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Case Study Assignment: Student With Vision Impairment (VI)

Question

Task:
Your task is to design a case study assignment of a student with a special need (you can choose any special need (e.g., visual/hearing impairment) / disabilities of your choice) based on your interest area or a friend or family member with a special need whom you observed closely. You can use your imagination to describe the student and the wider literature to provide context to your case study student.

Answer

The present case study assignment examines the characteristics of a student with vision impairment (VI) in a mainstream classroom as well as the impacts of these strengths and learning needs on their academic achievement. This paper further discusses some inclusionand collaboration strategies in order to enhance students with special needs’ learning opportunities and build an inclusive educational environment for students within the classroom and school context.

The context for the case study student
In this case study, a discussion of a student with VI has been presented along with the thirty other students without disabilities in a mainstream classroom. Vision impairment is regarded as the reduced ability for discovering the degree that causes issues which are not fixable.

Relevant characteristics of the case study student: As critically analysed by Ford & Minshall (2019), the case study student has inconceivable learning capabilities with the gifted talent of innovation, memory, higher intelligence than average, potential to learn fast. He is gifted despite being students with special needs and hasrich vocabulary. A visually impaired student exhibits high intellectual property, motivation and creativity. They learn new information very fast. However, because of the impact of their disability, they cannotgrasp knowledge effectively in the mainstream classrooms. My case study student shows some exemplary talent in learning,but he concentrate in his study. As a result of which his mental growth gets affected significantly. Therefore, there is a need for more special curricular activity than the standard approaches that schools follow. As critically analysed by Satsangi & Miller, (2017), my case study student faces similar issues like other students with the disabilities VI. His talent gets concealed behind his disability. To protect his giftedness, his skills and talent must not be compared with other students who possess full physical and mental ability despite being present in the mainstream classroom. He has an average IQ good memory cluster, and fluent verbal capability. All such information was gathered from the class assessments that were conducted during the class sessions. Due to his impaired vision, he has average reasoning and social situations skills. The case study student has a partial vision that he uses efficiently as his progressive thinking and problem understanding abilities. Besides, he has also been gifted with high energy levels, leadership, good organisational skills and empathy. Such a student required educational material, social and environmental adaptation and visually impaired enriching training focused on their strengths (Gorbunova & Voronov, 2018). It is significant to encourage such a child to use their different senses, which bring them information. Being an educator, I must play an important role in understanding his capabilities and learning to overcome the challenges. In addition to this, I also require to develop effective strategies that will assist him to overcome fromhis inabilities.

Analysis of possible issue of concerns: As critically analysed by Gorbunova & Voronov, (2018), the number of students with special needs is increasing. The present study sheds light on some possible issues of including students with VI in the mainstream education system. This is done by considering a student with special need to beincluded in a class of thirty other students. The possible issues of concerns faced by special needs student are discussed as follows:

  • Attitude: As critically stated by Milne& Ladner, (2018), students without disability possess a negative attitude towards special needs student. They believe that the students with disabilities do not deserve to stay with them as they lack basic abilities. This gives rise to discrimination. Also, students with disabilities are subjected to emotional and physical bullying, which eventually stops the inclusion process. In our society, people lack knowledge concerning the challenges faced by special needs student.
  • Physical: Generally, when it is said to include people with disabilities, the requirement of physical support arises. Physical support is necessary for people with disabilities, and mainstream society is not completely designed to respond to such requirements. The safety issues for students with visual impairment includes: getting hurt suddenly dangers from fire extinguishers and things hanging from ceiling. Thus, assistive technology (AT) has been implemented to aid special needs studentwith disabilities. Besides this, such technology also provides special needs student with disabilities to meet their requirements and conduct their classroom activities effectively.
  • Curriculum: As addressed by Miller et al. (2017), curriculum is the chief barrier to the progress of a wide range of learners. The basic model of curriculum that is usually followed does not meet the requirement of inclusive learners. It is mostly designed to serve few people and is very rigid for learners with disabilities.So, the teachers face difficulties to change the approach.
  • Untrained Teachers: As critically stated by Hewettet al. (2017), human Resource is the most precious resource in inclusive education. If it fails to respond to the expectations, it is the biggest constraint to the wider range of learning. If the educators are not trained properly then they will not be able to provide effective knowledge to the students to teach special needs students. The skills and proficiency of people matter a lot when it comes to teaching people with challenges.

