Vision for communication

In the assessment of vision for communication, all areas of communication need to be covered: person to person, discussion in a group, in the class room, in physical education, extracurricular activities, in communication with persons at greater distances through letters and e-mail, use of phone, and in communication with Braille users etc. In each of these different activities the child's vision impairment may affect his/her communication in an important way.

As an example we can think on the situation of a child with a central scotoma. (S)he seems to look at the hair line of the person whom (s)he looks at. This kind of "not looking at the eyes" of the person to whom the child talks to, may create negative feelings in people who do not know about the child's visual field defect. The child needs to learn how to mention in passing that (s)he sees the face only when looking past it. All persons at the school need to understand that this is a specific way of looking at, not a sign of emotional difficulties, manifested by "avoiding eye contact".

A list can be written on whether and how far the child can perceive facial expressions and body language, recognise persons by their way of walking (this may be surprisingly far), use signs in sport, recognise faces, recognise other players in a match situation, so that compensating techniques can be used when needed.

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