Individuals with visual impairments, even those who are totally blind, are capable of extraordinary personal achievement and of living a fulfilling and productive life. If you are a parent or family member of a visually impaired child, you know that the groundwork for his or her future success starts with education. However, not all schools are ready or fully equipped to provide for the academic success of students who have visual impairments. Teachers and administrators may have lower expectations for visually impaired students, leading to a lack of challenging learning opportunities and even exclusion from games and activities that foster positive social development.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was designed to ensure that schools provide needed assistance and facilitate the inclusion and social development of students with many types of disabilities, including visual impairment. As a parent, you must work closely with teachers and administrators to inform them of your child’s needs and abilities in the creation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
The IEP should provide instruction, support and assistance necessary for your child’s academic achievement and social integration in order for your child to succeed. The special education law firm of KSLN has extensive experience serving families of disabled students, enabling us to be effective advocates for your child throughout the IEP process and beyond.
Helping Visually Impaired Students Succeed
IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA require that schools provide an appropriate education designed to meet the unique needs of your child, as well as make all reasonable accommodations that allow visually impaired students to learn and develop to the extent of their abilities. Unfortunately, cash-strapped and financially struggling school districts may be reluctant to provide the needed classroom (and home) materials and assistive technology, as well as properly trained professionals, that your child needs. Your child’s success is important to us at KSLN and we can help you get the assistance your child needs at school when you feel as if your concerns are not being heard.
We work with both parents and educators regularly on this type of issue, which means we understand the perspectives of both sides as well as the schools’ obligations under IDEA and other relevant laws. With a legal team from KSLN informing you of your legal rights and options, your child’s school will take you very seriously, as well as the educational needs of your child.
Social Challenges for Visually Impaired Students
Even when the direct consequences of a visual impairment are manageable with appropriate classroom materials, assistive technology and an informed, compassionate teacher supported by a properly trained professional, the secondary social consequences may be more subtle and difficult to overcome. Bullying and harassment at school do occur, but even more important is the need for an inclusive and accepting environment. Children with a visual impairment, especially in more severe cases, need to learn not only the curriculum being taught, but also an entire set of skills for living with their particular disability including how to communicate with peers about being visually impaired, how to navigate (including in crowded spaces), how to participate in group activities, and other successful strategies for living with a visual impairment.
KSLN will work with you and your child’s school to include important goals and assure that the proper instruction and supports are included in your child’s IEP, and we can also help you if your child’s IEP is not being implemented fully or correctly.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.