Biology textbooks accomodating students with disabilities
A student who is legally blind may retain a great amount of vision.Many legally blind students are able to read with special glasses, and a few can even drive.In this instance, the professor can personalize the locations of the lungs and diaphragm by asking class members to locate them by touch on their own bodies.Such solutions will not always be possible; however, if the faculty member is sensitized not to use strictly visual examples, both blind students and the rest of the class will benefit.A person is considered visually impaired when corrected vision is no better than 20/70.Eighty to ninety percent of legally blind people have some measurable vision or light perception.Most blind students use a combination of methods, including readers, tape-recorded books and lectures and, sometimes, Braille materials.Students may use raised-line drawings of diagrams, charts, illustrations, relief maps, and three-dimensional models of physical organs, shapes, and microscopic organisms.
Whatever method is proposed, the student and faculty member should agree early in the semester about how the student’s academic work would be evaluated.It is also important to note that some legally blind students have 20/20 vision.Although these students have perfect central vision, they have narrow field or side vision and see things as though they were looking through a tube or straw.Technology has made available other aids for blind people, including talking calculators, speech-time compressors, computer terminals with speech output, Braille printers, paperless Braille computer terminals, and paperless Braille machines.
Some blind students who read Braille prefer to take their own notes in class using a slate and stylus or a Perkins Brailler, though both are being replaced by laptop computers and other technological devices.
Most visually impaired students use a combination of accommodations for class participation and learning needs, including books on tape, e-text, or voice synthesizing computers, optical scanners, readers, and Braille.