Thirteen ways to ensure a child with vision impairment enjoys learning

Post date: 
Friday, 12 June 2015

Share these quick wins with all your early years colleagues to make sure that a child with a vision impairment is fully included in your setting

  1. Use the names of all the children. It helps children to get to know each other and understand what everyone is doing. Using names means a child with a vision impairment won’t mistakenly act on an instruction or comment which was intended for another child.

  2. Children with a vision impairment respond better within a consistent routine in a well-planned stimulating environment. It helps them feel confident about what to expect and to find things more easily.

  3. Talk naturally. It’s ok to say “Look at me” “Shall we see if there are any bigger bricks?”

  4. All children with a vision impairment should have an assessment by a qualified teacher of visually impaired children (QTVI).

  5. Take account of what the QTVI advises the child can see at different sizes, colours, and distances. Encourage them to use their vision, which at this age is still developing. 

  6. Remember it’s much easier to see play equipment against a plain contrasting background.

  7. Ask the QTVI how lighting levels affect what they can see. Can they recognise faces or facial expressions?

  8. Replace your reassuring smile with a quick kind word.

  9. What was that? Why is she laughing? Be on hand to answer questions and provide a sensitive commentary to what’s happening.

  10. Keep the noise down! Many children with vision impairment also use sound to help them keep track of what’s happening, where a toy has rolled to and to find their way around.

  11. Show the child what is on offer to do and explore each day

  12. Encourage a have a go attitude and build on success

  13. Let them take risks, learn from mistakes and encourage them to explore and play inside and outside.

Want to find out more?

You can download your free guide for early years workers, Focus on foundation, on our Teaching and Learning page.


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