How Teachers can help:
- Reduce your fluorescent lighting by creating areas that do not have fluorescent lights, areas where half the lights are off, and areas with full fluorescent lighting. If you have a room with enough natural lighting, do not turn on your fluorescent lights.
- Worksheets/Test/Math Sheets/Information sheets should be printed on colored paper, if possible the color of the child’s preference, blue/green/yellow/pink. The incorrect color may cause similar problems to white. Recycled paper is better than white.
- Colored Paper. For those children with handwriting problems, allow as much work as possible to be done on colored paper, again a color of the child’s own preference or a grey or beige.
- Hats or Visors. Let your students wear hats with dark underbrims in the classroom. This reduces the glare from the fluorescent lighting.
- Book Position. Reading should be done from materials placed directly in front of the child. Children should not attempt to ‘share’ reading material.
- Overheads. Limit the amount of work done using an overhead projector – the intense lighting may cause real discomfort or place a blue colored overlay on the projector.
- Chalkboards. Write in columns rather than across the board. Write each paragraph in different colors to help with tracking. And whenever possible do not use white boards. The white boards are available in brown or gray which is much easier for readability.
- Copying. Allow children to copy from paper to paper. If necessary, copying what has already been copied from a board by another child, if possible onto colored paper.
- Colored Overlays. Encourage and remind children to use the colored overlay(s) in all subject areas in which reading occurs including Mathematics.
- Ensure that reading is tested using the child’s preferred overlay color(s).
If You Have Irlen Syndrome:
Paper Color. You should avoid white paper and use colored paper for writing whenever possible. Investigate the color of ink which is most readable with colored paper.
Plastic Colored Overlays. An Irlen plastic overlay can be used over reading material, especially with white, high gloss paper and under fluorescent lights, when you find yourself overlay fatigued or when working for long periods of time under fluorescent lights.
Natural Lighting. Experiment and find seating where the lighting conditions make it easier and more comfortable to read and work. Indirect natural lighting and incandescent lighting is the best. Dim lighting is usually better than bright lights.