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Alert message

TO: Classroom Teacher

FROM: Vision Itinerant Teacher

RE: Students Using a Monocular

A monocular is a small telescope which enables a visually impaired student to see print, pictures, diagrams, maps, faces and demonstrations when (s)he is seated at his/her desk. The following are some facts and adaptations which need to be considered if a monocular is being used:

  1. A monocular severely restricts the visual field. The student will be taught by the vision teacher to scan to pick up all visual information and increase their visual memory so they can copy more quickly and efficiently.
  2. A monocular is typically used for distance tasks only.
  3. Copying while using a monocular is laborious, and it will take the visually impaired child longer to copy from the board/charts, etc. You can adapt by modifying the length of the assignment. Some ways of doing this include:
    1. assigning even or odd numbers of problems
    2. allowing the student to write only the answers to questions rather than re-copy entire sentences, questions, and/or paragraphs
  4. When a student is using a monocular, walking up to the board/chart should be discouraged. This annoys other students and severely hinders speed, continuity of thought, and proficiency when reading or completing an assignment.
  5. Singling out a visually impaired student's desk (to place him/her closer to the board) is discouraged due to social reasons. A monocular will enable the child to sit within the group at all times.
  6. Monoculars break easily and should be worn around the neck when in use and stored in a case otherwise. Please encourage young children to keep their monoculars out of sight when the room is empty.
  7. Encourage the child to take the monocular to other school events, e.g. assemblies, film presentations.
  8. Do not allow other children to handle the monocular.
  9. Do not allow the monocular to be taken home with the child unless arrangements have been made with the vision itinerant teacher.
  10. A child who is using a monocular should be seated facing the boards/charts to allow straight-on viewing. This also enables the child to rest his/her elbow on the desk while he is looking through the monocular.