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Using Graphic Organizers as Visual Aids for Students with Vision Impairments

written by: Barbara • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 7/12/2012

In most classrooms, visual aids are posted everywhere in the classroom. Teachers use visual aids to enhance the learning experience for all students. However, students with vision impairments may need additional strategies in knowing how to use visual aids to enhance their learning success.

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    Graphic Organizers as Visual Aids

    Teachers use a diversity of visual aids to engage and motivate students in the learning process. Graphic organizers can provide positive visual aids to help students process and understand what's going on in the classroom. Here are a few tips on how to use graphic organizers in the classroom to help students with vision impairments navigate around the classroom:

    • When using the overhead projector make sure the graphic visual aid is large enough for students to write in the boxes. For example if the learning objective for the day is to teach students how to write a story, the graphic organizers could use three different types of graphic visuals for each major point on story creation: A box for the title of the story; a circle for the proposed topic sentences for each paragraph; and a square for information for each topic sentence. A student with visual impairments can see the parts of story creation front and center.
    • When using graphic visuals for learning objectives make sure that you get them enlarged so that students with vision problems can see what's being presented.
    • If you are using a storyboard visual make sure that the board isn't cluttered with large chunks of information that could prove to be distracting and too busy for students seeking to differentiate parts of a story or learning goal.
    • When using the board make sure that the graphics are drawn using a different color marker for each organizer so that students with vision difficulties can see that each color represents a different point related to the the major topic area.
    • Use graphic organizers to scaffold the learning for students by presenting smaller chunks of text information in each organizer to help students see how the points are interrelated to each other and to the major topic area.

    Graphic organizers can provide effective visual aids that make learning fun and accessible for students with vision impairments in the classroom.