Assistive Technology and Accommodations for Students with Vision and

AssistiveTechnology and Accommodations for Students with Vision and HearingImpairment

AssistiveTechnology and Accommodations for Students with Vision and HearingImpairment

Part1: Assistive technologies andaccommodations

Astudentsufferingfrom both thehearingandvisionimpairments may requirea combinationof assistive technologies that addresseachof theseimpairments.


Vision and hearing impairment

igure 1: Graphical organizer

Screen reader

Adaptive keyboard

Portable note-taker

Healing loop

Infrared system

Figure2: Rationale for assistive technologies

Type of assistive technology


Screen reader

A type of software that verbalizes the entire text that is on the screen, including punctuations and menus. It is suitable for a student whose vision capability is not sufficient to read what is on the screen.

Adaptive keyboard

A special type of keyboard that allows the vision impaired student to input characters into a computer. The keyboard provides several options (such as layout and size) an impaired learner.

Portable note-taker

This is a portable unit that uses a standard or a Braille keyboard that allows the vision impaired learner to enter information. The text is saved in files that can be edited or read using some built-in synthesizers. The file can also be sent to Braille embosser, computer, or a printer.

Healing loop

This is a wire that is connected to a sound system and conveys the sound electronically. Electromagnetic sound can then be picked by a telecoil located in the hearing implant. This is a cost-effective technology for a learner with hearing impairment.

Infrared system

This is a type of technology that employs invisible light beams that carry sound from its source to receiver. Some attachments are connected to a personal receiver. The telecoil picks the sound from receiver through the attachment.

Source:Allan (2015)

Part2: Description of a studentwith visionimpairment

Visionimpairment meansmorethan visionacuity. Visionimpairment varieswith student’sabilityto seeandutilizeothersensesin learning.Thistypeof impairment can becategorizedinto lowvision,blindness,andfunctionalblindness.Astudentwith lowvisionhasthecapacitytolearnusingthevisionsense,buttheyneedtechnologies that can magnifytheprints,enhancecontrast,andadjustthefront(Cox &amp Dykes, 2001). Astudentwith functionalblindnessusesdifferentmodalities to workin their surroundings. Theymay useBraille to readandwrite.Astudentwith thiscategoryof impairment may be ableto morearound theclasssafely.Blindstudentshavetheir visionacuity reducedto an extentthatlearningcan onlytakeplacewith thehelpof data that issourcedfrom othersenses(Cox &amp Dykes, 2001).


Mathinstructionsforvisionimpairedstudentsvarywith thetypeof mathematicalskillsandthetypeof student’simpairment. Visionimpairedlearnersare taughtthree-dimensionalexerciseswith solidobjectedas opposedtheuseof drawnfigures(RNIB, 2014). Theaural presentationof math problemsshould avoidambiguity.In thecaseof writtenexercises,theteachermay providetheMP3 copyof instructionsto studentswhoare slowin writing.Repetitivequestionsmay begivenforthepurposesof reinforcement.Graphical skillsare difficultvisionimpairedlearners’needsto be taughtstepby stepandrepeatedly.Assistive devicesare provideddepending on theneedsof individuallearners.


Readinginstructionsforvisionimpairedshould be keptsimpleandbrief.Theobjectiveandrequirementsforanyreadingclassshould bedefinedclearly.Thelectureinformationshould bepresentedin visionformats,includingoverheads,chalkboard, orPowerPoint (Ferris State University, 2015). Theteachershould usemorethan a singlewayof explainingconceptsin orderto accommodatetheneedsof learnerswithvaryinglearningcapabilities.Assistive devicesshould be provideddepending on theneedsof eachstudent.Theteachermay alsoconsiderissuinghandoutsbefore theclassbegins.


Theteachershould focuson ideasandorganizationinsteadof mechanicswhengradingwritingassignmentsforthevisionimpaired.Theyshould alsoprovidethesestudentswith theproofreading assistance.Thesestudentsmay be encouragedto usegrammar-assistive andspell-check deviceswhenever itisdeemedappropriate(FSU, 2015). Exam papersshould beconvertedtothestudent’susualformats,includemodifiedlayout,Braille, andlargeprint.Extratimemay beallocatedforvisuallyimpairedduring exams andnormalclassesin orderto helpthem be at parwith otherstudents.


Allan,J. (2015). Principles of assistive technology for students withvision impairment. TexasSchool for the Blind and Vision Impaired.Retrieved March 18, 2015, from

Cox,R. &amp Dykes, K. (2001). Effective classroom adaptations forstudents with vision impairments. TeachingExceptional Children,33 (6), 68-74.

FerrisState University (2015). Teaching strategies for vision impairedstudents. FerrisState University.Retrieved March 18, 2015, from

RoyalNational Institute of Blind People (2014). Teachingmath to pupils with vision impaired.London: RNIB.