Jul 14, 2017

Tips for Visually Impaired Students

Jake's new braille teacher put together this list of tips for Jake's teachers, classmates and daycare staff. I feel silly that I didn't think of something like this sooner. It is very helpful for kids with visual impairments. 

Jake is a fun student  to get to know. He is just like any other 3rd grader only his eyes don’t work like sighted people’s eyes. He should be encouraged to be independent. Here are some tips that may help Jake’s day go smoother.
  • Jake needs to be at least 4 feet away to get visual information from a person or object. He is the best advocate of what he can see and not see. It is okay to say “look at that” or “did you see that?”
  • Jake should always get preferential seating for accessing visual information. Descriptive information on a picture or object is also helpful.
  • Using specific directions like “to the left or right” should be used rather than other here or there.  
  • Always greet Jake by name and say who you are. Students contributing to conversation in circle should also say their name first.
  • Fatigue-it is mentally draining trying to understand what is happening or who is talking all day.
  • Often visually impaired students interact easier with adults rather than peers
  • Many visually impaired children don’t know how to play. It has to be modeled for them.
  • Non-verbal communication in body language and facial expression (smiles, frown, hands on hips) are often missed with visually impaired students.
  • Paying attention-Jake’s eyes cannot focus like most people. Just because he is not looking at you, it does not mean he is not paying attention.
  • Jake’s eyes involuntarily move around. This should not be considered an expression, he is not listening, or a behavior.
  • Books, backpacks, and other personal items should be properly stored in consistent places.
  • Jake should be familiarized with new spaces.
  • Glare and bright lights are difficult for Jake. It is best for his back to be faced toward a window with glare.


Bethie The Boo said...

This is the sweetest, I love that your teachers are so kind and thoughtful when it comes to Jake! I'm happy you found a good school for him! <3

Charlotte Klein said...

I love that you shared this here <3 I think sometimes people don't always know how to respond when someone doesn't react in the way they expect, but it's helpful to know what does/doesn't work for someone who is visually impaired (or impaired in any other way).

I'm not sure I ever mentioned it, but I am legally blind too (I started losing my vision at 7) and there's a good chance I might not always have the ability to see. Thank goodness, though, that we have all the advances in modern science, because things sure are a lot different now than they were when I was younger and had glasses the size of my head :)

XOXO and hope you have a great weekend, my sweet!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

How sweet that they wrote this up! It sounds like a really handy thing for teachers and others to have on hand, because people don't always know!!


Lecy Croson said...

What a great teacher to take initiative like this and advocate for him. Sounds like you guys are blessed with some amazing people as part of his care team!

Anthea said...

Jake's teacher sounds wonderful - so thoughtful to write this up and have the info available for other people.

Kimberly said...

YES! I love when teachers are intuitive/helpful like this and are willing to share their observations. My son's teacher (my son has severe OCD) had unbeknownst to me, kept a running tally of things that she had witnessed throughout the school year and had asked if she could pass along the information to the next teacher. I'm not sure what was on this list. I wish she would have told me! But at least it will be helping the next person. Communication is absolutely ESSENTIAL in life. Kids need to be validated and when there is a blockage in communication, we need to find a way to reach them. This warms my heart that people are trying to find ways to do this. YES!