Money Identification & Management
Independent living skills are the activities people perform, according to their abilities, which enable them to manage their homes and personal lives. The development of independent living skills is important to all students and particularly with students who are blind and visually impaired.
By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 30, 2017
Accurately, easily and independently identifying money can be challenging for students who are blind or visually impaired. There are strategies and tools available to help the student who is blind or visually impaired learn this important skill. When teaching students to sort and identify coins, it is important to provide hands-on experience with real coins. Coins can be distinguished by feeling the size differences and the smoothness and roughness of the edges.
Students need to have repeated experiences in discriminating and using money. Arrange for the student to make purchases from a vending machine, identify stores that sell certain items, schedule fundraising activities, and use shopping lists. Repeated exposure and real-life situations to use money will provide a greater opportunity for learning and applying those concepts.
The Coin Abacus makes counting various combinations of coins and dollar bills simple for students of all ages. This electronic teaching tool helps students of varying educational abilities master the task of counting money. Students will experiment with different coin combinations in order to reach the target amounts on the screen. The coin abacus can be easily adapted by gluing real coins on the abacus.
System for Identifying Bills
In addition to learning to identify coins, it is also important for them to learn to identify and organize paper money by denomination. This is considerably more challenging than discriminating coins. If a student is unable to see the numbers on bills, they can use electronic devices that identify bill denominations or they can use a system for marking bills for later identification. The following is a way of identifying bills by the way in which they are folded.
Other Ways to Identify Money
There are now other ways to identify money including electronic devices that can identify bills, as well as an app on the iPad/iPhone!
Shopping & Budgeting
Learning to shop and maintain a budget are important life skills the student will need if they want future independence. Encourage the student to develop a budget for groceries and meals. Provide the students with opportunities to be a part of creating shopping lists. The lists can be written, brailled, typed or recorded. If you are able to take field trips to the store, plan opportunities to take the students shopping. Otherwise, encourage parents and caregivers to take their child shopping.
Inform the student that some grocery stores offer telephone or internet shopping. Shop when the stores are less busy and use a store map to locate sections of the store. Discuss the characteristics of foods in the produce section, discussing the feel, the texture, the size, the color, etc. Once back home or at school, help the student create labels to identify the foods.
Create opportunities for the student to plan, budget and shop for meals with the following objectives:
Money Identifier Apps
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The LOTTO Cards Grab and Go Supplement includes 37 theme related unit cards along with activity suggestions that support activities within the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC.
On My Way File Folder Cards
Print and use these cards to represent locations the student may visit that are related to the current thematic unit. Use these with the On My Way File Folder Game outlined in the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC p. 27.
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