Teaching a visually impaired design student
January 11, 2018 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Next semester I will have a visually impaired student in the design studio I teach. Looking for advice / experience on the subject.

I'm part of the teaching team of a third semester studio of the Design program of a university in Chile. Next semester, we will have a female student who is nearly blind.

This is not such an issue as our studio is not about making things that look nice, but rather applying design thinking to questions of identity, and is not limited to visual aspects. Also the studio work is done in teams.

My question is: is there anything specific I should do or not do? I'd especially love to hear any relevant experience.
posted by signal to Human Relations (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of my graduate advisers taught a blind priest painting at one point, and there was a write-up about it in a local paper.
posted by vegartanipla at 2:40 PM on January 11


Apologies if you're already planning on doing this, but this is critical:

Have you taken the step of reviewing the course content with the student and asking her directly what accommodations she's going to anticipate requiring based on the course content/work scenarios (and committing to keeping that conversation going for the duration of the course)?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:31 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I cannot stress enough making sure any technology you use be able to be functional out the gate by the student. This includes any technology the student or their aide may be using to interact with the classroom environment. An example, from my last semester, was getting visual software working for the student's computer. My IT group had a very hard time helping the student and I did not have administrative rights to fix the software for them.

Also, confirming with Mandolin Conspiracy that it would be best to review the material with the student before hand. If you have the time, do so. More than half of the issues experienced by the student could have been remedied with advance notice and planning.
posted by jadepearl at 4:28 PM on January 11


Yes, the student herself is the best source of information about what she can/can't do, and what accommodations she needs. It's hard for a normally-sighted person to understand without asking, esp. since there can be so many different needs from person to person.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:37 PM on January 11


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