The difference good lighting makes to learners with vision impairment
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Lighting can make a huge difference – not only to what learners are able to see, but also to their ease of reading. The right lighting reduces reading fatigue enabling your learners to give their energy to what they are learning and sustain their engagement.
Well-managed lighting conditions can have a massive effect on the ability of a student with vision impairment lighting to work. For students who are blind or partially sighted lighting that matches individual needs is a must. One size does not fit all.
Ask your learner’s specialist teacher for vision impairment or their habilitation specialist to audit your learning environment and advise on practical steps you can take to improve the lighting.
Managing natural light
Talk to your learner about what they need and be flexible about where they sit in the classroom. While some favour being near a window to maximise natural light, others find the glare of sun on shiny surfaces makes it impossible to function and may in some cases be painful. Adjustable blinds and choosing where to sit can help. Some students’ eyes take several minutes to adapt if they have just moved from low level lighting to a bright environment or vice versa.
Portable lighting for particular tasks or environments can enable students with vision impairment to work more independently.
In this short film Shadeen explains how her desk light helps her to do read print that it would be impossible to see without the extra contrast provided by the light.