Many students feel that they are different or alone. Connecting with a positive role model can influence actions and can motivate a student to strive to uncover true potential and overcome weakness. (See the article, 5 Reasons You Need a Role Model). Students who are visually impaired also benefit from successful role models. In smaller school systems, a student with a visual impairment may be the only visually impaired student in his/her school and often have limited opportunities to meet or interact with adults who are visually impaired. Relating to a mentor – especially someone who shares the same diagnosis – can provide strategies for success and raise expectations. In schools that have or previously had students with visual impairments, all too often, there are preconceived ideas about the next student’s vision and/or learning modes based on other students. Educators can also benefit from learning about and understanding visual impairments in general and that each visually impaired student is unique in not only his learning style but also how his diagnosis may impact his functional vision.
YouTubers who are visually impaired briefly share their eye condition and how it impacts their vision in the video below, Blindness is a Spectrum. These cool YouTube vloggers (video bloggers) talk about a number of eye conditions; each person’s vision has been impacted differently. In the video description, Juan writes, “Most people when they hear the word “blind” they think it means you can’t see anything at all. In reality blindness is a much more complicated thing. Here I didn’t just want to say that blindness is a spectrum but I also wanted to show it and with the help of several YouTube friends who are blind or visually impaired, I hope to be able to send that message.”
By Diane Brauner