|Classroom Tools Reading & Writing Aids Environmental Supports |
Students with low vision often require text materials in large print and/or high contrast, which makes the text easier to read. Strategies can include magnifying text so that it's larger, to moving closer to the source of the text. Several products can assist in typical class activities. Many useful Assistive Technology tools can be found in local stores due to their Universal Design features (such as large button calculators). There are also several excellent online Resources of products designed for students with low vision.
The examples can be used by students in the classroom for different activities.
This Large Print Calendar contains both large print and Braille labels, which can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. (APH Photo)*
Visually impaired students can learn to use their residual vision more efficiently by training with APH's Light Box. Materials are used with it to promote basic visual skills, eye-hand coordination and simple matching tasks (APH Photo)
Reading and writing activities are intricately related. A child learns to write what he has read. Here are some low-tech Assistive Technology solutions to support a child's visual ability.
Lighting can greatly impact a child's ability to see and participate in classroom activities. Don't forget to address lighting and page glare (see below) when setting up a learning environment for a student.
Lamps and lighting are often the key to improved reading. However, what works is very individual. Some students find reading is easiest with very bright directional light illuminating the page. Other students with an identical eye condition, however, prefer low levels of diffused light. Students often prefer fluorescent lights. Check with the child's Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) for information.
Common white paper often reflects a significant glare, which can make the reading process more difficult. Try covering the page with a transparent colored plastic or an acetate sheet, available at stationary stores, to tone down the brightness. Experiment to find the best color for a student.
Large text publications for no, minimal or commercial cost can be found at several sites. You may be required to register; some offer several format options.
Louis (APH book database)
For registered users only
Large Print Books.com
Select the type of book and size of font.
Amazon.com Due to recent legislation mandating that classroom materials be in accessible formats for all students, Large print and audio cassette book formats are also available here.
Harry Potter at Amazon.com: $6.99
Each book in the Harry Potter book series is available for $6.99; including: Paperback, Audio Cassette (Unabridged), Audio CD (Unabridged) and Large Print.
For students with low vision who benefit from large print, a video magnifier (sometimes referred to as a CCTV,) may provide the best access to diagrams, graphs, maps, math, forms and other print material not stored on a computer. Most are stand-alone devices with a moveable table, a camera with a zoom lens, and a monitor. Material is placed on the moveable table under the camera and the image is magnified and displayed on the monitor. There are also portable models that use hand-held cameras or cameras that can use a TV screen as the monitor. For individuals with low vision, careful consideration should be given to providing a full color model as many diagrams and maps incorporate color that impart information. On a black & white model, that information may be lost.
Look for special features of video magnifiers including:
Examples of video magnifiers
Aladdin (Telesonsory Corporation)
black & white
Aladdin Rainbow (Telesonsory Corporation)
Aladdin Ultra Pro (Telesonsory Corporation)
ClearView 317 (CTECH)
black & white
ClearView 517 (CTECH)
Flipper Portable System (CTECH)