Expanded Core Curriculum

Visual Efficiency Skills

These skills are used to accurately interpret visual information and complete visual tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible. Students’ ability to interpret visual information is affected by many variables (e.g., the type and severity of vision loss, cognitive ability, experiential knowledge and environmental factors, such as lighting). However, with comprehensive, systematic training and practice, most students can learn to use their remaining vision more effectively and efficiently. Visual efficiency training may include blur interpretation, scanning and location skills, strategies to improve visual efficiency (e.g., use of appropriate lighting or wearing tinted lenses to reduce glare), and strategies which enhance a given student’s access to visual information. Students learn about their particular eye condition, its implications on access to visual information, and how to explain their visual needs to others.

Taken from:
Alberta Education. Special Programs Branch. (2006).  Appendix A of Essential Components of Educational Programming for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired.

Helpful Links

Vision Quest
An instructional resource on the Texas School for the Blind’s website called ‘Vision Quest’.  ‘Vision Quest’ is a technique that uses photography techniques in an attempt to teach students with low vision to maximize their functional vision. 

Chrissy Cowan on Visual Efficiency Skills
Advice from TVI Chrissy Cowan that pertains to teaching Visual Efficiency Skills.  There are links to several articles that pertain to both parents and professionals.

Low Vision Links

Low Vision Gateway
This is a link to the ‘Low Vision Gateway’, an Internet site that functions as a catalogue for other on-line resources pertaining to low vision.

BiOptic Driving Network
A link to the website for BiOptic Driving Network, a nonprofit organization that works towards helping people with stable low vision conditions drive with the aid of BiOptic lens systems.

Anne Corn on Blindfolding as a Teaching Tool
An article by Anne Corn that discusses the validity and effectiveness of using blindfolding as a technique for teaching students with low vision.

All About Vision
A guide to low vision from the ‘All About Vision’ website.  Provides a good introduction to the field of low vision.

Functional Vision Assessment Links

LEA Charts in a FVA
Many functional vision kits contain LEA charts that are used during the FVA.  This site contains links to the instructions for each of the tests in the LEA system.   

Acuity Conversions
This is a link to a pdf file containing a visual acuity conversion table.