The school is the larger system that needs to be involved in assuring a positive experience for the student with vision impairment.  The climate of this environment can have a tremendous impact on the student’s attitude and adjustment, also providing an opportunity for students without disabilities to develop an appreciation of commonalities despite differences.

Suggestions:

  • As a counselor in the school environment, you are in a unique position to foster relationships among students.  Create opportunities for all students to work together outside the classroom. Invite students with vision impairments to work on projects with other students, assigning tasks with which they feel comfortable, so you can promote a sense of collaboration.
  • Provide opportunities for the student with vision impairment to talk about personal experiences in a small group so that others can understand both the uniqueness and similarities of struggles and needs.
  • Establish a group for students with disabilities who are functioning at similar cognitive levels to provide a sense of support. The student with a disability needs to be aware of membership in the larger community of the school but also able to share common experiences with others (Olkin, 1999).
  • Provide information to the family and student about groups within the immediate area as well as the state and nation that are concerned with issues of individuals with vision impairments.  Again, it is important for the student and the family to have a sense of empowerment and use their energies in productive ways.