teacher and student standing in front of a whiteboard
Visual Perception Disabilities

Individuals with visual perception disabilities have difficulty making sense of what they see. Visual perception disabilities are not linked to problematic eyesight. The problem is a result of the way the brain processes visual images.

Difficulties of Visual Perception

Individuals with these disabilities have difficulty understanding, interpreting, organizing, and/or remembering nonverbal information. Words, numbers, graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and pictures, which are all designed to aid learning, can actually become significant barriers to learning for people with visual perception disabilities.

Differences Encountered with Visual Perception Disabilities

  • Inability to recognize familiar images and attach meaning to them. Just as the golden arches of McDonalds might cue a child to be hungry, seeing a picture of a rainbow should cue us to remember God’s covenant promise to Noah to never again destroy the world by flood. Some individuals may need intentional skill development and adapted reinforcement to form these connections in the brain.
  • Inability to recognize and follow sequences. The story of redemption in the Bible is one long sequence of events. Teachers need to intentionally connect individual stories in the Bible to the larger story of redemption.
  • Difficulty with visual memory. Short-term visual memory involves recalling images that have just been viewed. Long-term visual memory involves recalling images or places that have been viewed in the past. A teen or adult with a long-term visual memory deficit may have difficulty giving directions to a visitor at church.