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INFORMATION SHEET

Making Remote Learning Accessible for Learners with a Visual Impairment

Students with a visual impairment (VI) have individual requirements and learning preferences which you will need to consider when preparing and delivering remote online learning. Students with VI will generally have to concentrate harder to maintain focus and this can lead to visual fatigue (eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, and other symptoms). The following information suggests reasonable adjustments to reduce any possible negative impact and improve the learning experience

Technology

  • Ensure the pupil with a VI has understood how to use the functions on the learning platform (maximise view, hands up, chat box, mute, live captions)
  • Ensure your microphone is working effectively and measures are taken to minimise any feedback or background noise
  • Remember screen sharing will reduce access to facial expressions
  • If you have a television and computer/laptop that allows HDMI input, consider connecting your student’s laptop to that larger screen TV

Formatting & design

  • Use a sans serif font such as Arial or Verdana for presentations, resources and worksheets
  • Double space passages of text where possible
  • Use high contrast font and background colours (eg. black on cream)
  • Avoid overcrowding presentation slides and reduce visual clutter
  • Adjust the brightness of the monitor the student is using – most laptops use the Function Keys along the top of the keyboard to access common settings such as brightness, volume, and mic settings

Presentation

  • Make sure when you are speaking your face is well lit and can be seen clearly, preferably with the light source in front of you
  • Use software in ‘full view’ mode when presenting (eg. PowerPoint)
  • Pupils with a VI need extra time to visually process information so build in natural pauses
  • Allow the student to break up visually demanding tasks. Ten to fifteen minutes every hour is a common accommodation, but the student may need more or less break time
  • https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/impairment/vision A guide of accessibility features that help you see websites and applications more clearly.