Resources for Materials and Services for Students with Visual Impairments in Homeschool Programs

FIMC-VI Trainings and Events:

Parents and caregivers are always invited to participate in regional and statewide workshops and trainings provided by FIMC-VI.  This includes all face-to-face workshops, webinars, and web-based trainings as well as the Florida Festival of Families. The Florida Festival of Families is a one-day event specifically for parents of children with visual impairments and provides both informational and hands-on sessions (activities geared toward school-aged children and their siblings are provided at Festival of Families).   All FIMC-VI trainings and the Festival of Families are offered free of charge. Families are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Additionally, students and families are invited to participate in the annual Florida Regional Braille Challenge events and the Florida Cane Quest®.  To learn more about FIMC-VI sponsored events, please visit www.fimcvi.org. If you would like to receive our newsletter or be notified about upcoming workshops and events, please join the mailing list at https://tinyurl.com/JoinFIMCVI .

FIMC-VI also offers a program for beginning braille readers (prek-1st grade).  Parents can order Scholastic early reading books in print with braille overlays (twin vision books).   For more information on the Scholastic Emergent Readers, please email Hayley Locker at hlocker@fimcvi.org.

Additional Resources:

1. Booksharefor digital books and textbooks – Bookshare is free for qualified students with print disabilities, including visual impairments.  The vast majority of Bookshare titles are available for students who are home-schooled.  However, there is a small group of NIMAS-derived Bookshare titles which are restricted to students with IEPs. Bookshare titles are available as EPUBs, DAISY text, MS Word, Braille Ready Format (BRF) and others depending on the devices and reading platform the student needs.  

2.  Learning Ally – Free for students with a print disability and an active IEP; otherwise membership is required at $135.00 a year.  Learning Ally has human-narrated audio books and digital format. 

3American Printing House for the BlindSpecialized curricula and instructional materials for students who are visually impaired.  

4.Florida Division of Blind ServicesProvides the following children’s programs:
                Blind Babies Program: birth through 5 years of age
                Children’s Program: 5 – 14 years of age
                Transition Program: 14-22 years of age

5.  Community agency programs such as Lighthouse for the Blind, etc. – To find the service provider in your area: http://dbs.myflorida.com/Service-Providers/index.html

6. Family Network on Disabilities of Florida

7.  Children’s Medical Services – Early Steps


8.  Recommended Websites for Educational Resources and Information:

9.  Professional and Consumer Organizations 

10.  Contact at the Florida Department of Education

Judith White, Senior Program Director, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
325 W. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL 23399 / 850-245-0475 / Judith.White@fldoe.org