The Expanded Core Curriculum

“The Expanded Core Curriculum is the body of knowledge and skills needed by students with visual impairments due to their unique disability-specific needs. Vision impaired students need the expanded core curriculum in addition to the core academic curriculum of general education. It is difficult to imagine that a congenitally blind or visually impaired person could be entirely at ease and at home within the social, recreational, and vocational structure of the general community without mastering the elements of the expanded core curriculum. What is known about congenitally blind and visually impaired students is that, unless skills such as orientation and mobility, social interaction, and independent living are learned, these students are at high risk for lonely, isolated, unproductive lives. The ECC is the heart of the responsibility of educators serving visually impaired students. These areas are not adequately addressed by regular classroom teachers, nor should they be, for this is the core curriculum that is essential to students who are blind and visually impaired, and it epitomizes their “right to be different”

(source: American Foundation for the Blind)

The Expanded Core Curriculum is not an optional part of a vision impaired student’s educational program but, perhaps, the most essential part. Without these critically important skills, students who are vision impaired cannot access the standard core curriculum or engage in many of the activities that are basic to their well-being. The ECC includes:

  • compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes, e.g. Braille
  • orientation and mobility
  • social interaction skills
  • independent living skills
  • recreation and leisure skills
  • career education
  • assistive technology
  • sensory efficiency skills
  • self-determination