During today’s class, some fellow teacher education students delivered a workshop exploring how to support blind and low vision students in inclusive classrooms. A variety of resources were provided, and I’ve shared some of the highlights below.
What Do Blind People See?
Imagining a life from a blind or low vision perspective can be challenging for people who have always had sight. The video below gives a glimpse into how a blind person might experience their surroundings, and reminds us that there are many different ways for people to “see” the world!
Art is one subject that may be intimidating for teachers to tackle when considering the needs of blind and low vision students. The key message of the workshop was to re-imagine your art program for all students- not just blind and low vision students. One example would be to use physical models (e.g. C-3PO) and ask your students to recreate the model using plasticine and their sense of touch. This can be a powerful exercise in exploring the role of our other senses (e.g. touch) in creative arts. Check out this post for some other considerations for making art accessible to all your students.
A beautiful resource
This book was provided as an exemplary resource that uses raised illustrations and Braille letters to help students imagine living (and reading) without the use of one’s eyes. It would be a valuable addition to any teacher’s library!
For more information on what the assessment data and specialized education plan might look like for a blind/low vision elementary student in Ontario, check out this sample Individual Education Plan (IEP) provided by EduGAINS. While this may not be a challenge faced in every classroom, teachers must be aware of how to support every learner and foster a climate of inclusion throughout the school community.