Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips on adapting a lesson for a visually impaired student

Many lessons and activities are easily adapted for a blind or visually impaired child. It only takes a little time and creativity!

First, review the lesson, worksheets, and activities involved. Assess for any needed background information such as vocabulary. Sometimes a simple activity before the day of the lesson can lend much needed information for children. For example, if the lesson is about the zoo, visit a zoo first so the child can then relate the information back to the lesson later. If possible, go twice- before and after the lesson! The visit afterwards will help the child retain the information learned, as well as provide a fun confidence building activity when she is aware she already knows the answers and what to expect during the trip!

Also, adapt any extension activities such as recommend books to be read. Many children's books are available through digital formats from Bookshare or printed with text and Braille from a variety of Braille book sources such as,, and

It is also helpful to make a list of materials you, and the child(ren), will need to adapt and use during the lessons. For instance, glitter glue is great for creating raised line tactile images. Just use your imagination!

1. Braille all printed text
2. Create tactile images, raised line drawings or 3D representations of graphics
3. Clarify text or instructions that read "see" or "look at", and other visual references. Consider linking visual aspects such as color with textures or other tactile mediums
4. Adapt games and physical activities so everyone can be involved equally. Never single out any one!

It may be helpful to fill out an adapted lesson plan sheet to help organize your lessons throughout the year. You can keep track of them for years to come! Here is our ADAPTED LESSON SHEET to keep in your CUSTOM SENSORY SUN BINDER! (PDF) Feel free to download our original .pub file to personalize your sheet!

“All of our existing ideas have creative possibilities.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

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