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Adapting Video for VI Learners
Effects of visual impairment
Some students have physical or sensory disabilities additional to their visual impairment, and their vision may fluctuate from day to day. For example students with cerebral palsy often have visual problems of focusing, refocusing and following movement. They may also find it difficult, without help, to get into the best position for viewing. They may need specially adapted switches to work the video controls. It may also be very difficult for them to take part in sessions which involve use of different audio visual aids e.g. OHP and video and student/lecturer, student/student interaction. If you are in this situation explain to your student support person or main lecturer, so that your needs can be taken into account.
Another relatively common dual sensory impairment is called Usher's Syndrome. This means a loss of hearing and a gradual loss of vision starting with the peripheral fields. Video subtitling, which is used to help deaf students may not be a solution for these students because of their type of sight loss. The best help might be pre- or post-viewing the video with a script to fill in for the lost dialogue or commentary.
Some students may also have a range of learning difficulties as well as visual loss. As videos can be a very useful and enjoyable learning tool, careful management of the learning sessions is important, ensuring they are correctly paced, not over-complex and the students' visual and learning needs are taken into account.
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