Instructional strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Visual Processing Issues

By Amanda Morin

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If your child has trouble processing visual information, it can get in the way of learning. There are accommodations that teachers can use in the classroom to make it easier. Here’s a look at some strategies and tools that can help kids who have visual processing issues.

283Found this helpful
At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Visual Processing Issues

How can teachers make learning easier for kids with visual processing issues? Here are some accommodations that can help in the classroom.

For Materials:
• Let the student use a slant board (or three-ring binder) to bring work closer to his visual field.
• Provide wide-ruled paper to help the student form letters in the right space.
• Darken or highlight lines and margins on paper.
• Use Wikki Stix to create a border for areas in which to color or glue.
• Provide loop scissors to make it easier to control cutting and follow a line.
• Let the student use colored glue sticks on white paper.

For Teaching Techniques:
• Give oral directions as well as written instructions.
• Describe out loud any visual presentations.
• Provide the student with a peer note-taker or a copy of class notes.
• Allow time to summarize each lesson.
• Include simple diagrams or images to help clarify long written directions.
• Allow time for the student to ask questions about presentations and directions.

For Classwork and Taking Tests:
Teachers Can:
• Provide uncluttered handouts with simple directions and few nonessential images.
• Write directions in a different color.
• Allow the student to submit answers on a separate sheet of paper so he can focus on writing thoughtful responses rather than on fitting them into small spaces.
• Use highlighting or sticky-note flags to draw attention to important information on worksheets.
• Draw bold, black borders around math problems to help the student focus on one item at a time.
• Clearly space words and problems on a page.
• Ask for oral reports instead of written responses.

Students Can:
• Use a reading guide strip or a blank index card to block out other lines of text while reading.
• Use audiobooks and tape class lectures.
• Reduce visual distractions by folding a worksheet or using blank pieces of paper to cover up part of the page.
• Use a highlighter to highlight information while reading.
Graphic of At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Visual Processing Issues
Graphic of At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Visual Processing Issues

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About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Ginny Osewalt

Ginny Osewalt is certified in elementary and special education, with experience in inclusion, resource room and self-contained settings.

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