Mohamad is 12 years old and in Year 6 at a small primary school. His oral communication skills are exceptional for his age and he actively participates in class discussions and debates. He enjoys music and is a talented vocalist, regularly performing as a soloist for the school. He was diagnosed at birth with ocular albinism (reduced pigmentation of the iris). During early intervention with Vision Australia, Mohamad was also diagnosed with nystagmus (repetitive, uncontrolled movement of the eye) and photophobia (eye discomfort/pain due to light exposure).
At school, Mohamad prefers to sit in a darkened space. Blinds have been installed in his classroom, hall and a group area. Mohamad uses a closed circuit television (CCTV) video magnifier system, and prefers pale blue coloured paper to reduce glare. These adjustments have been recommended by his specialists. These specialists have also provided input into Mohamad’s health care plan. Vision Australia supplies him with a computer that is individualised for his needs. At times, Mohamad still experiences eye fatigue.
Mohamad finds classwork challenging. He needs individualised instructions and has modified lesson activities that are provided in a highly structured manner throughout the day. His assessments are adjusted to meet his educational and access needs. Mohamad is supported by a visiting teacher (visual impairment) who provides specialist support and advice each fortnight.
When Mohamad goes outside of the classroom he wears sunglasses and a hat. The playground has painted and tactile markings to support student safety. In preparation for secondary school, Mohamad is learning how to use a cane when walking in playground areas, in less familiar parts of the school and to and from school. Mohamad’s orientation trainer from Vision Australia works with his class teacher and other school staff to provide strategies to support him and to monitor his safety when using the cane.
Mohamad, his parents, teacher and visiting teacher have regular meetings each month to refine his learning and support plan and monitor the adjustments for his academic, health and safety needs. Mohamad’s parents, visiting teacher and the school maintain contact at least once per week by email and phone. There have been additional meetings with his orientation trainer and the year coordinator from the secondary school. This contact has been almost daily as Mohamad undertakes orientation training to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school.