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Low Vision & Blindness

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Xiomara Portillo

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Low Vision & Blindness

Low Vision & Blindness

•1.3 million legally blind
•10 million have low vision or blindness
A Journey Through the Human Eye: How We See
Students With Low Vision
• Most students can learn to read and write, watch television, and use their vision to function in society
• Majority can read the standard print (12-pt font)
• Can read the same printed books as their classmates, but at a much slower rate
– Might need more time completing reading assignments
• May hold books closer to their eyes to adjust for varying type and style
• Many cannot read smaller print like in newspapers

Students Who Are Blind
• Use a tactile system for reading and writing called braille
• Braille is a coded system of dots embossed on paper so that individuals can feel a page of text
• Print-to-voice options are decreasing the number of people who use braille because:
– Reading with braille can be slow
– Becoming even minimally proficient using braille method takes extensive training and practice
– Braille uses different codes for different types of reading like math and music
– Few teachers know how to use or teach braille

Early Intervention
• LV/B students usually choose solitary play or play with adults
• Encourage social interaction to develop:
–Social skills, language, motor skills, learning about environment
• O&M instructors
• Size appropriate canes
• AT

Early Identification
– prevents problem from worsening
• Photoscreening


• Vision screenings – Snellen Chart
• Adults look for signs in children

• Visual assessments by professionals
– Acuity & Field of vision
• Testing Accommodations
– Personal readers
– More time
– Computers

Instructional Accommodations

• Promote literacy & Braille rich environment
• Adjust language – be specific
• Make classroom safe
• Arrange furniture carefully
• Consider lighting needs & contrasting colors

Data-Based Practices
• Expanded Core Curriculum – includes O&M instructors, Braille reading, independent living skills, use of AT.
• UDL for physical environment and in classroom
• Technology


Post-Secondary Options
• 16% of first year college students have a visual disability
• Only half who enter actually graduate
– Search for college program early
– Interview coordinators for services & students with disabilities
– Register early to order e-books, etc.
– Arrange for accommodations
– Advise faculty of needs & stay in communication

Transition To Work
• Underemployed/Unemployed at rates beyond expectations
• 50% of adults 22-50 are working
– Community employment during HS
– Internships in real work settings in HS
– College graduation
– Educate potential employers about skills
– Inform employers of cost of special equipment and government and private programs that may pay for them

Access to Gen.Ed Curriculum: Literacy
• 57% spend 80% of their day in GenEd classrooms

• Highest graduation rate of all students with disabilities in HS

• Only 50% of elementary students with visual disabilities read on grade level

Access To Community
o More places provide format options
o Tactile exhibits in museums
o “Freeze-frames” during theatre productions
o Guide dog access

o TVI’s – Teachers of students with visual impairments
• IDEA - considers TVI’s as special education teachers
o O&M instructors considered related services
o Professionals providing outreach services from an outreach school

Students who are blind differ from those who have low vision, so there are different characteristics for both groups.

Inclusion of Braille in IDEA ‘04

• All IEP’s for children with visual disabilities must address the issue of braille instruction and the use of braille in classroom settings

• Evaluate the child’s reading and writing skills, educational needs, and future need for instruction in braille or use of braille

• Provide instruction in braille and allow the child to use braille if appropriate

• The decision whether or not to use braille with any student cannot be based on factors such as the availability of alternative reading methods or the availability of braille instruction

• Once the decision is made, services and materials must be delivered without undue delay

• Students with visual disabilities must learn landmarks and need to know their schools well

• They need to know emergency evacuation procedures, exit paths, and ways to safely move during school hours and in times of stress

• Orientation and mobility instructors are professionals responsible for teaching these skills

Orientation & Mobility
• Long canes are used with the majority of younger adults, but are being outdated by Laser-Canes

Laser-Canes resemble a long cane but adds a device that emits three invisible beams
o Sound alerts when the user is approaching a step down
o Vibrator signals an obstruction ahead
o Global positioning technology creates standard routes, announces points of interest in the surrounding area, and provides map cards with the name of streets

Guide dogs are also used but only about 7,000/1.3 million legally blind people in the US use them

Assisting Those with Visual Disabilities
1. Be sure the person wants help.

2. Ask if the person wants help, and if the answer is yes then guide the individual by offering your arm in a relaxed position.

3. The individual will usually grasp your arm at or above your elbow and will walk slightly behind or to your side.

4. Be friendly! And walk with ease.

Social skills for those with visual disabilities have to be developed through explicit instruction at an early age. Imagine having a conversation without nonverbal cues…it would be pretty difficult, right? Many blind individuals may exhibit unacceptable social behaviors:

• Less assertive
• Ask too many questions
• Rocking
• Lack play skills
• Inappropriate acts of affection

Stereotypic rocking is associated with particularly congenital blindness.
Mannerisms are seen in individuals who spent long periods hospitalized.

Stereotypic rocking does not destroy property or result in injury.
Behavior can be modified, reduced, or eliminated.

