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Teacher Feature...
Educating the Visually Impaired or Blind Child
by Dave Melanson

When a visually impaired or blind child in mainstreamed into the regular classroom setting this allows the child to learn and grow within a healthy normal environment. There are many things to be considered, first it is essential for the child to have a lot of support in many cases this should come from the family. In previous seminars I have given for teachers net I have been asked many constructive questions about this including such things as making friends within the classroom and how to ensure that the child obtains the notes from the blackboard.

I want to start with making friends in the classroom, I have found honestly that the sooner a visually impaired or blind child is mainstreamed the better for them as the other children in the classroom seem to understand and accept the visually impaired child much more from an earlier age onward, if they learn early that this child is still able to function within the classroom and most importantly should be fully accepted as an equal participant within the classroom chances are this will stick with them in their later years. On the other hand if the children are not exposed to this early and are suddenly thrown into a situation where they are forced to accept the child who is sight impaired many problems can occur. Physical education for example is one area where competitivness and fast movement are realities and often children become very intolerent of others who may be slower in competitive sports.

Taking notes from the blackboard can often be a challenge, it may be a good idea to give the visually impaired student the original copy of the notes that you the teacher have used. It is always important to ensure that the sight impaired child feels comfortable in the classroom environment. If the child is ignored or rejected by the other children often resentment, anger, and bitterness will develop in the sight impaired child which can affect their accademic performance. All children do best in an environment where creativity and learning are encouraged and free expression is strong.

I give seminars and sensitization training to elementary schoolteachers about mainstreaming and integrating sight impaired children into the regular classroom setting. I would be pleased to hear from some of you if you know of any of your school districts who may have a sight impaired child mainstreamed.

My email is: I can also be found regularly in teachers chat.


    Dave Melanson
    Montreal Canada

About Dave Melanson...
Dave Melanson is located in Montreal Canada. He has four years experience presenting seminars and sensitization training to elementary schoolteachers on mainstreaming and integrating visually impaired and blind children into the regular classroom. During the past 2 years he has begun to branch outside of the Montreal area and is now covering other Canadian Provinces as well as the U.S. When giving seminars Dave brings with him a briefcase of 10 pairs of simulator glasses, each allowing the wearer to experience a different type of visual impairment.

Dave will provide a tape of a previous seminar to any school district interested in booking a presentation in order to demonstrate the topics he covers with regard to integration and mainstreaming a sight impaired or blind child.

You may contact Dave for more information by e-mail at or by telephone: 514 7683264. Dave can also be found in the Teachers.Net chatroom many evenings during the week, logged on as Dave/Montreal.