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Students with visual impairments are infants, toddlers, children and youths who experience impairments of the visual system that impact their ability to learn.
There are three classification systems for individuals with visual impairment that are used by education professionals. However, this federal classification system is used primarily to determine eligibility for adult agency services.
To implement appropriate classroom accommodations for students with visual impairment, these students are also classified according to their level of functional vision: Low vision — students use their vision as their primary sensory channel Functionally blind — students can use limited vision for functional tasks but need their tactile and auditory channels for learning Totally blind — students use tactile and auditory channels for learning and functional tasks A third classification system exists is based on the advent of the visual impairment itself: Congenital — occurs during fetal development, at birth or immediately following birth; visual impairment is present before visual memory has been established Adventitious — occurs after having normal vision either through a hereditary condition or trauma; visual memory may remain.
Students with congenital visual impairment typically have more difficulty mastering visually strengthened concepts such as spatial orientation and many environmental concepts. Prevalence It is difficult to obtain an exact prevalence of visual impairment due to the often hidden nature of visual impairment in special education.
Many students with visual impairments also have additional coexisting impairments and are thus classified in an alternate disability category.
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities reports that the rate of occurrence for visual impairments in individuals under the age of 18 is at the rate of Legal or total blindness occurs at a rate of. Current special education demographics obtained from the American Foundation for the Blind report that there are: Some common causes of visual impairment are glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, cataracts, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cortical visual impairment, infection and trauma.
These are just a handful of dozens of conditions impacting sight, and each condition has its own unique characteristics and clinical features.
In addition, the impact of the visual impairment on individual learning is also tied to the onset, the severity, and the type of visual loss, as well as to any coexisting disabilities that may be present in the child.
For this reason, all classroom accommodations, modifications, and strategies must be designed with the individual needs of each student with a visual impairment in mind. There is no one-size-fits-all model.
In addition to decreased visual acuity and visual field, a number of other vision problems may also impact the visual functioning of the student with visual impairment.
There may be issues with sensitivity to light or glare, blind spots in their visual fields, or problems with contrast or certain colors. Factors such as lighting, the environment, fatigue, and emotional status can also impact visual functioning in many of these students throughout the day.
Students who have the same visual condition may use their sight quite differently. A specially trained teacher of students who have visual impairments, working with the IEP team members, can help determine the best adaptations and learning media to use with each student.
Impact on Learning One characteristic that is shared by all students with visual impairment is that these students have a limited ability to learn incidentally from their environment.
It is through sight that much of what we learn is received and processed. The other senses do not fully compensate for the loss of sight.
Touch and hearing can be ineffective substitutes for many individuals. Children with visual impairments must be taught compensatory skills and adaptive techniques in order to be able to acquire knowledge from methods other than sight.
The presence of a visual impairment can potentially impact the normal sequence of learning in social, motor, language and cognitive developmental areas.
Reduced vision often results in a low motivation to explore the environment, initiate social interaction, and manipulate objects. The limited ability to explore the environment may affect early motor development.Visual Awareness and Design The content is a matter of our head and our heart, but the effectiveness is a function of our visual literacy.
Graphic design deals with theme of Nonverbal Message We become what we behold Accomplishing the Goal 1. Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text.
Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be "read" and that meaning can be through a process of reading.
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR BRAILLE LITERACY Diane P.
Wormsley and Frances Mary D'Andrea, Editors REPRINTS Determining the Reading Medium for Students with Visual Impairments: A Diagnostic Teaching Approach*.
Using visual thinking methodologies, Kidspiration provides a cross-curricular visual workspace for K-5 learners. Students combine pictures, text, numbers and spoken words to develop vocabulary, word recognition, reading for comprehension, writing and critical thinking skills.
Visual literacy involves awareness of and reflection on what we experience when we view images, video, and other forms of multimedia. The possibility of integrating visual literacy skills with reading and writing literacies has huge implications for learning as well as for teaching.
Practicing whole body awareness and receptiveness with one, two or three other friends was for a long time my favorite way of developing body literacy skills and energetic strength, but I eventually discovered that my relationship with life is like any other intimate relationships: it really requires one-on-one time!
And the more I make time for it, the deeper and sweeter it becomes.