Teaching Tips - Visual Impairments

  • Let your Disability Services Office know what course material you are using.
  • Create a list of books and tools you use over a semester. Share it with your disability services officers so that they can get the material into alternative formats for blind students. Don't wait until the last minute, as it sometimes takes months to get material into an adaptive format.
  • Do not assume that a blind student knows Braille. Only a small percentage of students with visual impairments know and use Braille.
  • Do not assume that blind students have great technological skills. A student who has been blind since birth probably has a better knowledge of alternative format technology than someone who recently  lost his sight. Also, the level of technology instruction in K-12 varies widely, so some students may come to college better prepared than others. Knowing their skills helps you to better help them.
  • When writing on the black board, be sure to say out loud what you're writing.
  • Consider the student with a visual impairment when you're showing a film in class. If it's available, get a copy of the film in audio-described format. This allows the student to hear descriptions of important scenes. Or you can have other students explain what is being shown on the screen. With both these accommodations, you'll need to have the student view the film in another room so other students will not be disturbed.
  • When having classroom discussions, encourage all students to say their names before they talk. This can help the student with a visual impairment keep up with the conversations.


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