Common Barriers Experienced at the University Level
A student who has a vision impairment may experience one or more of the following barriers to learning and inclusion. Please note this list provides only a sample of common barriers.
- Access to information — both formal information presented in classes and incidental communication within and external to the class particularly non-verbal information.
- Access to print material (e.g., reading packs, handouts, textbooks).
- Timeliness in receiving materials in an accessible format.
- Attitudinal barriers due to assumptions of what a student can/cannot do or a perception that they will cause additional work for staff.
- Access to other visual material (e.g., videos, some electronic material).
- Participation in settings such as tutorials can be compromised due to difficulties in following numerous conversation participants, not knowing who is speaking and not being able to observe non-verbal communications.
- Social isolation can occur as it can be difficult for students to initiate communication when they are unsure of who is around them.