Be prepared

  • Establish a plan for emergencies such as fire drills. Prepare a form for the substitute teacher detailing this information (ADE, 1996).  
  • Be aware of potential dangers in your classroom: (1) Keep walkways clear. (2) Keep doors and cupboards completely closed or completely open.  (3) Inform the student if an object or piece of furniture has been moved (ADE, 1996). 
  • “Contrasting colored [and textured] duct tape or brightly colored paint” (ADE, 1996, p. 10) on floors, walls, and doors can enable the student to distinguish door openings.  Such contrasting aids can assist the student’s orientation within the classroom (ADE, 1996; North Carolina State Dept. of Public Instruction [NCSDPI], 1998).

  • Though classroom teachers may not have control over modifying areas of the school outside of the classroom, it might be necessary to investigate other aspects of the school’s safety beyond the classroom and make recommendations to an appropriate member of the school’s administration. For example, “contrasting colored [and textured] duct tape” (ADE, 1996, p. 10) or “colored stair tread nosings” (NCSDPI, 1998, p. 23) may improve the ability of the student to travel safely on stairs. (ADE, 1996; NCSDPI, 1998).

  • Be familiar with the sighted guide technique (American Foundation for the Blind, “Being a Sighted Guide”, 2005).  This technique is a method that enables a sighted person to walk safely and comfortably with the student with vision impairment.  For more information on the sighted guide technique refer to the article “Sighted guide technique” at http://www.sightconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/sighted-guide.pdf.