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Sample Interview Questions for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Student Name ________________________________________

First Language: ________________________________________

Approximate language or literacy level: ________________________________________

Educational goal: ________________________________________

  1. What do you know about the students’s level of vision?
    • Can he/she see anything?
    • Can he/she see black and white line drawings?
    • Can he/she see photographs?
    • Does he/she have a limited field of vision?
  2. Has the student been blind since birth?
  3. If no, when and how did they experience vision loss?
    • Is it degenerative?
    • Was it the result of a brain injury?
    • How recent is the vision loss?
  4. What do you know about the student’s use of assistive technology?
    • Does he/she own a small audio recorder?
    • Can he/she use a computer?
    • Has he/she ever used any kind of magnifier?
    • Does he/she have a talking watch?
    • Has he/she ever used a talking dictionary?
  5. What do you know about the student’s literacy?
    • Is/was he/she literate in his/her first language?
    • Has he/she ever learned to read Braille in any language?
      (If yes in English, grade 1 or grade 2?)
    • Did he/she start learning English before the loss of vision?
  6. Does the student use any special visual aids?  Do they use a dark pen or
    dark-lined paper?
  7. What size print can the student read comfortably? (Have a few samples available.)
  8. How long can the student read print before experiencing eyestrain?
  9. Is the student able to read print from the blackboard comfortably?
  10. Does glare keep the student from seeing objects correctly?
  11. Is the student able to write and read back what they’ve written?
  12. Can you see colors?  What color or type of background helps make objects easier to see?
  13. Does the student have any other disabilities that may interfere with their ability to learn? (hearing impairment, head injury, diabetes, etc.)
  14. Does the student have someone to help them at school and/or at home?
  15. How do you usually read?  (regular print, large print, Braille, or cassette tape)
  16. If the student reads Braille, when and where did they learn it? 
    Does the student read Grade 1 or 2? 
  17. How does the student take notes? (paper and pencil, slate and stylus, laptop, Notetaker, Perkins Brailler, tape recorder or other)
  18. Does the student have experience using a computer or JAWS?
  19. How many years of schooling did the student complete?  Where did the student attend school and what were their favorite subjects? Grades/marks? Did the student receive a diploma or equivalent?
  20. What languages are spoken at home?  What languages does the student know how to read and write?
  21. What do you know about the student’s mobility?
    • Does he/she use a white cane?
    • Can he/she find his/her way around a new building? Around a familiar building?
  22. Does he/she use public transportation, metro mobility, or rides from family members? What do you know about the student’s support system?
    • Is he/she a client at State Services for the Blind?
    • Is he/she taking any other adaptation to blindness classes at this time?
    • Does he/she live with family members? Do any of them speak English?
  23. What do you know about the student’s educational goals?
    • Has he/she attended school before? In the U.S. or elsewhere?
  24. Why do you want to come to our program/school?

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