The vision impairment itself may or may not be the focus of counseling. Remember students with vision impairments have all the problems and concerns of others at their level of development.

Suggestions:

  • If appropriate, ask about the vision impairment; however, keep a realistic perspective. For example, if a youngster expresses frustration with not being able to keep up with assignments, it would be logical to ask if difficulties with vision are affecting productivity. However, do not make the assumption that this is the only problem.  Disorganization, poor time management or even ineffective classroom instruction may be the most important factors.
  • Unless there is a relevant reason (e.g., to use their help in accessing a service), do not tell about others you know who have this disability (Olkin, 1999).
  • Help the student learn to explain the disability and needs in a clear, straight-forward way, since this will enable productive engagement with others (Yuker, 1994).

There are many expressions that use “blindness” or “sight” as metaphors. For example, “Do you see what I mean?” Do not worry if you use these expressions (Olkin, 1999).