Independent Living

How to Identify Your Learning Style & Adapt to Vision Loss

Do you know your preferred learning style? Have you ever considered how your vision loss or impairment will impact it as it progresses? 

What is a learning style?

A learning style is an individual’s best approach to learning. It considers strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and disabilities. This learning philosophy is called metacognition.

It helps you understand your needs and allows you to learn and retain information. Most people tend to have a dominant learning style but will revert to other learning styles, based on situational events or the type of content they are trying to learn. 

Information typically enters your brain in three main ways: sight, hearing, and touch. So, learning styles are broken down into three major categories:

Visual – processing with your eyes

Characteristics of visual learners include:

Auditory – processing with your ears

Characteristics of auditory learners include:

Kinesthetic – processing information in multiple ways

Characteristics of kinesthetic learners include:

Understanding your learning style is important in addressing new challenges as you navigate your new visually impaired journey and changes. Your brain is still wired for your learning needs even if you no longer have the vision to see what is on the page or screen.

Continuing your learning style with vision loss

A rehabilitation trainer will help you continue using your dominant learning style. This training will include implementing environmental modifications to allow a visual learner to access information.

Visual learning

Visual learners who are visually impaired will need to adjust lighting for glare sensitivity to read print on paper and screens. People with significant vision loss will rely more on verbal descriptions to describe body movements or physical cues.

Other learning adaptations include the intake of written content. A visual learner may now have to absorb information auditorily through audiobooks or kinesthetically by learning to read braille.

Additionally, visual learners will need to navigate differently. Previously, they may have relied visually on maps to navigate city streets. When the ability to see maps is compromised, new strategies must be acquired. 

These may be using a GPS program on their mobile device to access auditory route information, relying on bus drivers, or learning to identify landmarks based on auditory and tactual information. 

Deafblind learning 

Addressing learning style needs becomes increasingly more challenging for individuals who lose visual and auditory learning modes, resulting in only kinesthetic information inputs. These learning styles may have been dominant and secondary before the dual sensory loss. These individuals use tactile learning strategies for daily communication and other items.

The strategies used by the deafblind are vastly different than those used for individuals who are visually impaired.

Trained deafblind specialists are needed to help people become comfortable with these strategies. Outlook Enrichment has a deafblind specialist on our team who can assist you.

Your learning style is an important aspect of any rehabilitation evaluation. Outlook Enrichment can help you understand your learning needs and develop an action plan for success. Contact us today to get started.

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