Top Access Tips: Managing the classroom environment (partially sighted)

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Top Access Tips: Managing the Classroom Environment

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


  • Good even lighting
  • Avoid Glare
  • Control light e.g. adjust blinds/curtains, move child’s location in classroom according to lighting conditions


  • Keep a predictable and consistent classroom environment
  • Clearly labelled resources, drawers and displays
  • Provide additional space at child’s desk for equipment, large print papers
  • Storage space for folders/equipment  in classroom


  • Text to be read, at reading height,
  • Minimum 14pt, black, Arial or Comic Sans
  • Clear contrasting colours for text, display mounts

Teacher’s position in class

  • Stand away from the window (standing with back to the window creates shadow)
  • Stand at a proximity to enable  child the best view of you, find out what this distance is from the Teacher of VI or parent


  • Speak child’s name first to gain attention, ensure he/she is looking towards you before you begin to speak, particularly when they have their hand up to answer a question
  • Ensure all verbal instructions are precise

 Seating to access distance vision tasks

  • Child to sit close to the action, at a distance that enables the best view
  • Position the child in most suitable place to access whiteboard, smart board, demonstration, carpet activity , may need to sit in different places for different activities

Whiteboards/interactive board

  • Black rather than coloured pens provide better contrast on whiteboards
  • Clean class and individual whiteboards regularly
  • Large clear black font(Arial) uncluttered, simple layout

 Understanding the task

  • If appropriate, assist the child to ‘visually access’ 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

Printed materials

  • Adapt to child’s print specification and individual needs – ask the Teacher of VI for advice
  • It is good practice for the child NOT to share any text

Marking and making comments on the child’s work

  • Use a black pen and write in large print
  • Numerous comments should be done as numbered footnotes
  • Print spellings at the end of the piece of work for the child to read

‘Remember Point’

Visual Fatigue:   “Seeing” requires a good deal of effort and concentration, which may affect motivation due to the visual fatigue  experienced after prolonged periods of close work.

The child’s eye condition may fluctuate meaning they ‘see’ better some days than others, impacting on their access to the curriculum.

Please click below for a downloadable and printable copy of Gwyn’s Top 10 Tips for Classroom Management 🙂

10 top tips classroom management


 Please check back tomorrow for top access tips for those who are non-sighted.












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