Teaching Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

(Posted January 18th 2018 @ 9:20 AM by: Melody Reever)

My name is Elizabeth Koren, and I am a Sunday school teacher. I am also blind.

Some people wonder how hard it is to teach a blind or visually impaired child in Sunday school. Even if a child cannot see, it does not mean they cannot do crafts, memorize verses, or even play games. When teaching Sunday school to a blind child, try to get the child involved. Let the child do things that the other kids will be doing. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because a child cannot see, he or she cannot be involved.

When I was a child, I enjoyed Sunday school. In fact, when I was in Sunday school, I had either a friend or another child help me, or if one was not available, an adult was assigned to help me. If the child is younger, an older child can be assigned to help. Children are compassionate and, in my experience, often eager to help.

It is OK to tell the other students that the visually impaired student is visually impaired (or blind, depending on the understanding of the word and age of the students). It is important to mention that he or she may need help but be sure to tell them it is important to ask the student if it is OK to help before attempting to do so.

Regarding guiding a blind or visually impaired child around the room or from room to room, do not have a teacher or another student grab the child, dragging them from place to place. First, ask her if she would like help. If so, ask her how she would like to be guided. Do not grab her arm and drag her. Have her hold onto the elbow of the teacher or student and let the person guiding the student walk a step ahead. This allows the child to know when the guide is stepping up, down, or turning corners.

A visually impaired or blind child can memorize Bible verses with the other kids. Just as you might do with the other kids, give him a piece of paper with the verse printed on it. Touch base with the parents so they know he has a paper with a memory verse to learn.

My experience with memorizing verses was a good one. I was a Bible quizzer for four years and had the opportunity to compete at the Junior Nationals during those four years. I learned the verses in almost the same way as the other quizzers.

Do everything you can to facilitate full inclusion for a visually impaired or blind child. Once you get started, you will find it is not hard at all!

Elizabeth Koren is fourteen years old. She attends Rock Family Church in Burkburnett, Texas, where her dad pastors. She has three siblings: Melody, Brooklyn, and Tate. Her goal is to become a writer and to continue teaching. She loves children!

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