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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 2: Design the environment and develop or adapt literacy materials, including related communication symbols, based on child's needs, skills, and learning objectives

What to Do

  • Provide time daily in your schedule for literacy
  • Engage in literacy activities that build on student interests with meaningful connections to the real world. This includes what students  know and offering a means to gain new information
    • create your own books using symbols understood by the student
    • create squishy books
    • create interactive sensory books
  • When planning to adapt a book, consider the purpose of the book and the learning objectives that are attached to reading the book
  • Use age-appropriate content and materials as the basis for modifications and adaptations
    • Modify text (e.g., simplify using symbols understood by the student)
    • Modify images (e.g., high contrast, simplify the background to reduce clutter, highlight key aspect of the image, add tactile or object cues)
    • Modify physical access (e.g., use page fluffers, page turners, book stands or slant boards, voice output devices)
  • Develop and use communication symbols understood by the student (e.g.,  objects, tactile cues, photos, line drawings) to engage in comprehension activities and answer comprehension questions before, during, and after reading

Things to Consider

  • Did you conduct an assessment to identify the communication symbols understood by the child?
  • Did you identify the child’s sensory interests to develop literacy materials that will engage and interest the child?
  • Are you considering the child’s vision in order to adapt books appropriately?
  • Are you considering adaptations to facilitate the child’s ability to physically access and participate in the literacy activities?

Always Ask Yourself