Social Studies Adaptations 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 some strategies for accommodating students with visual impairments in social studies class. This lesson will discuss the importance of using strategies and instructional tools as adaptations to provide equitable access to the curriculum.

Adapting for Social Studies

Social studies is a favorite class for many students, but learners with visual impairments may sometimes feel left out. This is because social studies class often requires a lot of visual input: videos, maps, posters, art, and other graphic instructional tools to reinforce the content.

It is essential for social studies teachers to make adaptations to the content delivery in order to meet the needs of students with visual impairments and make the curriculum accessible to them. Let's go over some strategies for making modifications to social studies instruction for students with visual impairments.

General Instructional Tools

Social studies class often involves a lot of teacher lecturing. Therefore, teachers often rely on supplemental materials to maintain student interest and reinforce content. These can include maps, pictures, posters, models, and even charts and graphs.

A student with visual impairments, even when given preferential seating, may have trouble seeing visual aids used during lecturing. One option is to allow students to use a monocular, which is quite small and works like a telescope to enlarge objects that are at least 15 feet away.

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