A HUGE part of working with students in special education is providing a visually rich environment. Probably one of the MOST important things we can provide our students is an image to communicate information in a way that is not just auditory or verbal, and that is constant. For most of our students, this means VISUALS. 

There are multiple places to get your visuals. Many schools have subscriptions to Boardmaker or other similar image software, but I personally prefer more realistic images (because we don't really have cone-heads or stick figure bodies), so I tend to take a lot of photos myself. 
When we think of visuals, most special education teachers think of a schedule, but there are MANY other ways to incorporate visuals in the classroom. Visuals can be used for communication, directions, acquiring vocabulary, token boards, centers, and so much more!

Here are few tips for implementing visuals in your classroom:

  • TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS - Take photos of items and events in your room. Real photos are a great way to really communicate an item or concept to your students. I took actual photos of my students lined up to demonstrate what "line up" meant. It's relatable and easy to understand, especially when they see themselves lined up. You can also do this for sitting at desk, going to lunch, getting backpacks, getting on the bus, or anything else really.  
  • PHOTOS OF SCHOOL STAFF - Take photos of the people in your class such as your students, yourself, related service providers, and paraprofessionals. I used our staff photos for our center schedule so the students knew exactly where they were supposed to be (see below).


This bracelet has visual reminders to use the restroom for a student who may be on a toileting schedule. Students or staff can remove an icon each time the restroom is used. You can get these blank slap bracelets from www.orientaltrading.com. Just add Velcro and any reminder item that you need. 


If you have students who do not do well with change have visuals to prepare them! You can have parents send in photos of family members who might pick them up from school on occasion. This is a page out of my TODAY BINDER.  

I had a student once who would always point to the pizza when we would go to the lunchroom so we just thought he REALLY liked pizza! Then, we decided to take photos of all of the other lunchroom food options (in middle school) and made a small ring of choices for him. We brought it with us every for lunch and he was able to select a variety of items and no longer ate pizza every single day!


Schedules should always include visuals whether they are on the board or individualized for each student. 

You can take photos of actual reinforcers that are used your room. Sometimes it's hard to find an image of a specific toy or food item. I have taken pictures of cookies, crackers, balloons, bubbles, etc. An actual photo of a reinforcer may help communicate the item better. 
Sometimes the best way to find photos is to use your own phone and snap photos of items around your room! It's easy and you get photos of actual items. 
Here are a few places you can find clipart type visuals (usually require a membership):
Here are few websites where you should be able to find some FREE photos: 
If you want to make some of your own visuals, you can always email me at schoolbellsnwhistles@gmail.com for some help getting started! 


  1. Yes i am totally agreed with article and i want to say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!
    middle school science curriculum

  2. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. 209 New Upper Changi Rd #03-647 Singapore 460209

  3. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Worksheets for Kindergarten

  4. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Sandy Hook Parent

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Skillspot

  7. Tamil Nadu SSLC Class 10th Previous Years Question Papers.ns Paper Download TN Education Board Tamil Nadu tenth Class new Model Paper download with Answer 2021, So TN SSLC Exam Prepaid Candidates is to be had in Tamil Nadu SSLC TN 10th Question Paper 2021 and Tamil and English and Maths and Science and Social Science and Study Materials Download, Mathematics Question Papers. Science Question Papers. Download Social Science Answer Download Sslc – March 2021 Question Papers.

  8. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. bigword

  9. The globalization of education is reflecting itself in the extension and unification of educational practices, used by all those public or private entities, involved as active social educators. Over time, the public education systems in developed or emerging countries, which promote formal education, are illustrating with consistency the practice of a classical education system. In the field of non-formal education there are used more innovating and diverse methods of education, but unfortunately few of this are oriented upon individual behaviour reshaping in the global context, and they are looking only to proliferate consumerist habits, by preparing youngsters for a successful professional career start. english class for Japanese

  10. We can craft Leather Jackets as per your demand for you. From design development, colors, materials, details, and more, our customer service agents are here for you for assistance. Mens Biker Jacket

  11. This particular papers fabulous, and My spouse and i enjoy each of the perform that you have placed into this. I’m sure that you will be making a really useful place. I has been additionally pleased. Good perform! Assignment answer Class 9

  12. The risk of employers being a victim of resume fraud and the risk of student being a victim of diploma mills is greater today than ever. Free online class 7 assignment 2021 answer background checks are the best way to save precious time, money and employment career.

  13. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work. 3rd week assignment 2021 answer

  14. The text books for the Higher Secondary First and Second year students are now available in digital format. In the changing scenario of present day, as the class rooms becoming hi tech, it becomes necessary to adopt similar changes in the case of text books also. Kerala Plus Two Revised Syllabus SCERT/NCERT text books are followed in the State syllabus. While the SCERT books are prescribed for some subjects, NCERT books are followed for certain other subjects.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Thank you very much for the information. We are very thankful to you. Check GST Primary Selection List

  17. Very nice and attractive post. Thank you very much. Check GST Preliminary Result 2021

  18. The exhibition of instructors for the most part decides, the nature of education, yet the overall execution of the understudies they train.interesting in spanish


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your ideas and questions.