A major challenge facing students who are blind or have low vision at universities is the overwhelming mass of printed material with which they are confronted--syllabi, books, time schedules, bibliographies, campus newspapers, posters, tests, etc. The increasing use of films, videotapes, overhead projectors, and closed-circuit television adds to the volume of visual material to which they must have access in some other way.
By the time students who are blind reach college (unless newly blinded), they have probably developed various methods of managing the volume of visual materials. Most students who are blind use a combination of methods including readers, tape recorded books, Braille books, electronic text (e-text) and taped lectures.
Between 70 and 80 percent of all legally blind persons in the United States have some measurable vision. Partially sighted students often require many of the same accommodations as totally blind students. This includes readers, tape-recorded texts, raised line drawings, describing visual cues in class, etc. In addition, depending on the level and type of vision, partially sighted students may use large print textbooks, handouts and tests, a closed-circuit TV, magnifier or other magnifying devices. Large print is usually 18 to 22 point, but varies from student to student.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Provide a syllabus with clearly delineated expectations and due dates.
- Identify yourself before you make physical contact with a person who is blind.
- Written material will be scanned, enlarged or made into auditory material for students in the Disability Service Office.
- Provide accommodations per disability service letter of accommodations.