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There are many kinds of children with visual impairments, which situates teachers uniquely to have to find different avenues through which to teach. Additionally, it’s important for those who may be teaching children with visual impairments to be cognizant of the significant need to ensure these children feel included socially. Since these students don’t suffer a learning disability, teachers will be tasked with adapting certain aspects of their curriculum to students with these visual impairments. Whether this means larger or more distinct fonts on worksheets or working to convert items to braille, adaptation is often a key component to ensuring these children don’t fall behind. The job overall is incredibly rewarding because it forces teachers to teach in different methods or reframe how they present items. Below is a useful outline of the job.
Since many people are typically visual learners, when accommodating young children with visual impairments, teachers can make particular use of sensory tables, which can help refine a blind student’s sensory skills and allow them to interact better with the environment around them. Teachers will also have to work on social engagement skills in a way that differs greatly from many other classroom settings. In this profession, you’ll be tasked with including the child with visual impairments and also working to inform other students on why it’s important to include everyone.
Studying language arts presents some of the biggest challenges, but through working with children on learning braille, they can often stay current with classrooms due to a strong desire to read. Additionally, encouraging students to read out loud can help refine their understanding of the material.
Possible Jobs Include:
- Teacher of the Visually Impaired
- Special Education Teacher
- Itinerant Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Degree and Career Information
When pursuing a PhD in special education, doctoral candidates will be very active in doing extensive research on the most effective learning models for visually impaired students and also how to take established teaching methods and make them applicable for students with visual impairments. The researching of alternative evaluation approaches will be crucial as it’s very important to understand the difference between a visually impaired individual not understanding a concept and not being presented with the material in the right way to understand. Subsequently, this will change how individuals perceive their own progress and intelligence, which is very important to maintaining motivation. Since there’s a shortage of special education teachers across the country, PhD candidates who graduate with an astute understanding of how to work with visually impaired students will be able to find jobs in a fairly short amount of time. This is something very important to keep in mind when considering what specialization to pursue.
Online programs in Visual Impairments
- Southern New Hampshire University – MEd – Curriculum and Instruction: Dyslexia Studies & LBLD
- UMassOnline – MEd – Vision Studies: Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments