The Tactual Learner

Vision is the primary sensory input; about 80% of learning takes place through the visual system. Vision is responsible for providing feedback about the world; it is also the unifying sense allowing sighted people to construct meaning from their observations and experiences.

For children who are blind or have very low vision, the acquisition of information may rely on input from the other senses, particularly touch and hearing.

In order to fully participate in all facets of life, and along with the general academic curriculum offered in schools, students with vision impairments also require direct teaching of a range of additional skills, tools and strategies, known as the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), by specialist vision educators.

It is important to remember that each child is a unique individual and their educational program needs to be tailored accordingly.

Specialist vision educator Annette Godfrey-Magee (2014) notes,

Students who begin school this decade will graduate during the late 2020s and early 2030s. This may seem like a long way off … and it is! As teachers, aides and family members we are preparing our children for a world we don’t really know. We need to assist each child to become independent, literate, numerate, technologically savvy, adaptable and able to participate fully in whatever the 21st Century has to offer.”

The most efficient and effective literacy (reading and writing) medium for students who are blind is braille. Braille is a system of raised dots which can read by touch. It is possible to represent anything in print using the braille code. Braille allows readers to interact with text in a way that is most similar to a sighted person interacting with print.

More about Braille

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