What is Visual Impairment?
Approximately 500,000 Americans have vision impairment to the point where they are considered "legally blind." However, there are several degrees of visual impairment.
Only 2 % of people with visual impairments are totally blind. Most people have some scope of vision.
Blind students have the ability to gain access to information through a variety of different methods. Students can use Braille, taped texts, readers, raised line drawings, talking computer terminals and other such equipment.
Partially sighted students have similar ways to access information. They may use material with larger print, magnifying devices, and large print computer terminals. Although some students are able to take notes in class by printing large letters, others may find it more helpful to tape record lectures or notetakers.
How can the professor help?
In order to enhance the student’s learning experience and increase the accessibility of the course material, we suggest the following strategies. Please be reminded that these are only general recommendations meant to support other accommodations.
It is important to remember that there is a wide range of abilities among visually impaired students. Some students may benefit where others do not from certain services. Most students however will require some adaptations for taking exams. Such accommodations may include: Braille or large-print text, a reader, a scribe, or a computer. Students may also need extended time on tests, especially if they are reading the test themselves.