Copyright 2000. All Rights Reserved. Keeping It Catholic
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Please Note: With the exception of Catholic home study programs, the majority of the resources on this page are either secular (our definition means "neutral") or non-denominational (our definition means any "religious" sects that believes in Jesus Christ as the Savior but are not in union with the Catholic Church.)
Aware of the challenge and hurdles many families face with physically or mentally disabled children, parents or grandparents, KIC provides this list as a springboard. In certain instances, KIC will offer clarifying statements of interest to Catholics.
Accelerated Learners, Gifted, and Learning Disabled - Resources
Accelerated Learners - General Information
Blind or Sight Impaired - Resources
Other Services from Non-Denominational or Secular Sources
Accelerated Learners, Gifted, Learning Disabled
Please check our Catholic Home Study page for well known Catholic home study programs that offer services for accelerated learners, gifted students, and children with learning disabilities. Currently, there are no Catholic home study programs that yet offer specialty programs for children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down's Syndrome, or other challenges/handicaps like deafness or blindness.
For children with real learning disabilities, The Learning Home, located in the state of Maryland, supports homeschooling and it provides consultation and assessments. The Learning Home will assist families who live in and out of the Maryland area.
Accelerated Learners, General Information
Catholic-owned Westbridge Academy is not a homestudy program but a consultation service. It offers a personalized curriculum for gifted or accelerated students. Their consultants work one-on-one with each child to develop a suitable curriculum. This resource is Catholic owned but not necessarily Catholic in scope.
Resources for the Blind or the Sight-Impaired
~American Printing House for the Blind
Recommended to me by The Howe Press of Perkins School for the Blind, this publishing house offers three different catalogs from which to purchase all kinds of materials for those who cannot see or have vision problems. Their catalogs are Product (for grades K-12, includes special writing papers, Braille stylus, etc.), Adult Life, and Books (listing books available in Braille or large print). The catalogs themselves are available in print, on cassette or on CD. I found this resource very helpful, referring me to other resources which are now listed on this page. (MCB) Secular.
~American Foundation for the Blind
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
This foundation offers a catalog with specialty items for the blind, including watches, games, and much more. Secular.
~Hadley School for the Blind
700 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093-0299
1 (800) 323-4238
A home study school for the blind which offers courses in many subjects, Hadley also encourages parents of blind children to enroll in order to learn Braille. Secular.
~ Guide Dogs of America
13445 Glenoaks Boulevard
Sylmar, California 91342
For those who love someone who is blind or sight-impaired, it is important to know the important role of guide dogs. Those who are sight-impaired learn it's also important to match the personalities of the dogs to those they will assist. Guide Dogs of America offers a 28 day required program, geared for people aged 16 years and older. Secular.
~The Howe Press of Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02172
This is the publishing arm of the same school which "Teacher" (Anne Sullivan) of the Helen Keller Story attended so many years ago. Howe Press offers resources for sale like Braille slates (which allow the blind to write with a special frame and stylus), Braillers (a Braille typewriter), specially designed art supplies, measuring instruments and games like Braille playing cards. I found them to be very kind, freely referring me to other helpful resources which are now listed on this page. (MCB) Secular.
~Exceptional Teaching Aids
Castro Valley, CA
This resource was recommended by the American Printing House for the Blind - for special needs people like the blind, as well as those with learning disabilities. This is also a good supplier for "hands-on" learning aids. Secular.
~Independent Living Aids
The helpful people at American Print House for the Blind (listed above) also recommended this resource to our family. They offer all kinds of products for people who are handicapped in some way and yet want to remain as independent as they can. Secular.
~Recorded Books, Inc.
270 Skipjack Rd.
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Those who are sight-impaired or blind and who are searching for the classics on audio cassette tape will find Recorded Books a helpful resource. Secular.
+Xavier Society for the Blind
Toll Free 1-800-637-9193
New York City residents please call (212) 473-7800
Fax: (212) 473-7801
Braille, General Information: Xavier Society for the Blind provides Catholic books, catalogs and some magazines in Braille. Catalogs are also available in large print and on audio cassette. There is no charge for this service, but some materials must be returned. Please inquire about which materials can be retained and which must be returned. The response time for requested information sent via regular mail was very, very slow. Catholic.
Other Services from Non-denominational and Secular sources
~Home School Legal Defense Association
P0 Box 159
Paeonean Springs, VA 22129
HSLDA believes that home schooling is the best way to meet the needs of most children with special learning needs. They offer a free information packet explaining their policy for home schooling special needs children. Non-denominational.
~Hewitt Educational Resources
P.O. Box 9
Washougal, WA 98671-0009
Hewitt will work with families to put together an individualized curriculum and home education program. Request information regarding their "Special Needs Program." This resource is endorsed by HSLDA. Secular.
National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network
5383 Alpine Rd. SE
Olalla, WA 98359
Tom Bushnell is the president of NATHHAN and Sherry Bushnell is the editor of NATHHAN News, their quarterly publication. This is a Christian (meaning non-denominational) organization for families with special needs children. They provide support, information and networking with other families throughout the United States. They themselves have a son with Down's Syndrome and a daughter who is blind. Please note: Test inquiries with this resource were disappointing, to say the least. Those answerng the phone line were not hesitant to display a purposely cold attitude once they ascertained, with "canned" questioning, that the caller was a Catholic. (MCB) Non-denominational.
~The Riggs Institute
A non-profit publisher, the Riggs Institute is also a teacher-parent-tutor training agency. The organization has done extensive research in the special needs area, especially learning disabilities. Secular.
~God's Special People Magazine
P0 Box 729
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
This quarterly publication contains 36 pages of information concerning children's disabilities. It is written from a conservative fundamentalist perspective by a couple whose daughter has severe cerebral palsy. Although the parent of a disabled child might discover both common experiences and practical information, Catholic parents considering this resource should expect that the spiritual views expressed in this magazine will not always conform, and perhaps in some instances contradict, Catholic Church teaching. Non-denominational.
~Practical Homeschooling Home Life
P0 Box 1250
Fenton, MO 63026
Practical Homeschooling is published by fundamentalist (and former Catholic) Mary Pride. The Dec. 95/Jan. 96 back issue is dedicated to the special needs child. It provides a list of organizations, networks, books and support services. Please be aware that Practical Homeschooling promotes a fundamentalist Protestant view. When last checked, the publisher still would not allow Catholic advertising of any kind; thus, Catholic parents should not expect to find any Catholic resources in the various lists. Back issues are $5.00 each. Non-denominational.
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