Here are some suggestions on how to begin:
Know the extent, intensity of blindness
Begin by understanding the visual condition of the blind student. One doesn’t have to peep into the medical history, just assess how much residual vision a person is left with. This fact-finding is an indispensable exercise in the case of a low vision or partially blind student, as the vision they are left can still be made optimum use of. And accordingly ways of learning could be devised, for example, the use of large font print books.
Know the history
Next, get to know about how and when the person became blind. This information would be useful because if a person became blind at the age of nine or later, he or she has certain visual memory. They would perceive ideas and concepts differently from someone who became blind at birth.
Any child, whether blind or not is just a child first. The aim of teaching any child is to make them independent, to teach them to adapt themselves to situations, environment.However, learning to adapt comes more naturally when one is given a chance to interact and communicate. And for this, establishing rapport becomes vital. So, talk to the blind child, give them confidence and ask whether there is any special requirement.
Get reader’s help: check with peers
There is no real substitute to actual reading. A blind person can similarly benefit if somebody reads to them, especially in their formative years of school. Just spread the word, there will be plenty of people who would be willing to read to them. Dealing with routine homework would become a little easy if a blind student has a definite person to read them what all has to be done.
Computer aided learning
In the past few years huge strides have been made in the area of adaptive technology in the realm of computers. The use of this enables people with vision impairment to be on par with others when it comes to participation and contribution both within the classroom and in extra curricular activities. So, not knowing Braille is the least of problem for a teacher today and even a student, provided they have been trained in using computers with speech software such as JAWS (Job Access With Speech). Other software programmes such as Kurzweil enable users to scan in books, articles, bills, and advertisements - almost anything that fits on a scanner_ so they can quickly have the information read aloud.Similarly computers would be of great help when examining progress of a blind student, as they pose minimal interference, aid independence and confidence in the student. So, use the technology to its best advantage.
Attention to detail while teaching
A blind student cannot read from the blackboard, cannot read and follow line-to-line decipherers from a book. Thus, a teacher should pay attention to detail while teaching. For example, teaching the format of a letter say out, 'On the left hand corner of your page you write the address. The address of this college is number thirty -six, Model Town. Remember the blind student cannot see the board but he or she can hear well. When plans or diagrams are used, you can emboss them for your students by sticking string to cardboard. When explaining texture, use real objects like a metal button, a plastic button or a wooden button. So, where ever possible try to give first hand experience, use real life objects and try to be innovative.
A visually impaired student loses only his sight but not his vision to see the world. Their rest prevailing senses are intact, so focus on developing and utilizing these remaining senses. Learning is very much tied up with culture, exposure and experiences. Blind students may not be able to acquire exposure and experiences the same way as sighted students. So teachers of the blind may have to go an extra edge than other teachers. Bring experiences and exposure to the blind students.