Adapting Materials for Students with Visual Impairments

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers will learn strategies for adapting lesson materials to better meet the needs of students with visual impairments for equitable access to the curriculum.

Adapting Materials

Take a look at a random sample of the books, worksheets, and other instructional materials you use in your classroom. Would a student with a visual impairment be able to use these materials easily? Most likely, the answer is no. Standard classroom materials are designed for sighted students.

Students with visual impairments will typically need adapted materials to fully access the school curriculum. Adaptations include modifications made to text, materials, instruction, and resources to make them accessible to students with disabilities.

Let's look at some strategies for adapting materials for students with visual impairments.

Text

The kind of text adaptations you make will depend on your students' individual needs and preferences. Some examples are braille, large print, assistive devices, tactile books, and audio books.

Braille

Some students may read braille, in which case you should include a variety of braille books in your classroom library. Another option is to purchase braille-print books, which have both braille and printed text on each page so that sighted students and adults can read along with students who have visual impairments.

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