Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

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  • 0:04 Blind or Low Vision
  • 1:19 Rates of Vision Impairment
  • 1:48 Levels of Vision Impairment
  • 2:22 In the Classroom
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Working with students who are blind or have low vision requires a unique awareness along with special accommodations. This lesson will explore the issues faced by blind and low vision students and will end with a brief quiz to see what you have learned.

Blind or Low Vision

Take a moment to think about the things you've seen today. Perhaps you awoke to a beautiful sunrise. Maybe you watched the news, read an email, or smiled at the sight of a friend or relative. Right now, you are probably using your eyes to read this lesson. How would you study if you couldn't see?

Many of us take these day-to-day sights for granted because we have no idea what life is like without them. However, this is the reality for people who are blind or have low vision. Let's take a moment to define the terms 'blind' and 'low vision' along with prevalence and then we'll discuss how blindness or vision impairment affects students.

Being blind means that an individual cannot see at all or has very little visual ability. Someone who has low vision can usually see some things but may struggle to see things at certain distances, or in different levels of light. For some people, vision impairment is present at birth due to genetics or toxins in the womb. This is called congenital blindness.

Others may lose sight later in life due to damage to the structures of the eye such as the cornea, the clear coating on the front of the eye, or the retina, a structure at the back of the eyeball that helps us process light and sends information to the optic nerve. Illness, such as diabetes, can damage the blood vessels in the eye to impair vision.

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