What lab safety issues need to be considered when working with a student with a visual impairment?

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Although each situation is different and the student is the best source of information regarding useful accommodations, the following are some accommodations that should help to make the laboratory safer for students with visual impairments and all of the students in your class:

  • All written instructions should be provided in electronic or Braille format.
  • Visual warnings, such as flashing lights, should be paired with audible alarms.
  • For a lab where the student must make visual observations, particularly if safety is involved, pair the student with a student who is not visually impaired, and make sure both students have a role to play in the group.
  • Keep paths to exits clear, and try to keep furniture and other objects out of the path.
  • Make sure all students know where the safety equipment in the room is located, and make Braille or tactile labels.

For more information on making science laboratories accessible to students with disabilities, you can visit the Regional Disability Liaison Unit at Deakin University and look for "Lab access Manual" to download the PDF document or obtain the information in HTML.

You may also wish to consult the Science Labs area of the AccessSTEM Room.

Last update or review: January 22, 2013