Strategies for Teaching Young 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 strategies for teaching early childhood students with visual impairments. The lesson will include suggestions for supporting these students during the pre-K and kindergarten years.

Preparing Students for Success

The pre-K and kindergarten years are a critical time for children. Early childhood teachers help lay the foundation for students' success from first grade through high school graduation. Students with visual impairments will need extra support to help them adjust to a new environment when they begin school. Let's look at some strategies for supporting students with visual impairments in the early childhood years.

Adapting the Classroom

Young students with visual impairments may need time before the school year begins to acclimate to the learning environment without any distractions. Allow students to walk around, sit in their assigned seat, find their cubby, explore different areas of the room, and walk to the bathroom, cafeteria, and playground.

You can help support students by maintaining the same seating arrangement and classroom layout all year. If you do need to make any changes, allow plenty of time for students with visual impairments to adapt.

The Daily Routine

Many pre-K and kindergarten classrooms begin each day by going over the daily schedule, talking about the weather, and discussing the day's options for lunch in the cafeteria. This routine helps mentally prepare students for the day's activities.

Use enlarged and large-print calendars, menus, and weather charts to make the morning discussion accessible to students with visual impairments.

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