Making School Media Centers Accessible to Students with Visual Impairments

School libraries and media centers can be made accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired by placing materials in the appropriate format on a designated shelf.

Students with visual impairments aren’t always welcomed into school libraries, as teachers and librarians sometimes believe that the lack of materials in appropriate formats means that time spent there is not valuable.  I believe that it is important to make as many classes and locations as possible accessible for students who are blind or visually impaired.  As a result,  I always ask the librarians in the school libraries or media centers to set aside a shelf designated for my students with visual impairments.  

tactile books on bottom shelf of media center

We place tactile books, braille books, large print and any other special materials on this shelf and make sure to label it in the student’s preferred format.  We try to be sure that the student can find the shelf as independently as possible and that there are plenty of materials to browse, explore, and check out, just as the sighted students do.






media center collage