Unique Visual Needs
By: Carmen Willings
Students who are blind or visually impaired will have unique visual needs that need to be communicated to all team members during eligibility, at the beginning of each school year, and when there is any change in the student's unique needs. Although this information can be found in the Functional Vision Evaluation report and within the IEP, I write the information in a separate sheet (ideally just one or two pages) so it can be a quick reference to team members. I include my contact information as well as a brief summary of the student's visual impairment. The following is a list of just some unique needs the student may have.
Unique Visual Needs for Students Following Standard Course of Study
General Classroom Adaptations
Responsibilities that the teacher should encourage the student to assume
When taking the class on field trips, be aware that
Handling of Contact Lenses
Unique Visual Needs for Students following a Modified Curriculum
Glare is a constant consideration for all individuals with low vision. Glare can create discomfort or inhibit visual functioning depending on the source or type of glare experienced. Highly reflective surfaces – including flooring, walls, ceilings, work and play surfaces, and instructional and play materials (particularly those that have been laminated) – can all be sources of glare for individuals with low vision. The following suggestions can be helpful in minimizing glare for children with low vision:
Space is an important organizer of visual perceptions for individuals with low vision. The following considerations will help in planning positive visual experiences:
Individuals who are visually impaired may require additional time to complete tasks that require the use of vision or when adjusting to changes in lighting. The student may need additional time to complete tasks that depend on the use of vision. With regard to time, the following approaches may help young children feel more confident and complete tasks more successfully:
Maximizing contrast between objects and work and play surfaces can help children who have low vision maintain a greater sense of control over the items that they manipulate. Contrast can be enhanced through the use of increased illumination, careful choice of colors, or selection of black and white materials. Higher-contrast items are easier to locate, distinguish, and keep track of. The following approaches can be used to enhance contrast:
TVI Role as Facilitator
Ensuring the student has access to the curriculum and entire educational environment is a key role of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. This presentation provides an overview of accommodations for students who are blind or visually impaired. I discuss considerations for providing accommodations, go over common accommodations, strategies for preparing the student to request job accommodations and strategies for communicating needs to teams and employers.
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This form identifies possible recommendations for accommodations that can be beneficial for students with visual impairments or blindness that have multiple disabilities. Select those that are appropriate for the student.
This form identifies possible recommendations for accommodations that can be beneficial for students with visual impairments or blindness that is following the standard course of study. Select those that are appropriate for the student.
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