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Mr. Brown’s Visual Impairment

Mr. Brown is an elderly resident in a long-term care facility. Every morning, Aisha, a certified nursing assistant, knocks on Mr. Brown’s door and says, “Good morning, Mr. Brown. It’s Aisha,” before she enters his room. Mr. Brown is visually impaired, which means that though he is not blind, he has limited eyesight. A visual impairment can exist from birth, or the impairment can be the result of an injury, cataracts, diabetes, or aging. People with sensory impairments, such as visual impairments or hearing impairments, often use their other senses to help them comprehend their surroundings.

When Aisha met Mr. Brown for the first time, she had never worked with a visually impaired resident before and wondered if it would be difficult to communicate with him. Now that Aisha has known Mr. Brown for a few weeks, she has learned how to accommodate for his visual impairment. When they walk down the hall, Mr. Brown takes Aisha’s arm, and she describes how many steps he has left to take. She describes the weather outside when he sits with other residents near the windows, and she tells him who is sitting beside him at meals. When Mr. Brown has visitors, Aisha tells him who is there and what they look like so he can picture them in his mind. As Aisha is performing her duties in Mr. Brown’s room, she describes what she is doing because she knows he is curious, and he cannot see her actions. She always answers his questions, too, which makes him feel more at ease.

Aisha imagines how difficult it must be to have limited eyesight, so she tries her best to tell Mr. Brown as much as possible about what is going on around him.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners