Hygiene and Grooming
Family-focused tips and considerations for addressing hygiene and grooming with a student with visual impairment.
Independent Living Skills are the skills required to meet the challenges of daily living, including time management, dressing, personal care, eating, cooking, and household management. These skills are key to student achievement, independence, and success in life (Bardin, 2014).
The British Columbia K-12 Curriculum emphasizes Personal Awareness and Responsibility as a core competency with the goal that all students are “personally aware and responsible to recognize the factors that affect their holistic wellness and take increasing responsibility for caring for themselves. They keep themselves healthy and stay active, manage stress, and express a sense of personal well-being.” Under this core competency, independent living skills are most directly connected to the Well-Being facet.
Research has shown that students with visual impairments are less likely to be able to perform daily living tasks when compared with their same-aged peers without visual impairment (Lewis & Iselin, 2002). Unlike their peers, students with visual impairments may not be able to easily observe all the daily living tasks being performed by others (e.g., parents, siblings, friends).
As a result, there is a need to provide direct, systematic instruction in independent living skills not only so that students can understand the skill in question, but also understand the adaptive tools and strategies they can use to master that skill – among other important outcomes:
Bender, D. (2018). Clothing Management Assessment Manual: Functional Skills Assessment. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.
Bull, K., & Shannon, S. (2018). Everyday life: A guidebook for teaching independent living skills. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.
Bull, K., Lind-Sinarian, S., & Martin, E. (2008). Clean to the touch: Housekeeping for young people with visual impairments. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.
Greeley, J. C. & McCall, M. D. (2018). Teaching life differently: The Expanded Core Curriculum for babies and young children with visual impairment. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.
RNIB (2014). Tactile Measuring Jug.
Staybowlizer (2019). Staybowlizer
APH Family Connect (2019). Independent living skills and the Expanded Core Curriculum. Retrieved from https://www.familyconnect.org/info/education/expanded-core-curriculum/independent-living-skills-671/123
Michigan Department of Education (2019). Independent living skills checklists. Retrieved from https://mdelio.org/blind-visually-impaired/expanded-core-curriculum/independent-living-skills
Vision Aware (2019). Essential skills for everyday living with vision loss. Retrieved from https://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/12
Bardin, J. (2014). Independent Living. In C. B. Allman & S. Lewis (eds.) ECC Essentials: Teaching the expanded core curriculum to students with visual impairments (pp. 283-323). New York, NY: AFB Press.
Bathelt, J., de Haan, M., & Dale, N. J. (2019). Adaptive behaviour and quality of life in school-age children with congenital visual disorders and different levels of visual impairment. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 85, 154-162.
Lewis, S., & Iselin, S. A. (2002). A comparison of the independent living skills of primary students with visual impairments and their sighted peers: A pilot study. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 96, 335-344.
Papadopoulos, K., Metsiou, K., & Agaliotis, I. (2011). Adaptive behavior of children and adolescents with visual impairments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1086-1096.