•Degree of loss
•Age of loss
•Type of loss

What We Will Cover
•Vision is often taken for granted
•Visual Disability
–Impairments in vision that effect education, access to the community and independence
•Vision is
–Provides information on what is happening outside the body

•Homer was blind
•Samuel Gridley Howe opened the first school for the blind in 1821
•Boarding schools for the blind in 1832
•Louis Braille developed a six dot system of reading for the blind
•1950: Retinopathy of Prematurity
–Excess oxygen that damages the brain

•The level of disability varies between people
•Visual loss occurs when the body’s process for vision is obstructed/ damaged
•Visual Efficacy
–How well a person can use sight
–*Not directly linked with the ability to
•Ex: use of peripherals

•Legally Blind
–Visual acuity worse then 20/200 or less corrected in the better eye
–Visual acuity worse than 20/400 corrected
•Low Vision
–A level of vision that with correction hinders an individual in the planning or execution of a task. Functional vision is enhanced through the use of optical or non optical devices
–Visual Acuity between 20/70 and 20/400 corrected

Definitions of Low Vision Blindness
Processing Information
•In order to see four things are required:
–Light reflectors
–An eye processing light as electrical signals
–A brain receiving and giving meaning to the impulses

•Light enters the eye through the Cornea
•The iris expands/contracts
•Light rays pass through the pupil to the lens
•Lens focuses the light into the retina
•Retina sends the information down the optic nerve through photoreceptive cellls

Residual Vision
The amount and degree of vision a person has functional use of, despite a visual disability
Tunnel Vision
Severe limitation if peripheral vision
Peripheral vision
The outer area of a persons visual field
Visual acuity
Sharpness of response to visual, auditory or tactile stimuli
Visual Efficacy
How well someone sees
The inside lining of the eye
The focusing process of the lens of the eye

•Majority => over 65 years old
–Worldwide? 4% are children
•School Age
–1 in 4 have impaired vision
–6 of every 10,000 (ages 6-17) receive services

Causes & Prevention
•Complications with birth
•Accidents, injuries, sport activities

≈Most Common
•near sightedness•farsightedness•crossed eyes•lazy eye

•Researchers are identifying genes
•Laser treatment, surgery, corneal implants
•Household safety(sharp items out of reach)
•Sport eye safety

Overcoming Challenges!
•Large Print, e-books, audio books, computers, laptops, apps.

–Assistive devices $1,000-$10,000
–Complexity & Information

Visual Input Devices
• ENLARGE print
•CCTV (closed circuit TV
–Video magnifiers to enlarge print
•Computers, copiers, printers, internet
Audio Input Devices
Tactile Input Devices
•Braille/ Braille PDA
•Refreshable braille display
•Talking ATM's
•Talking/Audio Books [bookshare.org]
•Audio descriptions

1. ________ is a coded system of dots used to communicate on text by touch.
2. T/F - This exceptionality has one of the highest graduation rates of all students with disabilities in HS.
3. T/F - Light enters the eye through the cornea.
P st
1. BRAILLE is a coded system of dots used to communicate on text by touch.
2. T - This exceptionality has one of the highest graduation rates of all students with disabilities in HS.
3. T - Light enters the eye through the cornea.
Arndt, K., Lieberman, L., & James, A. (2014). Supporting the social lives of adolescents who are blind: Research to practice. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 87:2, 69-74, DOI: 10.1080/00098655.2013.848179

Bailey, J. (2014). Growing up blind. Future Reflections, 57(4), 274. Retrieved from http://proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login?ins=tu&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=prh&AN=95332895&site=eds-live&scope=site

Bardin, J., & Lewis, S. (2011). General Education Teachers™ ratings of the academic engagement level of students who read braille: A comparison with sighted peers. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 105(8), 479-492. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from the Cook OneSearch database.

Bausch, L. (2012, Aug. 3). A journey through the human eye: How we see. Retrieved April 10, 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvozcv8pS3c-

Edison, T. (2013, July 30). App that identifies objects for blind people. Retrieved April 11, 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeB0BH8rAc8-

Farmer, J., & Morse, S. (2007). Project Magnify: increasing reading skills in
students with low vision. Journal Of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 101(12), 763-768. Retrieved from http://proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login?ins=tu&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=2009765466&site=eds-live&scope=site

Pepin, G. (2010, July 15). Humanware. Retrieved from http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/products/low_vision

Smith, D. D., Tyler, N.C. (2010). Introduction to special education (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Suyasa, L. (2011, Nov. 13). Blind baby with cane- 10 months old. Retrieved April 10, 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPm0yjTQpOQ-

Tindal, K. (2014). The challenges in going blind and learning to live again. Future Reflections, 57(4), 315. Retrieved from http://proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login?ins=tu&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=prh&AN=95332906&site=eds-live&scope=site

Uysal, S., & Aki, E. (2012). Relationship between writing skills and visual-motor control in low-vision students. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 115(1), 111-119. Retrieved from http://proxy-tu.researchport.umd.edu/login?ins=tu&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=83639255&site=eds-live&scope=site
10-Month Old Uses "Long Cane"
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