Blind and Low Vision - Instructional Strategies

This page contains instructional strategies for faculty who have SF State students who are Blind or have low vision, enrolled in their classes.  The best instructional strategy is to facilitate the accommodations that the student is authorized for. You have the right to view the student's accommodation letter at any time. In addition, below are some strategies that some students have found helpful. Please contact the DPRC with any questions about these recommendations. Contact us at (415) 338-2472 or


Instructional Strategies

The following strategies are suggested to enhance the accessibility of course instruction, materials, and activities. They are general strategies designed to support individualized reasonable accommodations.

  • On your syllabus, include a Disability Access Statement inviting students with disabilities to request accommodations. DPRC has developed the following Disability Access Statement for course syllabi: "Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC, located in SSB 110, can be reached by telephone at 338-2472 (voice/TTY) or by e-mail at"
  • Have copies of the syllabus and reading assignments ready three to five weeks prior to the beginning of classes, so documents are available for taping, Braille transcription, or conversion to auditory format.
  • Provide vision-impaired students with materials in alternate formats at the same time the materials are given to the rest of the class. The student must advise as to the format: large print, Braille, electronic, or tape.
  • When using an overhead projector with transparencies, use a larger font size (at least 18 point). Provide additional time for students with visual disabilities to copy the material on the transparencies, or provide them with printed copies.
  • Repeat aloud what is written on the board and in handouts, and/or presented on overheads.
  • Pace the presentation of material: if referring to a textbook or handout, allow time for students to find the information.
  • Allow students to tape-record lectures.
  • When lecturing, avoid making statements that cannot be understood by people with visual impairments (e.g. "This diagram sums up what I am saying about statistics").
  • When appropriate, ask for a sighted volunteer to team up with a vision-impaired student for in-class assignments.
  • Keep a front row seat open for a student with vision impairment. A corner seat is especially convenient for a student with a guide dog.
  • Make arrangements early for field trips and ensure that accommodations will be in place on the given day (e.g., transportation, site accessibility).
  • Be flexible with deadlines if assignments are held up by the accessible media conversion process.
  • When in doubt about how to assist the student, ask him or her.
  • Allow the student the same anonymity as other students (i.e., avoid pointing out the student or the alternative arrangements to the rest of the class).

If your questions are not answered by what is in the information please contact the DPRC at (415) 338-2472 (voice/TTY) or