Teachers and Parents often ask me what their child needs for school. Here is the basic rule of thumb. Look around in the world today and see what is everyone else basically using. What are they using in class today? Educate today, what they need tomorrow.
First, to compete in the world and be able to do what every else is doing, blind, visually impaired children must learn the computer inside and out, Excel, PowerPoint and Word are the main programs. Having an adaptive laptop (such as a Braille Note) is incredibly valuable, but if schools only have enough money for 1 piece of equipment, go with the computer, as it will do everything the Braille Note will do, but the Braille Note can NOT do what the computer can do. They must learn how to do email and socialize on social networking sites like Facebook. There are many other things off this, but those are the main points. If using talking software, they need to learn how to control it and make it do what it needs to do for them. If visually impaired, use magnification where possible BUT also ask, "if my eyes cannot do as much and as quickly as my peers around me, then I need to learn blind skills also."
One thing for sure, you will never go wrong if you teach many tools. The child will get into big trouble if they do NOT have enough skills in their toolbox of learning. Get the education and lessons they need and parents anything that is taught at school, backup at home, or vice versa. Get everyone on the team involved in the education of this child, and you will have someone who can meet tomorrow's challenges.