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Introduction The population of children who are vision impaired


Our learning objectives for today comes to include: those who are ‘legally’ blind and
those with low vision (partial sight). (Westwood,
● ​Focus specifically on the topic of Vision
2015).
Impairment
● Discuss types of accommodations potentially
A person with a visual impairment (after correction) is
required by the classroom teacher to ensure
often referred to as:
students with vision impairments can access
● Low Vision
the curriculum effectively​
● Blindness
● Identify strategies to assist students in a
The degree of loss may vary significantly, which
regular classroom setting
means that each student with low vision or blindness
● Share teaching strategies that might be
needs individual adjustments to learn most
useful when we begin teaching
effectively. There is no ‘typical’ vision impaired
student.

Born vs Acquired

● Congenital – vision loss which is present at


birth or
● Adventitious – vision loss later in life as a
result of a degenerative condition, illness or
accident

Themes Statistics
● Inclusion
● Perception & Empathy
● Vision impairment affects more than 1 in
● ‘On the same basis’
2500 children in Australia.
● Consultation
● Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
● Reasonable adjustment
Australians experience higher rates of
● Relating to the legislation & AITSL
certain vision and hearing disorders than
● Creating options & Accessibility
non-Indigenous Australians.
● Personalised learning
● Independance
Signs and Symptoms
● Universal Design for Learning
● Role of the teacher
● Red or watery eyes
● Squinting (even in indirect light)
2. Specifics ● Irritation of the eyelids
Vision impairment has (in some countries) replaced ● Crossed eyes (or other obvious muscle
the older term visually impaired. When a child is problems)
described as vision impaired it does not necessarily ● Lack of attention (to visual stimuli)
mean they are blind, it means the child has a serious ● Holding text close to or far from eyes
defect of vision that cannot be correct with glasses. ● Inability to see blackboard or object
3. Learning 5. Case Studies
Questions for discussion
Teacher Expectations.
● Identify what the particular needs of this child
Often, teachers will underestimate the academic are and what adaptations or modifications
abilities of students who experience visual they would benefit from are.
impairment, and as a result will task them with work ● What strategies would you implement to
that is below their actual ability levels. assist this child? Consider: assistive
technology, classroom environment,
Social Interaction instruction, social aspects, etc.
People with visual impairment may have difficulty ● What strengths does this child have that
reading 'visual' social signals (i.e. facial expressions, would you build on?
eye contact, gestures etc.), and thus are more prone
to experiencing difficulties in socialising with their 6. Resources
classmates. ● Visability
● Vision Australia
Movement Around the Class ● SEN Sensory
Traversing the classroom can be difficult for those ● Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children
with visual impairments; difficulties arise from ● Visual Impairment Family Network
multiple areas, ranging from having underdeveloped
depth perception and body awareness, to having a https://cateringtostudentswithavisionimpairment.
total lack of sight. weebly.com
Please treat our presentation website as a resource.
Perceiving and Producing Text Included are web resources that we did not have
time to discuss today. We feel they are worthwhile!
People with visual impairment can experience a
number of difficulties when perceiving and producing
References
text, specifically in regards to actually being able to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (2016). ​Australia’s
see the text, whether the font is big enough, and health 2016. R​ etrieved from
https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/48ee92a8-d373-4
whether it stands out enough from its background 354-8df2-d664a974034f/ah16-3-15-vision-hearing-di
sorders.pdf.aspx
4. Strategies Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., & Conway, R. (2010). ​Diversity and
inclusion in Australian schools​. South Melbourne,
Vic.: Oxford University Press.
VisAbility. (2018) Empathy Library. Retrieved from
Strategies to ensure full and meaningful participation
https://www.visability.com.au/empathy-library/
for students with a vision impairment in a regular Westwood, P. (2015). ​Commonsense methods for children with
classroom setting. special educational needs ​(7th ed.). London:
Routledge Falmer.
School of Special Educational Needs: Sensory. (2018).
● Universal Design for Learning
Services. Retrieved from
○ Minimise barriers, maximise learning http://www.ssens.wa.edu.au/services.html
○ Multiple means of representation,
engagement and action + expression ​*Please note: We made an (as best researched/as best
● Having a ‘process’ as a teacher within the A4 double sided parameters) effort to make this
● Optimising the learning environment handout vision impaired accessible. Consideration was
● Assistive tech, adaptions and modifications given to colour, contrast, spacing and font.