IEP Accommodations for Students with Visual Impairments

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Students with visual impairments have a variety of unique learning needs. Let's looks at some of the ways teachers can support these students by providing accommodations.

Visual Impairments Accomodations

Children who are visually impaired have the same potential for learning as any other student. Poor vision does not automatically result in lower cognitive abilities, lower IQ scores, or poor academic achievement. With appropriate accommodations, visually impaired students learn the same content, at the same pace as the rest of their class.

Accommodations are the way a teacher changes how a student learns the material, without changing the content itself. Students with disabilities often need accommodations to help give them equal access to the curriculum. For example, a student with poor reading skills may not be able to read the same level text at the same pace as the rest of their class. By allowing them to listen to an audio recording, a teacher is providing a way for the student to access the text by removing the barrier of reading it all themselves. This student would still complete comprehension questions, tests, and other assignments related to the book with their peers to demonstrate their understanding.

Accommodations and the IEP

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP), is a legally binding written document detailing the goals, accommodations, and progress of a student with a disability. Once a student qualifies for special education, their IEP team is assembled. This team includes the student, their parents, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, the principal, and other specialists as needed. They work together to gather data, set goals, determine appropriate accommodations, and monitor the student's progress throughout the school year. In order to guarantee that a student will get the accommodations they need, they must be written into the IEP, which is signed by all team members.

A child with visual impairments would qualify for special education if their disability affects their academic performance. At this point, the team determines the issues that need to be addressed and how to best help the student reach their potential.

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