Articles and Booklets

          Durkel, J. (1999). Non-verbal communication: Cues, signals and symbols. http://www.tsbvi.edu/Education/vmi/nonverbal.htm

This article defines the difference between cues, signals and symbols.

          Harrell, L. (1984). Touch the baby: Blind and visually impaired children as patients. Helping them respond to care. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org

This booklet provides practical information on the use of communication and touch cues in clinical settings. These signals help young children to understand when interactions will involve caregiving or comfort, and when they will involve uncomfortable medical procedures.

          Miles, B. (Rev. 2003) Talking the language of the hands to the hands: The importance of hands for the person who is deaf-blind. DB-LINK The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind. http://www.dblink.org/lib/hands.htm

This paper focuses on the development of social relationships and language through hand movements, manual exploration, and tactile interactions with children who are deaf-blind. It provides strategies on ways to initiate and maintain interactions with children who are deaf-blind. Available in English, Spanish, German, and Swedish.

          Miles, B. (Rev. 2005). Literacy for persons who are deaf-blind. DB-LINK The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind. http://www.dblink.org/lib/literacy/htm

This paper discusses various aspects of literacy as important for individuals who are deaf-blind. These include the social functions or reading and writing, conditions that facilitate literacy, and how to make literacy materials accessible to individuals who are deaf-blind.

          Miles, B.,& McLetchie, B. (2004). Developing concepts with children who are deaf-blind. DB-LINK The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind. http://www.dblink.org/lib/concepts.htm

This paper provides an overview of the influence of deaf-blindness on concept development. It emphasizes the importance of relationships, communication and conversation, access to the world, and activities and routines in supporting concept development in children who are deaf-blind.

          Smith, M. (1998) Feelin’ groovy: Functional tactual skills. http://www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/seehear/summer98/groovy.htm

This article provides strategies for supporting tactile skills during interactions with children who have visual impairments and multiple disabilities. It provides a format for observing and identifying the child’s tactile skills within daily activities and many practical suggestions. Available in English and Spanish.

Assessments

          Rowland, C. (1996). Communication matrix. A communication skill assessment for individuals at the earliest stages of communication development. Portland, OR: Oregon Health Sciences University, Center on Self-Determination. www.designtolearn.com

This assessment tool identifies the range of communication development from pre-intentional and intentional behaviors to the use of abstract symbols and language.

 

          Rowland, C., & Schweigert, P. (1997). Home inventory of problem solving skills. Portland, OR: Oregon Health Sciences University, Center on Self-Determination. www.designtolearn.com

This instrument focuses on early cognitive development of nonverbal children who have severe and multiple disabilities. It assesses a child’s basis skills with objects, ways the child gains access to objects, and ways he or she uses objects.

Books and Manuals

          Aitken, S., Buultjens, M., Clark, C., Eyre, J.T., & Pease, L. (2000). Teaching children who are deafblind. Contact communication and learning. London: David Fulton.
www.fultonpublishers.co.uk

This book discusses deaf-blindness and the need strategies for promoting the child’s communication and social interaction. It provides information on assessment, instruction, and curriculum.

          Alsop, L. (Ed)(2002). Understanding deafblindness: Issues, perspectives, and strategies. Logan, UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com

This two-volume publication is a comprehensive resource for working with children who are deaf-blind. These volumes include chapters on communication and ways to promote the child’s use of touch and tactile information.

          Blaha, R. (2001). Calendars: For students with multiple impairments including deafblindness. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. www.tsbvi.edu/publications/index.htm

This step-by-step guide describes the benefits of calendar systems and provides information on the continuum of different types of calendars and on how to develop them. Also available in Spanish.

          Chen, D. (Ed.) (1999). Essential elements in early intervention. Visual impairments and multiple disabilities. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org

This text focuses on supports for infants who have visual impairments and multiple disabilities. Chapters are organized under three areas: (a) the principles of early intervention, (b) vision and hearing assessment, and (c) the development of learning strategies.

          Chen, D., & Dote-Kwan, J. (Eds). (1995). Starting points. Instructional practices for young children whose multiple disabilities include visual impairment. Los Angeles: Blind Childrens Center. www.blindchildrenscenter.org

This manual provides a framework and specific strategies for teaching young children with visual impairments and additional disabilities. Topics include identifying characteristics and learning needs, guiding principles for instruction, instructional strategies, communication, daily living skills, positive behavior support, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy, roles of itinerant teachers, and family perspectives.

          Chen, D., & Downing, J.E. (2006). Tactile strategies for children who have visual impairments and multiple disabilities: Promoting communication and learning skills. New York: AFB Press www.afb.orwww.afb.org

This book explains the importance of the sense of touch to communication and learning and discusses tactile adaptations to manual and alternative communication methods. It provides a systematic approach to selecting tactile strategies to meet an individual child's abilities and needs.

