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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Introduction of Visual impairment

                                                                                   Dr. Sudeep Kumar dubay
                                                                                           Asstt.Prof.   Durgabai deshmukh collage                                                                                                                      (Delhi University)  

Every human being has been gifted with five senses, namely, vision, auditory, olfactory, taste and touch. We get worldly information through these senses. A study results in the fact that it is the vision that contributes the most in accessing information. Since it can receive information from distance it accounts for almost 84% of the total information. The remaining altogether contributes only the remaining 16%.We can easily understand the problems faced by a person with visual impairment.

One more interesting fact about human being is about their learning styles. It is determined basically through which sense organ one learns more. People depending more on their vision to learn are visual learner. Being a visual learner it does not mean that the person will not learn through other senses. His main focus is on seeing things. Study materials in the form of charts, posters, visual displays are more important for a visual learner. Likewise we may have Auditory and Kinaesthetic learner.

A visually impaired child or a person with visual impairment is generally dependent on their auditory and kinaesthetic senses. Hence they are Auditory and kinaesthetic learners. Any teacher who is willing to teach a visually impaired child may keep the above fact in mind. First we have to identify a person with visual impairment and then only we can think of provide some kind of service to them. Let us discuss the signs shown by a person based on which we can infer that he may be having some vision problem.

If any of these eye conditions one has
Sudden loss of vision in one eye;
Sudden hazy or blurred vision;
Flashes of light or black spots in your vision
Rainbows around light;  and
Loss of peripheral (side) vision
He may require emergency medical attention

Further for identifying a child in a class whether he is having vision problem one can go through the following checklist

  ‘Crossed’ eye, eyes ‘turning  in or out’
  Watery eyes
  Red eyes or eye lids
  Clouding of the pupil
  Excessive blinking
  Clumsiness and trouble walking in a new environment
  Holding one’s head in awkward position
  Holding material very close to the eye.
  Excessive rubbing of the eye.
  Complains of headaches /nausea / dizziness
  Pain in the eye

Visual impairment is an umbrella term and in this we may have either a totally blind person or a person with low vision. For the purpose of diagnosis and also for defining we use two connotations, namely Visual acuity and Field of vision.

  Totally blind students learn via braille or other non-visual media.
   Low vision generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, even with the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses. They use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, although they may require adaptations in lighting or the size of print, and, sometimes, braille;

Nature of visual impairment

  A limited field of vision - being unable to see to the sides or up and down;
  Some loss of central vision - limiting the ability to see fine detail;
  Acute shortsightedness - seeing the world as a continuous blur;
  Uncontrollable oscillations of the eyeball - leading to an inability to see objects clearly; and
  Night blindness

Implications of limited vision

 With limited distance vision

  No learning by imitation
  Not able to understanding non-verbal communication
  Not able to move independently
  Not able to recognize people, objects or action

With poor near vision-
               Problem in reading, writing
  Not able to weave, sew, carve,  draw, paint

Educational implications
  Children with visual impairments should be assessed early to benefit from early intervention programs, when applicable.
  Technology in the form of computers and low-vision optical and video aids enable many partially sighted, low vision and blind children to participate in regular class activities.
  The law also requires that schools provide accessible instructional materials to all students who need them—this can include large print materials, books on tape/CD, and Braille books.

Learning characteristics of visually impaired children
Since   No Imitation, No Incidental learning
Therefore we require
  Mediated learning
  Experiential learning- experience as a source of learning
  Concrete learning
  Visual ideas to non visual experience

Principle of teaching visually impaired children

  Concrete teaching
  Learning by doing
  From part to whole

Adaptation of instructional material
  Duplication as far as possible
  Modification of the lesson without changing concept
  Substitution of a model to give almost similar experience
  Omission under unavoidable circumstances.

Adaptive tech for blind

  Braille Embosser A Braille printer.
  Braille Translation Software Text to Braille
  Large Print Printers
  OCR The software along with a PC and scanner gives visually impaired people access to almost all printed material.
  Refreshable Braille Display A device used to produce Braille output the way computer monitors produce print output. They are especially useful for deaf blind people that cannot use speech output.
  Screen Magnification Software

  Screen Reading Software or Text to Speech

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