Typical Visual Stressors

Visual Stressors

Keep an eye out for the following items, which are known for causing difficulties for students with vision problems:

  • Small print
  • Sustained near point work
  • Crowded, close together, full pages of print
  • Copying from chalkboard to paper on desk
  • Writing before developmentally ready
  • Flickering fluorescent bulbs
  • Light color pens on overhead projectors or white boards
  • Standardized scan sheets/Scantrons
  • Timed tests
  • Student reading aloud to a group without warning
  • Not enough “wait time” before expected to give an answer
  • Right and left instructions for students with poor directionality
  • Requiring eye contact when spoken to

Visual Relief

These modifications and supports can make life easier for students with visual challenges:

  • Make larger print available
  • Allow for visual breaks during sustained near point work
  • Reduce the number of items on the page
  • Allow students more time for copying from the board and/or move students closer to the chalkboard, or place material to be copied on his/her desk
  • Furnish “fat” pencils and crayons or use special pencil grips
  • Provide slanted reading surfaces
  • Provide natural lighting and full spectrum bulbs
  • Write large with dark ink on overhead projectors/white boards
  • Provide students with a bookmark to help keep place when using a standardized scan sheet/Scantron, have someone fill in the sheet for the student or do not require the use of a scan sheet/Scantron
  • Provide “highlighter” markers to help with reading
  • Allow more time for timed tests
  • Give students a choice about reading aloud to a group
  • Recesses are very important for children with vision problems

This is a general listing of modifications for a classroom environment. After a child’s initial evaluation, the examining doctor will provide specific recommendations.

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