Independent living skills are the activities people perform, according to their abilities, which enable them to manage their homes and personal lives. The development of independent living skills is important to all students and particularly with students who are blind and visually impaired.
Students who are blind or visually impaired, particularly those with additional disabilities or those who are younger, require much one-on-one attention from staff. It is important for adults to find the balance between assisting the student and creating a learned dependency. This page provides strategies that will help promote students responsibility and independence so they do not become dependent on others.
Mealtime can be a struggle for many students but can provide unique challenges to students with visual impairments. Although it may be easier and possibly neater to feed the student or to provide extra assistance, it is not appropriate when the student has the ability to feed themselves. This page provides strategies in developing independence at mealtimes.
The following adaptations can help the student develop independence and confidence in locating, identifying, cutting, and seasoning foods. These skills can be practiced at home so the student feels confident in transferring these skills to new settings.
Learning skills in the area of food preparation will help the students to become the most contributing members of their homes. It is also a great way to learn responsibility! Sorting, matching, reading labels, measuring, and many other skills can be naturally embedded in these experiences. This page provides strategies and suggestions for teaching students skills in food preparation.
Learning personal hygiene and independence in grooming are important skills for all students to learn. These are equally important for students who are blind or visually impaired. It may take students longer to master these skills but it is essential to encourage independence and avoid the urge to do the task for them in a rush to complete the activity. This page provides strategies and suggestions for teaching students skills in hygiene and grooming.
Older students need to learn how to identify and take the correct medication in the prescribed dosages and at the correct time. Sometimes it is possible to identify medications by the size and shape of the container, but containers are frequently similar or identical. Sometimes, pills themselves can be identified by the shape or texture, but this isn't always the case. Use the following strategies to help identify medications.
Learning independence in dressing are important skills for students who are blind or visually impaired. It may take students longer to master this skill but it is essential to encourage independence and avoid the urge to do the task for them in a rush to complete the activity. This page provides strategies in helping the student dress themselves independently and how to manage their clothes including organizing their closets and drawers and identifying clothing.
There are strategies and tools available to help the student who is blind or visually impaired learn to identify money. This page provides guidelines on helping students identify money as well as commercially available materials and apps for identifying money.
Learning skills in the area of housekeeping and food preparation will help the students to become the most contributing members of their homes. It is also a great way to learn responsibility! Sorting, matching, reading labels, measuring, and many other skills can be naturally embedded in these experiences. This page provides more suggestions on adaptations to food preparation as well as housekeeping adaptations.
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The mission of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments is to provide all persons involved in education students who are blind or visually impaired with the necessary resources to help each student become successful members of their communities and to equip those in the visual impairment field with resources to meet the wide range of needs of the students they serve.