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Adapting Physical Education 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 about the importance of maintaining a safe environment in physical education for students with visual impairments. The lesson will focus on strategies for adapting physical education instruction and materials.

Safety First!

One of your most critical roles as a teacher, coach, or school support staff member is to foster a safe learning environment for all students. In physical education, this can be particularly challenging. For example, physical education often requires that students run around, throw balls, swing bats, and engage in other potentially dangerous activities.

If you are a gym teacher who has students with visual impairments in your classes, you need to be extra diligent in maintaining a safe environment. In addition to ensuring students' safety, your role is also to help students maximize their physical education experience and help prepare them for lifelong fitness and health.

Let's look at some strategies that gym teachers can use to help ensure safety and equitable access to the curriculum for students with visual impairments.

Auditory Adaptations

Teachers of students with visual impairments must always try to use descriptive verbal instructions and directions. This is especially true in physical education. You need to avoid vague descriptors that rely on sight, such as stand here or run over there.

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