VI – Visual Impairment
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Visual impairment refers to people with irretrievable sight loss. There are between one and a half and two million visually impaired people in the UK. and this simple definition covers a wide spectrum of different impairments. Only about one in five registered blind people can be described as seeing nothing at all: many technically blind people have some useful perception of light and shape. The level of a person’s visual impairment may vary according to lighting conditions and from one day to the next. It may be an unchanging condition or it could be one that is gradually deteriorating.
Teach within a specialist provision
Visually impaired students
Many visually impaired students are not easily identified as such. It is almost impossible to tell anything about type of sight loss and the learning support needs of a student simply by appearance.
The way in which a student’s visual impairment affects their access needs can be influenced by:
– The age at which they became visually impaired and their previous educational experience
– Whether they have any other impairments
– How much training and support they have received since becoming visually impaired
– The strategies and skills they have developed.
Unique & individual strategies
The major challenge facing visually impaired students in education is the extent of visual material that is used in the classroom. In addition, the increase in the use of films, videotapes, computers, laser disks, and television adds to the volume of visual material to which they have only limited access. To assist in overcoming a student’s visual limitation requires unique and individual strategies based on that student’s particular visual impairment and his/her skill of communication (e.g., Braille, speed listening, etc.).