The role of itinerant teachers

Providing education for visually impaired children is a challenge for many governments. Traditional solutions based around special schools can only cater for a small proportion of children who need support. Therefore, for practical reasons, local mainstream schools are often the only places where these children will have a chance of receiving education. However, visually impaired children attending a mainstream school will need additional support in order to cope with the demands it places on them. Because a great majority of early learning comes through vision, children who are blind or visually impaired will be slower to learn many skills than their sighted peers. Intervention at the pre-school stage is thus very important as well – both to encourage these children to learn and develop, and to prepare them for mainstream schooling. One approach to providing support is to employ itinerant teachers, also known as ‘visiting’ or ‘peripatetic’ teachers.

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