Removing barriers to learning
Educators at all levels play a vital role in the lives of their students. As part of your role to educate students, you also set the tone in the learning environments and identify student learning needs and difficulties. When students are identified as needing help they are usually referred to a learning specialist for further investigation.
Opticalm works with school boards, teachers, learning specialists, educational psychologists, tutors, and parents to help their students struggling with reading, learning, attention, sensory processing, and comprehension difficulties, and the frustration and anxiety that often go along with these difficulties.
These symptoms are common in individuals with Visual Stress and can be reduced with the use of simple assistive tools and technology, many of which can be provided to students directly by educators.
Research has identified that visual stress is present in about 15% of the population, with higher percentages in populations where learning difficulties, migraines, and attention difficulties are reported. In a classroom of 25, this represents about four students who may experience some degree of visual stress, interfering with their learning.
Opticalm helps educators by providing:
Training on how to identify the condition
Materials to use for screening
Suggestions for modifying learning spaces to reduce triggers
Assistive tools and technologies for students and learning spaces
The first step towards reducing visual stress in the classroom - Overlays:
Overlays are one of the most widely used assistive tools in the classroom. These clear tinted plastic sheets are placed over reading material to reduce distortions. To be effective, it is important to select the appropriate colour for each student. Opticalm offers a pre-screening kit that can assist you with this critical step.
Once distortions are removed, the student's attention will be directed to the processing of continuous text rather than to the identification of individual words. This normally improves reading comprehension and attention, and reduces eye strain and headaches.
Today around 75 percent of UK schools use overlays , coloured rulers and other coloured products in the classroom. Over the years thousands of teachers have reported improvements in students who struggle to read when using the optimum overlay colour. These include speed of reading, accuracy, comprehension and spelling.