Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairments – Learning Outcomes
Introduction to Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairments
Teaching Students with Hearing Loss
Teaching Students with Visual Impairment
Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairments - Summary
In general, advice for teaching students with mild or moderate visual impairment parallels the advice for teaching students with hearing loss, though with obvious differences because of the nature of the students’ disabilities. The three main strategies are: 1. Take advantage of the student’s residual vision. 2. Use non-visual information liberally. 3. Include the student in the community of the classroom. Strategy 1: Take advantage of the student’s residual vision The teacher should: • Place the student (If the student still has some useful vision) where he or she can easily see the most important parts of the classroom—whether that is the teacher, the chalkboard, a video screen or particular fellow students. • Make sure that the classroom, or at least the student’s part of it, is well lit (because good lighting makes reading easier with low vision). • Make sure that handouts, books and other reading materials have good, sharp contrast. Strategy 2: Use non-visual information liberally The teacher should: • Remember not to expect a student with visual impairment to learn information that is by nature only visual, such as the layout of the classroom, the appearance of photographs in a textbook or of story lines in a video. These need to be explained to the student. • Use hands-on materials wherever they will work, such as maps printed in three-dimensional relief or with different textures. • Allow the student to use Braille, if the student knows how to read it (Braille: an alphabet for the blind using patterns of small bumps on a page). Strategy 3: Include the student in the community of the classroom The teacher should: • Make sure that the student is accepted as well as possible into the social life of the class. • Recruit classmates to help explain visual material when necessary. • Learn a bit of basic Braille and encourage classmates of the student to do the same.