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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 6: Provide opportunities for students to read for the purpose of experiencing new feelings and attitudes

What to Do

  • Choose reading materials that elicit new feelings and/or explore a variety of attitudes.
  • Adapt materials into accessible formats needed for instruction.
    • Adapting materials for readers who are blind, visually impaired, physically impaired, or intellectually disabled can provide them access to the richness of literature and the independence of reading for information.
    • Include enlarged pictures, picture symbols, tactile symbols, objects/partial objects with which students can interact during the actual reading of the material.
    • Reduce the amount of text on each page and enlarge the font size to 20-30 point. Use fonts with no serifs for clearest text.
  • Create meaningful symbols/pictures related to abstract concepts (e.g., loneliness, death).
    • Making tactile symbols of abstract concepts can be very difficult. The Texas School for the Blind developed a system for creating consistent symbols that may be used to represent abstract concepts for students who can understand abstract representations.
  • Present text in a variety of formats and multiple times to connect meaning to the concept.
  • Discuss feelings/attitudes appearing in text and relate to real-life experiences.
  • Create "feeling" word banks and keep accessible to student.
  • Refer back to symbols frequently to reinforce/maintain concepts.

Things to Consider

  • Have you thought about pre-teaching the lesson if you are working in an inclusive setting?
  • Are all of your teaching materials age appropriate for the students you are working with?
  • Have you provided materials that include both independent and instructional reading levels?
  • Can you build in repetition of stories and concepts?
  • Have you modified your materials to minimize visual clutter?
  • Are you watching the student's positioning, keeping in mind the child may have physical or visual fatigue?
  • Are you doing follow-up activities that expand or use the same targeted vocabulary as your story?
  • Do students have a way to communicate expressively if they are non-verbal?

Always Ask Yourself