          Downing, J.E. (2002). Including students with severe and multiple disabilities in typical classrooms: Practical strategies for teachers. (2nd ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. www.brookespublishing.com

This book covers the age span from preschool through high school of students learning in typical settings. It provides examples of students with multiple disabilities, including sensory and deaf-blindness. Specific strategies target ways of fully including all students in the learning process despite very complex and challenging needs. Considerable attention is paid to adapting academic areas and providing practical suggestions.

          Downing, J. E. (2005a). Teaching communication skills to students with severe disabilities. (2nd. ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. www.brookespublishing.com

This book contains many practical strategies for assessing the communication skills of students with very complex and challenging needs. A student-centered and natural context approach is taken in determining what communication skills are needed. Suggestions are provided for facilitating communication skill development in everyday situations across the age span. Specific emphasis is placed on encouraging interactions between children with and without severe disabilities in typical educational situations. Multiple modes of communication are stressed for children who typically do not depend on speech alone to convey their messages.

          Downing, J.E. (2005b). Teaching literacy to students with signigicant disabilites: Strategies for the K-12 inclusive classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. www.corwinpress.com

This book stresses the importance of literacy for all children and youth and specifically focuses on those who have often been denied access to literacy experiences. The concept of literacy is defined broadly to enable access for all children. Specific examples of adapted literacy materials and activities at different age and grade levels are provided throughout the text.

          Hagood, L. (1997). Communication: A guide to teaching students with visual and multiple impairments. Austin: TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. www.tsbvi.edu/publications/index.htm

This resource discusses how deaf-blindness and visual impairment in children with severe disabilities can affect their communication. It provides approaches for assessing and teaching communication skills, and describes a standard tactual symbol system and reproducible forms.

          Huebner, K.M., Prickett, J.G., Welch, T.R., & Joffe, E. (Eds.) (1995). Hand in hand: Essentials of communication and orientation and mobility for your students who are deaf-blind. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org

This comprehensive resource provides information on communication and orientation and mobility instruction for students who are deaf-blind. It provides key concepts, instructional strategies, and learning activities for working on these two areas with preschoolers, elementary, and high school students who are deaf-blind.

          Klein, M.D., Chen, D., & Haney, M. (2000). Promoting learning through active interaction: A guide to early communication with young children who have multiple disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. www.brookespublishing.com

This field-tested curriculum is composed of five modules for promoting intentional communication with young children who have severe and multiple disabilities. Handouts and recording sheets are provided in English and Spanish.

          Lee, M., & MacWilliam, L. (2002). Learning together. A creative approach to learning for children with multiple disabilities and a visual impairment. London, England: RNIB. www.royalblindschool.org.uk

This book describes a communication program that has been used extensively with children who have multiple disabilities and visual impairment in Scotland. Topics include movement interaction, developing natural gesture, learning a sign system, encouraging play, the learning environment, and observations of non-verbal communication.

          McLinden, M., & McCall, S. (2002). Learning through touch. Supporting children with visual impairment and additional difficulties. London, England: David Fulton. www.fultonpublishers.co.uk

This book provides an in-depth discussion of research on the sense of touch and the influence of visual impairment and additional disabilities on learning through touch. It provides practical suggestions for assessing a child’s use of touch; and for developing learning experiences, communication, early literacy, and tactile symbols.

          Miles, B., & Riggio, M. (Eds.) (1999). Remarkable conversations: A guide to developing meaningful conversations with children and young adults who are deafblind. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. www.perkins.pvt.k12.ma.us

This book addresses the complexity of communication with students who are deaf-blind and who demonstrate different levels of ability. It contains beautiful photographs of interactions with these students. Topics include understanding deafblindness, conversations as the essence of communication, partnerships with families, selection of communication modes, developing language, and meeting the needs of individuals.

          Rowland, C., & Schweigert, P. (2000). Tangible symbol systems (Rev. ed.). Portland, OR: Center on Self-Determination, Oregon Health and Science University, Design to Learn Products. www.designtolearn.com

This manual provides a field-tested systematic instructional sequence for teaching students who have severe and multiple disabilities to communicate using a concrete symbol system. Tangible symbols (objects or pictures) are defined as having an obvious relationship to their referents.

          Rowland, C., & Schweigert, P. (2005). First things first. Early communication for the pre-symbolic child with severe disabilities. Portland, OR: Oregon Health & Science University, Design to Learn Products. www.designtolearn.com

This manual provides an overview of communication development with a focus on strategies to support children who are pre-symbolic communicators. It offers a format for assessing the child’s communicative behaviors and for collecting data to monitor and evaluate intervention.

Related Titles

          Barnard, K.E., & Brazelton, T.B. (Eds.) (1990). Touch. The foundation of experience. National Center for Clinical Infant Programs. www.zerotothree.org

This book contains the proceedings of Johnson and Johnson Pediatric Round Table X. Papers discuss tactile experiences from philosophical, neuroanatomical, developmental, and therapeutic perspectives.

          Montagu, A. (1986). Touching. The human significance of the skin (3rd ed). New York: Harper & Row.

This book discusses the profound effects of tactile experiences on emotion, behavior, and development. It draws on diverse studies of animals and humans from the fields of medicine, biology, psychology, and anthropology to demonstrate the importance of tactile stimulation and physical contact.

