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Digital Resource Round-up: Blindness

Title of article appears at top of image and reads “Digital Resource Round-up: Blindness.” Image shows a hand hovering over braille alphabet on sheets of paper.

By Natalie Shaheen

Natalie is an educational consultant whose work focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction for students with disabilities, particularly blind students. Follow Natalie on Twitter at @nlshaheen.  

Blindness is a much more complex concept than colloquial definitions would have us believe.  In her faculty interview, Dr. Marina Bedny points out that “the brain is not in the eyeballs,” meaning our knowledge and understanding of the world is comprised of much more than what we are able to see. It is not imperative that students see in order to learn. Gaining a better understanding of blindness and the needs of Blind students is important for student outcomes. 

Looking for more detailed information about how to support and include blind students? Check out the resources below.

The Basics

These easy to digest articles provide useful foundational knowledge about teaching, learning, and blindness.

An Alternative View of Blindness

The first post in this series on blindness alluded to an alternative conception of blindness, one held by many blind people and the sighted people in their lives. These stories will provide a window into this more positive conception of blindness.

  • What Does She See: In this forthright and witty article, a sighted father shares his approach to ensuring his blind daughter and the people around her develop a positive conception of blindness.
  • Why do we Fear the Blind?: In this New York Times opinion piece, a teacher of the blind (who happens to be sighted) explains that like most people, he once feared blindness, but from his blind friends and students he has learned that blindness is not scary or tragic—it is just a different and equally fulfilling way of living.


In a previous blog post, the Linking Research to Classrooms Blog recommended that teachers not reinvent the wheel or struggle to solve a problem alone. The resources below provide information about some of the tools and techniques that teachers, blind students, parents, and blind professionals have already developed for various academic subjects.

Though blindness is a low-incidence disability, especially in children in the US, resources and best practices do exist. If you can’t find the resources or best practice that you are looking for, reach out to the National Federation of the Blind, tweet with teachers of the blind on Twitter, or talk with teachers of the blind in your district or state. 


The Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education (CILSE) is currently accepting applications for its 2017-2018 fellowship cohort, designed for special education teachers with master’s degrees in education, as well as leaders in related disciplines within school systems (e.g., school, psychology, speech/language pathology). If you are interested in applying, visit the CILSE fellowship program application page or contact Kimberly Anderson (, 443-923-9252) for more information.

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The Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education (CILSE) is currently accepting applications for its 2018-2019 fellowship cohort.

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