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Special Education Related Services
Vision Services

Referrals for Vision Services

Prior to sending a PSSE1 for a vision consultation or vision assessment, school staff should determine what process they think would best meet the student's needs.

If a student is having difficulty educationally and it is determined that he/she may be in need of special instruction, follow the IEP process. Have an IEP screening meeting to determine whether there is likelihood that the child has an educational disability. If yes, approve assessments which will gather the data to document the disability and present level of performance. An initial educational assessment would be required in Maryland if the student needs a vision IEP. The educational evaluator for your school would complete the educational evaluation.

If a student is not having difficulty educationally, but is in need of specific accommodations because of low vision, follow the 504 process. The student does not need to have an educational assessment to have a 504 plan. The 504 committee can make recommendations without a vision consultation or vision assessment; however, if the committee is recommending large print, a vision teacher must be part of the team.

A vision consultation would include review of the eye report and informal assessment of print size and classroom accommodations. A vision assessment would include the above as well as formalized tests of visual perceptual skills, functional vision evaluation, and mobility skills.

In either case (IEP or 504), parental permission would be required if you would like the vision teacher to pull the student to assess and recommend accommodations. If you are following the IEP process, an initial screening meeting will need to be held to obtain parent permission. Attach an ophthalmologic report to the PSSE1 and send it directly to the teacher of the visually impaired for your area of the county (or John Archer School if you are not sure who the vision teacher is for your part of the county). The doctor's report is considered part of the documentation of disability for visually impaired students and is required for that student who has a vision IEP. A written report for the student's file will be part of the consultation/assessment for 504 or IEP referrals.

Itinerant Vision Services - provides consultative or direct services to students with an educationally significant vision loss. This student must be certified as having a 05 (visual impairment) as part of their disabling condition. Vision is a related service. Services may include some or all of the following: Braille reading and writing; training on low vision devices; typing/keyboarding; adaptive devices (computers, note taker, tape recorders); organizational and study skills; visual efficiency /visual perceptual skills, visual stimulation, orientation and mobility.

Vision Therapists:

Barbara Brown-Cavallaro

Karen Karnes

Beverly Benke