Vision impairment extends beyond those who are blind. Some individuals can see, but can’t see clearly. This activity will help students understand that there are a range of vision problems individuals have.
An overhead projector
Take a page of overhead text that you have laying around. Turn on your overhead projector and shift the focus so that the text remains blurry. Ask your students to read the text. After students have had a chance to read, ask them some questions about the material. Have your students discuss how frustrating it was trying to understand something they couldn’t see well. Is there a way to help those with vision problems in the classroom? What would make things easier for classmates with vision impairment? These questions will allow your students to think critically about what it’s like to live with a vision impairment.
Spotlight: Ray Charles
Ray Charles is one of the most famous blind icons of all time and was ranked as one of the top 100 greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. He is often referred to as “The Genius”. He began losing his eyesight at age 5. By age 7 he was rendered completely blind. Ray did not let his lack of vision prevent him from pursuing his passions for music. He learned how to read braille music at school and would often put on performances for the school’s Literary Society assemblies every Friday. By age 12, Ray was reportedly able to arrange and score all parts of big band or orchestral music. Ray would go on to record more than 60 albums and perform over 10,000 concerts.
Other notable individuals in the blind community include: