Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How do I plan for a visually impaired student?

Ms. Dorothy,
What do I need to know about working with a visually impaired student? This guy starts in my class next week and I'm a little nervous that I won't know what to do to support him.  I'm sure he has an IEP, but I was hoping you'd have some suggestions of places to start.
- 1st grade teacher

Well, there are some modifications you can make right off the bat, but you will need to know exactly what his visual challenges are, and what recommendations are on his IEP. 

Preferential seating is something you can expect is on his plan. 

Make sure that he is seated close to where you are writing or presenting, and that there are students near him that you expect to follow directions exactly. This is often the first, best option for students with hearing or vision impairments so that they may see and hear your instructions, and then have other students to observe and mimic.

Another consideration might be the size of the text he is expected to work with. Books, worksheets, directions etc. can all be enlarged to make them easier to see and read.

He is a first grader, so you don't need to be nervous. When it comes to this age group, you know what you are doing.  Just get this guy's Educational Plan in your hands as quickly as possible to be sure you are meeting his specific needs.

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