Inclusion strategiesadopted for the case study student
As critically opined by Breunig (2017), various mainstream learning strategies are applicable for various learners and assist people with disabilities towards providinga non-discriminatory, interesting learning ambience. Therefore, I want to design strategies to include my case study student in mainstream learning classrooms. The application of such strategies is discussed as follows:

  • Using innovative universal learning programs: It is important that every student deserves equality when learning. Universal Learning Program is for all the students who want equal learning opportunities and based on the perception of the unique learning fashion of every individual. According to the Universal Learning Program, there are three basic ways of how a brain learns. They are what brain learning is, how it is learning and why it is learning. These are based on brain networks. It is applicable for my case study student who is visually impaired and responds well to universal learning program. Even the universal learning program gives better outcome to visually impaired students. As stated by Hsu et al. (2018), a survey was conducted among 20 visually impaired students and 16 out of them responded positively with universal earning program. It consists of an interesting classroom equipped with appropriate technology to provide assistive aid to the students who require special needs. The trained teachers make the classroom interesting with different learning modules, such as projectors, placards, calculators, markers and boards, books-shelves, lights, colours etc. In this manner, the student can manage to keep them busy and have a great learning experience.
  • Application of various instructional Formats: As we have already discussed in universal learning programs, every student has a unique learning style, so it is very important and a matter of great concern to use various instruction formats for students with different forms of disabilities. For instance: My case study student with impaired vision has a different instruction format than students who have different disabilities. This elaborates that some students may respond to visual instructions well while others may learn well from text and written format. Some students are well respondents’ combination of them (Hewett et al. 2017). This distinguished teaching method backs up the need for special needs students and provides a wider range of instruction with the option the students can have the best of them. Each student must get a chance to express themselves in the best way that is suitable for them. Also, teachers can use various means to make the student engage in learning. Thus, using multiple means of instruction is an important aspect of inclusive learning and enforces the learning student.
  • Having proper knowledge of Students’ IEP or 504’s.:As critically opined byThieme et al. (2017), it is crucial to ensure an equal opportunity for all the students, it is important for teachers to familiarise themselves with students’ IEP and 504 plans. The IEP and 504 plans are categories of students with learning difficulties based on their learning patterns. They are defined in the law based on the requirement. For example, accommodation is necessary for special kinds of different able students that must be provided following the law. The schools and teaching experts work to make sure that happens. 504’s is similar to inclusive learning designed to fulfil the requirement fulfilled by the specially challenged students and get a stable learning environment with all necessary assistance and accommodations. Students under the IEP category have slightly different prospects than 504’s, where they get additional services outside the regular classroom under additional support staff.
  • Development of a behavioural management plan: Inappropriate behaviour in classrooms affects teachers and the learning student. So, it is extremely important to discuss and develop a behaviour management plan to control the behaviour inside the classroom. It helps to tackle any unavoidable moment when a student or students come up with disruptive behaviour and understand that some behaviours are of much fewer consequences than others, such as not being attentive and being aggressive.As addressed by Collins et al. (2019), my case study student has visual impairment and is vulnerable to any misconduct and disruptive behaviour. A survey conducted with 20 classrooms with visually impaired students suggests that any unruly behaviour jeopardise the safety of every student in the classroom. The behaviour plan must be shared with students, and their guardians to be aware of them and know the consequences if the expectations are not met. The most appropriate way to implement a behaviour management plan is to reinforce a positive deal and a clear understanding of the expectations. There are several behaviour plans designed for an inclusive study that can be adopted following the classroom requirement.

Collaboration strategies adopted for the case study student
As critically analysed byVillegas et al. (2018), it is always the best approach to collaborate with a set of people to get the best result of inclusive education. External support always plays a significant role in establishing an inclusive education environment. As a teacher, I would like to seek collaboration with the external support staff, the parents, and community agency personnel to work for the students with disabilities to get an inclusive learning experience. The following literature is supporting my points in collaborative strategy.

