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Equipment

  • Bell balls
  • Beeper balls
  • Sound source
  • Brightly colored balls, bean bags, carpet squares, hoola hoops, cones, etc.

Team Sports

  • Safety is the most important aspect of any sports activity
  • Begin teaching lead up skills at a young age
  • Use modified equipment
  • Teacher, coach or parent chooses teams
  • Allow visually impaired child to choose teams
  • Switch teams or partners frequently
  • Never allow "regular" kids to pick teams (students with disabilities will be left out)
  • Adjust size of field or court
  • Use sighted guides or buddies
  • Keep area clear and uncluttered
  • Allow plenty of practice time
  • Braille copy of rules
  • Modify rules to needs of student
  • Reduce number of players on field/court
  • Brightly colored boundary lines
  • Place orange cones at bases and base lines
  • Have brightly colored t- shirts or pennies for different teams
  • Make tactual "maps" of playing area
  • Allow student to tactually explore equipment

Basketball

  • Bell basketball
  • Brightly colored balls
  • Brightly colored backboard
  • Place sound source on or near backboard
  • Use long pole to tap on backboard
  • Spend adequate time on individual skills
  • Use bounce pass so they will hear it bounce
  • Allow visually impaired student to shoot free throws for both teams

Volleyball

  • Use balloons or soft balls
  • Use brightly colored balls
  • Place brightly colored tape or material on top of net
  • Lower the net
  • Use buddies to give command to bump or set
  • Focus on serving skills and allow VI student to serve frequently

Soccer

  • Use beeper or bell ball
  • Place sound source at goal
  • Have goalie verbalize location
  • Have students on boundary lines giving cues
  • Mark lines in yellow or bright colors

Softball/baseball

  • Play Beep baseball
  • Use batting tee or tall cone
  • Use brightly colored plastic bat and ball
  • Have sighted guides for running bases
  • Shorten length of baseline
  • Place string line from base to base

Football

  • Use a magnetic board to review plays and positions
  • Use soft ball or sponge type ball
  • Place sound source at goal
  • Have receiver clap or verbalize position

Archery

  • Stack bales of hay around target as backboard
  • Use high contrast between backdrop and target
  • Stress safety and proper technique
  • Place brightly colored shapes or balloons on target
  • Make targets larger
  • Place bright marker or blocks on ground to make sure student is facing
  • the proper direction
  • Place sound source at target
  • Have sighted buddy give feedback on where arrows are contacting
  • Use brightly colored bows and arrows Mark bows and arrows with different textures
  • Tell student when to begin shooting, and when to stop so that arrows can be retrieved
  • Tie string line to target and have student follow it to retrieve arrows

Golf

  • Use plastic clubs of hockey sticks
  • Use brightly colored plastic or regular balls
  • Use larger ball such as a regular size wiffle ball
  • Place sound source at cup
  • Place border around putting area as in putt- putt golf
  • Have buddy give cues on distance, cup location, and terrain

Track and Field

  • Use sighted guide for running
  • Have sighted guide hold baton, piece of soft rope or cloth to increase
  • distance between them
  • Shorten running distances
  • Place sound source at take- off point for jumping
  • Mark lanes and finish lines with bright colors

Thread a rope through a plastic or rubber tube about 12 inches long (section of water hose works great). Tie each end of the rope near starting and finish points. Student slides the hose down the rope as she/he walks or runs. Place a knot just past the finish line so she/he will stop at the appropriate spot.

Tennis

  • Use bell ball
  • Use brightly colored balls
  • Place brightly colored tape or material along top of net
  • Mark boundary lines in bright colors
  • Modify serving technique
  • Use larger balls, sponge balls or balloons

Bowling

  • Use a bowling ramp
  • Place sound source near pins
  • Use a tactual scoring system
  • Place bumpers in gutters

Encourage children with visual impairments to play. Supervise their activities but don't over protect them. Allow them to behave as sighted kids would during play. It is normal for children to engage in rough and tumble play at a young age. Visually impaired children should explore and climb on playground equipment. Find clear, open spaces where they can run and skip and hop safely and independently. All children should learn to swim, skate, ride a bike, and participate in many individual, lifetime activities. Give visually impaired children as many physical experiences as possible. Start early, don't wait!

Cathey Bridges, B.S. Kinesiology