Experiencing life as a student with vision impairment

On Wednesday 23 August, VHHS welcomed Karen and Kirby from Kilparrin Teaching and Assessment School and Services.

Kilparrin provides on-site preschool and school programs and a state-wide support service for students with sensory impairment (vision and/or hearing) and additional disabilities.

Staff from our Special Education Sub School had the opportunity to work with and learn from Karen and Kirby as they provided orientation and mobility training, allowing staff to experience life as a student with vision impairment.

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Staff experienced walking around the school grounds blindfolded, reading and writing while wearing custom glasses that simulated being legally blind, and solving a simple puzzle with no sight.

Karen said “You really need to experience the loss of vision to understand the needs of students with low vision. Activities like this highlight just how important concept understanding is, as well as background noise, planning and consistency.”

School Services Officer Lynette Wheatley said “It was interesting to experience how much longer it took to do things. I had to be continually focused and could only concentrate on one task at a time. Having this experience has definitely changed the way that I will work with students with vision impairments.”

Teacher, Lauren Height said “I was surprised how much I instantly focused on my hearing. I became so aware of everything that I was hearing and it seemed so noisy. This experience has made me more mindful of even simple things like saying people’s names first before you start talking.”