Dance - Visual Impairment

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Watching Dance and Responding

  • Provide a Braille description of the dance.
  • Provide a verbal description of the dance while it is being performed.
  • Assign the child to answer response questions into a tape recorder or through the use of a Braille typewriter.

Choreography and Creative Movement

  • Use partners so that he/she can aid the child in placement, initiation, and the ending of a movement
  • Assign a work area with ample lighting
  • Establish what is considered ‘safe touch’ with the child and his/her parents. Implement the ‘safe touch’ principle with the entire class
  • Focus on social interaction and developing social skills by incorporating group work into a lesson
  • Use ‘Hambone’ to integrate sounds produced by the body into the dance choreography. (Hambone is a style of dance that incorporates sounds produced by various body parts)
  • Always identify yourself and other who are present
  • Use auditory signals where a visual signal is normally used

Technique class

  • Discuss with parents or care givers any specific modes of communication already in place which could be implemented into the classroom
  • Make sure the child knows that you are speaking to him/her
  • Address who you are before speaking to the child
  • Always speak before touching a child
  • Always ensure there are no objects on the floor that a child could trip on before class begins. Safety is of utmost concern.
  • Use very descriptive and concise words so the child will fully understand your expectations (forward, backward, side, up, down).
  • Use a guide wire or a sighted guide for across the floor work
  • Allow child to become oriented to the space before class begins to increase comfort level
  • Always offer your arm to a child when guiding them somewhere. Do not lead. Allow them to have a sense of control over their own movement
  • Focus upon social dance. Pairing children together will allow the child to feel the element of flow in the partnered movements
  • Do not leave a child without letting them know
  • Handouts should be available in large print, by audiotape, or Braille
  • Use the child during a visual demonstration by moving them through the movement so the other children will get a visual aid and the visually impaired child will learn kinesthetically
  • Use an overheard projector to show step-by-step instructions
  • Use an opaque projector whenever possible to enlarge text and/or manual
  • Use tactile 3D models when possible

Other Resources,
American Foundation for the Blind
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
Winnick, Joseph P., Adapted Physical Education and Sport (fourth edition)

Strategies That Work

If you are an educator or artist who has found a strategy that works that is not already listed on this page, please add it below. Include your name and affiliation (school district, arts partner, etc.).

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