• Access to the written word or for those with a Colour Vision Deficiency access to information conveyed using colour only.
  • Finding the skills necessary to socialise effectively with other children when the overlap of their life experience is very small.
  • Understanding spoken words, particularly those describing objects.
  • Empathy with those they cannot see, and to whom they may present a very impassive face.
  • Sequencing and time-related concepts.
  • Developing independence.

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.
Read about visual-motor perception difficulties.

Read a student's perspective on staying in mainstream education with a visual impairment.

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