Homework and revision

Many children with nystagmus will be visually tired when they get back from school and then still have to do their homework or revise for tests or exams. Always ask your QTVI for advice.

We hope the tips below will help:

  • School to provide homework in appropriate font size as advised by QTVI.
  • Printed homework to be given in A4 format where possible. A3 is hard to scan visually, hard to manage physically and also awkward to file. When enlarging A4 work onto A3 paper, each individual letter becomes less defined and therefore harder for a child with nystagmus to see.
  • School to use homework ‘sampling’ where appropriate. Homework should test the learning objective and skill required. The volume of work can be adjusted according to these criteria. For example, complete 3 instead of 4 paragraphs, do 9 selected questions instead of 12 questions as long as the objective and skill is tested. Always ensure that the harder questions are included in the sampling!
  • Check accessibility for ‘online’ homework resources such as Mymaths.
  • Use RNIB Bookshare to access electronic books at home once account has been set up at school. (See reading resources).
  • Look for large print or electronic study guides. (See reading resources).
  • Consider using audio books where appropriate as a way of reading and reducing vision fatigue. (See reading resources).
  • Touch type homework where possible. It is faster, less tiring and easier to read and edit.
  • Consider using voice recognition software or iPad voice to text option on iPad or computer to reduce vision fatigue.
  • Consider revision via voice recording.
  • If appropriate, consider doing some homework in the morning before school to ease fatigue in the evenings.
  • Provide good ‘task lighting’ at desk. Good lighting is important. OTT lights, for example, provide a natural light with no glare.
  • Promote good posture. Use bookstands and slopeboards.
  • Teachers to mark homework in writing that is large and clear enough for pupil to read.
  • If school uses a mark scheme where comments are written in certain colours –ie Red for ‘action that needs to be taken’, Green for ‘Got It’, consider asking school to write in black and highlight over the comment in the appropriate colour. Highlighting should not make it harder for a child to read – but red / green pen can be
  • Ensure that you are aware of the built-in magnification software on your home computer / laptop. By pressing the CTRL key and either + or – at the same time, the size of the page enlarges or becomes smaller. To reset it to standard size, press CTRL and 0 (zero).
  • OnWindows, magnification and speech options are available under the ‘ease of access’ centre.
  • On an iPad, the accessibility functions are under the ‘General’ tab.
  • If possible, consider being your child’s scribe for homework on days when fatigue is a problem. Do ensure that you make school and your QTVI aware that you are having to do this so that adjustments can be made to the quantity of homework, if necessary. This may also become part of your child’s ‘normal way of working’ which will then be used as evidence when deciding access arrangements for public exams. Acting as a scribe means writing only exactly what your child has said!