  • Collaboration with supporting staff: As critically opined by Knight et al. (2019), the role of supporting staff is very significant in achieving inclusive education. Supporting staff may be the school administration, school counsellor or outsourced skill personnel who have experience in inclusive education. Naturally, teachers are not trained generally to deal with inclusive classrooms where students with disabilities and non-disabilities exist based on their age group. They face difficulties to conduct the class because they feel that they are not trained for this environment. The supporting staffs takes up this issue and plans in collaboration with the mainstream teachers for what steps should be taken to address the issue. They can address this difficulty by regularly holding meetings and seminars to discuss the role of inclusive education in present times and boost the confidence of the general educators to tackle their issues. As opined by Dafouz, (2018), the best way to change mainstream teachers fear is to make them face their challenges. The mainstream teachers must know the benefits of inclusive education that students with disabilities derive from the inclusive teaching approach.
  • Collaborative Works with Parents: As analysed by Lieberman & Houston-Wilson, (2017), parental involvement is very much significant in successfully implementing inclusive educational programs. Parents and guardians are the most informed people of children. They have been observing them since the beginning of their career. They understand students’ physical, social, developmental, and family history, which is vital in designing learning programs for students with disabilities. Teachers spend much less time with students than what parents do. Parents continuously observe their children in their homework and get continuous feedback on how they respond in the present form of learning. Those feedbacks can be used to discuss in parents and teachers’ meetings. Parents provide the information of strengths and weaknesses of the student with a disability to design a learning program for the particular disability.
  • Collaborative strategy with Community agency personnel: As opined by Thompson et al. (2018), civil society organisation plays a vital role in creating demand and size of the inclusive educational program. Parents and children with disabilities need the support and empowerment of organisations to overcome the paradigm of inclusive study programs. The community agency personnel can create a mass awareness into the society to make people aware of the value of special education and advocates inclusive study. The non-profit organisation can organise seminars on the rights of special children drafted by international human rights agencies and the national laws for children with disabilities. They can share information on where and how to access the inclusive study program. Being a mainstream teacher and working collaboratively with the community personnel agency, the strategies developed are: Firstly, I can learn how to react positively to prejudices and discrimination with their legal right. Thiswill assist my case study student to gain confidence among the pool of students without any disabilities in a conventional classroom. Secondly, with provision of continuous support, I will be able to assist the special needs students tohelpacquire knowledge from the lessons conducted in the general classroom without the feeling of being discriminated. Moreover, I will also ensure that the parents develop a sense of confidence that their child is comfortable and able learn in a mainstream classroom.

Conclusion
From the above case study of visually impaired students, it can be concluded that conducting a mainstream class with other students and designing various inclusive and collaborative strategies have been helpful in the development of a suitable environment for special needs students.

References
Breunig, M. (2017). Experientially learning and teaching in a student-directed classroom. Journal of Experiential Education, 40(3), 213-230.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1053825917690870

Collins, A., Azmat, F., & Rentschler, R. (2019). ‘Bringing everyone on the same journey’: revisiting inclusion in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 44(8), 1475-1487.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2018.1450852

Dafouz, E. (2018). English-medium instruction and teacher education programmes in higher education: Ideological forces and imagined identities at work. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(5), 540-552.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13670050.2018.1487926

Ford, S., &Minshall, T. (2019). Invited review article: Where and how 3D printing is used in teaching and education. Additive Manufacturing, 25, 131-150.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214860417304815

Gorbunova, I. B., & Voronov, A. M. (2018, October). Music computer technologies in computer science and music studies at schools for children with deep visual impairment. In Int'l Conference Proceedings (pp. 15-18).http://uruae.org/siteadmin/upload/3920UH10184021.pdf

Hewett, R., Douglas, G., McLinden, M., & Keil, S. (2017). Developing an inclusive learning environment for students with visual impairment in higher education: Progressive mutual accommodation and learner experiences in the United Kingdom. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32(1), 89-109.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08856257.2016.1254971

Hsu, T. C., Chang, S. C., & Hung, Y. T. (2018). How to learn and how to teach computational thinking: Suggestions based on a review of the literature. Computers & Education, 126, 296-310.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131518301799

Knight, V. F., Huber, H. B., Kuntz, E. M., Carter, E. W., & Juarez, A. P. (2019). Instructional practices, priorities, and preparedness for educating students with autism and intellectual disability. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 34(1), 3-14.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088357618755694

Lieberman, L. J., & Houston-Wilson, C. (2017). Strategies for inclusion: Physical education for everyone. Human Kinetics.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bvR6DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=inclusion+ strategies+adopted+for+visually+impaired+ students&ots=To20LxpYC9&sig=AljgdpdTWu1a9WVQOOPGmmwh2wM

Miller, E. R., Morgan, B., & Medina, A. L. (2017). Exploring language teacher identity work as ethical self?formation. The Modern Language Journal, 101(S1), 91-105.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/modl.12371

Milne, L. R., & Ladner, R. E. (2018, April). Blocks4All: overcoming accessibility barriers to blocks programming for children with visual impairments. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-10).https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3173574.3173643

Satsangi, R., & Miller, B. (2017). The case for adopting virtual manipulatives in mathematics education for students with disabilities. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 61(4), 303-310.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1045988X.2016.1275505

Thieme, A., Morrison, C., Villar, N., Grayson, M., & Lindley, S. (2017, June). Enabling collaboration in learning computer programing inclusive of children with vision impairments. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 739-752).https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3064663.3064689

Thompson, J. R., Walker, V. L., Shogren, K. A., &Wehmeyer, M. L. (2018). Expanding inclusive educational opportunities for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities through personalized supports. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 56(6), 396-411.https://meridian.allenpress.com/idd/article-abstract/56/6/396/1722

Villegas, A. M., SaizdeLaMora, K., Martin, A. D., & Mills, T. (2018, April). Preparing future mainstream teachers to teach English language learners: A review of the empirical literature. In The Educational Forum (Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 138-155). Routledge.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131725.2018.1420850

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