Boy clearing the table

Clearing the Table: Cleaning and Organizing Skills

Tips to promote independent living skills for students with visual impairments by clearing the table, cleaning and organizing.

In all aspects of our adult lives, we are expected to be organized and to clean up after ourselves. Some of us are better at this than others. While some of us are neat freaks, others seem to have little interest in or need for a well-organized environment. However, being able to organize and tidy up our work spaces is a necessary part of life. For individuals with vision impairments, having an established organization system and the skills to clean up is especially helpful in allowing individuals to keep track of their personal items and navigate their environments.

In this activity, students practice cleaning and organizing skills by clearing the table after a meal. A table or similar surface is a good starting point for building tidying skills since it is a small and manageable space. Students who are able can eventually learn strategies for tidying larger and more complex spaces. This activity also promotes responsibility and contribution to family chores/household management.

  1. Set a table for a meal, complete with plates, cups, napkins, and silverware.
  2. After the meal, ask student to clear the table.
  3. If needed, show student where to put various items (i.e napkins in the trash, plates and cups in the sink). Provide instruction on handling glass items.
  4. When all items have been cleared from the table, student can use a sponge or cleaning rag to wipe down the table surface. Encourage a consistent pattern to ensure the table is wiped thoroughly, such as cleaning lengthwise from left to right.

Collage for teaching student with visual impairments to clear the table

By Courtney Tabor-Abbott

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