Photo shows a fraction stacks activity with braille labels

Mathematics is present in all aspects of our daily lives. Students use mathematical thinking and reasoning to make sense of the world around them and to solve problems big and small. From planning weekly budgets and grocery shopping to an architect using math to understand how shape and structure affect the strains and stresses on a building, mathematical thinking is essential to daily life and employment.

The BC K-12 Curriculum in Mathematics aims to ensure effective numeracy and robust mathematical habits of mind for all learners. 

Check out the Mathematics Curriculum category in #Outreaching - the blog of the PRCVI Outreach Team.

Mathematics - Students with Visual Impairments

Students with visual impairments are able to learn math with the support of a variety of teaching/learning strategies and tools for access and concept development (Smith, 2017). As mathematics is often visual or spatial in nature, it is essential for students with visual impairments to have ample opportunities and time to develop these mathematical concepts. Mathematical aids such as the abacus, talking graphing calculator, tactile graphics and accessible manipulatives can be used to support math learning for students with visual impairments.

Examples of Adaptations for Mathematics

  • Use real objects or manipulatives to support concrete concepts like number sense, sorting, and basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Use adapted measurement tools to measure volume or distance.
  • Introduce the abacus in a systematic way to promote speed and accuracy in performing calculations.

Connections to the Expanded Core Curriculum

Knowledge and skill development in the Core and Expanded Core Curricula are mutually reinforcing and together enrich student learning. Below are examples of connections between Mathematics and the ECC. 

Independent Living Skills

  • Students use knowledge of proportion and volume when measuring ingredients to bake cupcakes.
  • Students practice counting skills by sorting socks they have just laundered.

Orientation and Mobility

  • Students use knowledge of special concepts when writing numeric notations, equations or formulas like an equation that includes fractions and exponents.
  • Mathematical concepts such as time, distance, and geometry aid a student in understanding tactile maps and the organization of spatial environments.

Resources to Support Instruction

PRCVI Library Catalogue

Kapperman, G., Heinze, T., & Sticken, J. (1997). Strategies for Developing Mathematics Skills in Students Who Use Braille. Sycamore, IL: Research and Development Institute, Inc.

Mani., M. N. G (2005). Mathematics made easy for children with visual impairment. International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI).

Math Window (2019). Math Window: Mathematics Teaching Tools for Blind and Visually Impaired Students. [Resource Kit] – See PRCVI catalogue for all kits.

American Printing House. Mathbuilders. [Resource Kit] – See PRCVi catalogue for all units.

Web-Based Resources

Rottmann, T., Haberzettl, N., & Krämer, M. (2019). Inclusive assessment of whole number knowledge—development and evaluation of an assessment interview for children with visual impairments in the primary grades. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 1-24. [Article in HTML]

Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Math For Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

  • A collection of curated resources that include abacus, calculators and iOS apps

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Resources - Math

  • Teaching strategies to for working with students with visual impairments including topics such as inclusive strategies, challenges in teaching math, teaching geometric constructions and other topics.

ViewPlus – Audio Graphing Calculator Tutorials [ported from the Subject page on PRCVI website]


Smith, D. W. (2017). Mathematics. In Foundations of Education (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 479–509). New York, NY: AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind.

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