The most rampart causes of visual challenge are trauma, degenerative or congenital means and a variety of diseases. In the society, blindness is the term that is preferably used to describe a visually impaired per son. Low eyesight is generally revealed when the affected person cannot view a normal distance and walk by himself (Algozzine, 2006). The degree of impairment can also be revealed when a person cannot read some normal writings. This is to say that even with the assistance of contact magnifying glasses or even eyeglasses the victim cannot reveal the writings on a normal newspaper (Bailey & Hall, 1990).
Hyperopic impairment is accrued with inability person to see objects in a close distance. Myopic impairment is quite the opposite of hyperopic whereby a victim cannot identify objects at close distance. All these vision challenges greatly obscure the affected person from comfortably carrying out the normal daily routines without being assisted.
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According to Bailey & Hall (1990), vision challenged persons normally have to use other physical senses in order to carry out duties. A very blind case reveals that the victim can only use or learn by using non-visional procedures or the Braille.
When it comes to the legally confirmed blind, the affected person has slightly low vision of up to 20/200 sight capability. As it is revealed by all these cases, eyesight impairment is not necessarily a disorder, but an impairment that requires procedural measures to take good care of the affected rather than seeking for some medication. In most cases, nerve complications can cause blindness and mostly if these complications can reach the brain, a disorder known as CVI (Cortical Vision Impairment) is developed (Bailey & Hall, 1990). In addition, other eye complications can result to visual challenge. Eye infections, diabetic complications, laucoma, congenital disturbance, congenital complications, albinism, cataracts and cornea complications are the most possible causes of visual problems. Due to the many incidences of blindness, there is need for relevant government agents to establish ways of assisting the affected population (Algozzine, 2006). When the blind are educated to be independent, there are reduced cases of dependency and hence the blind can contribute to economic growth. Characteristics Visual challenges are exhibited in various ways. Understanding the character of visual challenged person or child will greatly help in enacting ways of helping such.
In the case of visually impaired students, different learning institutions will categorize the eyesight-impaired kids according to the severity of the challenge. Intellectually, the visually impaired students is at par as the sighted students. When visually impaired students undertake tests through auditory-vocal as well as other communication channels that support visually impaired students then the academic achievement of such students is assured. However studies indicate that visually impaired students do not score well in Mathematics. Visually impaired students have particular behavioral disparities.
Firstly, when the child is taken to a new environment, the episodes of clumsiness are exhibited (Fan & Cheung, 2005). Such a student is in constant communication with their colleagues as they seek to get clarifications on goings. The student usually remains inattentive and is greatly affected by their inability to read or engage in other class activities. While communicating, visually impaired learners do not rely on lip movement to effectively articulate words. Additionally, such students are not able to effectively use gestures (Fan & Cheung, 2005). Most of the developmental steps of such chilren are delayed due to lack of vison.
In emotional context, they may feel helplessness while interacting with others. These children can develop congnitive impairment because they they lack the integrating experience of association and classification and the understaning of these experiences. The other challenge faced with such children to develop their vocabulary. Sighted children can easily acquire these skills by reading, watching facial expressions and movements, but visually impaired children are unable to expereince this and it hinders their capability to improve their vocabulary. Physically, a visually mpaired student is constantly rubbing their eyes and is always blinking. Frowning, squinting and holding books at close range are other characteristics of visually impaired individuals. Lastly, visually impaired learners are constantly complaining of dizziness, nausea, itchy eyes as well as blurred vision (Fan & Cheung, 2005). Educational needs Visually impaired kids should never be discriminated from attaining quality education. If the right procedure is adapted in delivery of information or rather education to such students, they will equally possess the same level of education as normal children.
The procedure of teaching a blind child as well as the teaching aid is completely different from that of a normal child. Additional human senses are used to teach the visually impaired pupils (Algozzine, 2006). Braille is a perfect way of teaching such kids. A sense of touch is applied whereby a student is instructed on how to identify the fundamental letters and signs provided. According to Harley, Truan & Sanford (1997), the Braille system has been adopted in all parts of the world including Hong Kong because of its simple acquisition and simplicity in usage.
When a student is reading or writing, a sense of tangibility is impressed and so the Braille system is a perfect way of teaching the blind. In schools, physical exercises are also crucial for the visually challenged. Bearing in mind that blind pupils are subjected to peculiar needs unlike their healthy counter parts as far as physical training is concern, physical instructors must come into terms that, these challenged kids strength and energy level are low as compared to normal kids. Psychological and physically challenging defects are rampant in these kids.
Unsightly body coordination, defects in muscles, awkward walk and obvious timidity are some of the preference challenges that are in these kids. Therefore, precaution should be taken to prevent further injuries to these pupils undertaking physical education. Physical education will therefore be crucial in correcting some of these deformities associated with the blindness. Physical education therefore plays an integral role in the curriculum of these kids (Algozzine, 2006). Equipment used in physical exercises of the blind is different and special from the ones in use by normal students.