Videos

           Chen, D., & Downing, J.E. (2006). Tactile learning strategies: Interacting with children who have visual impairments and multiple disabilities [ video & DVD]. New York: AFB Press www.afb.org

This video and DVD will be available in English (closed-captioned) and Spanish. Examples of a number of tactile strategies are shown, including mutual tactile attention, tactile modeling, hand-under-hand and hand-over-hand guidance, touch and object cues, coactive and tactile signing.

          Chen, D., Klein, M.D., & Haney. (2000). Promoting learning through active interaction: An instructional video [video & booklet]. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. www.brookespublishing.com

This closed captioned video demonstrates a step-by-step process for developing intentional communication with young children with severe and multiple disabilities. The video is available in Spanish.

          Chen, D., & Schachter, P.H. (1997). Making the most of early communication. Strategies for supporting communication with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers whose multiple disabilities include vision and hearing loss [video & booklet]. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org

This closed-captioned video provides examples of early caregiver-infant games, simulations of visual impairment and hearing loss, and strategies to promote communication in young children. It shows interviews with parents and teachers and preschoolers in oral and total communication classrooms. The video is available with audio description.

          Cooley, E. (1987). Getting in touch [Video & booklet]. Champaign, IL: Research Press. www.researchpress.com

This video demonstrates the use of touch and object cues with a wide age-range children who are deaf-blind. It also provides tips on interpersonal and tactile considerations in greeting, and interacting with a student who is totally deaf and blind.

          Huebner, K.M., Prickett, J.G., Welch, T.R., & Joffe, E. (Eds.) (1995). Hand in hand: It can be done [Video & booklet]. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org

This closed-captioned video provides an introduction to working with students of all ages who are deaf-blind, with a particular focus on communication and orientation and mobility. It provides demonstrations of practical suggestions and insights from teachers and family members.

          Murray-Branch, J., & Bailey, B. (1997). Textured communication symbols: Talking through touch [Video & booklet]. Terra Haute, IN: Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, Indiana State University. (800) 438-9832.

This video and booklet provides considerations for developing a communication system using textures for individuals with multiple disabilities and sensory impairments. These materials provide guidelines for deciding whether an individual needs textured symbols and how to develop them. A four phase instructional process is provided to teach an individual to use the communication system.

          Rowland, C., & Schweigert, P. (1996). Tangible symbol systems (Rev. ed.). Portland, OR: Center on Self-Determination, Oregon Health Sciences University, Design to Learn Products. www.designtolearn.com

This videotape provides illustrations of individuals using tangible symbols and shows how five children learned to use this system of communication. It accompanies the manual Tangible symbol systems.

          SKI*HI Institute. (1992-93). Introduction to tactile communication series. [Video]. HOPE. www.hopepubl.com

This closed-captioned videotape provides introduces tactile communication and the other videotapes in this series on tactile communication.

           SKI*HI Institute. (1993). Using tactile signals and cues [Video series]. Logan,UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com

This series of five closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates how to use tactile signals and cues with young children who need tactile communication. The tapes show specific strategies for selecting and using signals, providing choices, promoting turn taking, using coactive signs, and creating activities to support communication.

          SKI*HI Institute. (1990). A coactive sign system. [Video series]. Logan, UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com

This series of nine closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates how to use coactive signing with children who need this hand-on-hand system of communication. The tapes provide vocabulary and teaching tips; and show the use of coactive signs in home situations.

          SKI*HI Institute. (1992-93). Using tactile interactive conversational signing [Video series]. Logan, UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com

This series of five closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates the use of interactive signing (feeling another’s signs), the transition from coactive to interactive signing, materials and activities that promote interaction, supporting interaction with peers, and interpreting for people who use interactive signs.

          Teaching Research Division (1997). You & Me. Communication. Monmouth, OR: Western Oregon State College, Author. (503) 838-8391

This video provides information on the concepts, skills, and supports that are needed for a student who is deaf-blind to communicate in an inclusive elementary school. The video demonstrates the use of object cues, coactive signing; and tactile signing with adults and peers. The video is available with open captions.

          West Australia Deafblind Association (2001). Where do I begin? Developing communication with children who are born deafblind. Maylands, West Australia: Author. db@senses.asn.au

The video with open captions presents key strategies for developing communication with children who are deaf-blind: Making contact “approach,” building rapport, acknowledging communication efforts, using tactile cues and symbols, tactile signing, establishing routines, choice-making, and interrupted routine. It stresses the importance of following the child’s lead, particularly following the child’s hands in supporting expressive communication, respecting the child’s needs and consistent use of selected communication system.

          Visually Impaired Preschool Services (1996). Hands on experience: Tactual learning skills. Can Do! Series [video]. Louisville, KY: Author. www.vips.org

This video demonstrates the benefits of touching, handling, manipulating objects, and active participation in everyday situations. For children who are blind, these hands-on experiences provide the foundation for braille reading.