Staff Training for Physical Education for Children With Visual Impairments

Staff Training for Physical Education for Children With Visual Impairments

September 16, 2019 6 By Ronny Jaskolski


This video is about
how to work with children with visual impairments
in physical education. Please make sure
you come to class with me, because I need support
with physical education. Please have high expectations
for me, just as you would for a child who can see. Please be sure to get me
to class on time and that I am included
in every way possible. Thank you for taking the time
to watch this video. The purpose of this video
is to train orientation/mobility
instructors, teachers of the visually
impaired, adapted physical educators,
physical education teachers, and professional
preparation students how to teach paraeducators
to work with children with visual impairments
in physical education. Everybody wants what’s best
for their students, so please keep in mind
that it’s fine to ask any of these professionals
for help and support throughout your process. We would also like
to take this time to thank the Fetzer Institute, the American Printing House
for the Blind, the College at Brockport,
and Camp Abilities for all their support
with this video. NARRATOR: Make sure
that you meet with the physical education
teachers to ensure a clear understanding
of their teaching style, philosophy, their experience
with children with visual impairments,
and to ensure that you both have all of your questions
answered before class starts. Visual impairments. Children with visual impairments
will have different types and levels
of visual impairments. Some children will have
acuity problems, which is issues
with clarity of vision. Some children will have
issues with field loss, which is issues with either
peripheral vision, central vision, or visual fields. In some cases, children
will have clear vision one day and loss of vision the next,
which is cortical vision loss. Other children may have
additional disabilities, such as deafness, autism,
cerebral palsy, or intellectual disability,
in addition to the vision loss. Guiding techniques. Human guide techniques. When guiding a child who has
a visual impairment, it is important for the child
to grab the guide’s elbow with the thumb out. Make sure the person guiding
is verbal about upcoming terrain change, such as door opening
on the left, stairs, or stepping up
a sidewalk. There are several guide
running techniques that facilitate running
both with a guide and independently. This section will share
some of those techniques. Running with a guide wire
entails pulling a rope across a gym, track,
or driveway or open area very tightly with a carabiner
or handle on the rope. Make sure there is a clear
marker at the end of the rope to signal the end
of the running rope. Auditory running. A child could run to a caller
or to a sound with a runner
running ahead of him. Running on a treadmill
allows a child to run freely and increase
or decrease speed as needed. Make sure the electronic buttons
on the treadmill are marked with clear tactile markings
so the child can be independent on the treadmill. Another way for a child
to run independently is to run in a circle
with a 30-foot rope pulled tight attached to a large stake. A radio or metronome can be used
to help the child know where they started. A child could be guided
by a guide runner who gives the child their elbow,
and the child grabs the elbow, like the human guiding
technique. In this way, both runners
can swing their arms at the same time. If the runner is taller
than the guide, make sure they hold
their shoulder. It is important that
the guide runner is faster than the child
who is visually impaired so the guide does not
hold the child back. A tether is a short rope,
shoelace, or towel. The guide runner holds one end, and the person who is visually
impaired holds the other end. In this instance, both runners
can swing their arms during the run. In this technique it is
important that the guide runner is faster than the child
who is visually impaired. In many cases, when a child
has usable vision, or if a child is very
familiar with the terrain, a child can run independently. This is easiest around a track
or in a quiet cul-de-sac. Teaching strategies. Tactile boards can be used
when a child is learning a new sport to show them
the boundaries, positions, to teach terminology,
and describe the strategy and purpose of a game. A soccer field can be described
first on a tactile board so the child can get an idea
of the boundaries, center, goals, positions,
and strategies. The same technique can be used
for goalball and other sports including the dimensions
of a pool, a park trail, or a cross-country route. Preteaching is the idea
that every child who has a significant visual impairment
has adequate time to comprehend an entire unit
before it begins. Preteaching should occur
prior to any new unit. It can be done by
the physical education teacher, adapted physical educator,
paraeducator, orientation and mobility
teacher, teacher of
the visually impaired, or a trained peer tutor. It can be done before school,
during recess, after school, during mobility class,
before physical education class, or during a free period. It is important that the child
