University of Edinburgh

Teaching Mathematics and Science to Pupils/Students with Visual Impairment

Presented on Thursday 26 May 2011


This course looked at adapting, delivering and assessing mathematics and science for pupils/students with visual impairment. Participants discussed teaching methods and work with a variety of specialised equipment. There were practical sessions focussed on diagrams and graphs, and using selected scientific apparatus.

Target Audience: Teachers and others who support pupils/students with visual impairment, in mathematics and science.

Presenters: Janis Sugden, Co-ordinator, SSC
Cathy Balfour and Anna Christal, The Royal Blind School, Edinburgh


10.20 am Introduction Janis Sugden

10.30 am Session 1: Difficulties with diagrams

  • Why we use diagrams pros and cons for pupils with VI
  • Samples of different types of tactile diagrams
  • Teaching practical skills eg; reading Braille diagrams, graphs
  • Recommended standard for tactile diagrams explained
  • Examples of maths and science materials to identify where diagrams are essential
  • Using IT to draw diagrams with Braille labels in accordance with recommendations
  • Raised diagrams using Minolta paper

1.15 pm Session 3: Importance of experiential learning in Maths and Science

  • Use of models
  • Accessing practical experimental work in science
  • Adaptations to equipment
  • Adaptations to practice

2.15 pm Session 4: Plenary session Including opportunity for participants to adapt and re-write own materials, in discussion with others