Low Vision and Blindness
By: Chloe Laumakis
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
-Does not understand nonverbal cues
-Lack of self-advocacy skills
-4% ages 14 and under are blind (1.4 mil)
-12 mil 5-15 are visually impaired
-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
-Restricted movement within the environment and limited interactions with their environments/isolation
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.