Adequacy of the Regular Early Education Classroom Environment for Students With Visual Impairment

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The Journal of Special Education, ISSN: 0022-4669, Vol: 46, Issue: 4, Page: 223-232

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Cherylee M. Brown; Tanya L. Packer; Anne Passmore
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Medicine; visual impairment; Australian early education; teacher–student interactions; early childhood; Education
article description
This study describes the classroom environment that students with visual impairment typically experience in regular Australian early education. Adequacy of the classroom environment (teacher training and experience, teacher support, parent involvement, adult involvement, inclusive attitude, individualization of the curriculum, physical environment, and vision aids) for students with visual impairment in early regular education was assessed at the start and the end of one year. A total of 20 students with visual impairment (age M = 5.4 years) attending regular early education participated. In general, teacher-reported curriculum individualization and the physical environment were adequate. However, support provided for staff, teacher training, adult involvement, access to visual aids, and inclusive attitudes were less than adequate. More than 40% of students experienced fewer than four out of nine adequate environmental features. These results indicate that strategies to improve teacher training, support, attitudes, and access to vision aids are needed. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2013.