory of Standard Tactile Symbols
This site, by the Texas School for the Blind, provides the user with a photographic guide to popular tactile symbols.

This program, developed by the Northern Grid for Learning, “is a suite of programs designed to help teach early ICT skills to people with profound and multiple learning difficulties, those who need to develop skills with assistive input devices and very young children new to computers”.  This program can be downloaded onto your computer or run directly from their website and is provided as a free resource for parents, careworkers and teachers.

TSBVI Light Box Strategies
For students with multiple disabilities, light boxes are often used to stimulate looking behavior.  This is a list from the Texas School for the Blind’s website that contains 50 different strategies for using the light box.

Resources for Working with Students who have Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)

Cortical Visual Impairment and other Eye Conditions in Children with Multiple Disabiliites 
A powerpoint presentation put together by Chris Marshall that provides an overview to eye conditions that are common in children with multiple impairments, including CVI.  Other topics include multi-sensory learning, assistive technology and assessment.  

APH CVI Website
This website, sponsored by the American Printing House for the Blind that is exclusively dedicated to CVI, contains a wealth of information and resources on CVI including articles and videos, shared stories, environmental supports, intervention strategies and more. 

Overview of CVI
This page provides the reader with a good one-page overview of CVI and its characteristics. 

Neurological Visual Impairment Fact Sheet
This article, housed on the Texas School for the Blind’s website, provides the reader with an overview of Neurological Visual Impairment, or NVI.  NVI is a broader term, which includes such conditions as: Cortical Visual Impairment, Delayed Visual Maturation, and Cortical Blindness.  This article provides a description of NVI, as well as teaching strategies for working with students who are affected by this condition.

An article by Tanni Anthony detailing an overview of the current knowledge pertaining to CVI. 

Questions to ask Parents of Children with CVI
This list of questions, formulated by Christine Roman-Lantzy and compiled by Irene Kovats, would be a helpful resource when interviewing parents of a child with CVI.

Resources for Working with Students who have Autism and Visual Impairment

Childhood Development Charts
This pdf docusment, written by Gense & Gense (2002), provides the reader with a listing of various developmental characteristics for children in three categories: children who are experiencing typical development, children with vision loss, and children with vision loss and autism spectrum disorder.  This information is provided in a chart format for easy comparison and use.

Questions & Answers on Autism and Visual Impairment
This article, housed on the Texas School for the Blind’s website, provides the responses to seven questions pertaining to Autism and Visual Impairment.

Differences in Children with Autism who are Sighted vs. Children with Autism who are Visually Impaired
This article, housed on the Texas School for the Blind’s website, describes symptom presentation differences in children with autism who are visually impaired, and those with autism who are sighted.