Under normal circumstance, a blind kid would be led through a running truck using guide strings and ropes. Bells that are audible enough are also preferred to guide blind students during exercises. Physical support is also applied to lead the students into the required task or procedure. Skills are broken into small understandable segments to ensure complete compliance to the exercises. The atmosphere or field of exercise is maintained free of potential dangers like cracks and clutter. In the world of modern technology advancement, the blind people should not be discriminated.
In that case, there are ways of ensuring that the visually impaired are conversant with the changing technology and digital era. Braille computer hardware like keyboard is in use for the blind. These computer interface use sound and touch instead of sight (Algozzine, 2006). Growth needs Unlike a normal kid, physically handicapped children require special growth needs. The visually impaired kids need to explore, integrate and stimulate curiosity like any normal kid. The blind kids have an extra duty of coordinating the rest of the senses in order to move around through touch rather than vision (Harley et. l, 1997). Such children also need to respond to the cohesion brought about by their neighbors and community members (Bishop, 2004). When it comes to teaching the visually impaired kids on the normal life duties, experience is paramount This is because, as time goes by the blind person gets used to routine occurrences through the help of a guardian and hence they positively develop during their growth process. It is therefore one of the growth needs of a blind child to be positively guided failure to which the victims skills in life will be highly affected.
In our example, Jason is not only guided by the teacher but also he is encourged, this helps him score well in the class. He is encourged by his English teacher who also helps him after school. This enabled Jason to come out of this shyness. A blind person’s view of events is assisted by seeing person. Therefore, the visually impaired will only recognize worldly things from someone else point of view. Specific and keen instructions are therefore given to a blind kid in order to meet his unique and special view of things without the vision.
In the case of disciplinary actions of a visually impaired, collaboration evaluation between professional vision instructor and family members is vital in order to bring about a disciplined child (Bishop, 2004). In our given example, Jason is assisted by Amy who helps him with writing and other class work, this eventually helps him to do well in the class. A blind infant also needs to be taught on how to use kinesthetic, auditory, tactile and olfactory senses in order to explore and understand their surroundings.
A young visually impaired kid is also instructed to repeatedly carry out daily meaningful processes to increase his experience with real objects. Other sensory experiences are used to compensate for the lack of visual sense. Again, in our example, school helped Jason with adopting new enviornment and helped him with many resouces like, talking word processor, baraille note taker and resoure teacher etc. Exposure to the general environment also increases the blind child’s learning of the natural surrounding and settings.
Occupational and physical therapy is also one of the crucial growth needs of a blind infant. It helps in overcoming less motor capabilities. The use and coordination of both hands is emphasized in the preparation for the use of Braille system in formal education. Special keenness is required by the guardian of the visually impaired in order to vehemently understand the growth needs of a blind child (Congdon, Friendman, & Lietman, 2003). Early communication skills are relevant to a blind infant in order to help the kid create new responses to new sounds and voices (Harley et. al, 1997).
Simultaneous description of processes and activities surrounding the blind child by use of the voice is essential to enhance ease in recognition and identification of the voices. Mobility and early orientation to develop bodily recognition of mapping and spatial skills should also be undertaken. Early exposure to daily routine is crucial to a visually impaired child. The child is instructed on how to use a toilet, dressing and eating skills. Selective play skills are also vital to a blind kid in teaching the child interaction skills with his age mates (Congdon, Friendman, & Lietman, 2003).
It helps the visually impaired child to imitate the playing skills. Prevalence in Hong Kong A study of visual impaired done in suburban region of Hong Kong revealed diversified cases of blindness. The study was subjected to inhabitants of Shatin region by sampling method. Different estates were arranged in clusters and people were randomly selected to be subjected to examinations. Visual examination was conducted in diversified sites within Hong Kong. Worse cases of more than 6/18 of visual challenges were prevalent. The report revealed that cataract error and refractive were the rampant causes of visual impairment.
Blindness cases of up to 6/18 increased in old age (Li, Xu, & He, 1999). The report also revealed that socially and economically well up population was mostly affected by visual challenges in Hong Kong. This was because of their living standards and rampant ageing people. Over 6. 7 million inhabitants inhabit Hong Kong. This was revealed by a census conducted in 1998. The study revealed that 26. 1% of Hong Kong’s inhabitants wore glasses due to eyesight related problems (Li, Xu, & He, 1999). Most of the old people who were over 80 years were subject to bilateral lack of eyesight than those who were below 80 years.
