9 Things Visually Impaired Children Learn Through Play
Florida’s children who are visually impaired learn their ABCs at school, but they also need the ECC to prepare for successful lives as adults. ECC is the Expanded Core Curriculum developed by educators of visually impaired students (Teachers of the Visually Impaired–TVIs) who worked closely with parents concerned about their children’s futures. They knew there is not enough time in the public school day to address the unique disability-specific needs of blind or low vision kids.
“Sight is the sense through which the brain receives 75% of its information,” according to Tom Miller of Perkins School for the Blind. The ECC teaches what the blind child doesn’t learn by observing. The ECC teaches the skills the child needs in order to learn in a classroom with sighted students.
The 9 skills are grouped as follows:
- Compensatory Skills—to develop concepts and spatial skills, study skills, speaking and listening skills, and the use of braille or magnifiers and large print reading materials.
- Orientation and Mobility—to walk safely inside and outdoors, recognize landmarks, request assistance or travel with a human guide when needed, and use a cane.
- Social Interaction Skills—to face a person when speaking or listening, shake hands, play with others, express emotions appropriately.
- Independent Living—to manage personal needs and a home, with skills for dressing, grooming, cooking, using money, and time management.
- Recreation and Leisure—to choose how to use leisure time, follow the rules of games, play sports, and try new things.
- Sensory Efficiency—to use hearing, touch, smell, taste, and optical aids and devices to use remaining vision, when possible.
- Technology—to use computers and other electronic devices with adaptive software, including smart phones, to function effectively in school, at home, at work and in the community.
- Career Education—to learn about jobs and adult roles, understand about pay, participate in job experiences.
- Self-determination—to advocate for own goals and needs.
Throughout Florida, 15 local agencies are providing fun learning experiences to teach these skills to visually impaired children aged 5 to 13. Groups meet a couple of Saturdays or school holidays every month during the school year, and on week days in the summer.
Do you know a child who has low vision or visual impairment who could benefit from one or more of these critical skills?
Find an agency near you: https://beyondvisionloss.org/florida-agencies-serving-the-blind-locations/
An instructor teaches a visually impaired child to measure and mix a recipe shown on the whiteboard.