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Acquired Brain Injury Blind & Low Vision Hard of Hearing & Deaf Orthopedic Impairments

Blind & Low Vision

Low Vision include disorders in the sense of vision that affect the central vision acuity, the field of vision, color perception, or binocular visual function. The American Medical Association defined legal blindness as visual acuity not exceeding 20/200 in the better eye with correction, or a limit in the field of vision that is less that a 20 degree angle (tunnel vision). Tumors, infections, injuries, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, vascular impairments, or myopia may cause legal blindness. Visual disabilities vary widely. Some students may use a guide dog, others a white cane, while others may not require any mobility assistance.

Accommodations should include:

  • Tape recording of class lectures and discussions
  • Lab assistance
  • Seating in front of the class
  • All printed material, including text books, offered in the alternative format of the student's choice.
  • Notes written in clear black print on white or yellow paper
  • Testing accommodations, taped text, taped tests, readers, scribes, extended test taking time, a separate test taking room, enlarged print, lap top word processors
  • Materials presented on the board or on transparencies read out loud.
  • Advance notice of class schedule or room changes.

General Information:

  • If you are serving as a sighted guide, let the student take your arm just above the elbow. Familiarize the student with the surroundings and draw attention to any obstructions that you encounter.
  • Passageways through aisles should be kept clear at all times. If furniture is moved, alert the student.
  • Avoid the excessive use of pronouns. Words like this, that, here or there have no points of reference for a person with a visual disability.
  • If the student has a guide dog, do not pet, talk to, or otherwise distract the animal while it is "working".

Common Misconceptions:

1. Blind people use sign language.

False. Sighted people often confuse sight disabilities with hearing disabilities.

2. All people with low vision need assistance.

False. Limited vision varies from one person to another. If in doubt, ask if he/she needs help.

3. People with low vision cannot access the web or work on the computer.

False. There are excellent software screen reading programs available that enable access to the computer for people with visual disabilities. The American Disabilities Act states that all web pages must be designed to be accessible for people with low vision.

For more information about blind and low vision, computer assistive technologies, or services for students who are blind or have low vision,
call Jane Maringer-Cantu at (408) 848-4722.

Acquired Brain Injury Blind & Low Vision Hard of Hearing & Deaf Orthopedic Impairments
All college information or academic materials are available in alternate media upon request at (408) 848-4865.
For more DRC information, call 408-848-4865 or TTY at 408-846-4924.
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Last modified: January 24, 2015
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800