5.8 Understanding Low Vision

Between 70 and 80 percent of all legally blind persons in the United States have measurable vision. The student with low vision may meet academic challenges in much the same way as the DeafBlind student. This may include the use of close-vision interpreting, note takers, large-print materials, eBooks, raised line drawings, and other assistive technologies.

The faculty should keep in mind that each student with low vision has a unique set of visual abilities and should not be compared to other students with similar visual abilities.

  • Prioritize seating for the student with low vision so the student can see the professor, interpreter, and classroom activities.
  • Provide lecture notes either as handouts or in electronic format upon the student's request.
  • Recognize the time required by OSWD to convert a message from its original language into large print or eBook formats.
  • Clearly describe visual aids used during lectures.
  • Make sure the classroom has adequate lightning.
  • Use dark markers on the whiteboard, and other tactics for increasing high-contrast readability.
  • If any room changes occur, be sure to announce these changes.
  • Give the student plenty of advance notice about turning in projects.
  • When interacting with students, indicate to the student when you arrive or leave an area; explain unusual occurrences.
  • Set up in-class communication rules to avoid confusion in identifying who is speaking.
  • Be open to suggestions about how best to be accommodating.