The study also revealed that more men in old age are susceptible to visual impairment than their female counter parts of the same age. The demonstrated that the people in Hong Kong who had undergone through formal education were less affected by visual impairment than their unlearned counterparts (Li, Xu, & He, 1999). According to statistics in Hong Kong, refractive cases caused 51% of the blind cases reported, muscular problem caused 7. 6% of blindness cases, cataract caused 28. 8%, glaucoma caused 3%, retina and cornea problems each contributed 2. 4% and myopic abnormalities contributed 1. % of total blindness (Li, Xu, & He, 1999). This reveals how Hong Kong has high prevalence cases of visual impairment. According to the data presented, 390 000 persons had visual impairment. 92000 cases of these were caused by refractive cases and the remaining 269000 was caused by cataract (Ellwein, Fletcher & Negrel, 1995). Most of the affected were given medical attention that is they were accorded glasses, others underwent surgery and others were entirely blind. This research revealed the need to avoid blindness causes in Hong Kong to reduce the disastrous cases of visually impaired population.
Services and support in Hong Kong Hong Kong has been keenly establishing facilities and infrastructure to care for the visually challenged. Under the arm of Hong Kong’s blinds society, resources have been mobilized to take care of the affected generation. This society in Hong Kong established a resource centre to care for the blind children with the collaboration of their parents in 1998. This facility is known as parents centre for children with visual disability in Hong Kong. Another arm of government started to fund the program from 2001. In the year 008, the centre was granted a 3- year funding from the Jockey charities in Hong Kong. All these clubs were out to help in bettering the lives of the destitute blind children in Hong Kong. These centres were established to play a better role in facilitating rehabilitation, cognitive, emotional, and motor and language support for the visually challenged children. These blind children are organized in groupings to encourage good cohesion and try to beat loneliness and discrimination from the community. The organization for the blind in Hong Kong also provides materials for the blind children.
These materials include videos, books, cassettes, toys and other technical support (Bishop, 2004). The society also liaises with professionals in offering counseling, consultation and advice to the needy kids and the responsible guardians. Recreational facilities like playgrounds are also facilitated in Hong Kong. The co-curricular activities grounds are meant to develop cognitive, sensor, cognitive and motor strengthening amongst visually impaired kids. In recent years, the organization for the blind in Hong Kong has extended numerous supports to the affected generation.
The blinds society is far much aware that due to different varieties of visual impairment, each victim requires personalized care. Therefore, the relevant society in Hong Kong has a professional staff that ensures maximum assistance and support is accorded the needy clients. The blinds society has no boarders in Hong Kong, and that is to say that they extend their services to the blind even in their comfort of their homes. The services are not restricted in the society’s premises. These efforts reveal how the authorities and the community as a whole in Hong Kong have effortlessly decided to assist the visually impaired.
Career development is crucial to every individual that is why in Hong Kong, the blind people are educated in the career of their choice (Sacks & Wolfe, 2006). This initiative has enabled the visually impaired to equally compete in the job marked. The Hong Kong blinds society also ensures multisensory educational programs in form of morning training or glory in different hotels in Hong Kong. The society and the guardians of the affected kids welcome this morning program with open hands (Hong Kong society for blind, 2011).
The government funds the programs of helping the visually impaired and this account to about 80 percent of the total budgetary needs. The remaining 20% is funded by the community-based groupings and private clubs like Jockey society of Hong Kong (Bishop, 2004). In Hong Kong alone visually impaired, constitute to around 75000 persons. This huge number of the needy people with blindness challenges in Hong Kong has challenged the blinds society to employ over 500 staff members in service to the needy persons. Low eye vision centre in Hong Kong treated over 43629 eye cases and treated over 2392 low-level vision victims in the year 2007 alone.
This is sure evidence that in Hong Kong and the world as whole, eye patients are assisted and attended to as expected. Apart from the general care the blinds society in Hong Kong has also undertaken the responsibility to establish a factory for visually impaired and hence offering employment to these people. The Tokwawan factory established in the year 1963 not only offers employment to over 215 persons but it also offers shelter and vocational education to the blind. The factory accommodates people with diversified challenges like mentally sick, blind deaf, handicapped, and eyesight impaired (Sacks, Kekelis & Gaylord-Ross, 1992).
In Tuen Mum and Shamshuipo, the blind run massage parlors. The group comprises of both masseuses and masseurs (Bishop, 2004). This is one of the revelations of support for the blind by creating employment for them in Hong Kong and the globe as a whole. This enhances professionalism and exploitation of great potential in these people. There is a great demand from the rest of the world to collaborate with Hong Kong in helping the blind in respective countries. Conclusion Visual impairment is so rampant in Hong Kong and the rest of the world.
It is a challenge that needs to be addressed . The number of people with eye problems is rising in the globe and especially in old age. There is therefore a need to establish donor organizations to fund the requirements of the blind and eye challenged. Discrimination and isolation of the blind will only increase their woes and challenges in life. It is therefore very crucial for the government and a society as a whole to love and care for the handicapped community as a whole. Visual impairment is a challenge that can affect anybody in Hong Kong or in the complete human race.