Preventing Vision Problems
Since academic learning requires much reading, staff members should take necessary precautions to protect the vision of their students. Below are some guidelines for minimizing eye strain.
- Instruct the student to read with his PACE directly in front of him (about 14 to 16 inches away from his eyes).
- Have the student sit upright and hold the PACE so it is parallel with his face (a six degree slanting surface is ideal).
- Provide proper lighting.
- Do not force students to read in front of a group. This situation creates muscle tension, which can adversely affect vision.
- Surround the reading area in soft pastel colors.
- Ensure that each student has time (approximately every 40 to 50 minutes) to relax his eyes by focusing on some distant object. This is the reason students should take their breaks outdoors as often as possible. They need to “stretch” their vision as well as their arms and legs. Participants and observers of table tennis, foursquare or tetherball benefit from the back and-forth eye motion.
Conduct the following eye exercises twice a day for about one minute before or after a break:
- Students stand facing the supervisor, who stands at front of Learning Center. Students look as far to the right as possible, without turning their heads. Repeat to the left. Encourage students to s-t-r-e-t-c-h their eyes. Repeat to the right and left again.
- Each student holds his fist about 12 inches in front of his face and focuses on his thumb. Then he focuses on an object on the far side of the room. Students quickly focus back and forth between the two points six times while the supervisor counts.
- Each student holds up both thumbs 12 inches in front of him and 12 inches apart. While the supervisor counts to ten the student focuses from one thumb to the other without moving his head.