Sensory efficiency skills include instruction in the use of residual vision, hearing and other senses including use of tactual, gustatory, and olfactory input to identify one's personal possessions or use hearing and other senses to identify people. Areas the student may need instruction in or consultation in include maximizing their use of vision, developing gross motor skills, developing fine motor skills, developing strength, stamina, and endurance in legs, arms, and hands, identifying textures tactually and underfoot, identifying kinesthetic and proprioceptive sources and identifying olfactory sources.
Visual tracking skills will help a student read as well as prepare them for safe and efficient travel. This page provides suggestions for encouraging students to use their vision to the highest extent possible.
Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize details in visual images. It allows students to identify and recognize the likeness and differences of shapes/forms, colors and position of objects, people, and printed materials. This page provides visual discrimination activities.
Visual motor skills are the skills to coordinate eyes and feet as well as eyes and hands. It is the coordination of vision with the movements of the body. A student with a visual impairment may need assistance in developing and facilitating gross motor movement, pointing to a destination or object, and in performing fine motor activities. This page provides visual motor activities.
Many students who have visual impairments will be print readers and will use print as their primary mode of communication. The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) will assess the student's functioning and determine what non-optical devices will assist a student in accessing print and instruct the student in the proper use and care of the devices.
The development of tactual exploration and discrimination skills are necessary for future braille readers as well as for students who may not be able to learn formal braille but can learn to discriminate objects by touch to help make sense of their world or to use for communication. This page lists the general order of the development of tactual skills.
All students need to develop strength and dexterity to complete everyday tasks. It is important for students to manipulate materials and develop their fine motor skills. This page provides suggestions on ways to develop skillful hands.
Listening skills are important for everyone, but especially for students who are blind or visually impaired. This page provides strategies in developing a students auditory readiness, a skill needed to lay a foundation for listening skills.
Since listening skills will be a major source of information for a student who is blind or visually impaired, it is important to develop good listening skills when the child is young. This page provides strategies for developing listening and auditory skills.
Resources to Support You in Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
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If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. -Ignacio 'Nacho' Estrada
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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.