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Tips for teaching visually impaired students

 Undiagnosed sight loss may explain underperformance in the classroom. The Macular Society, a national sight loss charity, has produced resources to help make lessons accessible for visually impaired (VI) students.

There are thousands of VI children across the UK. While many simply need prescription glasses, others have genetic conditions that glasses cannot correct.

Initially, children may not know there is something wrong and adapt as best they can. Problems can occur at any age, so even if a child has been screened, it may still be appropriate to recommend a sight test. Delays in diagnosis and providing the right support can lead to disengagement and behavioural issues.

Signs for teachers to look out for include the following:

  1. Reluctance to join in
  2. Headaches
  3. Unusual head posture
  4. Intolerance to bright light
  5. Reading difficulties          

Download free resources to make a range of subjects more accessible for VI students.

The Macular Society provides counselling for parents struggling with their child’s diagnosis and can connect families to offer peer support. Call the helpline on 0300 3030 111 for more information.

First published 30 November 2017