University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Tips for Working with Students with Visual Disabilities

Individual accommodation letters are provided to students to deliver to their faculty members that outline the accommodations approved for that student by SSD. The following list contains suggested instructional tips in addition to possible approved accommodations.

Accessible Formats

Whenever possible, texts are obtained in Braille, on tape, or on computer diskettes from national lending libraries. If the needed text cannot be found, SSD arranges to have the material read onto tape or provides an alternative format.

For classes and labs utilizing computers, print enlarging software and/or vocal output adaptations can make computers accessible for individuals with disabilities. For further information, call SSD at 471-6259.

Instructional Tips

  1. Provide reading lists or syllabi in advance to allow time for arrangements to be made, such as taping or Brailling of texts.
  2. Allow the student to use notetaking devices such as Braille-writers.
  3. Allow tape recording of lectures and class discussions.
  4. Team the student with a sighted classmate or lab partner.
  5. Reserve front seats for low-vision students. Make sure seats are not near or facing windows. Glare from the lights can make it hard for a student to see the instructor or the board.
  6. Verbalize the content printed on transparencies or on the chalkboard.
  7. Face the class when speaking.
  8. Provide large print copies of classroom materials by enlarging them on a photocopier.
  9. Be flexible with assignment deadlines, especially if library research is warranted.
  10. If a specific task is impossible for a student to carry out, consider an alternative assignment.
  11. Provide alternative testing formats (e.g., oral, large print, Braille or taped).
  12. Allow extended time for exams.
  13. Other adaptations suited to specific situations, such as tactile materials in presenting graphs or illustrations may be helpful.

Please visit our website for for more general information on Visual Disabilities