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Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments Share Experiences and Advice for Supporting Students in Understanding Graphics — JVIB Abstract

Abstract: Introduction: Knowing how to gather information from graphics and to use that information to solve mathematics problems is an important skill. Prior research indicates that many students with visual impairments face considerable challenges when attempting to locate information in math graphics. Little is known about how teachers of students with visual impairments support their students in acquiring graphics skills. Methods: Eleven teachers of visually impaired students participated in focus groups. Sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed. Themes were identified. Results: The teachers described the importance of individualizing instruction for the student, teaching a systematic approach, and ensuring that graphics are clear to them. Discussion: From an early age, visually impaired students need explicit instruction in how to access information in graphics. The use of prescribed low vision devices, manipulatives, and systematic instruction are integral to student success, as are the design and production of clear and accurate graphics. Implications for practitioners: Teachers of visually impaired students utilize a variety of strategies to support students in accessing information in graphics. A curriculum and guidelines to assist them in supporting a wide range of learners would be valuable to the field of vision loss.


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