There are approximately 330,000 blind or vision-impaired people in Australia, and although there are many resources devoted to helping vision-impaired students, there are very few tips on how to support vision-impaired teachers. If you are a vision-impaired individual who is thinking about becoming a teacher or an administrator who is hiring a vision-impaired teacher, you will be happy to know that vision-impaired people can easily and effectively be teachers. Here are five tips on making that job easier:
1. Overhead projector can be used to display visual information.
Rather than writing on a blackboard, vision-impaired teachers should use an overhead projector to display visual information. This approach gives teachers the chance to make their visual displays before class, and the projector displays can be used repeatedly from year to year.
For more information on projectors and projector hire, contact a business such as Audio Visual Events.
2. Vision-impaired teachers should have access to assistive technology.
Assistive technology can be instrumental in supporting vision-impaired students, but this technology can also be important for vision-impaired teachers. In addition to using a projector as a substitute for a chalkboard, vision-impaired teachers should have access to tools such as text-to-speech programs, screen magnification and other types of technology.
3. A seating chart allows a vision-impaired teacher to know where the students are.
A seating chart allows a vision-impaired teacher to know where his or her students are. Many vision-impaired teachers also prefer to walk around the classroom rather than stand at the front. This approach brings the teacher closer to the students, decreasing the potential that they will move around or misbehave. As the teacher moves around the classroom and asks the students questions, he or she is also able to hear if the students are in their correct seats.
4. A sighted-aide can be essential to a vision-impaired teacher.
Unfortunately, a teacher with vision impairment may not be able to do all of the same tasks as a sighted teacher. Ideally, these teachers should be supported by sighted aides. A sighted aide can help with tasks such as writing down grades on report cards or with monitoring students to ensure that they are not cheating during a test.
5. Vision-impaired teachers should be allowed to trade tasks with sighted teachers.
Just as vision-impaired teachers should be allowed to rely on a sighted aide, they should also be able to trade tasks with sighted teachers. For example, if teachers are required to take turns watching students on the playground, vision-impaired teachers should be able to trade that task with a sighted teacher in exchange for handling another task that can be completed without sight.