In order to maximise their learning potential in spite of their visual impairment, children with visual impairments will need to develop and acquire compensatory skills in addition to their normal developmental skills. These include the development of more efficient ways of using their vision, as well as developing the use of other sensory channels like hearing and touch.
In 1995, Professor Phillip Hatlen coined the termed the “Expanded Core Curriculum” to emphasise the importance of these additional skills for children of visual impairments. Proficiency in these core skills would enhance the academic learning of these children, as well as their independence as an adult later on in life.
The components of the Expanded Core Curriculum are:
- Compensatory Academic Skills – including the use of Braille
- Orientation and Mobility
- Social Interaction Skills
- Recreation and Leisure Skills
- Assistive Technology and Computer Skills
- Visual Efficiency Skills
- Career Education