Visually impaired learners may have total absence of vision or have low or partial sight. This is why learning requirements of these students will vary depending on the nature and degree of their impairment. Both teachers and parents can discuss directly with the student their individual requirements in a discreet manner.
For many visually impaired students, managing workload effectively is much more time consuming and requires organizational skills. Their impairment may also affect their learning processes, as they will need to access information in different ways such as enlarged print, audio, or Braille. They may also take more time to write down notes, and will be unable to see board work.
The good news is, new teaching strategies and adaptive technologies are available to help students learn effectively. Cadan Assistive Technologies notes that educators and parents can make use of Braille embossers, smart scanners and readers, and camera-based reading devices.
Auditory input gives learners a new way to access information. This is because auditory language triggers the creation of mental pictures that usually correspond with words. Students can recall these images to comprehend verbal language. It is important not to assume, however, that students will understand it in the same way other students understand visual input.
Develop Verbal Cues
It is also beneficial to develop verbal cues as signals for attending to significant information. Teaching kids to develop listening skills is also essential. Efficient listening is particularly important for classroom learning, as this will improve students’ communication skills. It may be wise to consult vision specialists to know the right auditory accommodation for the learner.
Both teachers and parents can use manipulative models that will enable visually impaired students to use their sense of touch to become familiar with objects. Learning materials such as maps and charts will become more valuable if learners can read or understand them using the sense of touch. It is best to introduce students to these materials before any related activity starts.
It is advisable to prepare or obtain study materials and books in the most appropriate accessible format. Qualified educators can work with parents to help visually impaired students reach their full potential.