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   Table of Contents      
COMMENTARY
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 290

Expert comments on: Are children with low vision adapted to the visual environment in classrooms of mainstream schools?


Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication30-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kalpana Narendran
Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1315_17

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How to cite this article:
Ganesh S, Narendran K. Expert comments on: Are children with low vision adapted to the visual environment in classrooms of mainstream schools? . Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:290

How to cite this URL:
Ganesh S, Narendran K. Expert comments on: Are children with low vision adapted to the visual environment in classrooms of mainstream schools? . Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Dec 10];66:290. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2018/66/2/290/224075



The authors have clearly emphasized the minimum task size and maximum viewing distance for effective school performance in children with varying categories of visual impairment (VI). We would like to bring the readers' attention to a few more important considerations with respect to inclusive education in low vision.

Children with VI lack opportunities for incidental learning which automatically occurs in their sighted peers, for example, inability to see a written timetable on the board or the clock might prevent them from anticipating upcoming class schedules.[1] Teachers should help these kids to have good peer interactions, and cooperative work and peer tutoring among students should be encouraged.[2] These activities help the sighted peers to develop tolerance, understanding, and acceptance. Children with VI may need more time to complete assignments. The teacher can help these kids by reading out loud as he/she writes on the board.[3] Any visual materials which are used in classrooms such as maps, charts, graphs, and models should be designed with raised edges so that these kids can use kinesthetic sense along with vision to understand concepts better. Inclusion in mathematics, science, and physical education may be a challenge to the teachers and would need special modification of teaching and play materials. The curriculum needs flexibility, and development of an individualized education plan is needed. General teachers and special educators should work together in educating these children. Having a large class size may contribute to stress faced by teachers in catering to the need of children with VI in their classrooms. Though group discussions may help children with VI understand better in school, lack of time and a rush to complete the syllabus might force teachers to use conventional nonparticipatory teaching methods.[4]

Orientation and mobility training is of great importance in helping children with VI navigate safely in school, especially while climbing up and down stairs, locating bookshelves, emergency exits, etc. Older children in secondary schools may be taught the use of access technology while using computers, for example, magnification and text to speech softwares. Finally, career and vocational education is of paramount importance for children with VI as they enter the realm of work.[5]



 
  References Top

1.
Cox PR, Dykes MK. Classroom adaptations for students with visual impairments. Teach Except Child 2001;33:68-74.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Oliva DV. Barriers and resources to learning and participation of inclusive students. Psicol USP 2016;27:492-502.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Igune GW. Inclusion of Blind Children in Primary Schools A Case Study of Teachers' Opinions in Moroto District-Uganda. University of Oslo; 2009.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Mwakyeja BM. Teaching Students with Visual Impairments in Inclusive Classrooms – A Case Study of One Secondary School in Tanzania. University of Oslo; 2009.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Educational Support for Students with Low Vision. Available from: http://www.svrc.vic.edu.au/wp-content/resources/PLlvbooklet.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Jan 17].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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