Ferrell, Kay

Committee Member

Pulos, Steven


Special Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



222 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The purpose of this research was to conduct a validation study of the Boehm-3 Preschool tactile version, which was designed to allow young children with visual impairment and who use their tactile abilities as their primary modality to discover and interpret the world to demonstrate knowledge of concept understanding. It is well established that concept understanding is one of the most important skills a young child with visual impairment should master. The progression of concept development and haptic understanding of two-dimensional representation in young children with visual impairment was a focus of this research to inform parents, practitioners, and researchers. Just as young sighted children visually (a) discriminate shape, sizes, and length for early mathematic literacy, (b) recognize salient features of letters, and (c) demonstrate knowledge of early literacy book skills and direction following, young children with visual impairment learn about their world in a tactual experiential manner though independent movement. The current lack of any formal tactual assessments that address the understanding of academic performance left a significant gap in the measurement alternatives for those wishing to conduct second-generation research to establish evidence-based practices or to determine if classroom interventions are effective. This study was designed to build unified validity components for the Boehm-3 Preschool tactile version. Validity was established using (a) an exploratory factor analysis for unidimensionality; (b) a non-parametric Mokken analysis to provide evidence of a developmental scale; and (c) ranked Spearman correlations to show construct validity with a Smyth Developmental Rating Scale created by the investigator to assess the children’s fine-motor and cognitive functional skills. One hundred and twenty scores from young children with visual impairment (ages 3 years to 5 years, 11months) across the United States were analyzed. Statistical procedures using an Item Response Theory methodology was implemented to match the unique characteristics of this low-prevalence population. Evidence was obtained to successfully build validity components for the Boehm-3 Preschool tactile version, with the result that it is the first validated tactile assessment available for young children with visual impairment.

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Copyright is held by the author.