Considerations and Tips in Working with Individuals with Visual Disabilities


Visually impaired. Do not assume that the child has no usable vision; many people who are “legally blind” can see shapes, colors, and light. To accommodate for children with visual impairments:

• Ask where he or she would like to sit in the room.

• Do not sit the child directly in front of a light or window; have the primary light source behind the child so he can see you well.

• Use natural or lamp lighting; fluorescent lights can be particularly distressing.

• Announce yourself when you enter or leave the room.

• Always ask before petting a service animal, remember that the animal is not a pet, it is working.

• To guide a child who is blind, let him or her take your arm, not the other way around. Say where you are going and what is in front of you before you get there.

• If possible, have written materials available in other formats, such as Braille, large print, audiotape, or picture.

• Instead of drawing or coloring, Play‐Doh can be used for a calming activity for the child.

• When assessing knowledge of prepositions, ask the child to hold an object, such as a pen, to show where the object is (i.e. up, down, in, on, under, or behind).

Shelton, K., Bridenbaugh, H., Farrenkopf, M., & Kroeger, K. (2010). Project Ability: Demystifying disability in child abuse interviewing. Oregon: CARES Northwest. Retrieved from