The 2018 Disability Conference promotes the accessibility and inclusivity of various institutions and provides support to differently-abled people and their families. It inclines with the conference focus of equipping differently-abled people to have the same opportunities as everyone else. In line with this, institutions like schools have to ensure that all students have equal chances and access to learning.
For students who are dealing with notable visual impairment, the students must have access to a Certified Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI), including a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) for consultation. However, there are practical tips teacher can implement for teaching visually impaired students inside the classroom, and these are:
- Addressing The Students By Their Name
Teachers should speak to their students using their names, whether they are visually impaired or not. For visually impaired students, addressing them with their names allows them to distinguish when their teachers are talking to them or asking them a question. Teachers should approach all the students by their names to help visually impaired students identify their other classmates and create connections inside the classroom. They should also encourage all their students to do the same when they’re talking with each other.
- Always Explain Visual Materials
You have to clearly explain all the visual materials you’re using while you’re teaching visually impaired students. In this way, all of your students can participate and will feel included in conversations. You should describe the image, and if you’re writing on the chalkboard or whiteboard, it’s best to dictate the words. Avoid using gestures so that everyone can gain access to the information and follow along. Always use positional concepts such as behind/in front or left/right and descriptive sentences.
- Provide Beneficial Seats
Organize advantageous seats for your students who are visually impaired to help them become comfortable and safe inside the room. For example, if a student is only capable of using his/ her left eye, then place him/her on the right side of the classroom. Avoid making them sit facing a light source as well so that they won’t face difficulties.
- Treat All Your Students Fairly
As much as you are making adjustments for your visually impaired students, it’s also essential that you uphold them on the same rules and behavioral expectations like everyone else in the class. Avoid giving preference treatments to them so that they’ll feel like one of their peers inside the classroom.