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Who are Student with Visual Disabilities?

Students with visual disabilities have a loss or absence of vision to such an extent that it impacts on activities of daily living. Blindness and low vision can affect educational performance, even with correction. Students who are blind or who have low vision may require the use of specialized eye glasses, adaptive technology, canes, and guide dogs.

Things to Consider

With the appropriate accommodations, students with visual disabilities should be able to participate fully in class activities. Barriers can generally be minimized or eliminated with advance planning and the use of adaptive equipment.

The majority of students with visual disabilities will require their material in alternate formats such as audiotape, Braille, enlarged print, or in a digital format. Therefore, it is important that instructors prepare materials as far in advance as possible.

Some students with visual disabilities use a guide dog to assist with their mobility.

What Instructors Might Do

  • Offer enlarged print copies or electronic versions of handouts;
  • Always identify yourself when speaking to the student one-on-one and inform them when you are leaving the room.
  • Face the class when speaking;
  • Convey in spoken words all material written on blackboard, overheads, or slides;
  • Consult with the student and their Disabilities Services Office regarding how to manage use of spur-of-the-moment reading materials;


Updated on October 18th, 2013.