Cloak rooms can be busy and confusing so make sure your pupil with vision impairment has a clearly marked peg, or locker, on an end where it is least crowded, and possibly the shortest distance from the classroom, that way it will be easier to find and there should be less pupils in the way. Make sure their name label is in object form and something which is meaningful (and age appropriate). Braille can be added, even if they have not formally learned to read it and when the pupil gets older, and has more experience of reading them, the object signifier can be replaced with a tactile picture or their name in braille/large print.
It is useful to have object signifiers on other doors in the school. This allows blind and partially sighted pupils to orientate where they are when corridors can all look the same.
Stairs/steps should have their edges marked (this should be an education authority responsibility and part of an accessibility audit).
Time must be taken to help pupils with vision impairment learn routes around the school. This needs to be done on a regular basis with objects/significant colours pointed out and discussed so that the pupil can build up knowledge of a school route.
Build routes up one at a time as required, e.g. peg to class, class to toilets, class to playground door, class to office etc. It is important to keep the corridors as free from clutter as possible and make others aware of this. You are wanting to encourage as much independent movement in the school environment as possible, while also keeping the pupil safe. Busy corridors can be confusing and frightening. Allowing a blind or partially sighted pupil to leave class a few minutes earlier with a friend will facilitate less stressful navigation of the school environment, provide a bit more time for the journey and help them be ready for the next class and support independence.
Input from habilitation services is vital to ensure formal mobility skills are taught effectively and consistently. An audit of the school environment should be carried out to identify any areas for concern or where adaptations should be installed.
For more information and advice visit the Royal Blind Learning Hub website section on Mobility & Orientation.