Blindness and Education in the 2000s

Most blind and visually impaired students now attend their neighborhood schools, often aided in their educational pursuits by regular teachers of academics and by a team of professionals who train them in alternative skills: Orientation and Mobility (O and M) training - instruction in independent travel - is usually taught by contractors educated in that area, as is Braille.

Blind children may also need special training in understanding spatial concepts, and in self-care, as they are often unable to learn visually and through imitation as other children do. Moreover, home economics and education dealing with anatomy are necessary for children with severe visual impairments.

Since only ten percent of those registered as legally blind have no usable vision, many students are also taught to use their remaining sight to maximum effect, so that some read print (with or without optical aids) and travel without canes.

A combination of necessary training tailored to the unique needs of each student, and solid academics, is going a long way towards producing blind and visually impaired students capable of dealing in the world independently.