Visual impairment

Information and support for a diagnosis of visual impairment

Visual impairment organisations

Deafblind UK
Collection of information and resources for deafblind people.

Guide Dogs (formerly Guide Dogs for the Blind Association)
Mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people.

Listening Books
Audiobooks for people who cannot read due to illness or impairment.

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
Improving access for disabled people to the environments and services they use.

Sense - The National Deafblind and Rubella Association
National voluntary organisation working with and supporting people who are deafblind or have associated impairments.

How to support a visually impaired child at school

You can:
  • Arrange classroom furniture carefully with a clear path and keep it as consistent as possible. Make sure furniture is not changed without informing the child so they can move around with minimal support. Don’t let children tip chairs as the legs are a hazard.
  • Keep speech clear and avoid references to what things look like (unless part of the lesson objective).
  • Only use adjectives if they relate to tactile or audible qualities.
  • Teach new vocabulary in a structured way using words that are directly relevant to the child.
  • When addressing the class, it’s helpful to mention the child’s name to get their attention. Classrooms are noisy and it’s hard for a visually impaired child to filter out noise and work out what is relevant.
  • Under the direction of a qualified teacher of visually impaired children consider whether to teach Braille, or moon writing. If these seem a struggle, the child may cope with recognising their name in a few moon letters, even if unable to read independently.
  • Allow lots of time for developing concepts through touch – it takes a while to feel all the way around something, or to peer closely at it with a lens.
  • Work closely with the teacher for the visually impaired and aim to incorporate the child’s needs into daily classroom life.

Other resources on visual impairment

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