Classroom Design 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 making modifications to their classroom design in order to accommodate for students with visual impairments. The lesson will include specific strategies for making changes to the learning environment.

Modifications for Students with Visual Impairments

There are many instructional resources and tools to help students with visual impairments succeed in an academic setting, from computer screen-reading programs to illuminated magnifiers. Many students receive these tools as part of their Individualized Education Plan, or I.E.P. When accommodating for students with visual impairments, also consider how to make your classroom design more accessible.

Let's take a look at specific strategies that teachers can use in their classroom to accommodate students with visual impairments.

Easy Navigation

Consider how easy it would be for students with visual impairments to find their way around your classroom. Desks should be arranged in such a way that students can participate fully, whether you're lecturing at the interactive white board or having students engage in group discussions.

Make sure to leave large spaces in between rows of desks, including enough room for students with limited mobility. Keep the floor free from clutter, and teach students ways that they can be considerate classmates. For example, remind students to:

  • Push in their chairs
  • Throw away trash
  • Close doors, drawers, and cabinets

These items can pose a safety hazard to students with visual impairments, so have all students participate in creating a safe learning environment.

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