Teaching Children with Visual Impairments

A teacher of children with visual impairments teaches children with visual impairments the skills they will need to lead successful lives. These skills fall into two major areas: 

  1. Skills that are needed to support the full participation in academic curriculum. 
  2. Skills from the "expanded core," or vision-specific curriculum, that need to be specifically taught to students with visual impairments to accommodate their educational needs.

Responsibilities regarding support for the academic curriculum include working in multiple ways with the regular classroom teacher to assure that the student with visual impairments can access the regular curriculum. Duties include transcribing materials into Braille or large print, modifying materials so they can be read tactually and modifying test materials to accommodate for information not available through the visual channel.

In addition to modifying the typical curriculum, specialists are responsible for teaching children with visual impairments in the expanded core skill areas, including teaching Braille, daily living skills, social skills, adapted computer technology, and recreation and leisure activities. These skills are typically learned incidentally from watching others and are not readily available to children with visual impairments without specific instruction. The teachers will take the lead in teaching these skills to students with visual impairments and in helping parents and others to assist children to learn such skills.

Dual major

This degree may be combined with the orientation and mobility for children master’s degree for a dual major.  The dual major, TCVI/OMC is particularly useful in rural school districts which may have too small a number of students to justify two separate, full-time positions.

More information

For information about the teaching children with visual impairments program, the orientation and mobility program for children or the dual combined master’s programs, contact Dr. Dawn Anderson at dawn.l.anderson@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5944, or Dr. Robert Wall Emerson at robert.wall@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3072.