Accommodations | Service Animals
| Alternative Materials
Visual impairments include disorders in the sense of vision that affect the central vision
acuity, the field of vision, color perception, or binocular visual function to the degree
that it impedes the educational process and necessitates procurement of supportive services
The American Medical Association defines legal blindness as visual acuity not exceeding
20/200 in the better eye with correction, or a limit in the field of vision that is less
than a 20-degree angle (tunnel vision). This term includes people with extremely limited
vision, as well as those with none at all.
reading lists or syllabi
in advance to permit time for transferring into alternate format
textbooks ordered in
the preferred medium of the student
seating in the front
of class without glare from windows
tape-recording of lectures
and class discussions
such as pocket Braille computers
handouts in the medium
that the student prefers
clear black print on
white or pale yellow paper for students with visual impairments
taped tests, reading of tests, scribe, extended time, separate place, enlarged print,
computer word processing software with speech access
on the board or on transparencies read out loud
advance notice of class
Students with no light perception or no functional vision
may rely on a white cane, a service animal or a sighted guide for mobility purposes. Service
animals should not be petted or addressed unless permission is granted by their owner.
When serving as a sighted guide, let the student take your arm just above the elbow.
It is helpful to identify yourself first when speaking with a student with blindness or
low vision. A lower noise level in the classroom is important for hearing. Students may
require a reader for assignments and exams and may use a notetaker or a note-taking device
in class to take notes.
Passageways through doors and aisles should be kept clear. When furniture is moved, students
should be advised of the new arrangement. Any changes in class locations should be given
to students in advance, or a non-disabled student should be assigned to wait at the door
and guide the visually impaired student to the new location.
Types of alternate format of printed material for students with blindness/visual impairments
Many textbooks can be ordered on cassette tape from Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic
(1-800-221-4792), or through the Books on Tape Consortium, a network of universities.
Readers also are available through DSS to audio tape handouts, exams and books that have
not already been recorded.
Standard-sized materials can be enlarged on a copier using 11" by 17" paper.
Materials are converted to electronic text which can then be read by computer.
Print material may be converted to Braille in the Computer Access Lab.