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  • Writer's pictureMary Spargur

Using Visual Supports in Intellectually Disabled Populations

Visual supports can be incredibly helpful for individuals with intellectual disabilities, providing a way to communicate and understand tasks and routines more effectively. Using visual timers, example products/works, and visual checklists can make a significant impact on the lives of those with disabilities. Here are some ways to implement visual supports in intellectually disabled populations:

- Visual timers: Set clear expectations and boundaries by using visual timers to help individuals understand the concept of time and manage their schedules more effectively. This can reduce anxiety and confusion in daily activities.

- Visual checklist: Create a visual checklist outlining the steps of a particular task or routine to help individuals stay organized and independent. This is great for tasks that require more steps and are done frequently. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who struggle with memory or sequencing.

- Post-it notes: use to provide visual reference on physical locations in the office or in a work space. When staff need to place finished work in a specific location.

- Example product/work: Show concrete examples of the task or activity at hand through visual aids such as photos, drawings, or models. This can help individuals better understand what is expected of them and how to complete the task successfully.

Girl making bows with example bows to reference.
Examples provided; visual support while making

By incorporating these visual supports into daily activities, individuals with intellectual disabilities can improve their communication, comprehension, and overall quality of life. Visual aids provide a tangible way to break down information and promote independence in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.


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