Blind students can adapt to a classroom and perform like any other student. Classmates may need help in understanding how to interact with a blind peer and what to do to socially include them. A blind person in the classroom can bring life experiences and share perspectives that benefit all learners and can enrich the group’s learning experience.
Does your blind student or child need a teacher who specializes in visual impairment? Contact your district’s special education department to help. Mobility training and braille literacy are examples of specialized skills that are important in a blind child’s education.
Create an Accessible Classroom.
The best way to make your classroom accessible and inclusive is to first talk to the blind student and his parents. What classroom adaptations and teaching methods work best for this student? Also reach out to your special education department to understand your district’s approach. In addition, you can consult resources to guide you on inclusive teaching techniques and helpful strategies. Try things out and see what works, maintain an ongoing dialogue with the student and parent to monitor success, and enjoy this unique teaching opportunity.
Make Inclusion a Priority.
Create opportunities for students to better understand the unique experience and perspective of your blind student. Encourage them to reach out and include their blind classmate in informal and formal social activities. Talk to coaches and leaders of extracurricular activities about inclusive opportunities on sports teams, a theater production, chorus, debate club and so on. Frequently check in with the student to see how they are feeling and what interests they’d like to pursue further.
Having a blind student in the classroom is a great opportunity for everyone to learn about diverse life experiences. Encourage your students to ask their blind classmate about his or her unique perspective.