Discussion Posts

Part 1:Please write 3 -4 paragraphs on this topic in APA format with citations to follow. This should be based off of the classroom setting within grades 7-12:Visual Impairment Mobility is one of the biggest challenges for students with visual impairments. Please address the following questions in your main response:1. What are some physical changes you could make to your classroom (let’s assume that it is a fairly typical middle or high school classroom in terms of layout) that would help a student with visual impairments have more freedom of movement?2. Also, what are some changes you could make to your teaching/teaching style that would facilitate the inclusion of a student with visual impairments in your class?Part 2:Please respond to these 6 people. Read what they have wrote then write a response for each individual person. Example : Hello Tyler, Great post. I believe so and so. I also agree with that but also believe this. Etc.
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Part 1
Please write 3 -4 paragraphs on this topic in APA format with citations to follow. This should be based
off of the classroom setting within grades 7-12:
Visual Impairment
Mobility is one of the biggest challenges for students with visual impairments. Please address the
following questions in your main response:
1. What are some physical changes you could make to your classroom (let’s assume that it is a
fairly typical middle or high school classroom in terms of layout) that would help a student with
visual impairments have more freedom of movement?
2. Also, what are some changes you could make to your teaching/teaching style that would
facilitate the inclusion of a student with visual impairments in your class?
Part 2:
Please respond to these 6 people. Read what they have wrote then write a response for each individual
person. Example : Hello Tyler, Great post. I believe so and so. I also agree with that but also believe this.
Etc.
Tanya:
What I found most interesting while reading this chapter of Turnbull was the idea that so much of
what we learn from a young age is by incidents; while we were looking at the pictures in a picture
book, we are incidentally learning more about just the story–we are learning about what the picture
shows us. As a student with a visual impairment, those incidences are lacking, and therefore,
students with visual impairments have lacking experience in the things we learn coincidentally.
As a teacher, there are many things that I could do to my classroom layout to help students with
visual impairments move around with more freedom. According to Turnbull et al. (2016), “O&M
[orientation and mobility], an IDEA-related service, encompasses skills that people with visual
impairments use to know where they are in their environment and how to move around that
environment safely” (p. 332). While those without visual impairments are able to move about freely,
without a second thought, those with visual impairments must learn to listen to their surroundings or
walk with the help of an aide, a TVI, or a walking cane/stick. To ensure a student’s safety, I would
make sure the classroom is organized and free of any obstructions (cords, misplaced papers,
carpets not aligned properly). Additionally, it is imperative that we maintain the same structure
throughout the classroom. If the desks are set up as groups, then the student with visual
impairments should be introduced to the seating arrangement independently and if a new
arrangement is necessary, then the student should be able to experience it independently as well,
prior to the rest of the class arriving. Allowing a student with a visual impairment this time to
acclimate is essential, as a new setup could be anxiety-inducing and stressful. Additionally, I think
sitting that student closest to the door (for both emergencies and accessibility) would be best.
Closely examining the child’s IEP would be the best way to find out what exactly is necessary to
ensure the student’s success, but it is also a great way to locate student goals and difficulties. As
such, working with a team of teachers and family members who know what works best for the
student will be key throughout the school year. Per a child’s IEP, seating arrangements may be
mentioned, for example. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, a student with visual impairments is
oftentimes lacking experiences that others have had incidentally, like the example of walking through
a forest. As such, I would make sure to discuss any pre-work that must be done with this student to
fulfill the goals of the assignment. Is the student able to make the same connections as the other
students? Is the student knowledgable about the subject matter? What research can we do
together? How can I give this student the same experiences as others?
Like many of my peers, I would also try my best to adapt the assignments–thinking about the font
colors, sizes, and paper it is printed on. If I could, I would find ways to incorporate braille into my
lessons. If I were able to buy texts for visually impaired students, I would do so in a heartbeat. But,
unlike teaching in a general education classroom, working with students with visual impairments
pushes you to think about things you haven’t had to before–should I print my handout on black
paper with white writing? The opposite? What is going to work best for all my students, not just those
who can read the text in a book?
References:
Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Wehmeyer, M., Shogren, K. (2016). Exceptional lives: Special education in
today’s schools. 8th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
Brooke:
In the classroom, making it clean and easy to get around can make a student with a visual
impairment start off on the right track. Not worrying about entering a room and not knowing where to
go or what the best way is to get to their seat can be fearful and troublesome for that student.
Making sure my room is clear of anything he or she can trip over. Also, keeping it familiar for that
student, his or her desk being in the same spot every class with a clear path from the door. Even
having something as simple as a white desk so he or she can see everything clearer on their desk
will make it easier.
Essentials for students with visual impairments are braille, print, audiotapes, and access technology
((Turnbull et al, 2016, p.322). All these help in some way or another to improve the students
education with the right help and care. Screen readers can help students hear to text during class,
as too not have to slow down and become behind. Or having larger text during presentations so not
only the children can see but the student can also feel like they belong.
“General educators need to feel confident that their classroom and lessons will be accessible to their
students with visual impairments” (2016, p.328). Just as I would have with hearing impaired
students, making sure it is a group effort is important. Working as a team with everyone who is
involved in this students life can give reassurance to not only me but in his home as well. Giving this
student work assignments before hand or extra time can help them succeed. Using things like
magnification devices can be used not only in school but also at home so they can do work at home