understands the whole-part-whole. Whole-part-whole is specifically
teaching the child what the whole skill or activity
is right from the beginning. Examples are the three-step approach
and then roll for bowling, the arm movements
and then the leg movements for the front crawl, and what positions
players might assume during a whole game of soccer
before it is taught, so the child understands what
the skill or activity is. Then the child
successfully achieves the performance criteria
for the individual parts, and the instructor links
these parts together. This approach provides
the advantage of part practice and the advantage
of whole practice. Feedback about performance is one of the most powerful
variables that affects the learning
process of motor skills. Feedback can be verbal
and physical. It is not only the mastery
of each individual part of instruction
that is important, but also the relationship
between parts and whole that provides the child
with the complete understanding of the content. Without the whole,
the parts would be meaningless. Teaching the whole of a skill
or game to a child who has visual impairment
takes time, energy, and creativity. But the resulting
knowledge gained about future skill development
is priceless, as shown by the transfer
of skills with the underhand roll
in goalball. The whole-part-whole
teaching method is the most successful
teaching method in our collective experiences. The whole can be taught through the following
teaching techniques of verbal instruction, task
analysis, and tactile teaching. Task analysis. Task analysis is the breakdown
of a skill into steps necessary to perform
a given task. Task analysis is a powerful tool
of instruction for those with visual
impairments who need to learn basic physical skills. The use of task analysis
allows smaller steps or parts to be taught and mastered
in a series, until the entire skill
is learned in a progression. Use verbal cues coupled
with teaching techniques of tactile modeling
and physical guidance during task analysis. Teaching the underhand roll
is a matter of using the appropriate cues–
arm back, step with the opposite foot,
bend knees, roll, and follow through. Tactile teaching: tactile modeling, coactive
movement, physical guidance. Tactile modeling. Tactile modeling means
an exhibition of a motor skill presented tactilely. As shown in the video,
the child feels the instructor, who executes the movement. Tactile modeling is a great way
to incorporate peer instruction. Let children teach children. Tactile modeling not only
demonstrates actions to children who are blind,
it also increases the visibility of an action for
children who have low vision. Tactile modeling
is a common tool used to teach
the component parts in the task analysis,
and is effective for static and dynamic activities
such as jumping rope, yoga, shot put, goalball,
swimming, and many others. While using task analysis,
have the child touch the model
during each part. Coactive movement. Often a child
comprehends a skill much better when he or she feels
the instructor or peer do the movements. This works best when the child
is smaller than the instructor or peer. In coactive movement,
the child is positioned so that his or her moving
body part touches the instructor’s
same moving body part. This is similar
to tactile modeling, but the entire body part
experiences the movement as opposed to parts
of the body, and the child is going through
the motion at the same time as the instructor. Please note, as with any
physical education technique, the instructional strategy
should always be noted in lesson plans,
progress reports, and IEPs. Physical guidance. Physical guidance is
an important component of the instructor’s lesson,
because there are some physical activities
for which tactile modeling and coactive movement
will not work. Physical guidance is an ideal
teaching technique, and its use can improve
performance. Please remember that all methods
of tactile teaching must be coupled
with verbal explanation or appropriate
sign communication for children who have
a dual sensory impairment. When physical guidance is used,
it is imperative to discuss its use with the child
before doing so. Some individuals who are blind
are sensitive to being touched or to being urged along by an
arm or elbow by another person. Indeed, one of the first
principles to guiding a person who is blind is to never
push or grab. This sensitivity to being pushed
is not unique to people with visual impairments,
but is broadly human in nature, and probably stems from a need
for the locus of control to remain within each of us. Thus, physical guidance can be
appropriate and effective, but the child must understand
that he or she can ask the instructor to use
tactile modeling if preferred. When teaching physical skills
to individuals who have no significant intellectual
or cognitive difficulties, the general rule is to consider
tactile modeling first and then move
to physical guidance if that is a preferred method
for the child. The child should have a choice,
but the instructor can also assess what method
is most appropriate for a particular skill
or activity. Please make sure you ask me which tactile teaching technique
