Back to School Part 1: Basic Supplies

Back to School is a phrase revered by some and feared by many. This can especially be true in 2020 with so much being unknown and delving into new territory.  This blog is part one of a two-part blog on returning to school with a visual impairment. Today’s blog will look at the back to school basics. Next week’s blog will focus more on the technology side of learning.

Art and Color Supplies

Perkins School for the Blind provides a resource page to many different lessons, schools, and museums with ideas on how to incorporate art and creativity into a visually impaired person’s everyday world. Just because your vision may have changed does not mean that your creativity must as well.

Here are a few art related finds you can purchase from ILA:

Texture 3D Paint 6 Pack: Squeeze this paint onto any surface and it will puff up as it dries leaving a textured, tactile line or dot. It can be used to create a tactile mark on just about any surface you can imagine, and it can even be washed in the washing machine without coming off. These paints are also great for designing any project that you would like an extra bit of texture such as shirt designs, purses, belts, even posters! This non-toxic paint is safe and the bottles are easy to handle for all ages. This pack contains 6 colors: black, blue, orange, red, white, and yellow. You can also purchase individual colors.

Mr. Sketch Scented Magic Markers: These scented markers are fun for both kids and adults to use. The soft scent will also aid in helping to recognize the color.

Speechmaster Talking Color Identifier: An affordable talking color identifier that identifies colors by naming the color and the intensity. For instance, it will say ‘dark blue’ or ‘light green’ when the detector nozzle is held against whatever surface is being examined.

Math Focused Supplies

Another page of resources from Perkins School for the Blind, features all things math related. These links offer tips, tricks, and lesson plans for all grade levels and include a link to videos to understand how a talking calculator works.

Here are a few math related finds you can purchase at ILA:

Big Button Talking Calculator with Function Replay: This new Big Button Talking Calculator allows you to go back and listen to the data which you have entered. With easy to use high contrast buttons, this calculator is easy to see and hear for both the hard of hearing and low vision users.

Geometric Set in Braille: This Geometric Kit is a great learning aid for anyone who is blind or has low vision and is learning geometry or pursuing a career in drafting or engineering. All of these tools have tactile marks in Braille. Colors may vary and are random. Set includes a sturdy rubber mat board, a spur wheel, a compass, a protractor with swing arm, 2 triangle rulers, and a ruler.

Wikki Stix Numbers & Counting Cards: Fun, colorful cards from 1 to 20 for learning number formation! Plus, early education activities including counting, math concepts and simple shapes. 27 individual cards plus 36 Wikki Stix. Sturdy cardstock for repeated use. Can be laminated for use in classroom centers as a teaching tool. Perfect for teachers, parents, grandparents — anyone who is searching for ways to enhance their children’s educational growth while having fun. Reusable and made in the USA.

Paper and Writing Supplies

Literacy at its simplest means the ability to read and write. Perkins School for the Blind offers a 7-page resource guide beginning with Braille and ending with Writing.

Hare are a few paper and writing based finds you can purchase at ILA:

Bold Line Writing Paper: Paper pads with bold black lines on both sides of the 8.5 x 11-inch sheets. Lines are .56 inches apart. Gummed pad of 100 sheets.  Also available in a yellow pad.

Writing Guide Value Kit: A sturdy storage envelope contains plastic guides for letter writing, signature, check writing, and envelope writing, plus a bold line writing pen and a free sample of Bold Line Writing Paper.

Low Vision Pens Sampler: If you know that you need a pen that creates a black, bold, heavy line that is easy to see, but you can’t decide which one to buy, order this sampler. It not only lets you test 4 pens with different thicknesses and drying characteristics, but it saves you nearly 15% off the price of buying the group separately. Included are: CAN-DO Low Vision, Sharpie, Pilot Bravo, and Liquid Expresso.

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