Tips for Faculty with Visual Impairments
Vision loss can occur during any point in life. This loss can impact your personal and professional lives. With the advancements of technologies, easier connections with people with similar disabilities, and more effort by employers, schools, and others to create a more inclusive environment, people with vision loss can participate and be productive citizens in their homes and marketplace. If you have a visual impairment or your vision is beginning to deteriorate, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss technologies and techniques that are available to assist you. We have staff members available with years of experience working with people with vision loss.
The following suggestions may be helpful. However, this topic is very broad, due to the variety of types and degrees of vision loss. Some of the suggestions will offer strategies for the teaching environment and others will suggest tactics for day-to-day activities that you might encounter on the job or in your personal life. We will continue to add resources and tips as we work with new technologies and find new solutions to create a more accessible environment. If you would like more information, please call us at 844-2096.
Workplace and Day-to-Day Tips
- Both Windows and Apple operating systems come with built in screen magnifiers already installed on your computer. Office of Accessibility has a site license available to install JAWS text-to-speech and Zoomtext software on your work computer.
- iPads have text-to-speech, zooming, font enlargement, and color contrast accessories that can be activated to assist you.
- Digital recorders are a handy portable means of making notes. Mobile phones also have notes and voice memo applications to assist with this task.
- Label file folders with different colors of labels.
- Technology training is offered by the Office of Accessibility.
- To help eliminate cheating on tests, use a fully sighted proctor. Also, utilize different forms of the test.
- Adjust the environment as needed. For example, if glare is a problem, use a cloth on your podium to eliminate it. Also, you can adjust the lighting to meet your needs by having a portable light with you, or adjusting the screen on your computer or tablet.
- Require students to submit all assignments in an accessible electronic format.
If you need an accommodation, speak with your supervisor. Faculty who feel they need workplace accommodations to perform the essential functions of their jobs should also contact:
Director, Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity
317 James E. Foy Hall
- The American Foundation for the Blind’s www.afb.org and the National Federation for the Blind www.nfb.org contains a wealth of information about eye conditions, as well as suggestions for ways to adapt tasks using both high and low tech methods.
- The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) www.rehab.alabama.gov provides assistance to individuals to maintain employment if a disability occurs.