What is Visual Impairment?
Visual impairment is when a person has sight loss that cannot be fully corrected using glasses or contact lenses.
It's estimated that as many as two million people in the UK may be living with this sort of sight problem. Of these, around 365,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.
Visual Impairment and School
Children with visual impairments may benefit from being taught in a school where there is an emphasis on providing an environment where they can learn through their other senses.
Pupils with visual impairment can face a considerable challenge. Adjustments are required in teaching a pupil with visual impairment to ensure a curriculum which is delivered in both non-visual and visual ways. The development of children with visual impairment before they reach school may have been limited; therefore teachers need to create an environment in which physical, intellectual and social capacities may be extended.
Visually impaired children have a wealth of great stories available via Braille and audio books.
Braille is a code that presents written information. It is equivalent to print. The alphabet, numbers, music notation, and any other symbol that appears in print can be replicated in Braille by arranging combinations of the six dots of the Braille cell. Braille is read by touch, usually using the first finger on one or both hands.
Braille is not that hard to learn, especially when the student is young. Children who learn Braille early usually become extremely fast and competent readers. Children have the advantage over adults - they learn more quickly and expect to make mistakes as they go along.
Braille is a system of transcribing print so it can be read by touch.
Listening to audio books helps develop attention and imagination. It stimulates a love of words. It's educational, but above all, it's a wonderful form of entertainment.