What Is a Visual Impairment?
A visual impairment is a visual limitation that interferes with a student's educational progress. Eligible students receive special services, materials, and/or individual instruction.
Visually impaired students include both functionally blind and low vision individuals. A functionally blind student is a student who relies basically on sense other than vision as major channels of learning. A low vision student is a student who uses vision as a major channel of learning.
A visual impairment does not include visual perceptual or visual motor dysfunction resulting from a learning disability. Medical verification of a visual impairment is required.
How Are Students Served?
The Program for the Visually Impaired serves students from birth through twenty-one years of age.
Students' educational needs are met by classroom teachers in cooperation with an itinerant teacher who is certified to teach visually impaired students. The itinerant teacher travels from site to site, providing special materials, consultation with school personnel, and individual instruction.
What Services Are Available to Visually Impaired Students?
- Asessment and Evaluation
Individual evaluation is conducted as appropriate in the following skill areas:
- Functional vision
- Concept development/academic needs
- Orientation and mobility (travel training)
- Daily living
- Career and vocational
- Specialized Instruction
- As prescribed by the Individualized Education Program (IEP), individual or small group instruction is provided in the above assessed areas. This instruction may include Braille, academic support, keyboarding, listening, visual efficiency, living skills, technology, and other adaptive skills.
- The teachers of the Visually Impaired assist in planning and implementation of the student's program in cooperation with parents, educators, physicians, and agencies.
- Materials are transcribed into the appropriate media: large print, Braille/tactile, and recorded tapes.
- Low Vision Aids
- Instruction in the use of magnifiers, monoculars, video magnifiers, computer screen magnification software, and other enlargers of print is available.
- Agency Referrals
- Information and assistance is provided regarding low vision services, counseling, recreational opportunities, and post-high school training.
Referrals are usually made by parents, classroom teachers, and school nurses.