Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting To Know You: a Curriculum for Social Skills/Ability Awareness

Picture of Getting To Know You kit front cover, girl with white cane and boy smiling

Description by Burt Boyer

Since the 1990s, educators and related service personnel who teach students who are blind or visually impaired have come to recognize the importance of teaching social skills.  Professionals and families understand that social skills instruction for students with visual impairments provides them with the tools to interact and play effectively, develop and maintain friendships, effectively interpret non-verbal cues from others, and successfully seek and maintain employment and independent living opportunities as adults.

The original curriculum was developed for use with high school students with visual impairments and their sighted peers and was later adapted for kindergarten through middle school so that it spanned the entire school age spectrum.  For purposes of this curriculum, “social skills” is defined as those skills needed to interact successfully with other individuals.  “Ability awareness” is defined as understanding the techniques needed and used by a person with a visual impairment to accomplish everyday tasks. 

All of the lesson plans included in this curriculum are designed to be user-friendly.  Each lesson contains a clearly stated objective, skills addressed, an introduction, a list of materials needed, and a systematic explanation of the activities.  An icon at the top of each page identifies whether the lesson is about social skills, ability awareness, or a combination of the two.  The curriculum is divided into three groups:  kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, and middle/high school.  This product supports the Expanded Core Curriculum.

The Kit includes:

- Facial Recognition Cards
- Go Fish Cards
- Bingo Cards with Tokens
- Through Grandpa's Eyes in print and braille
- Three Low-Vision Simulators: 20/200, 20/400, Tunnel Vision
- Adhesive Picture Labels
- Airline-Style Sleep Mask
- Getting to Know You Guidebook
- APH Innovations Tote Bag

Catalog number: 1-08052-00

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