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Partially Sighted Students
Legally blind is defined as visual acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of corrective lenses.
Partially sighted – measurable vision; between 70 and 80 per cent of all legally blind persons in the United States can perhaps be better described as “partially sighted”.
Because most partially sighted students do not use white canes for travel and because most are able to get around much like everyone else, people have difficulty believing that the student needs to use adaptive methods when using printed materials.
One partially sighted student commented that, having been observed playing Frisbee by one of her instructors, she was sure the instructor would no longer believe she was partially sighted. As the student explained, she had more peripheral than central vision and was able to see a red Frisbee; were any other color Frisbee used, she would not see it well enough to play. More to the point, playing Frisbee and reading a printed page present quite different visual requirements, the distinction between which is often difficult to understand for the fully sighted individual.
Such handwritten communications tend to give the reader the idea that “a child has written this.” Needless to say, this may lead to the conclusion that a student with this kind of handwriting is immature or childish, and that the written communication is less than sophisticated. Even when the student uses a large print font this can still be a problem.
In addition, the assumption is sometimes made that the student is merely trying to make an assignment appear longer, as in the case of a term paper of a required length. When the number of words instead of pages required is stated, this is not a problem.
However, the capacity to read printed materials depends so greatly on conditions such as the degree of contrast, brightness, and color that it is preferable that the student and instructor discuss what methods, techniques, or devices may be used to maximum advantage. In classes where many diagrams and illustrations are used, the professor may wish to provide handouts to the class or the student may wish to obtain a notetaker.
If you need handouts enlarged for a student in your class, please contact the Learning Accommodations Center if you do not have facilities to do this yourself at Voice: 978-556-3654
Article printed from Northern Essex Community College: http://www.necc.mass.edu
URL to article: http://www.necc.mass.edu/academics/support-services/learning-accommodations/specific-disabilities/partially-sighted-students/
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