Providing Learning Support for Blind or Visually Impaired Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities
Designing and Implementing the Fieldwork Curriculum
The basis for successful field work by blind and visually impaired students needs to be designed into the curriculum from the outset. Several aspects of this design process are described in the following documents:
Strategies and approaches
Here are some ideas you might like to think about:
- Treat curriculum development for the blind and visually impaired student as a twin process, involving the designing in of opportunities and the designing out of barriers.
- Consider problems likely to impact on the visually impaired student during the design and validation of the entire geography course, from the total package down to the individual module and topic. Since fieldwork is normally inter-related with other elements of the curriculum, it makes sense for the needs of visually impaired students to be considered at all levels and stages of their programme, rather than considering the field elements in a vacuum.
- Although it may be necessary to modify existing field study to remove barriers to access by the visually impaired, it is better, wherever possible, to create field study with accessibility designed in from the outset. As the authors of the Mobility Guide in this series suggest:
"It is better to attempt to design a programme which is accessible in the first place than to try to make one accessible later as an afterthought."
- Include accessibility statements in all course documents, and include full details of activities that are likely to impact on the blind or visually impaired student in fieldwork documents, such as travel, accommodation, the field study area, fieldwork activities, etc.
- Involve as many people as possible in the design process — blind and visually impaired students, staff from the Disability Support Unit, staff involved in running the fieldcourse, etc.
© Geography Discipline Network/authors, 2001
ISBN: 1 86174 115 4