Best practice tips for blind and low vision

Best practice tips are strategies that have been evaluated in other settings, target a relevant factor (such as a teaching style that lowers student anxiety), or is considered best practice by experts in the field.

Encourage clear communication

Give clear directions. Words such as “this”, “that”, “there” and “here” might not make sense to some students who are blind or low vision, if they can’t see what you are indicating. Consider using specific words and statements to direct students, for example “Please put the box on the table”.

Develop students’ communication skills. Asking a student questions or giving detailed instructions can help students develop their communication skills. Using short and simple sentences and having predictable and repetitive routines can also be helpful.

Use short and simple sentences. Sentences and instructions are more helpful when they are short, clear, and simple.

Read aloud as you write. Consider reading aloud anything you write on a board in a slow and clear voice. Check that the student has had time to complete their note taking.

Encourage students to be involved

Increase active participation. Giving students who are blind or low vision plenty of opportunities to be involved in class activities can help them feel a part of the class.

Be proactive

Give students work early. Consider handing out work to students who are blind or low vision, or their families, before a class or term so they can pre-learn the material.

You may contact Braille and Large Print Services to have certain materials reformatted.

Tailor teaching to students' needs

Allow more time. Some blind and low vision students may need more time to read material.

Consider the learning environment

De-cluttering might help students who are blind or low vision focus. Having a simple classroom structure might help students move around the classroom safely.

Consider removing unnecessary furniture and objects.

Keep things in the same place. Let a student know if you are moving something and show them where it is being moved.