Vision Disorder

By Barbara Hall, July 23, 2009

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Product Design

Subject Area

  • Science

Lesson Time

180 to 240 minutes for classroom activities


Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder due to heredity and certain environmental conditions. Over time untreated or poorly managed diabetes causes numerous problems. Your client is a 60-year-old female whose basic health is stable but her vision is getting progressively worse due to diabetic retinopathy. She is somewhat self sufficient and would like to continue to live alone. Your challenge is to design a morning routine and layout for her two-bedroom, two-bath condominium so that she can take of her personal hygiene and have breakfast before noon daily.

National Standards

Health Education Standard 12. Level IV. Uses a variety of communication skills to interact with clients 2. Uses strategies to respond to client’s feelings (e.g., express empathy, relieve anxiety, develop rapport with patient) 3. Uses communication techniques appropriate to specific situations and clients (e.g., translate medical terms to conversational language; adapt to aging persons with sensory or mental impairments; interact with persons with hearing or vision loss) 4. Uses facility guidelines for giving health care information (e.g., providing treatment information when a patient is released from a facility) 5. Uses strategies to interact with clients from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., knows beliefs regarding health care that are unique to different ethnic groups; knows strategies used by various cultures to solve health-related problems; understands how age, culture, and religion relate to client care) 6. Knows what information to provide to clients to enable them to make informed decisions (informed consent) Science Standard 4. Level IV. Understands the principles of heredity and related concepts 3. Knows that new heritable characteristics can only result from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in an organism’s sex cells; other changes in an organism cannot be passed on

Common Core Standards

Anchors for Reading:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Anchor Standards for Writing:

Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


Student will be able to:
  • address the needs of a low-vision senior citizen client
  • understand the related health implications of diabetes



  • handouts and notes on the design process
  • rulers
  • markers
  • large paper


  • diabetes mellitus: diabetes caused by a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin
  • diabetic retinopathy: damage to the small blood vessels in the retina, which results from chronically high blood glucose levels in people with poorly managed diabetes mellitus


Day 1: 1. Give challenge to the class (see introduction above).  Explain the design process and provide background information on the client’s disease. 2. Divide the class into five groups. Read the information in the websites. 3. Ask each group to use the information provided in the challenge to come up with questions to ask the client so that the groups can begin to develop solutions.  (Note: Possibly ask a nurse or a diabetic patient to come to class the next day.) Day 2: 1. Allow student groups to brainstorm ideas for possible solutions. 2. Ask each group to select at least two ideas that may work and come up with a design solution for the client. Day 3/4: 1. Have each group finalize its one best solution. 2. Ask each group to present their solution.


Ask the students to write an evaluation of the process used and what they learned from the activity.  The evaluation should be at least three paragraphs and should include an introduction and a summary.  Have one person from each of the five groups share their evaluation with the rest of the class.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students can develop lesson plans to teach younger students about the design process or simply educate others on diabetes and its health implications, treatment, and management. Students can also work with a teen that has diabetes and design a meal (go shopping and prepare the food) and fitness plan (choose and demonstrate exercises) to help the teen learn to manage the disease.  

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