Educational Curriculum for Students with Vision Impairments
Specialist vision educators refer to the educational curriculum for students with vision impairments as comprising the core curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum.
Core (or whole-school) curriculum
The core curriculum refers to the knowledge and skills taught by regular class and subject teachers during students’ primary and secondary schooling.
The Victorian curriculum comprises Victorian Curriculum Foundation–10 (F–10) and the senior secondary curriculum (Years 11–12). F–10 is identified as the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship, and incorporates the delivery of mandated learning areas including:
- The Arts – Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design
- Health and Physical Education
- The Humanities – Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, History, Geography
- Technologies – Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies
Visit Improving Access to the Core Curriculum for students with vision impairments.
Expanded Core Curriculum for students with vision impairments
Students with vision impairments – students who are blind or have low vision – must achieve mastery of an array of disability-specific skills and knowledge in addition to the core curriculum.
The Expanded Core Curriculum is unique to each student with impaired vision and should be taught by a qualified and experienced specialist teacher of the vision impaired, throughout the child’s primary and secondary education.
The Expanded Core Curriculum provides a framework for assessment, planning and instruction in this specialised set of vision-specific skills for students with vision impairments. Depending on the student’s age, year level, skill set and the requirements of their educational program, their specialised program may include elements from the nine areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum including:
- Assistive Technology e.g. BrailleNote, electronic magnification, scanner, text to speech software
- Career Education e.g. career awareness, job skills, work experience
- Compensatory Access e.g. braille and tactual graphics, audio reading, organisation and study skills, exam technique, handwriting
- Independent Living e.g. banking, shopping, money, shoelaces, use of knife and fork, telling the time
- Orientation and Mobility e.g. cane use, reading a timetable, road crossing, public transport
- Recreation and Leisure e.g. games and sports, internet chat rooms, taking turns, Swish, Goalball
- Self Determination e.g. accepting and declining help, managing equipment breakdowns, explaining their vision impairment, self advocacy
- Sensory Efficiency e.g. efficient use of hearing, smell, taste, touch and any remaining vision to maximise educational and environmental access, optical devices, echolocation
- Social Interaction e.g. eye contact, body language, making friends
- Expanded Core Curriculum for students with vision impairments
- Core Curriculum – improving access for students with vision impairments
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