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Faculty & Staff

Guide to Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Accommodations for Blind/Visually Impaired Students

  • Provide seating in the front of the classroom.
  • Allow tape recorders in the classroom.  Although some blind students may take notes in Braille, the majority of blind/visually-impaired students will use a tape recorder.
  • Items written on the chalkboard and/or overhead transparencies should also be stated orally or duplicated in advance in enlarged print or Braille, as appropriate.
  • In most cases, tests will need to be administered in a different location with extended minutes and a reader or assistive technology.
  • Provide assistance interpreting materials that are represented visually such as photographs, diagrams, graphs, and charts.
  • Student Support Services will assist students in obtaining textbooks on tape through the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.  A minimum of two months advance notice is usually necessary to allow time for recording new textbooks.  Less time is needed for previously recorded textbooks.  You can help by making textbook selections early.
  • "Guide" dogs are permitted in the classrooms as well as in other college facilities.  Please see our "Stipulations for Assistance Animals", page XVIII.18.0.
  • Students may need your assistance in obtaining a volunteer note taker. (Notes can later be used in conjunction with a reader service and recordings of classroom discussion.) If a volunteer note taker cannot be secured for the students class, the student will be permitted to audio record lectures and discussions.
  • Encourage students to familiarize themselves with assistive technology available in Student Support Services:
    • Software converts text into Braille to be printed on Braille paper.
    • The Kurzweil Reader – scans and reads textbooks/handouts aloud.
    • JAWS for Windows (Job Access With Speech)– a software program that changes a personal computer and a speech synthesizer into a talking computer system for people who are visually impaired.  This tool allows the user to read the screen but also provides the software necessary to work, study, and be creative.
    • Dragon Naturally Speaking – voice recognition software converts speech dictated by user into text.
    • Pictures in a Flash (PIAF) – makes tactile representations of charts, graphs, formulas and equations on special thermal paper.
    • CCTV – magnifier enlarges and projects text on to television-like screen.  A second CCTV is located in the VWCC library.

Please refer such students to the Office of Disability Services in S207 (857-7286).