Top Access Tips: Creating an accessible classroom environment (non-sighted)


(The following is offered as a general guideline only – your child may require further or different specific strategies to meet their need)


  • Keep a predictable and consistent classroom environment
  • Provide an easily accessible location for the child/young person to work in. E.g. desk near to the door or to power supply, whilst ensuring the location doesn’t isolate the child/young person
  • Resources, drawers and displays labelled with Braille or objects of reference or tactile marker
  • Provide additional space at child’s desk for equipment, Braille papers etc.
  • Storage space for folders/equipment  in classroom



  • Say child/young person’s name first to gain attention, say the names of other children as you speak to them in class discussion
  • Ensure all verbal instructions are accurate for the young person to follow
  • Describe situations, objects and scenes using accurate language. Use child/young person’s existing knowledge and build the picture, scene or understanding of the concept from this point

Access to classroom tasks

  • Accompany each action (e.g. during a demonstration) with clear dialogue
  • Verbalise as you refer to words and graphics on the board
  • Verbalise as you write text on the board
  • Provide hard copy of Braille presented on the board

Depending on the individual child/young person access may further be enabled in the following ways:

  • Provide an electronic copy of text to young person via laptop or IPad
  • Email copy of work for access via technology device
  • Connect the young person’s laptop to the interactive board presentation, adjust settings on laptop to enable speech access

Access to experiments and demonstrations:

  • Give the young person the real object(s) to explore
  • Allow time to explore the steps of an experiment before the lesson commences, explain and ‘walk through’ any specific processes or parts of the experiment

Access to close work tasks

Access to reading and writing activities, will be hugely dependent on assistive   technology chosen to support the young person but may include

  • Perkins Braille Machine, Braille Note for text production for written subjects, e.g. English, History, Geography
  • Hard copy of Braille for some subjects e.g. Maths and Science
  • IPad/Kindle to enable access to ebooks
  • Speech access for access to computer
  • Pen friend – audio labeller, scientific calculator with speech

Fatigue and maintaining access

Tactile and auditory access can be fatiguing and can take more time . Consider the learning objective or task to be completed. Are there any adaptations/reductions that can be made to:

  • Amount of content?
  • Number of questions to be answered?
  • Task to be completed, whilst still ensuring learning outcome is reached?

Understanding the task

  • Assist the YP to understand the component parts of the task first
  • Provide a verbal overview of the learning materials
  • Reinforce learning, allow  time to explore any pictures and objects and time to revisit if necessary

Marking and making comments on the Young person’s work

  • Make written comments and translate to Braille
  • Read comments to young person
  • Add comments using the Penfriend—Audio Labeller
  • Email comments to access using speech on Braille Note or laptop

Organisational Skills

  • Create folder for each subject on laptop, save work in a consistent way, e.g. young person to carry one Organisation Folder divided into numbered/subject labelled sections, contents page numbered to match section dividers.
  • Use ‘bump ons,’ to support quick re-location of information in text
  • Add numbers next to ‘bump on’
  • Keep an electronic numbered record of the annotations

Click the link to download and print your own copy of the information in this post 🙂

top tips classroom management – non sighted – Copy






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