4. "Your child doesn’t seem to want to use any specialized
devices,” (e.g., a cane, braille, optical aids, assistive technology, etc.)."
Why is this statement problematic?
When specialized tools (such as a cane, braille, optical aids, or assistive
technology) have been deemed appropriate and necessary through assessment,
the use of these tools cannot be avoided just because the child does not
like it. Just as some children do not like math, they are still required
to take it because it is a life skill. Students may not want to use tools
different from what their classmates are using or may not want attention
drawn to their visual impairment, but they still need to learn these life
skills. Children may also resist the use of specialized devices because
they have not yet mastered the skills and may find using them difficult.
School and home can work together to help children understand the value
of these devices, overcome any reservations, and provide multiple opportunities
for guided practice.
Possible Responses for Parents/Advocates
- “We are also very concerned about Fred’s reluctance to use his optical
aids and we’re trying to figure out why he doesn’t like to use them. Perhaps
they are not helping his visual access as much as we had hoped or perhaps
he needs more practice so that he can use them more quickly and comfortably.
We are working with his TVI and his O&M Specialist* to assess the situation
and perhaps provide more training and practice.”
- “It sounds as if it would be helpful to educate Faith’s classmates about
special tools she will be using. Perhaps we could do a workshop with the
class. I know some adults who are blind or visually impaired who are very
skilled in the use of a variety of aids and techniques. They would be happy
to come and visit Faith’s class.”
- “Sometimes it is hard for Jill to be the only student who uses specialized
tools. Thus, it would be beneficial for her to spend some time with others
who use similar devices. Perhaps she needs to be introduced to other students
with visual impairments in the district. We have also enrolled her in a
summer camp for students who are blind or visually impaired. We hope this
will increase her motivation to use these tools, but in the meantime, we
think instruction needs to continue.”
* Teacher of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
* Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Read the Law
Collabortive effort between the
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Copyright © 2008 National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
Copyright © 2006 National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities
Permission to use for educational purposes granted.