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Contributing Authors: Katie Beaver & Gail Vaughan

For blind students, using standard educational materials is a daily struggle. In this module, we provide a range of assistive technology device suggestions so that information can be understood by touch or sound.

To make print materials accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, four methods are widely used. These are sometimes referred to as alternate formats:

  • Audiocassettes,
  • Braille,
  • Electronic Documents, and
  • Large Print.

For this module, we will focus on the first three methods. First, we provide a background of the availability of adapted educational materials for blind students.

Federal Quota Program

The Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind was enacted by Congress in 1879. This act is a means for providing adapted educational materials to eligible students who meet the definition of blindness. The system through which these specialized materials are distributed is known as the Federal Quota Program. An annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

APH also maintains and supports Louis, an international online database and reference service, which furnishes information on the availability of books and materials in accessible media.

Several of the assistive technology devices described within can be found on Federal Quota lists.


NOTE: All "APH Photos" Courtesy of the American Printing House for the Blind.
All Rights Reserved.




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