Visual Impairments


The term "visual impairments" reflects the notion that students may have varying levels of impairment -from low vision to blindness. Faculty can make a big difference in students' success by ensuring that they provide materials in an appropriate format in a timely fashion.

Possible student characteristics

  • Struggle with glare or reduced lighting.
  • Difficulty learning visual  concepts.
  • Difficulty getting to class because of transportation problems.
  • May depend on a service animal to get to class.

Possible accommodations

Decisions as to appropriate accommodations should be made on a case-by-case basis. No particular accommodations are appropriate for all students, but below are some common ones offered students with visual impairments.

  • Alternative text.
  • Brailled text.
  • Material in large print text.
  • Scan/Read technology  (such as Kurzweil, JAWS).
  • Extended time.
  • Preferred seating.
  • Readers.
  • Enlarged  print.
  • Distraction-reduced testing environment.
  • Note-takers or tape recorders.


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