as well and take more time if needed. Especially as you speak with family and make sure you both
are on the same page.
I like how Turnbull mentioned to provide opportunities to apply basic concepts and operations in real
life situations. (2016, p.332). Making sure this student has been given chances to work with peers
and get the opportunity to have relationships. This is very important, as these students do not live
the same everyday life as students with better vision. Even teaching this student a board game
during some free time, and then having them be able to play with other students once they learn it
can really help their social skills and making new friends.
Kelly:
A physical room change to accommodate a student with visual impairment would be to make sure
there are clear and wide paths for the students to walk. This may be done best by clumping desks
together (rather than keeping them in narrow rows). Some other changes that would help students
with visual impairment include (Willings, 2016):
•
•
•
•
Making sure other students keep the aisles free of stuff (backpacks, books, clothes, etc), and
that they tuck in their chairs
Keep classroom items in a consistent location
Tape down any rolling-up rugs and cords to avoid tripping
Create landmarks within the room using brightly colored or textured items. Colored items have
the potential to work because about 90% of people with visual impairments have some
functional vision remaining (American Foundation for the Blind, 2018)
As far as changes to my teaching, I would make sure the student has access to a set of notes for
each lesson. If necessary and possible, I’d provide the notes as large print version, or get it
translated into braille for him. I’d also allow the student to record class discussions if he found this
helpful (to relisten to what happened in class). I’d also reach out to more experienced teachers and
TVIs to determine some tools they’ve found effective for students with visual impairment.
American Foundation for the Blind (2018). Educational Interventions for Students with Low
Vision. Retrieved from: http://www.afb.org/info/teachers/educational-interventions-for-students-withlow-vision-2646/35
Willings, C. (2016). Classroom design tips. Retrieved
from: https://www.teachingvisuallyimpaired.com/classroom-design-tips.html
Danielle:
In order to increase mobility for students with visual impairments, I would modify some physical
elements within the classroom to provide more freedom of movement. Firstly, I would ensure a clear
pathway from the entrance of the classroom to the student’s desk. Additionally, I may assign them a
desk further away from the main door or any high traffic areas (would also assign everyone else seats
to avoid singling out the student). An example of this would be ensuring that there is not a trash can
immediately by their desk. The student will still need to “listen to the flow of traffic” in order to get to
their seat, but the “traffic” will not immediately impact their ability to focus (Turnbull et. al, 2016, p.
332). Other physical changes I would make would be to require all students to place their
backpacks/belongings completely under their own desk or hung on the back of their seats. I have seen
many students and teachers trip because a student’s items blocked the pathway between desks. I
imagine this would be instrumental in providing more free space for the student to move. Furthermore,
I might have the students in groups as opposed to rows of desks. Another physical change I might
make is to put tennis balls at the bottom of all chairs. This will reduce the sounds of desk scooting,
which might allow the student to “detect” other “objects in the environment” (2016, p. 332).
Some changes that I would make in my teaching is to review my lesson plans as though I “can’t see”
and determine where my lesson plans need to be changed in order to accommodate a student with a
visual impairment (2016, p. 339). I would try to find materials that can be substituted into braille if
possible. Additionally, I might incorporate more speaking in-class assignments that are discussion
based as opposed to worksheets. This would provide students the opportunity to work through difficult
concepts verbally among their grouped tables so that they might transfer them later into written format.
Furthermore, I might record classroom sessions (not videotape) and evaluate whether or not my
instructions and assignments can be understood without seeing anything. This would help me to
continually evaluate how I am communicating; it would also help me find ways to avoid singling out
the student during instructional periods.
Amanda:
Some physical changes that would be made to the classroom to help a visually
impaired student have more freedom of movement by clearing the class of clutter, trip
hazards, and ensuring that the student was seated in such a way to integrate them right
in with others. (Turnbull, Turnbull, Wehmeyer, & Shogren, 2016). Accommodating their
special needs also might entail equipment for use, I would still try to have the student
incorporated in class as best as possible. Large print labels would be developed for
bookshelves, lockers, etcetera, possibly Braille if needed, or even tactile symbols to
help denote the student’s chair. (IRIS, 2005). From personal experience, I would
prepare the space by using brightly colored tape or red tape around thresholds or any
transition area areas to help aid mobility too. Ensuring that chairs are pushed in and
doors are either fully open or closed would become more important among the priorities
to be mindful of.
When working with visually impaired students providing specific directions and
considering their levels of spatial understanding are best practices. While offering
instructions or directions providing phrases such as the computers are to your left, the
bathroom is 4 ft in front of you, or the chalkboard is 90 degrees to your left to help them
orient themselves in the classroom. Also, avoid stating something is over there or just
pointing, according to the IRIS module (2005). I might start to use felt tip pens instead of
gel ink pens to help visual aids. classroom materials would be also available on Google
classrooms allowing the student access from a computer. Another tool that might be
useful are books on tape or other accommodative devices or applications available. to
help facilitate the inclusion of a visually impaired student I would also speak with the
Students family, O&M specialist, and a teacher of students with visual impairments
(TVI) or the paraprofessionals that work with them for advice. (IRIS, 2005). An
alternative means of assessment might be available opposed to written assessments.
Offering the student a scribe or whatever tools are listed in their 504 plan would be the
way I would approach assessing this visually impaired student.
References:
The IRIS Center. (2005). Accommodations to the physical environment: Setting up a
classroom for students with visual disabilities. Retrieved from

Accommodations to the Physical Environment: Setting Up a Classroom for Students with Visual Disabilities


Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Shogren, K. A. (2016). Exceptional lives:
Special education in today’s schools. Boston, MA: Pearson.

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