University of Edinburgh

Development and Supportive Interventions for Babies and Young Children with Visual Impairment

Presented on Thursday, 11 November 2010

Visual Impairment Curriculum

Mary Dallas
Education and Family Services Manager

Demonstrate ear-hand coordination

  • Auditory Skill: Demonstrates ear-hand coordination (reaches for object making the sound)
  • Materials: Objects with noise (slinky, bell, rattle, etc.)


  1. Get several objects that make different noises such as a slinky, a bell, a rattle, and crinkly paper. 
  2. Sit the child down in front of you. 
  3. Present one item on the left side of the child, at the ear level 
  4. Make noise with the object. 
  5. Encourage the child to reach for the sound, if you need to, help the child to reach for the noise. 
  6. Continue the process on the right side of the child, also at the ear level.  Provide assistance as needed, but encourage the child to reach for the noise on their own based upon what they hear.
  7. Try with other objects that make different sounds.
  8. After the child is successful at ear level, then you can hold the toy on the side (either left or right) and slightly below ear level. 
  9. Locating a sound directly in front of the child will come later, after they can find the sound located on either side.

Find desired toy 'hidden' in textured material

  • Tactile Skill: Finds desired toy 'hidden' in textured material
  • Materials: Textured material (rice, oatmeal, beans, marshmallows, etc)
    Toys (spiders, lizards, small animals, etc)
    Containers with lids (shallow enough for your child to reach inside)


  1. Put some texture material into a container such as sand or dry beans. 
  2. Put several smaller items into the material such as balls or small animals that the child enjoys playing with. 
  3. Cover the objects with the material so that they are hidden or partially hidden.  Procedure
  4. Show the child the material in the container. 
  5. Let them explore it as needed; if they do not explore the material on their own, assist them in feeling the material and talk about what it is that they are feeling. 
  6. Show them that there are items hidden within the material. 
  7. Help them to take one item out.
  8. Encourage them to see if they can locate any more items. 
  9. Provide hands-on assistance as needed to uncover and find the other objects. 
  10. Keep trying activity until the child is successful in finding the hidden objects by him/herself

Examine 'story box' (tactual) items as story is read

  • Braille Skill: Examines 'story box' (tactual) items as story is read
  • Materials: Book with Braille inside
    Items from the story (ball, apple, etc)
    Box or bag to keep the items together


  1. Pick a book that contains Braille inside it. 
  2. Go through the book and pick out key items used within the book such as a ball, a basket, an apple, etc.
  3. Put the items in a box or container so they are all in one place. 
  4. Read the book with the child, as the book is read, pick out the items from that part of the story and examine them with the child. 
  5. Continue with the rest of the book.
  6. After doing this several times with the child, reduce the amount of help given to the child to allow them to locate the materials in the book on their own as it is read.