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HSBB 2504 - The Importance of Visual Supports

  • 1.5 PDHs
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There are three learning styles: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. Most individuals with developmental disabilities are visual learners and they understand what they can see better than what they hear. When working with individuals with developmental disabilities, it is recommended that you use visual supports or cues to aid in communication and thus understanding.

When working with adult and/or youth audiences, it is important to understand the visual learning style as well as how and why visual supports help individuals to be more successful in the learning environment. Visual supports allow individuals to do more on their own, and can be used as prompts, helpful in managing behavior and reducing anxiety as individuals transition between activities, schedules, or settings.

Visual support refers to using a picture or other visual item to communicate with an individual who has difficulty understanding or using language. Research has shown that visual supports or cues work well as a way to communicate. Visual supports are things we SEE that enhance the communication process. Ranging from body movements to environmental cues, visual supports capitalize on a person’s ability to gain information from the sense of sight. Visual supports include the following forms:
• Body language (facial expressions, movement of body)
• Natural environmental cues (printed material such as menus or directions on packages or machines)
• Traditional tools for organization and for giving information (schedules, maps, assembly instructions)
• Specially designed tools to meet specific needs (timers, task organizers)

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.

Please note that there are no refunds for open entry courses.

Textbooks and Materials

All materials are supplied within the online course.


Tricia Griffin