Area 7: Accessing Information
This area of the framework considers the teaching of methods children and young people can use to access, manage and produce information as independently as possible. As well as a range of skills, young people require an understanding of: when to use particular approaches, how to manage and navigate an information rich world, and the role of others in scaffolding them by preparing materials, adjusting the environment and making accommodations. Such adjustments should be anticipatory so that the child/young person is able to access this information at the same time as their peers, for example through the use of tactile symbols or a tactile diagram. There is a recognition that particular tasks (which may be linked to particular disciplines, formats, or activities) may have associated ways of presenting and accessing information. This may require specific teaching or adjustment.
For more information regarding this element of the framework, please download the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI) and accompanying guidance.
Examples of targeted intervention approaches
- Understanding and developing a range of suitable approaches to accessing and presenting information (e.g. tangible objects/objects of reference, print, speech, recordings, braille, tactile graphics).
- Recognise that taught strategies to accessing information will change, and this may be linked to developmental stage or changing circumstances (e.g. in relation to level of vision, or child or young person’s views).
- Choosing suitable approaches (or combinations of approaches) to accessing and presenting information in different circumstances. This should include low-tech solutions to provide alternative options when technologies fail.
- Managing information so that it can be accessed when needed (e.g. contacts, timetables, diaries).
- Supporting the development of key concepts around numeracy and data at an appropriate age or stage of development, including (where appropriate) supporting understanding of braille codes and language relating to the key concepts both in maths and science.
- Supporting the development of tactile graphicacy skills to promote and facilitate access to two- and three-dimensional representational material such as tactile maps, diagrams, pictures and other graphical and figurative material.
- Supporting ability to choose specific approaches (or combinations of approaches) to information access in particular contexts (e.g. exam skills, in lessons and independent study).
- Managing information, for example file/folder management, organisational skills, editing/bookmarking, revision skills. This includes teaching specific study skills for students accessing information in non-visual ways.
- Learning to use, recognise and manage the tools needed to access information (e.g. low vision devices, technology, software and hardware).
- Understanding the wider systems required to access information: when to seek support, when to seek accommodations, being aware of entitlements.
Use of resources in practice
When using resources signposted via or downloaded from RNIB Bookshare, consideration should be given to any health and safety risks that might be involved and it is the responsibility of the user of these resources to undertake an appropriate risk assessment where applicable. RNIB assumes no responsibility or liability to the extent permitted by law for any injury, loss or damage incurred as a result of any use or reliance upon the information and material contained within or downloaded from RNIB Bookshare.
- Ron Hinto: Tactile Graphics in Education (External). First published by Moray House Publications, 1996. ISBN: 0901580775. Hosted on Scottish Sensory Centre website. Web version of publication on tactile graphics. Includes chapters on illustrations in visual and tactile form, tactile diagrams in educational use, teaching approaches and design.
- Paths to Literacy: Tactile Graphics (External). This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. This page points to a range of articles on teaching tactile graphicacy skills.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Teaching Tactile Graphics (External). US school providing a wide range of eLearning resources. The page points to free video content which includes: Spatial Relationship and Graphic Literacy, Moving from Models to Graphics, Strategies for Reading Tactile Graphics.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Tactile Maps and Teaching Maps Skills (External). US school providing a wide range of eLearning resources. This section includes a range of articles with suggestions on how to teach students to use tactile maps, from the most basic object books to more complex tactile graphics.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Teaching Tactile Graphics Video (External). US school providing a wide range of eLearning resources. This section includes a range of articles with suggestions on how to teach students spatial relationships and graphic literacy and strategies to move the child from exploring models to reading 2D tactile graphics.
Managing and organising information
- Perkins School for the Blind: Partial and Tactile Calendar System (External). US school providing a wide range of eLearning resources. Free video content video demonstrating a tactile calendar system.
- Paths to Literacy: Tactile Daily Schedule for a Learner who is Blind or Deafblind (External). This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. Article on how to create a tactile daily schedule, it includes the materials needed to create and also instructions on how to use it to support the child's access.
- PRCVI (Canada): Compensatory Skills (External). Canada's outreach program for children and young people with vision impairment, hosts a wide range of website resources. This page points to resources on managing information, organisational skills, and file management.
- Teaching students with visual impairments: Time management (External) US website with strategies and app suggestions for promoting time management skills and essential concepts.
Key concepts - numeracy, data and science
Numeracy and maths
- ICEVI - Mathematics Made Easy (External). YouTube channel of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI), with 30 instructional mathematics videos. Created for teacher training institutes, educators and families who support students with vision impairment to successfully participate and achieve in mathematics at primary and secondary school.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Math Games and Activities for Students with Visual Impairments (External). US school providing a wide range of eLearning resources such as maths games for parents to play at home with their students.
- RNIB: Making Maths Add Up (External). How vision friendly are your maths resources to a child who can't see a whole calculation or read a question in one glance? These simple steps can make maths calculations more accessible.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Paths to Technology Lesson Library (External). US school hosting a multitude of lessons covering a variety of subjects and topics including maths and numeracy, appropriate for students with visual impairments ranging from preschool to college.
- Paths to literacy: Addition Book for Braille Readers (External). This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. Article on creating numeracy based books. This article features an addition book to motivate a child who is deafblind, but the approach would still be as appropriate for a child with vision impairment.
- Paths to Literacy: Functional Number Line for Students with CVI (External). This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. Article on how to create a number line suitable for a child with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI). This is a practical suggestion and would be suitable for other children with vision impairment also.
- Paths to Literacy: Recognising and Extending Shapes with Patterns (External). This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. Article on a homemade resource to support understanding and recognition of shapes and patterns.
- Paths to Literacy: Tactile Hundreds Chart with Braille (External) This US website has a range of resources on teaching students with VI. Useful resource for making a tactile hundreds chart.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Accessible Science (External). US school hosting ideas and resources related to accessible science.
- Perkins School for the Blind: Accessible Time Tracking (External). US school offering suggestions for how a student can track time in a science activity and which tools are the most accessible.
- RNIB: Teaching science to students with vision impairment (External). Article about teaching science to students with vision impairments. The article includes key tips, teaching principles, presenting information, resources and equipment, safety in the science lab and assessment.
- Teaching Students with Visual Impairment: Science Adaptations for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired (External). US web resource by Carmen Willings to help teach students with vision impairment. This page includes resources to help teach science.
- RNIB: Exams and Study Skills (External) Article focusing on exams and study skills written for students with vision impairment.
- Paths to Literacy: Teaching Braille Readers Self-Determination and Problem Solving Skills (External). Two short case studies about the personal goals set by students to support their IT skills form the main examples in this article.
Supporting suitable choices for accessing and presenting information
- RNIB: Technology and independent learning (External). How technology can be used to promote independent learning. QTVIs, other professionals, and parents. Video content and links to case studies around the topic of using technology in the classroom.
Learning to use, recognise and manage the tools needed to access information
- Amanda-Bayley-Sunter, QTVI: Progression Chart: Orbit Reader - a progression chart to track the development of skills in managing and operating an Orbit Reader
- Amanda-Bayley-Sunter, QTVI: Progression Chart: iPad (sighted learner): A progression chart to track the development of key skills relating to iPad use e.g. locating and naming parts of the iPad, basic navigation
- Amanda-Bayley-Sunter, QTVI: Progression Chart: iPad (non sighted learner): A progression chart to track the development of key skills relating to iPad use e.g. locating and naming parts of the iPad, basic navigation