Low Vision and Blindness

Definition


Low Vision: A reduced level of vision that cannot be fully corrected with correctional glasses. If a person has low blindness, they have some useful vision.

Blindness: The lack of vision. There is no functional vision and he or she may only be able to perceive shadows or movement.
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Characteristics of Low Vision and Blindness

Intellectual characteristics: The individual’s ability to see may not have any effects on their general intelligence.

Play and social interaction skills: may be delayed.

Language and concept development: language does not seem to be affected for numerous students, but their ability to associate words with concepts may be difficult since there is no hands-on experience.
Academic achievement
: Any student who is blind or has low vision can succeed as far as their peers however they may face more challenges that their peers.
Perceptual abilities
: a student’s visual perception may be significantly affected.

Prevelance

1 out of 4 school-aged children have vision impairments.

About two-thirds of children with visual disabilities have more than one disability.


The majority of people with visual disabilities are over the age of 65 since most visual disabilities are associated with aging.

Major characteristic that interferes with learning

Concept development is a major characteristic that may interfere with learning. Student’s with low vision do not have the best ability with hands on experience and therefore may have a more difficult time understanding a concept.

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Accommodations in the Classroom

1.Digital or electronic textbooks: Electronic textbooks allow the user to enlarge print, adjust the contrast and allow the user to listen to the passage. Bookshare, a federally funded service, gives visually impaired students free versions of the e-text. This addresses the issue of a visually impaired student not being able to read the standard text-book provided by the school to the students.

2. Personal Readers: These are people that come into the classroom and read the text for the student. This option is for students that may have a limited visual field and are unable to see the text themselves. This addresses the issue of a visually impaired student that is unable to keep up with the reading in the classroom.

3. Use objects in the classroom that will help the visually impaired student such as videos, visual aids, 3D models or an opaque projector: An opaque projector is a device that projects opaque images (images that are not transparent.) By using visual aids and models, this helps visually impaired and non-visually impaired students learn in an effective and helpful way. It’s not only engaging students but also allows visually impaired students to see and interact with what is going on around them in the classroom. This addresses the issue of visually impaired students not being able to see or understand what is going on in the classroom around them.

Home Accommodations

1. Contrast: Paint objects in the home contrasting colors. For example, use dark doorknobs on light colored doors or paint the doorframe a dark color. The contrasting of the colors will make it easier for someone to make out the object against a darker or brighter background.

2. Marking and Labeling: Mark and label areas that may be hazardous such as stairwells or entryways with bright colors. Color code or label medicines and foods with bright colors or large print.

3. Arranging furniture in home: arrange furniture and other items like rugs or mats in a non-hazardous way. Make sure pathways are clear and open and secure any rugs or mats. It is also suggested to not wax floors or use anything on floors that could cause slippage.

Helpful Resources for Parents and Friends

Information on low vision and signs of these issues your child may display.

http://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/learning.htm

Tips for reading with your child with low vision. These tips are for children from the range of toddlers to pre-school and school age children.

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-together-tips-parents-children-low-vision-or-blindness

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