How to Teach a Blind: Overview of Education for Blind or Visually Impaired Student
Introduction to Beginners
Asking for a help or advice is not a sign of weakness. Moreover, it is a sign of a strong will and a clever mind. You want to become either as an effective teacher or a responsible parent. You want to handle new things effectively and explore unknown ways efficiently. That's great!
We start with a brief History Background of Educating Blind learners.
1. Education and Blindness: Brief History Background
Writing and teaching starts in the Middle East, mainly in the Fertile Crescent which is so-called as the Cradle of Civilization.
It was in Ancient Egypt, where blind learners were provided by their special needs. Blind learners are known to be good in literature and art. They are good musicians and poets.
First School for the Blind
A School for the Instruction of the Indigent Blind was the first institution to expressly teach the blind. It was set up by Henry Dannett in Liverpool in 18th century.
Braille: Invention for Communication to Blind
This is a communication tool- a writing system for visually impaired. Invented by and named after Louis Braille- a Frenchman who became blind when he was a child.
The students use their sense of touch with the embossed dots which has an equivalent Alphabet letter.
Up to date, the braille serves as the eyes of the visually impaired students.
Trivia of the Hub
Did you know that a blind person has a more enhanced and sensitive senses than a normal person? Since they are visually impaired, they use other senses and focus more on that. They have a better sense of hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling things.
A good example is Christine Ha. She had a disease called Neuromyilitis Optica. She lost her vision gradually and totally lost it in 2007. Despite of that, she has a great sense of taste that made her the Masterchef USA Season 3 Winner.
2. The Initial Teaching Approach to Visually Blind Students
1. Know your students' capacity
Here are the questions you should answer first, for you to know your students' capacity.
- Is he partially blind?
If he has the ability to see things somehow, it will not be difficult for you to teach him. He will need little assistance from you. As a Literature professor, you don't have to waste your time explaining further the meaning of a color mentioned in a poem, for he already knew.
- Is he totally blind?
If he is totally blind, you will be aware that you really have to work harder for you to teach your student.
- Is he totally blind now and lost his visual just on the latter part of his life?
He can use his memory of the things he have already saw and encountered the time when he has still the ability to see things.
3. Use Non- Visual Teaching Materials
Hellen Keller is both deaf and mute but inspite of her situation she educated herself with the help of her private tutor Sullivan. Anne Sulivan used Helen Keller's sense of touch. The ABC's has a hand language and she is spelling things with hand language while Helen is feeling her hand.
True to life story of a Famous Blind- Hellen Keller
I hope you learned something from my hub.