University of Edinburgh

Accessing Outdoor Environments for Visually Impaired Children

Presented in June 2011


Although many people believe that children are naturally active, increasing numbers do not engage in levels of activity sufficient to maintain adequate fitness. Children who are visually impaired are of particular concern as they can often be excluded from taking part in a full range of physical activities. This course highlights the importance of introducing visually impaired children to multi-sensory outdoor learning environments and demonstrates practical strategies for the development of engaging school play-areas and the facilitation of programmes of accessible outdoor learning sessions. Topics will include:

the impact of visual impairment on the development of educational and social competence within a mainstream context;

  • the role of play and active learning in outdoor environments in addressing this impact;
  • visual impairment, outdoor environments and learning styles;
  • adapting play and learning environments;
  • recommended activities;
  • attitudes towards risk and health& safety;
  • instilling an understanding of the experience of visual impairment among sighted pupils.

Target Audience: Primary teachers in mainstream schools attended by children who are visually impaired, parents, and others who work with children and young people with low vision.

Presenters: David Feeney, VI Scotland
Caroline Standring, Training Officer, Grounds for Learning