By: Carmen Willings
Many students with low vision, or any usable vision, will need materials presented in high contrast in order to visually access them. It is usually best to present materials on backgrounds that offer high contrast to the objects being viewed. It can also be helpful to use trays to contain activities within view.
A dark blotter or dark piece of construction paper can be placed under a page to cut down on brightness and to direct attention. Different colors may be important for aesthetic or other reasons; but it is better to use such combinations only for larger or highlighted text, such as headlines and titles, and, where possible, to maintain as high a contrast of light and dark (as opposed to color) as is feasible.
Very high contrasts are difficult to achieve with color combinations other than black and white. Printed material, generally, is most readable in black and white. Text of printed materials should be printed with the highest possible contrast. Either use light (white or light yellow) letters on a dark (black) background or dark letters on a light background. This can be achieved using an electronic magnifier by reversing the polarity.
Highlighters & Line Guides
Highlighters, line guides, page markers and typoscope may be especially helpful to students who find it difficult to focus on a word or track a line of print.The typoscope blocks out the surrounding text allowing the student to focus on the important information. Using a line guide with a highlighter increases the contrast of the print.
Acetate or Color Filters
Acetate or color filters placed over the printed page will darken the print as well as heighten the contrast of the print with the background paper. It's usually preferred in yellow, but is available in other colors.
Bold Line Paper
For students who find it difficult to see the lines on regular writing paper, bold line paper is available in various formats, including graph paper, large-print staffs for music notation, and writing paper. This paper has dark lines and/or enlarged spaces for students who have difficulty using regular lined paper.
Felt Tip Pens
Allow student to use felt-tip pens (black or color) or 20/20 pens if the student needs a darker line and increased contrast. Usually preferred in black and available in various widths, these pens produce a bold letter or diagram. The use of different-colored markers will often help a student emphasize sections of his or her notes when scanning would otherwise be difficult. Similarly, allow the student to use a mechanical pencil as these pencils don’t become dull. A highlighting pen can be used to draw student’s attention to certain words and improve contrast between the print and the page.
Soft Lead Pencils
If the student needs to be able to erase, as most students will, the Faber-Castell #8B is a bold line pencil that does not run or smudge and provides a bold line. It has a soft lead that requires a gentle press to write. It can also be erased unlike markers.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings