Facilitating independence and inclusion of children and students with a visual impairment

Workshop provider: Prof. Boguslaw Marek, Ph.D. OBE The Jon Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland and "HUNGRY FINGERS" www.hungryfingers.com (website in the process of modification)

The programme of the workshop can me modified depending on the number and specific interests of participants.

Day one: Facilitating inclusion by training teachers.

Title of workshop:

"Innovative resources for inclusive education of children with a visual impairment"

Areas covered:
  1. Perception, types of and pedagogical implications of visual impairment.
  2. A totally blind child in the classroom: challenges and solutions.
  3. Reading, writing and drawing - how can children with a visual impairment fully participate in the education process.
  4. Learning Braille is not difficult - A Braille course for sighted persons
  5. Gaps in the knowledge of the world - explaining difficult concepts based on visual experience and spatial relations
  6. Introducing totally blind learners to tactile graphics - geometric shapes, drawings, floor plans of buildings, street plans and maps.
  7. Tactile audiographics - tactile drawings, illustrations and maps which can talk.
  8. How to make a tactile book for children?
  9. Stress- free testing - accessible multiple choice tests, quizzes and crossword puzzles
  10. "What can a sighted teacher learn form a blind child? Summary of the workshop and feedback.

The workshop for teachers is divided into two parts.

Part one - a lecture type PowerPoint presentation for all participants introducing major challenges and possible solutions (including useful resources)

Part two: practical sessions in small groups giving participants a chance for hands-on experience with all resources

Day two:

Facilitating inclusion by educating sighted learners about visual impairment.

A 2-3 hour workshop for sighted children.


"Secret code, talking pictures and other attractions of a classroom without a blackboard"

Aim of the workshop: Raising awareness of and developing a positive attitude towards visual impairment among sighted children.

During the workshop sighted children will learn basic facts about visual impairment and will get acquainted with a wide range of resources which make it possible to totally blind children fully participate in all lessons at school. A quick Braille course, making tactile drawings with eyes covered, exploring pictures and maps which can talk are only some of the activities in which the children will engage. Similar workshops organized on a regular basis in Poland bring very encouraging results - building a very positive attitude towards blindness and blind individuals.

Days 3 - 5

Workshops for learners with a visual impairment.

Facilitating inclusion through raising the level of independence and access to "inaccessible" areas of education.

Title: The Exciting world of tactile drawings

Totally blind children are often deprived of the possibility to work with various types of tactile drawings and maps. During the workshop the children will get a chance to explore and to make their own tactile drawings of varying complexity (lines, geometric shapes, drawings of simple objects and of groups of objects, drawings of persons performing different activities - standing, running, bending down etc.) . Layouts of rooms, floor plans of buildings, street plans, maps are also included. After the workshops the children should have good understanding of the relation between objects and drawings, of geometric shapes. They should be able to use floor plans and maps for mobility and orientation and understand maps of continents and countries. They will also get a chance to try some new computer software and devices which can be used to make tactile drawings and maps talk. Some stress free test will also be introduced as well as games involving tactile graphics and accessible ways to solve crossword puzzles.

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