I prefer, so that I am comfortable
during class. Adapting activities. Adapting equipment can be done
by making it more auditory… (beeping) Or bright… Or easier to catch
by deflating a ball or by putting it in a sock. Adapting rules can be done
by adding physical assistance. It can be changing boundaries. (beeping) Adding an auditory cue. (high, whistling beep) A child could play
only offense or defense. Adapting instruction. The child could be taught with additional verbal
instruction, tactile instruction with either tactile modeling
or physical guidance. The child could be taught
by a trained peer tutor. The child could have
more tactile cues. Adapting the environment. Decreasing glare,
excessive noise, or outside distractions
is a key to instruction for children
with visual impairments. Make sure the child
is not facing the sun. Make sure to have
very clear boundaries. Expanded core curriculum. The field of visual impairment
has determined that children with visual impairments
need additional instruction in some key areas
to be prepared to be independent adults
who utilize every aspect of their potential. This approach is called
the expanded core curriculum, and the areas
that are focused on are social interaction,
self-determination, orientation and mobility,
independence, compensatory and access skills,
recreation and leisure, technology, career awareness,
and sensory efficiency. Ensure consistent
social interaction. Always tell the child who
is in the gym when you enter. Ensure student knows
what is happening during games and down time. Ensure the child is partners
with a peer. Promote social interaction
skills by teaching peers how to socialize. Do not get between
student and peers. Promote self-determination
by allowing the child to have choices and ensuring
that they learn what their peers are learning. Promote orientation and mobility
by ensuring adequate preteaching, set up
guide wires from base to base, activity to activity,
or from weight machine to weight machine. Promote independence
and leadership opportunities such as team captain,
squad leader, or demonstration leader. These types of opportunities
will ensure the student knows they are independent
and can be empowered to lead. Promote the concept of
compensatory and access skills by showing the child
how to modify a hockey game for her needs, a kickback game,
or a basketball game, so she can be included. These adaptations will help
the child understand what they need to do to compensate
for their vision loss and modify to meet the abilities
that they do have. Recreation and leisure
can easily be promoted in physical education
by ensuring a foundation of motor skills, fitness,
and opportunities that are typical. Technology is pervasive
in physical education and can be implemented
using talking pedometers, talking heart rate monitors,
electronic fitness programs such as
Nike Running Application, Dance Dance Revolution,
Wii Fit, and more. In some instances,
they will need to learn adaptive techniques. Career awareness can be infused
into physical education by introducing roles
such as referee, manager, scorekeeper, journalist,
announcer, publicist, news anchor, et cetera. Sensory efficiency
can be promoted by playing beep baseball
or goalball to promote the use of auditory skills. Running with a guide wire
enhances the use of tactile skills. Dancing helps with the use
of auditory and tactile skills. And weight training, yoga,
and swimming all facilitate the use of tactile skills
as well as auditory skills. For more information
on the expanded core curriculum, see your teacher of students
who are visually impaired or the orientation
and mobility instructor. Infusion of these
important concepts are worth the time and effort,
as they lead to independence and a better quality of life
for children with visual impairments. Physical safety. Make sure all doors
are either all the way open or all the way closed. Mark the entrance
to any stairs, halls, closets or entrances with a rug
or rope covered with tape. Ensure that boundaries
are clearly defined. Keep equipment
in consistent places around the gym at all times. Show the child when you do
move equipment, so they know what to expect. Emotional safety. Ensure disability awareness
at the start of the year to ensure peers know needs
of the student. Do not allow any teasing
or bullying. Discuss feelings at the
beginning and end of each unit. Supervise the student. Ensure they have equipment
they need. Ensure they know
what is happening in class. Review what teacher asks of them
for clarity. Children with visual impairments can be active and high achieving
athletes in physical education. With some very careful planning
and dedication, you can ensure
that they can perform to the best of their abilities
and get the most out of each physical education
class with their peers. Thanks to the Fetzer Institute, the American Printing House
for the Blind, Camp Abilities,
and the College at Brockport. For more information,
please read “Games for People with
Sensory Impairments” through the American Printing
House for the Blind, and “Physical Education, Sport,
and Recreation for Individuals “who are Visually Impaired
and Deafblind: Foundations of Instruction,” through the American Foundation
for the Blind.