Ultraviolet light or UV light is the most effective way to make fluorescent or white objects glow. How bright will depend on the power of the UV. For example, a 4ft tube will make things glow around 40 times brighter. The UV light we use is in the U.V.A. frequency and is known as ‘Blacklight’. This should not be confused with sunbed lamps. It is best used in a darkened space for maximum impact, but it does not have to be a darkened room. An umbrella in a shady corner or a large box can create a dark space and cut out unwanted visual clutter.
Whether UV light is used in a large or a small space it can be used to create very bright visual preferences, so focusing the student, young or old, on the fluorescing object. Obviously, this is very effective for those students who have visual loss and need short periods of focused visual stimulation. Black and white mobiles can be created to show a high colour contrast, white paper plates with fluorescent faces can create a bright visual preference. Practitioners could wear bright clothes so they glow in the dark, or wear dark clothes so they do not add to visual clutter. Face painting with fluorescent makeup or sunblock is not just a great way to make faces fun; it may reinforce the development of facial fixation skills.
White gloves can be used to encourage early body awareness or hand-eye coordination, particularly when used in combination with a fluorescent switch to operate a fan with bright fluorescent ribbons tied to the front. Fluorescent switches will shine against a dark background, conversely a fluorescent background with a dark switch. This bright visual prompt could be the difference between the students operating the switch or not being aware it exists.
Fluorescent shapes can enhance activities developing themes about early mathematics, letters, numbers, and symbols and will be fun for all students learning many early curriculum skills. Many books will glow under UV and can make stories come to life to create an inclusive literacy for those students who need that extra visual clue. Bright visual decorations in rooms can assist spatial awareness, distance, and size. You could stick glowing stars around the room or space to give distance references.
Ultraviolet light offers a host of flexibility, as it can make an endless number of objects and people glow. This is not just for children with special educational needs; it is for adults and children alike at all skill levels. Whether you are trying to encourage early visual awareness or encourage reading skills, UV makes it magic and turns the work into a fun and magical activity.