Experiencing what it means to have a permanent visual impairment; ELT students’ visit to the School for the Blind
On Thursday, 21 April 2016, the undergraduate students of the BA (Ηons) in English Language and English Language teaching of NYC, Thessaloniki Campus with their tutor, Ms Ermioni Christopoulou, visited the School for the Blind. The visit took place within the framework of their first-year course “Managing ESL students with educational needs in an inclusive environment”.
Our group of undergraduates were warmly welcomed by the friendly administrative and teaching staff of the school. The director, Ms. Gika, gave a talk presenting all the important historical, educational, and financial facts of the school and then the students watched a short video which illustrated the everyday routine of the blind and their educational programme.
NYC students had the opportunity to observe an English language class attended by blind and partially blind students. Ms. Wilde, their EFL teacher handed out photocopies of activities both in written form and Braille. Our students interacted with the visually impaired students in group oral activities, and had the opportunity to ask them questions.
Finally, NYC students had the opportunity to experience the difficulties blind people encounter. Two blind students demonstrated how the walking cane is handled and encouraged some students to try it blind folded. After this demonstration, two students of the school and former successful athletes at GoBall, a popular with the visually-impaired game, played the sport with some of our undergraduates.
We would like thank the School for the Blind of Thessaloniki, their staff, and students for their hospitality and the invaluable experience they offered to our undergraduates.