Vision Impairment
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K-12 CAMS for Students with Vision Impairment

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Individuals with vision impairment may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with vision impairment will need the same CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with vision impairment.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          



1. What limitations the student with vision impairment is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with vision impairment been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding vision impairment?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.




Reading Information from Printed Materials:


For those who benefit from magnification & other modifications

        Provide a hand/stand magnifier

        Enlarge information on photo copier

        Provide information in large print

        Reduce glare on paper copy

        Use color acetate sheets

        Improve lighting or use task lighting


        Provide a closed circuit television system (CCTV)

        Provide alternative optical wear, i.e. clip-on monocular or loupes; prism spectacles; binocular systems, or a hand held monocular

        Allow frequent breaks to rest eyes when fatigue is a factor


For those who do not benefit from magnification

        Provide an optical character recognition system (OCR)

        Use tactile graphics

        Provide a qualified reader


Reading Information from a Computer Screen:


For those who benefit from magnification and other modifications

        Increase font size or change Accessibility Options in Windows Accessories control panel

        Add locator dots and/or large print labels to computer keyboard

        Provide an external computer screen magnifier         

        Provide screen magnification software           

        Use an anti-glare or anti-radiation computer screen guard

        Provide special computer glasses to reduce glare   

        Allow frequent breaks to rest eyes when fatigue is a factor


For those who do not benefit from magnification

        Provide screen reading software

        Provide a computer Braille display

        Provide a qualified reader


Taking Notes, Completing Forms, Writing, Reporting, or Documenting:


For those who benefit from magnification & those who do not

        Use an audio or digital recorder

        Use a Braille stylus/Braille plate

        Use a Braille Printer or Embosser

        Purchase special pens, e.g. a bold felt tip or lighted pen

        Purchase special paper, e.g. with tactile lines, bold print, or less glare

        Use a form guide

        Use electronic Braille or talking note takers and organizers

        Add voice output to the computer

        Provide closed circuit television system

        Provide a scribe


Using Speech Output on Computer:


        Use a headset    

        Provide an earplug for the computer


Improving Mobility:


For those who benefit from magnification & for those who do not

        Allow the use of a service animal for assistance with mobility

        Provide mobility and orientation training

        Use a mobility aid (cane, electronic aid, other)

        Install detectable warning service

        Install colored edges on stairs for improved color contrast

        Improve lighting in area

        Provide a traveling/emergency evacuation partner

        Provide a verbal landmark system



Sensitivity to Light:


        Lower wattage of overhead lights

        Provide task or alternative lighting

        Use full spectrum lighting and/or filters

        Install flicker free lighting           

        Provide optical wear (Protective eye glasses)

        Move work space or desk to another spot

        Place blinds on windows


Distinguishing Between Colors:


        Label items                     

        Use X-Chrome lens

        Provide prescription glasses for color discrimination

        Provide a color analyzer

        Use colored acetate sheets      

        Provide a coach to identify colors



        Assist with access to and use of school or public transportation

        Ride with a coach

        Allow modified or flexible school schedule


Accessing the Internet:


For those who benefit from magnification & for those who do not

        The hardware/software options previously mentioned
        Use text based web browser

        Redesign Web sites or Intranet (i.e., student handbook online)

        Provide reader to describe pictures and materials; print out Web page information and enlarge text on a photo copier, Closed Circuit Television, or use Optical Character Recognition Systems

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2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu