Materials to help students with visual impairments write and read.

Students with visual impairments often benefit from using specialised tools and materials that can make it easier for them to write and read. 

These include:

  • special paper
  • writing tools
  • lighting and other equipment 

You can also read our lists of suggested:

Paper

Provide paper type appropriate to pupil’s needs, for example:

  • wide black lined paper
  • enlarged, black squared graph paper 
  • wide line music staves

Pens and pencils

Pens need to provide good contrast, for example black pens. Try a range of pens and nibs to find the best pen for pupil. 

Use 2B to 4B pencils.

The aim is to find the pen and paper that helps the pupil: 

  • write on the line
  • read back work

Lighting

Natural light is better. Make sure the pupil sits with their back to the window, so that the light is cast over their shoulder onto their work. 

An additional desk light may help, with the light focused on the page. 

Writing position and posture

Consider if the pupil needs: 

  • a cushion on the chair 
  • a different chair 
  • a sloped board 
  • landscape-oriented paper 

A slopping desk:

  • is a lot easier and more comfortable
  • puts more of the page in focus at one time
  • reduces the strain the eyes 
  • allows the pupil to track lines more easily
  • presents the printed characters at a consistent perspective
  • improves work efficiency
  • encourages good posture 

You can buy these tools and equipment from:

Contact us
Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
Westbury-on-Trym
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07810 506 669
Email: sensorysupportservice@bristol.gov.uk