Creating a Support Team to Help with “Minefields of Ignorance”

support-teamI recently welcomed a new student to my class who is visually challenged. My school services students ages 3 through 22 with a variety of special needs – many with extreme medical and behavior challenges. Visual impairment is not one of the common challenges we face. I work with Adult Transition students so our main goal is providing opportunities for independence and functional life skills.

Navigating the Mazes
Throughout the first weeks of school, this particular student would navigate the mazes of our campus hallways using his cane. When all was “perfect” as far as no physical obstructions on his path, he did very well on his own. However, unintentionally, students and staff would create a sort of obstacle course for him with wheelchairs, walking apparatus, backpacks, trash cans, furniture, etc. It was never on purpose, but until our classroom staff educated others in the school regarding keeping the hallways clear and safe, they didn’t really think about how someone who couldn’t see these obstructions might be negatively affected or even seriously injured.

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Joanna Keating-Velasco About Joanna Keating-Velasco

Joanna Keating-Velasco has worked with students with various special needs ages 3 through 22 as a Paraprofessional for over twelve years and is currently specializing in adult transition. She has authored two books, A Is for Autism, F Is for Friend and In His Shoes – A Short Journey through Autism. Learn more about Joanna at A is for Autism.




  • http://www.facebook.com/JudyEndow Judy Endow

    It took awhile to figure out how to read this entire blog! For others who are trying there are page numbers at the bottom of the first chunk and you need to click 2 and then 3. For page 2 I had to also click “Print Friendly” to access it. That being said, it is very much worth it to read to the end. Nice way to get readers to think about understanding disabilities they cannot readily see such as autism, Joanna!

  • Joanna Keating-Velasco

    Ha! Judy, thanks for educating me. I couldn’t figure out why only part of the article was published, LOL! Now I see the page 2,3! :)