Working with a Student With a Visual Disability

  • The type or degree of a student’s visual impairment can vary significantly. For example, some students are completely blind while others may have blurry or blank areas in parts of their visual field. 
  • Let the student know that you are available for assistance but do not assume that assistance is needed.
  • Ask the student if you may orient him/her to a room and/or any obstacles.
  • If a lab or other in-class assignment requires filling out a form or worksheet or labeling items, be sure to tactfully arrange a willing partner if no one is automatically there to assume that role.
  • Students with partial vision who are legally blind may appear to have no problem, but reading normal sized print may be impossible. Be sensitive to that possibility and do not distribute materials to read and work with on the spot unless you have provided a large print or recorded version.
  • The student is responsible for making sure classroom and academic needs are known. The instructor is responsible for assuring educational program accessibility.
  • If there are questions or concerns, talk with the student after class or in private. In addition, the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations needs to know if there is an unsolved problem.