Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Technology for Students with Low Vision

A girl wearing glasses uses a marker to write on a smart board.

Optical aids and other technologies provide access through magnification or speech output to students with low vision. Environmental factors, such as lighting, contrast, positioning, and clutter should also be considered when creating the optimal learning environment.

The use of technology should always begin with a comprehensive assessment, including a Functional Vision Assessment and a Learning Media Assessment.      An Assistive Technology Assessment Summary may also be helpful at this stage.

Once an assessment has been completed, it is important to weigh additional considerations, such as:

  • Where will the technology be used?  Does it need to be portable?  Will the student move from classroom to classroom?
  • How will it be used?
  • What training will the student need in order to use it?

See also

Additional Resources

Assistive Technology For Students With Low Vision
This Visually Impaired Resource Guide from SET-BC (Special Education Technology, British Columbia) includes a general overview, Low Tech/No tech options, telescopes, magnifiers, CCTVs, and information on making computers more accessible.

Low Vision
This section of the Tech Vision site has extensive information on a wide range of topics related to the use of technology for people with low vision.  Some of the resources are available for free and others for purchase.

Tips for Buying a Computer and Optimizing Its Display for Computer Users with Low Vision
By Morgan Blubaugh, AccessWorld, Vol. 12, no. 5 (May 2011). Information includes recommended computer specifications, and suggestions designed to help the user to take advantage of built-in tools offered by Windows and web browsers.