“Visual Impairment is a term experts use to describe any kind of vision loss, whether it’s someone who cannot see at all, or someone who has partial vision loss” [1]

Toucan Diversity facilitates Visual Impairment Awareness Training. Our trainer shares his own experiences of having multiple visual impairments and the strategies he has developed, this has therefore helped him with everyday tasks and situations. This includes school, college, work environments and mobility.

Many people experience some type of visual problem during their lives; the inability to read small print, or not seeing objects far away, are usually managed by using glasses or contact lenses. However, if damage or disease occurs in any parts of the eye or brain needed to process images, then visual impairment can occur, which consequently cannot always be treated by surgery or lenses.

There are different categories of visual impairment; blind, severely visually impaired and visually impaired/partially sighted. All these categories mean that a person will have varying levels of sight. Also most importantly, having the same eye condition as someone else does not necessarily result in shared experiences. Furthermore, some people have multiple visual impairments, which require different strategies to be implemented.

In addition there continues to be misconceptions and a lack of understanding about visual impairment. Most people recognize someone accompanied by a guide dog, or carrying a white cane, as being visually impaired in some way. However, for other people with sight loss, the use of technology, prescription dark glasses and assistive tools means that their disability is invisible.

[1]www.kidshealth.org/visual impairment, Sept 2016.


Training objectives are to:

* Emphasize the statistics surrounding visual impairment.

* Discuss own visual impairments, and how they affect everyday life.

* Identify various traits linked to visual impairments.

* Demonstrate effective ways of accommodating and supporting people with visual impairments.

Overall outcomes:

* Participants will have a better understanding of specific visual impairments.

* Participants will acquire skills to enable them to support people with a visual impairment.


David Shervill

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