If sighted students are to respond effectively to the needs of blind and visually impaired students, they will need to invest time in relevant learning and/or training. (See the related document on Staff Awareness.) The department and institution will play a significant part in supporting these activities.
The main purpose of student awareness training is to enable them to understand the particular study and safety needs of blind and visually impaired students, especially on fieldcourses. It can also provide an opportunity for discussing group study dynamics (see the Individual and Group Work document), and maybe help in identifying suitable buddies (see the Buddies document).
What should student awareness training include? Here are some suggestions:
How is it best done? There are two broad possibilities: set aside specific times and dates for awareness-raising sessions, or absorb the awareness raising into mainstream classes or other events (e.g. induction).
Students with visual impairments also need to participate in awareness raising events. For example:
Page updated 14 December 2001
GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock
© Geography Discipline Network/authors, 2001
ISBN: 1 86174 115 4