Students with vision impairments may require adaptive devices such as a cane for orientation and mobility. They may also need assistance from other individuals when traveling to new rooms or when participating in novel physical activities. For example, games that involve such gross motor tasks as skipping or running may be enjoyed more if the student with vision impairment has a “buddy.” 


  • Never startle students by suddenly touching them or their adaptive device. Ask permission to examine or hold adaptive equipment.
  • When a student with vision impairment first comes to your office, provide an orientation to the space and furnishings.
  • Make sure your office is accessible to the student. Before your meeting, walk the route looking for obstacles and dangerous barriers to maneuvering. Remember even doors left partially open can cause injury.
  • If you are concerned that a student needs guiding, ask if you can assist. With young children, holding hands is acceptable. However, by the middle grades, students feel this is childish and prefer to hold on to the sighted guide’s elbow. The guide is then slightly ahead of the individual and can warn of steps or other obstacles prior to encountering them (Parette & Hourcade, 1995).