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Adapting Video for VI Learners

Making best use of unmodified materials

Managing presentations

Here is a suggested checklist for the teacher who will be dealing with presentations involving video where some students are visually impaired. You'll need to consider the size of group; the environment; what part the video plays;what other AV is to be used; and how to pace the presentation.

Size of group:

this will dictate the formality or informality of the session. If it is a large group it will mean that it will not be easy for students with visual impairment to re-position themselves once the session has started.


Size and layout of the hall/room needs to be taken into account in deciding number of monitors, positioning of students, lighting.

Purpose of video:

If you are going to show only a short excerpt as part of a presentation, then it may be simpler for everyone concerned to let students with visual impairment see it in advance. If the video is a major part of the presentation then ensuring all students are well positioned is extremely important. Taking into account the range of visually impairing conditions, preparation, pre or post viewing, and helpful scripts or notes would be advisable.

Audio visual aids:

Use of OHP in conjunction with lecture and video adds additional pressure to students with visual impairment. Coping with different levels of illumination, focusing and refocusing (perhaps by changing glasses or magnifier) between OHP/lecturer/video can make it very tiring and may lead to a student giving up. Supplying the students with their own copy of the contents of the OHP acetates would be a great help.


sometimes what seems like an interesting session when planned in your head or paper can turn into a nightmare if the technology is not ready, working and the correct video extracts cannot be found on the tape! Particularly where there are several students with individual support needs as regards video viewing. Keeping the presentations simple is a good plan. If students have learning difficulties, then they need to be well-prepared in order to know what to look for and learn from the video.