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Literacy for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind: Building a Foundation

Literacy for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind: Building a Foundation

A young girl holding a chart containing Disney character magnets. It reads "My Magnetic Responsibility Chart.

This module is meant to be used in conjunction with the website Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss, which outlines stages of literacy development and matches them with strategies for promoting the literacy skills of children who are deaf-blind. The website covers a full range of literacy skills, but this module focuses primarily on two topics: foundations for literacy and early emergent literacy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the concept of literacy as a continuum.
  • Recognize that all children are on the continuum and can continue to develop. 
  • Recognize the impact of deaf-blindness on literacy skills development. 
  • Understand that trust and meaningful interactions build communication skills and move the learner along the literacy continuum.
  • Recognize the important roles that communication partners and the physical environment play in successful communication.  
  • Learn how to use the “Literacy Learner Profile” to guide literacy planning and instruction.
  • Learn how to use the “Literacy Instructional Plan Template” to individualize daily routines.

Development Team

  • Hilary Hodes
  • Julie Durando
  • Shawna Benson
  • Sue Dell
  • Nancy Steele
  • Christine Spratling

Suggested Citation

Hodes, H., Durando, J., Benson, S., Dell, S., Steele, N., & Spratling, C. (2019). Foundations of literacy instruction for children with combined vision and hearing loss. National Center on Deaf-Blindness.