Ideas to assist visual difficulties due to brain damage
The following ideas have all been suggested by parents and carers
and patients with visual difficulties due to brain problems. Not all
the ideas will be useful to everyone. It may be that only one or two
of the ideas will actually help to make a difference. We are always
looking for more ideas and suggestions to add to this list. Please
me if you wish to add any other suggestions or change some of the ideas
that you think are wrong or wish to improve upon.
Strategies, which were described as proving helpful inside the school/work environment
|Problem||Approaches||Variations / developments|
|Difficulty going downstairs||
Handrails at all steps, fluorescent paint to
highlight the edge of steps
Supervision from support teacher with verbal prompts to assist child.
School 'buddy' for transition time.Good lighting, minimal wall decoration around stair wells
Move classes to ground level (where possible).
Use of lift or stair climber
|Cluttered class environment, bumping into desks||
Plain flooring. Move furniture to allow 'flow through', decrease amount of clutter on the walls to allow background contrast for furniture and minimise distraction.
Place child's desk closest to the classroom door and the teacher.
Use symbols, pictures or colours to indicate storage areas for materials
Involve child with layout and choice of symbols for storage zonesTry 'footprints' on the floor to lead to the child’s desk
Difficulty focussing on blackboard and teacher
Place child at front of class facing blackboard and teacher to prevent the distractions of looking over/between other heads and objects.
Provide chair with arms to help child sit on the centre of the chair so they cannot fall off and can concentrate on 'looking' and 'listening'.
Sit with teacher slightly to the right for left visual field or attentional impairment and vice versa
Provide a separate work station (can still be situated beside neighbour) or ensure large surface area on double desks to prevent distracting 'elbow bumping' and peripheral distraction caused by movement of a restless neighbour.
Consider portable 'work screen' to minimise visual and auditory distraction
Difficulty copying from blackboardDifficulty seeing computer screen
Ensure that all written material is visible depending
on acuity and contrast sensitivity
Consider white board for different contrast.
Provide material on handouts to reduce unnecessary copying of
Ensure good lighting of the teacher and the board.Use mat computer screen to block glare.
Classroom assistant to help with scribing or
keeping child's visual attention on target
Teacher not to talk and write on board at the same time to allow visual sense to be the maximum focus
Provide a computer with a digital camera with a zoom facility to both view distant material and import itAsk the teacher to use large well spaced script for the whole class
|Regularly loses school materials||
Use a portable screen to demarcate the desk area.
Use coloured tape to mark placement zones eg; jotter in red box, pencil placed on yellow rectangle to the right.
Provide labelled storage tray with personal colours or pictures for child to store and return materials to
Encourage child to only have current items required
Provide clear pencil case with a white cardboard insertUse coloured coded paper to cover school books or use a picture or clear symbol to assist visual recognition
Fatigues easily and becomes overwhelmed by visual and sensory inputBehaviour deteriorates
Allow child to place head on arms for 'time out'
Let child move from desk to designated 'quiet zone'
Change activity to less demanding one and return later when
Consider content of teaching day and do not do too many intensely visually focussed tasks in a rowAllow for some gross motor physical movements to 'calm down'
Ensure time out zone is viewed positively and
used by other children
Involve child with design of this zone, the colour choice and the position and seating
Encourage the use of a traffic light system eg; child can say I am feeling green for go, amber for tiring and red for stop.
This allows the child to express how they feel as a single word
|Difficulty accessing playground and playing||
Handrails at steps, smooth pathways, clear boundary markings.
Handrails for path guides or footprints etc.
Soft zone for safe playInform classmates of child's poor vision and explain that an individual child in a group cannot be identified (explaining why affected children stand at the side of the playground or attach themselves to another child for security)
Bright paint on railings, designated play zones
Accompanying classroom assistant or 'play buddy'
Push along toys available to walk with
Suitable activities accessible for CVI children.
Involve child in activities that they are able to do, enjoy and excel in