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Educating Students With Visual Impairments for Inclusion in Society A Paper On The Inclusion Of Students With Visual Impairments Executive Summary "Inclusion," "full inclusion" and "inclusive education" are terms which recently have been narrowly defined by some primarily educators of students with severe disabilities to espouse the philosophy that ALL students with disabilities, regardless of the nature or the severity of their disability, receive their TOTAL education within the regular education environment.
This philosophy is based on the relatively recent placement of a limited number of students with severe disabilities in regular classrooms. Research conducted by proponents of this philosophy lacks empirical evidence that this practice results in programs which are better able to prepare ALL students with visual impairments to be more fully included in society than the current practice, required by federal law, of providing a full range of program options.
Educators and parents of students with visual impairments have pioneered special education and inclusive program options, for over years. It is significant that the field of education of visually impaired students was the first to develop a range of special education program options, beginning with specialized schools in and extending to inclusive including "full inclusion" public school program options since Experience and research clearly support the following three position statements outlining the essential elements which must be in place in order to provide an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for students with visual impairments.
This document also contains papers which provide additional information supporting each of these position statements and a list of selected readings on inclusion for students with visual impairments. Students with visual impairments have unique educational needs which are most effectively met using a team approach of professionals, parents and students.
In order to meet their unique needs, students must have specialized services, books and materials in appropriate media including brailleas well as specialized equipment and technology to assure equal access to the core and specialized curricula, and to enable them to most effectively compete with their peers in school and ultimately in society.
There must be a full range of program options and support services so that the Individualized Education Program IEP team can select the most appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment for each individual student with a visual impairment.
There must be adequate personnel preparation programs to train staff to provide specialized services which address the unique academic and non-academic curriculum needs of students with visual impairments. There must also be ongoing specialized personnel development opportunities for all staff working with these students as well as specialized parent education.
Providing equal access to all individuals with disabilities is the key element of the Rehabilitation Act of and the Americans with Disabilities Act of Access involves much more than providing ramps.
Access is also the key element of inclusion, which involves much more than placement in a particular setting.
The relationship of access and inclusion may not be obvious to individuals who are not familiar with the educational and social impact of a vision loss. Placing a student with a visual impairment in a regular classroom does not, necessarily, provide access and the student is not, necessarily, included.
A student with a visual impairment who does not have access to social and physical information because of the visual impairment, is not included, regardless of the physical setting. Students with visual impairments will not be included unless their unique educational needs for access are addressed by specially trained personnel in appropriate environments and unless these students are provided with equal access to core and specialized curricula through appropriate specialized books, materials and equipment.
Students with visual impairments need an educational system that meets the individual needs of ALL students, fosters independence, and is measured by the success of each individual in the school and community.
Vision is fundamental to the learning process and is the primary basis upon which most traditional education strategies are based. Students who are visually impaired are most likely to succeed in educational systems where appropriate instruction and services provided in a full array of program options by qualified staff to address each student's unique educational needs, as required by Public LawThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA.
In order to meet their unique needs, students must have specialized services, books and instructional materials in appropriate media including brailleas well as specialized equipment and technology so they can have equal access to the core and specialized curricula, and to enable them to most effectively compete with their peers in school and ultimately in society.
The majority of learning in infants and young children occurs through vision. Soon after the birth of an infant who is visually impaired, families may become aware that their child does not respond to them in the same way as an infant who is sighted.
In order to ensure a healthy bonding process and emotional growth, early intervention is essential for both the child and the family. Vision is the primary sense upon which most traditional education strategies are based.
A child with a severe visual loss can directly experience only what is within arm's reach and can be safely touched, and in most cases, what can be heard.(see Topics L - Z) A: Accommodations | ADHD | Advocacy | Aides | Assistive Technology | Attorneys B: Behavior | Braille | Bullying C: Child Find | Class Size.
Avoid visually cluttered materials. Allow students to use (bold marker, 20/20 pen, mechanical pencil, or other unique writing tool) to complete assignments. Use of bold line paper. Thus, dysgraphia is the condition of impaired letter writing by hand, that is, disabled handwriting and sometimes spelling.
Impaired handwriting can interfere with learning to spell words in writing. Impaired handwriting can interfere with learning to spell words in writing. 45 mobile apps for those with disabilities including apps for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, mobility scooters, dyslexia, autism and dementia.
Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information. Individuals with APD usually have normal structure and function of the outer, middle, and inner ear (peripheral hearing).
Technology has removed many barriers to education and employment for visually impaired individuals. Students with visual impairments can complete homework, do research, take tests, and read books along with their sighted classmates, thanks to advances in technology.