Administrators, whether principals or department chairs, frequently have questions regarding the possible employment of a
visually impaired teacher
The following articles from past issues of our newsletter may help answer some of these questions and illustrate how visually impaired teachers function successfully in the classroom. Although some articles refer to technologies that have been largely superceded in recent years, the underlying concepts remain useful nonetheless .
To learn more about visually impaired teachers, you may want to visit
Subjects Our Members Teach
as well as
Typical success stories
provides a “virtual office” that has been designed to show how to accommodate employees who have some degree of useable vision. Although not every low vision worker will need or want every accommodation pictured, the site is useful in demonstrating the range of tools that are available to such workers.
makes it possible for employees with either low vision or no vision to function with their sighted peers. This link demonstrates computers and other devices that help make this possible.
FAQs from Administrators
The following links from
DO-IT: Disabilities, Opportunities, Internet Working, and Technology
are excellent and may be especially valuable. While designed for the post-secondary environment, some of this material is still applicable for K-12 instruction. It is referenced here with permission because it is easily the best and most thorough discussion of these issues we have found available.
- As a faculty member, can I use grant funds to pay for job accommodations for a graduate student?
- How would a blind student access material on electronic course reserve?
- How would a blind student take in-class computer-based
While this article describes how a learning disabled student and her professor dealt with this issue, their solution is directly applicable for a blind or visually impaired student.
- How can a student who is blind navigate in an unfamiliar area to do fieldwork?
- How can foreign language courses be made more accessible for blind students?
- How can I make math and science documents that are more accessible to visually impaired students?
- What are examples of accommodations for students with low vision in science labs?
A good, practical list of things that can be done to make science labs more accessible. Most of these ideas are relatively simple and inexpensive.
- How can I help a student who is blind or has low vision make measurements in a science lab?
- How can I help students who need accommodations but refuse to use them?
- How can musicians who are blind make use of computers to notate, read and record music?
- How can people Who are blind operate computers?
- How can people with low vision operate a computer?
- How can students with disabilities get accommodations for the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and other standardized graduate or professional entrance exams?
- If a postsecondary student's accommodations include extra exam time must I allow the student to take the exam outside of the classroom?
- If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, must they receive the same accommodations in college?
- Is it appropriate for me to ask about the extent and type of a student's vision loss?
- Is my school legally required to make our web pages accessible?
- What adaptive technology is typically provided to students with disabilities on postsecondary campuses?
- What are my institution's responsibilities regarding the care of students' service animals?
- What are the steps to take in making a school computer lab accessible?
While this article treats disabilities in general, it is, nonetheless, useful since, when making a school computer lab accessible, it is necessary to consider the needs of more than a single disability. Guidelines are especially practical.
- What grants are available for making science, technology, engineering, and math accessible to students with disabilities?
- What if a student with a disability disrupts my college class?
While this is highly unlikely, you will find practical guidance on this page.
- What is a qualified person with a disability?
- Who is responsible for providing a postsecondary
institution with documentation of a student's disability?
- Are postsecondary institutions required to purchase adaptive software for a specific course if only one student needs it?
- Are postsecondary institutions responsible for accessibility at offcampus events?
- Do colleges and universities agree as to whether they must adhere to Section 508 standards?
- What are typical accommodations for students who are blind or visually impaired in science classes?
It is important that not all students will want or need these accommodations, although this is a good starting place to understand what may be involved.
Teaching Math and Science
Teaching math, science, and engineering to visually impaired students is difficult and may be challenging but is possible. The following information may present some ideas of how this may be done:
The Winning Equation: Access + Attitude = Success in Math and Science.
Making Math, Science, and Technology Instruction Accessible to Students with Disabilities
You may also want to look at our pages on
Math and Statistics
Specialized Tools for Math and Science
and, probably most useful,
Legal Rights and Responsibilities
for readable descriptions of the laws and regulations that relate most directly to the education of blind and visually impaired students.
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