Lesson 9: Describing My Visual Impairment

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To learn how to convey the student’s visual impairment in simple terms to another.

Materials needed: Literature and a video on student’s specific visual impairment


“As you have already experienced, most people have very little understanding of a visual impairment, especially low vision. You will have many opportunities to educate others—your boss, teacher, friend, or an acquaintance. One of many reasons for describing your visual impairment is to better explain your need for a reasonable accommodation. This lesson isn’t about when to disclose your visual impairment, but how to explain it, in simple terms and politely, to another.”

Exercise: Discover Your Visual Impairment

Have student investigate her visual impairment. Read about it online, study it in an eye dictionary or other book, and watch a video about it on YouTube. (Make sure to preview video to ensure it is appropriate and accurate.)

Discussion: Synopsis of Visual Impairment

Discuss and record the following:

  • Summarize the impairment of anatomy.
  • State the effects of the impairment on the vision.
  • Note the impact of vision loss on functional activities.

Write a synopsis of the above information, using simple terms.

Exercise: Create a Simulation

“When teaching someone, it is ideal to do more than explain data, but to demonstrate the information. If you are explaining to a friend, teacher, or employer the implications of your vision loss, it may be helpful for him or her to experience a simulation of your visual impairment.”

Together, decide who would benefit from a better understanding of the student’s visual impairment. Determine whether simulation goggles or a photo, with specific blurred or missing information, is most appropriate. Create the simulation device/image.

Exercise: Convey the Visual Impairment

After practicing his synopsis and simulation activity, the student should convey his visual impairment to the chosen individual. Remind student to speak respectfully, prepare him to answer questions, and help the student understand that he is doing his part in educating the public. He’s helping more than himself.


“If you were a teacher, friend, or employer of a person with a physical disability you didn’t know much about, you would likely value the individual patiently sharing his experience with you. You will have many opportunities to inform your acquaintances, friends, and colleagues. I hope that you feel prepared to do just that.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: