Low Vision and Blindness

By: Chloe Laumakis

Low Vision:

A disability that has some functional sight, but an individual's daily functioning is affected.

Blindness:

A disability that has no functional vision.

Major Characteristics of Low Vision and Blindness

-Restricted movement within the environment

-Limited interactions with their environments/isolation

-Slow academic development (particularly in reading and writing)

-Lack of motivation

-Social immaturity

-Does not understand nonverbal cues

-Lack of self-advocacy skills

-Less assertiveness

Prevalence Rate

World Wide:

-4% ages 14 and under are blind (1.4 mil)

-12 mil 5-15 are visually impaired


United States:

-ages 18 and under 0.6% visually impaired (448,000)

-ages 6-14 0.5% severe impairment (189,000)

-ages 19 and under (53,600) legally blind

What It's Like To Go Blind

Classroom Accommodations

-Restricted movement within the environment and limited interactions with their environments/isolation


3 accommodations:

1. Make the classroom safe by opening and closing doors fully because when left slightly open it becomes a safety hazard. Also pushing chairs under desk fully preventing injury including falling or tripping over the chair. Secure any other objects or furniture in the room that way the individual does not have restricted movements within the classroom.

2. Use contrasting colors with any power points or paper handouts that way the dark letters on the pale backgrounds are much more noticeable to an individual with low vision that power points or paper handouts that have a background that is close in color to the text. Also you can use bright colored paper to bring attention to certain papers that are needed in the classroom.

3. Consider the individuals with low vision lighting needs throughout the classroom as well as accommodating other students. Using window shades and having them pulled down reduces glare which can be a disadvantage to a student with low vision. Also you can provide additional lighting in the classroom in replace of having the shades pulled down causing it to be dimmer in the classroom.

At Home Accommodations

1. Use different textures like floor textures for example. Also use different tactile clues to help the child feel comfortable when walking around the house and not feel the need that they need assistance. A child should feel comfortable and safe in their own home.

2. Have someone there like mom, dad, or siblings read or help read printed information and handwritten information because it allows the individual with low vision or blindness not have to struggle when trying to read information.

3. Consider the handrails on the stairways in the home environment and make sure that they go beyond the top and bottom steps making it safer for people with low vision and blindness. People often stumble when they miss a step at the top or bottom of a stairway so extending the handrails prevents that.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2006/aug/01/familyandrelationships.features11

This website discusses the story of a daughter of two parents who are fully blind. This is a helpful resource for parents and children going through someone in the family having visual impairments because the daughter of this story tells how it was like growing up and how it is now as an adult.

http://www.write4fun.net/view-entry/40359

This website discusses a girl who has been blind since birth. It is an important webpage because the girl talks about how she is not any different from the rest of us and that she should not be treated differently either.

Voice Dream Reader by Voice Dream LLC

This app allows anyone to input any form of text whether it is manually done or it is an uploaded word document and translate it to speech. Therefore it allows a child who is blind or has visual disabilities hear the text instead of reading the text.