USING THE APH LIGHTBOX
By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 29, 2017
The APH Light Box was designed to help teach basic visual skills as well as more complex visual-motor and visual-perceptual skills. The high contrast background created by the Light Box’s illuminated surface makes a variety of visual tasks easier to perform. The goal is that using brightly colored items will motivate students to utilize their vision. The following guidelines are from APH:
The lightbox, available through the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is used to help develop awareness of light, color, and objects. It can also be used as a tool to facilitate visual tracking, visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, and visual perceptual skills particularly in students that are interested in light-up objects and sources but will not visual attend to or interact with regularly presented materials. The Light Boxes available from APH have a lighted translucent white work surface with a variable lighting control.
If your student is not eligible for quota funds or for whatever reason those funds are not available, other light boxes or tables can be purchased or even made by placing a string of lights inside a transparent or opaque storage container. Material kits specially designed to use with the APH lightbox can be obtained from APH with quota funds. Although they can be helpful, they don't always meet the unique needs of students and can lack the characteristics that will motivate the student to look or you may just be looking for some variety. The following are some possible materials that can be used with the lightbox.
APH's Lightbox Guidelines
Materials for Developing Eye-Hand Coordination
Present a variety of unit related materials (see dry transfer suggestions) in a clear plastic tray positioned over the Light box. Have the student trace with their finger or pour the materials in and out of smaller containers or nesting cups. Possible materials to use on the light box: acetate sheets (clear & transparent colored); colored projection markers; colored grease pencils; finger paints in plastic tray; crayons on thin white paper; three-way mirror; colored cellophane; colored tissue paper; thin, boldly patterned or colored wrapping paper; brightly colored plastic lawn chair strapping; tinsel; plexiglass sample squares; brightly colored or patterned fabric; transparent art film (contact paper); black tape; yarn; colored ribbon; doilies; colored buttons; rickrack; colored or patterned wrapping paper.
Materials for Drawing the Student's Attention to Shape & Tracing Around & Copying Shapes
Cookie cutters; coasters; Jell-O molds; stencils; wooden blocks; parquetry pieces; clay or play dough; poster board shapes; Lauri Tactilmat puzzles; Ideal Tactilmat puzzles; Familiar objects with simple contours (a cookie, ball, bar of soap, shoe, or spoon); puzzle pieces; window clings.
Materials to Use with Lightbox to Develop Skills
Colored transparent plastic construction pieces; colored transparent plastic pegs which fit in a pegboard; clear plastic balls with spinning objects inside; bright colored Teether Ball (projections which make it easy to grasp); rainbow transparent party -ware; Halloween masks; make & bake (colored plastic 'stained glass' ornaments made from simple kit); brightly colored translucent or transparent plastic toys (Easter eggs, pop-beads, etc.); balloons; colored pinwheels; small toy cars; wind-up toys; colored plastic clothespins; plastic Halloween pumpkins; Wikki stick.
Materials to be Sealed in Clear Plastic Bottles
Materials to be sealed in clear plastic bottles to create an interesting object for the student to manipulate over the Light Box: costume jewelry beads; mosaic tiles (transparent plastic squares); marbles; confetti made of colored acetate; colored bath oil beads; fishing "jelly worms" (transparent colors).
APH Material Suggestions for Lightbox
Lightbox materials Kit, available through APH helps in teaching matching and identification skills, part-whole relationships, sequencing, pattern duplication, spatial relationships, and visual memory skills. It includes brightly-colored transparent and translucent shapes, pictured objects, stencils, and cutouts.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings