Joey’s dad is a carpenter. He craves precision. Joey has Down Syndrome, and to say his development has been challenging is an understatement. School has not been particularly helpful, and despite what his IEP says about receiving enlarged print size, it just hasn’t been implemented. To compound things, Joey has been sent home with work sheets that, shall we say, are not of particularly good visual quality – one of which is pictured above.
Joey’s work sheets are from a website that school could just as easily print directly, rather than photocpy copies of poor contrast to begin with. This is where advocacy comes into play. As visual authorities, developmental optometrists can advocate for patients to receive material of reasonable visual quality, and to explain why print size and crowding matters – even when patients have good enough visual acuity to pass a visual screening test. Advocacy requires sticking one’s neck out, but it is much more preferable than leaving one’s head in the sand. Special education and developmental optometry have so much to offer in concert.