Support Measures for Students with Visual Impairment/Blindness
１．Accommodations in class
(１) Text books and documents
【For students with limited vision】
●Enlarging font size
Please think about whether you can prepare documents with adjusted text size or altered fonts. If you are able to, please ask the student about his or her individual needs as the size, font type, and darkness of text that is easy to read varies from student to student. If thestudent has a specific requests, these will be communicated via the support implementation officer from the student’s department/division.
●Providing digital versions of documents
If you are able to provide the student with digital versions of documents (as PDF or Word files, etc.), this allows the student to enlarge the font size on his or her computer, and adjust the contrast to make the materials easier to read.
【For students with blind】
●Providing digital versions of documents
If you are able to provide the student with digital versions of documents (as Word or Text files, etc.), this allows the student to confirm the materials’ contents using text-to-speech software. The data also helps make the conversion to Braille process smoother.
●Requesting digitization of documents
If only hard copies of documents are available, we can arrange to have these converted to text data. Please speak to the support implementation officer from the relevant department/division for details.
●Translation of text books and documents into Braille
If a text book or document needs to be translated into Braille, please submit a request to the DSO. Early requests are appreciated, in addition to the time required for the translation work, we require time to obtain the manuscript data from the publisher. If you let us know the class schedule and the sections that will be used in each class, we can prioritizes the parts that are needed first.
(２) Writing on the blackboard
【For students with limited vision】
●For students with limited vision
Use large letters when writing on the board.
Please use a color which is in clear contrast to the background (the blackboard or white board), using as large letters as possible.
●Reserving seats with a clear view of the board
When reserving a seat for a student, please ask the student for which position works best for him or her, as this can vary depending on the brightness of the classroom’s lights, the angle light enters the room at, and the student’s individual perspective. The support implementation officer and DSO may install a priority seating area in the classroom, upon consultation with the student.
●Use of assistive tools
Please be aware that students may need to use a monocular glass, magnifying glass, portable magnifying reading machine, or other assistive device.
【For students with blindness】
●Reading aloud the blackboard’s contents
Reading out what you have written on the blackboard and providing extra explanation about images helps with the student’s understanding. Please note that using directives such as ‘this’ and ‘that’ when explaining makes it difficult for visually impaired students to know what you are referring to, so please use specific terms rather than directives wherever possible. If necessary, a scribe may sit next to the student to record visual information such as the blackboard’s contents, slides, and film subtitles on behalf of the student.
(３) Using slides and video materials
【For all visually impaired students/Deaf】
●Providing digital versions of slides, etc.
Wherever possible, please give the student digital versions of the slides. If this is not possible, please provide printed versions, printed at a size that is easy for the student to read.
When using video materials in class, please consider loaning these to the student so he or she can replay the video multiple times to listen to the contents.
(４) Student submissions in class
【For students with low vision】
●Prepare paper that is easy to write on
For students with low vision who are able to write on paper, please check with the student and prepare paper that is easy for him or her to write on, with adjustments such as darker or wider lines added.
●Allow ample writing time
Even for students who are able to write, they may require extra time and it could be difficult to submit attendance cards or reports before the end of the class. Please consider giving them extra time for writing, or allowing them to submit the document after class.
●Alternative submission methods
For students who have difficulty writing by hand, please consider alternative submission methods such as handing in a voice recording with the student’s orally-produced information, or a text version of this that a scribe has produced. The student could also submit a report that he or she produces on a computer after the class is over.
(５) About tutorials and group work
●Make other students aware of points of caution when making comments or presentations
Please consider having a talk with the visually-impaired student in advance about any points of caution they would like their classmates to be aware of when they make presentations (such as saying their name before speaking, using specific language to explain things, and giving extra explanations when showing video footage), and conveying these points to the other students before commencing.
●Utilize mailing lists
Please see that visually-impaired students have access to the data from other students’ presentations. This can be done effectively by utilizing mailing lists.
●Explaining classroom situations
Students with visual impairments may get confused when they are not able to follow what is going on around them. When there is something different about the class, for example a sudden room change is needed, the desks are in a different layout to usual, or students need to move because of group work, please explain what is happening using oral communication.
●Use students’ names when calling on students
A visually-impaired student may not realize that he or she has been called on. When calling on students please use their names, to ensure they are aware that they have been called on. In smaller classes, if you use the other students’ names as much as possible when calling on them as well, the visually-impaired student will gradually become able to distinguish their classmates by their voices and talking styles.
２．Accommodations for exams
Please consider the following kinds of accommodations for exams, in accordance with the visually-impaired student’s situation. The student and support implementation officer will discuss the specific situation with you before the exam, after having spoken with the DSO.
●Allowing the student to bring assistive tools
Please allow visually-impaired students to bring tools such as magnifying reading machines, and writing implements that allow them to write more easily into exams.
●Changing methods of conveying exam questions
e.g. Braille translation of exam questions / use text-to-speech software to present exam questions orally, or read the questions out to the student / provide an exam paper with the questions copied in enlarged text that is easy for the student to read.
●Changing methods of answering exam questions
e.g. Using Braille to write answers / using a computer to type answers / voice recordings of the student’s answers (submit the student’s recording on a voice recorder, or have a scribe write down on the exam paper) / using an exam paper prepared in accordance with the student’s situation (darker lines, wider lines, extra pages, etc.)
●Changing methods of examination
e.g. Switching to an oral exam / switching to a report
●Adjusting the exam date or time
e.g. Extending the exam duration with the student using a separate room (if the student has more than one exam that day, the dates will be adjusted upon consultation with the support implementation officer)