Instructional Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Working with students with visual impairments can be a challenging job for any teacher. This lesson will discuss ways that teachers can support these students by adapting their instruction.

Students with Visual Impairments

Joey is a new eighth grade student at Rocky Mountain Junior High with a visual impairment. He is a very capable boy who works hard and enjoys school. With appropriate classroom adaptations, he is able to keep up with his peers in school and is particularly bright in science class. He loves science, and hopes to work in a career in technology someday.

Joey's teachers have never taught a student with visual impairments before. The vision specialist with the school district plans to hold a training meeting for Joey's teachers before the school year begins. This meeting will prepare them for making appropriate accommodations and adaptations in the classroom to help Joey be successful at his new school.

Students with visual impairments, like Joey, have the same intelligence, or potential for learning, as any other student. Teachers should expect that a student with vision loss, who has no other disabilities, will be able to perform at the same level and pace as their peers. However, their success depends largely on the adaptations made in the classroom.

Instructional Adaptations

Instructional adaptations are changes that teachers make to the classroom environment that provide students with equal access to the curriculum. Adaptations include accommodations, or changes made to the way a student learns, as well as modifications, which are changes to the actual learning content.

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