Visual Impairment – What is it like?

Visual Impairment – What is it like?

Have you ever been asked to present for disability awareness week? Were you asked to talk to a class that just finished reading The Miracle Worker? Do you have a new student starting a  school that you think the students or teachers need awareness of visual disabilities?

Here is a tool to help you! (the title is a link to the TSBVI page) I have made this as a kit several times and left it behind when I moved so it was ready to go for the next TVI. I color coded the stations for easy set up. I made a set of 60 blindfolds out of cloth so they were washable. Here are some of the other things I did by station.

  1. Station 1 – I bought a game which came with 20 different canisters of smell. Kept the smells contained and didn’t leak!
  2. Station 2 – I always taught sighted guide before hand. Never know if my student might need someone’s assistance. The end of the route had a bowl of mixed candies. The blindfolded person had to chose an item without looking. When the people switched to walk back, the second group had a bowl of candy on their end with completely different choices.
  3. Station 3 – I created a USB drive with wav sound files. This could also be on an iPod or iPad.
  4. Station 4 – brailling your own name was the most meaningful. I also brought real braille sentences for them to transcribe — way better than printed braille.
  5. Station 5 – the games I used were checkers, tic-tac-toe, connect four, and dominoes
  6. Station 6 – A favorite station. I also created a second activity so they partners could switch. It usually went smoother since they had already established a communication system. It was great for talking about how communication is so important.
  7. Station 7 – I created two different bags of items. I stored these in cloth bags and kept them together. One bag had more difficult items for high school students and adults.
  8. Station 8 – I made many more pictures which were more complex. I laminated these to be used over again. I made sure to include paper and pencils since most people didn’t bring any with them.

This continues to be my favorite form of in-service as it talks about the strengths a person can build instead of the ‘this is hard’ mentality. Using your senses is highlighted and the beauty of braille is explored.

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