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Calendar Systems

Time-related concepts (e.g., past, present, future, wait, next), and words to represent them, help us make sense of the world. 

A large red container with four sections, each containing a different object: a bowl, a sponge, a toothbrush, a bar of soap.

Calendar systems are timepieces that help children and youth with deafblindness learn time concepts and vocabulary, be aware of what is going to happen, make decisions about their own schedules, and have conversations in which they can look forward to upcoming events and reminisce about the past.

Calendars range from very simple two-container systems that help a child understand what will happen next, to daily/weekly schedules, to monthly and annual versions that are closer to a traditional format. Each is highly individualized so that it makes sense to a particular student.

See also:

An example of a student using a weekly and daily calendar.

Learn More

Calendar Systems (OHOA Module)

The Calendar (Texas Deafblind Project)

Offline Resource

Book: Blaha, R. (2001). Calendars for Students with Multiple Impairments Including Deafblindness. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Children who are deafblind may struggle to understand the organization of their lives. They often cannot anticipate when changes are going to occur, and have no way to communicate about them. Calendar systems can help. They are designed to communicate activities and events in a systematic way. (Tellefson, 2007)


Blaha, R., Borg, J., Clyne, M., Hartman, V., Martin, B. (2015, September). Calendars. In National Center on Deaf-Blindness, Open Hands, Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules. Monmouth, OR: National Center on Deaf-Blindness, The Research Institute at Western Oregon University.

Tellefson, M. (2007). Calendar systems: A developmental approach for young children with sensory impairments


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