Visual Impairment Part II – While in School

Massage School for The Blind…

We pride ourselves at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health to provide Massage and Holistic Health training for those who are visually impaired or blind. February is Low-Vision Awareness month, so here we review what Healing Hands School does when a visually impaired or blind student in the classroom.

Due to the wide variety of visual impairment and blindness that a student may present to us, we have developed a remarkable amount of work around to help our students. What can a visually impaired or blind student expect in our classroom environment?

Classroom skeleton
  1. Instructor Patience and Expertise: Our instructors are incredibly patient and understanding when it comes to our visually impaired students. It would be impossible to train such remarkable therapists, without the dedication of our instructors to their job both as educators, and as healers.
  2. Muscle Touch: As instructors are describing muscles to the rest of the class which are presented on a slide show, they will often have a blind student sit next to them so they can palpate (touch and massage) the muscle so the student has a physical feeling of where the muscle is located on their own body.
  3. Skeletons: We have quite a few anatomy skeletons around the school. Often when an instructor is speaking about a muscle origin or attachment, they will have the visually impaired student next to them so they can guide their hand to find the bone, identify the bone, then identify where the muscle attaches and inserts to the bony landmarks.  Once they are able to identify the bony landmarks on the skeletons, they start having a better understanding of the muscle map, and they can take that knowledge to the massage table!
  4. Muscle shapes: We have made felt muscles to go with the skeletons.  Usually the felt muscles are used as a game for students to place the muscles correctly on the skeleton. But for a blind student it helps them identify a muscle shape as well beyond finding a muscle on a person.
  5. Demonstration of the massage: (Demo = person being practiced on)  The instructors usually choose one person to be the demo for the class so that everyone can watch the massage they are learning that day. Well, for a blind student it’s really hard to watch the demo. So instead blind students are the demo. This way they are able to feel the instructors touch.  Now, sometimes blind students would rather stand by the instructor as they guide their hands on the demo. We will work with a student for the best way to instruct them in the massage.
  6. Lectures: Visually impaired / blind students are encouraged to take written notes on a Braille reader, laptop, or other device.  They are also encouraged and allowed to record our lectures so that they can listen to the lecture again at a later time.
    Massage Demonstration

    7. Test taking: Visually impaired / blind students can choose to have a reader read them the test questions and record their answers.  However most decide to put the test into one of their devices, like a Braille reader or laptop, that will read for them.  If the visual impairment is just font type, font size, or font color, we will change the test to match their needs.

If you or someone you know is visually impaired or blind, and looking to start a new career talk to them about massage and have them contact us!  We are happy to help.

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