Low Vision and Blindness
A resource for parents and teachers
Major Characteristics of Low Vision and Blindness
-Limited interactions with their environment/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 million)
-12 million 5-15 are visually impaired
-ages 18 and under 0.6% visually impaired (448,000)
-ages 6-14 0.5% have severe impairment (189,000)
-ages 19 and under (53,600) are legally blind
*Every minute a child somewhere in the world goes blind
*Number of people with partial sight (135 million) is estimated to double by 2020
1. Assistive Technology: allows individuals with visual disabilities to access information using visual, audio, and tactile input. For visuals, students can use talking books/audio books. For audio output the students can use braille display. Lastly braille 'n' speak can be used as a tactile output accommodation.
2. Expanded Core Curriculum: This includes skills that students with low vision and blindness may need help learning, beyond the general curriculum. They will learn orientation and mobility, functional skills, social skills, independent living, recreation and leisure, and career preparation.
3. Enlarged text/Audio text: calculated by their rate or reading, this will help students with low vision to be better able to see the words on the board and on paper/ allowing an ebook to speak back to the student.
-Have lights facing what you want to see and away from your eyes
-Altering the brightness on your computer or phone screen
2. Texture and Touch
-Differences in the floor textures and other tactile clues will help the hild feel more comfortable walking around without assistance.
3. Organization and Safety
-Having an organized environment keeps the element of surprise out of the equation. If your using throw rugs tape them to the floor, avoid smooth floor coverings, remove electrical cords from areas where you would be walking, and arrange the furniture where nothing is sticking out and keeping the furniture in the same place so that the child will feel more confident and comfortable moving around the house.
Extra useful websites
2. This link gives tips and suggestions on how to teach students with visual impairments in the classroom, for testing, and how to monitor their progress.
Smith, D. D. & Tyler, N. C. (2014). Introduction to contemporary special education. Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN-13:978-0-13-294461-8)
Olde, T. (n.d.). Visual Impairments. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/visual-impairments1/#C\
American Foundation for the blind- Home Page. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://www.afb.org/
IEP Accommodations for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/accommodations.html
Low-Vision Accommodations in Your Home-Topic Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/tc/low-vision-accommodations-in-your-home-topic-overview