In the case of individuals who are blind and need educational support, there are several ways to help them succeed. Some of these strategies include assistive technology and modified textbooks. Others involve strategies that can increase the level of participation in academic and extracurricular activities. In addition, acquired mobility skills can improve an individual’s ability to function independently in various settings, including the workplace. Ultimately, these strategies can improve an individual’s quality of life and make them more employable and competitive in their chosen field.
Assistive technology has been proven to increase participation and independence for students with visual impairments. These devices can include speech output, braille, and large print displays. While some assistive technology is expensive, others are low-cost and easy to use. It is important that the equipment be appropriate for the individual learner’s needs.
Many of these devices can help students take notes and complete other schoolwork. They can also use an electronic magnifier to see the board in class or a refreshable braille display to silently read e-books. These devices can even help students conduct research on the internet.
The best assistive technology is a combination of tools that provide multiple functions. These tools are classified into three main categories. First, there are optical devices, which use lenses to enhance vision. These devices include magnifiers, telescopes, and other devices that make visual information easier to perceive. Other devices, such as closed-circuit television systems and video magnifiers, use cameras to enlarge images.
Assistive technology can also help students with vision impairments learn more about science. Specially trained teachers provide training and assistive technology to students. Assistive technology can help students with vision impairments become independent and competent. Assistive technology is essential for the academic success of blind students.
In order to provide accessible services for individuals who are blind, educators need to consider the specific needs of blind students. Depending on the specific needs of the student, accommodations can include magnification devices, raised lettering, tactile cues, and adaptive computer equipment. Students with vision impairments can also request priority registration, time extensions, or taped lectures.
Early preparation of materials is vital. Printed materials should be available in Braille or audio format. Students with vision impairments may also require optical devices to read text. In addition, braille translation software can be used to convert print into braille. In addition, a braille printer is an important piece of technology that embosses braille onto paper.
Adaptations and modifications for individuals with disabilities may be necessary for a classroom setting. Students with visual impairments may need to work at a slower pace and may require alternate tools to complete classroom assignments. Adaptations may also be necessary for class tests. Educators should be aware of the student’s needs and provide the necessary accommodations.
Adaptations and modifications for students with visual impairments may include clutter-free classrooms, uniform placement of materials, preferred position and lock on lockers, task lighting, and special equipment for students with visual impairments. Educators should consult with the child’s educational team to make sure that accommodations and modifications are appropriate for their needs.
One of the best ways to support a blind or visually impaired student in learning is to incorporate supplementary instruction. This includes providing enlarged print or Braille for students to read. It may also include writing materials that are adapted for students who are blind. A consult with a TBVI can be helpful in determining which writing materials are appropriate for blind or visually impaired students.
It is important to remember that visually impaired students learn at different rates. They may need more time to absorb information. Therefore, teachers should take special measures to make the classroom more accessible. Depending on the disability, students should be given access to enlarged print versions of textbooks, syllabi, and other materials. Ensure that students with visual impairments are comfortable using large print materials and do not take shortcuts.
The WSSB offers many different educational programs and services that address the needs of individuals with disabilities. It works with schools to identify staff strengths and weaknesses and designs an integrated system of services and supports for students with disabilities. In addition, it implements an anti-ableist framework and provides staff development training on counteracting implicit bias, microaggressions, and deficit mindsets.
Another important strategy is to make sure students are exposed to a variety of career options. Since blind students may not be able to observe jobs as easily as their sighted counterparts, they will need to be exposed to a variety of different jobs and environments.
An IEP for an individual who is blind or visually impaired should address a child’s needs to access the general curriculum. The IEP must also address the unique educational needs of this student, such as the need for supplementary aids, accommodations, modifications, or devices. This document is crucial in developing an individual child’s educational program.
The IEP team should consider the student’s vision, including how much of it will remain over the course of his or her life. It should also consider the student’s ability to use residual vision after high school graduation. A student with residual vision should be able to function independently after high school, and not be dependent on their current vision for long-term needs.
Social skills are often under-emphasized in IEPs, so parents must fight for the inclusion of this skill on the IEP. Children learn how to interact with others by observing their peers. The blind child may not have the same opportunity to observe the interactions of others, and he or she may not develop social skills without direct instruction.
The IEP team must also consider the parent’s concerns about the child’s development. Oftentimes, these concerns can be reflected in a vision statement, which is a description of what the parent or other family member thinks is important for the child’s learning.
Online learning consortiums
Using online learning is a great way to provide higher education opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The World Health Organization estimates there are 253 million people worldwide who are blind or visually impaired. According to the World Blind Union, less than one in ten of these people go to school or find employment. One of the main barriers to education and leading a meaningful life is the lack of accessible books and other materials. Currently, less than ten percent of published materials are accessible to blind people.
The study also highlights the need to make certain that online courses are accessible to learners with visual impairments. The study notes that students with disabilities are often more challenged than their sighted colleagues when it comes to learning. The results of this study may be useful for people with disabilities who want to advance their careers.
One example is the VI Consortium, a collaboration of three universities in Virginia. This consortium prepares teachers to work with students with disabilities. The program meets the requirements of the Virginia Department of Education. The classes are offered through a mix of synchronous online learning and face-to-face meetings.