Compensatory skill development such as cane use, Braille or technology use are introduced as early as possible into the life of a child with low or no vision. From infancy on, the child is encouraged to use his or her hands to learn about the world by feeling textures, shapes, toys, etc. Parents are taught to use language and touch with each interaction to help their child develop vocabulary, concepts and awareness of daily routines and activities.
Soon after the child begins walking, we may have the child use a “pre-cane” often disguised as a push toy or toy grocery cart. Eventually, the white cane is introduced with specialized instruction to encourage the child to safely move around his home, yard or school with greater independence.
When the child enters preschool, more formalized instruction will begin. Interactions with textures and toys becomes the foundation of literacy by pairing large print or Braille letters with letter sounds. Exploring different textures leads to discriminating dots on a page and following a line of Braille. If appropriate, technology and magnification devices are introduced to allow for better access to typical school materials.
As a student, a child will continue to develop compensatory skills until he is ready for college or employment. The goal of the Children & Young Adult Services Department is to provide young clients with the tools necessary for them to be successful and as self sufficient as possible as they move into adulthood.
Donated dollars allow Cleveland Sight Center to continue to provide early education to families, provide summer programming to little ones, assist with purchase of special glasses frames and provide on-going case management to families in times of need. Each contribution is greatly appreciated!