Blind and Partially Sighted

Definition . Eligibility . Characteristics . Strategies for School . Strategies for Home


Definition

Blindness or partial sight is an impairment in vision that even with correction adversely affects the student's educational performance.

Documentation will assure that the student meets one or more of the following:

  1. Visual acuity - A measure of 20/70 or less in the better eye with best correction recorded in either far point or near point.
  2. Visual field limitation - Angle of vision of 20 degrees or less in the better eye; or
  3. Progressive eye disease - A deteriorating eye condition which will result in loss of visual efficiency (e.g., glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration) as verified by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  4. Cortical visual impairment - A visual loss caused by a disturbance of the posterior visual pathway and/or cortex.

Eligibility

Documentation the student meets one or more of the following:

  1. visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye with best correction recorded in either far point or near point;
  2. visual field limitation - angle of vision is 20 degrees or less in the better eye,
  3. progressive eye disease - a deteriorating eye condition which will result in loss of visual efficiency as verified by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist;
  4. cortical visual impairment - a visual loss caused by a disturbance of the posterior visual pathway and/or cortex.

Characteristics

May include:

  • Students may require more time for assignments and meeting graduation requirements
  • Students may need materials and/or adapted methods
  • Students may exhibit "blindisms", i.e. eye poking
  • Students range from partially sighted to totally blind
  • Partially sighted students may read regular print or require large print or magnification
  • Students may wear corrective lenses
  • Students may frown/grimace or squint while trying to focus
  • Student may have difficulty in mobility
  • Student may have exhibit delayed motor skills
  • Student may be multiply impaired, with two or more impairments
  • Student may need instruction to acquire social skills

Strategies for School 

  • Use hands-on experiences/concrete examples
  • Place in age-appropriate settings
  • Provide vision training (visual utilization)
  • Provide extra time
  • Shorten assignments based on need
  • Provide materials in suitable format
  • Train all professional and service school staff
  • Adapt materials to an appropriate format
  • Plan in advance to facilitate adaptation
  • Use the words "look" and "see" in the usual way
  • Prepare classroom environment for student (clear walkways, proper desk, space for equipment, peer assistance)
  • Have students avoid taking advantage of situations
  • Reproduce all visual materials in large print or Braille with assists of Teacher of Visual Impaired, as needed
  • Collaborate frequently
  • Facilitate a close circle of friends -
  • Use worksheets with black lines
  • Provide preferential seating (front of room)
  • Read aloud as you write on board or overhead projectors and/or provide students with written copy
  • Describe expected behaviors in detail and ask student to communicate expected behavior in detail
  • Use tactile demonstrations to reflect expected behaviors
  • Expect the same behaviors of students with visual needs as you do of general education students
  • Encourage independence; make the student responsible for his/her own behaviors
  • Utilize good organization skills to keep frustration level down
  • Utilize positive verbal reinforcement often and behavior techniques
  • Encourage independence
  • Be consistent
  • Work closely with parents to reinforce home/school behavioral expectations

Strategies for Home

  • Encourage independence
  • Give chores appropriate for age
  • Encourage a circle of friends
  • Use positive reinforcement
  • Encourage good organizational skills
  • Be consistent
  • Participate in community activities