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Today’s TSBVI Graduation will be available on the internet in a live stream at the following links:
 
2PM Central Standard Time
 
 

9-18-14 We're six days away from the Texas Disability Issues Forum! Wednesday Sept. 24, Austin TX

Texas Disability Issues Forum logo

As we prepare for this unprecedented event, here are a few things to remember:

  • Check in opens at 9 am, and the Program starts at 9:30 am sharp. To respect the schedules of candidates in attendance, we will adhere strictly to our agenda. Review the day's Full Agenda. We will be on the second floor, with greeters to help you find your way.
  • Arrive early! Traffic in downtown Austin can be unpredictable, so give yourself plenty of time to get to the Radisson (111 Cesar Chavez at Congress Ave.). The hotel has no vacancies on the 24th, and the parking garage may fill quickly.
  • On site parking will be available in the Radisson garage off of Cesar Chavez. Please note that there will be accessible parking spots in the garage and that it has a clearance of 6'7". Limited street or meter parking will also be available on Brazos St. (east side of the hotel) on a first come first serve basis.
  • Parking is free (for hotel garage ONLY)! When you enter the garage, you will receive a parking stub. Simply drop off your parking stub when you check in at the registration table on the second floor. On your way out, stop by the registration table to pick up a validated stub.
  • Boxed lunches provided! Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options will be available for attendees who indicated a dietary preference. Not sure if you indicated your preference when you registered? Contact Laura Perna at (512) 478-3366 ext. 305. Lunch will be served at 1 pm.
  • Be respectful! You may not agree with everything the candidates say or have said before, but please refrain from shouting and heckling during the Forum. Note that signs will not be permitted inside the Forum. Additionally, in the interest of nonpartisanship, you may not distribute campaign material for any candidate at the Forum.

Want to do more for this historic effort? Here's how!

  • Join the Disability Action Voting Project (DVAP). Currently working on the REV UP campaign, DVAP wants YOU to help increase the political power of Texans with disabilities and our allies. Help establish the disability community as an educated, strong, and mobilized voting constituency!
  • Bring a friend! Whether you're coming to the Forum on your own or with an organization, we challenge you to find one more person to register. Share details about the Forum on Facebook, Twitter, email, or even in person.
  • Encourage all invited candidates to attend! We're continuing to work with the Abbott, Patrick, and Paxton campaigns, but we haven't received their confirmations yet. Help us amplify our voice by sending them a Tweet. Need some help getting started? Use our sample Tweets!

Please note that if you registered guests for the Forum, they will NOT receive this email, but feel free to forward it along.

Questions? View full details on the Forum homepage, or contact us directly. Call Chase Bearden at 512-478-3366 ext. 303

 

9-4-14 Update on the Texas Disabilities Issues Forum 

Announcement provided by K. Semien via email on September 4, 2014

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT) is a Co-Host of the 2014 Texas Disabilities Issues Forum (TDIF).

Preparations are coming along for the first ever Disabilities Issues event of this magnitude. Republican and Democratic Candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General have been invited to participate in the Forum.

It all takes place on Wednesday September 24th from 9:00am-4:00pm at the Radisson Hotel, located at 111 East Cesar Chavez Street in Austin.

We are pleased to announce that Senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte have recently confirmed that they will join us for the event! Now that we have secured commitments from the three Democratic candidates, we are ready to ramp up outreach efforts. Full details at bit.ly/TexasDIF

This is a historic event! Yes, historic! Never before has the disability community held a Forum with leading candidates.

And please note that if you're not located in Austin, you can still participate; financial assistance to travel into town is available. Email Chase Bearden  or call 512-478-3366 ext. 303 for details.

Many co-host organizations ask, "What can we do to support the Forum?" If you can come, do so!

Whether you come or not, you can raise your voice--The Disability Vote Does Count!

National Agenda Logo

(Where is your state's plan? - send plans (preferably a Word file) or links to plans, to Jim Allan at  

Student: ______________________________________  Date of Birth: ________________

Educational Setting

Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Date Completed


RECOMMENDATIONS OF SERVICE

DATE SEVERITY RATING FREQUENCY MIN/WEEK MODEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY

 

SEVERITY SCORE SEVERITY RATING FREQUENCY OR MIN./WEEK MODEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY
0-20 1 1-5/YEARLY MONITORING
21-36 2 MONTHLY OR BI-MONTHLY CONSULTATION
37-46 3 2-4/MONTHLY INTERMITTENT DIRECT
47-56 4 90-240 MIN/WEEKLY DIRECT

PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT FACTORS:

_____ 1. Age of student _____ 7. Attendance
_____ 2. Availability of materials/equipment _____ 8. Progressive condition
_____ 3. Classroom teacher's need for support _____ 9. Home environment
_____ 4. Transition to a new school/building _____ 10. Visual field restriction
_____ 5. Additional support provided _____ 11. Other ____________________
            ____________________________
_____ 6. Parent concern

Return to Michigan's Vision Severity Rating Scales List 1996 - 2008

 

Student: ___________________________________ School: __________________________

Visual Diagnosis: ___________________________________ Date: ____________________

Teacher of the VI: ____________________________________________________________

Category 0-2
Mild
Visual Needs
3-4 
Moderate Visual Needs
5-6
Severe Visual Needs
7-8
Profound Visual Needs 
Severity
Score
Date|Date|Date
1. Visual Status  No medically identified vision problem, but ability to attend to visual stimuli is questionable Medically identified vision problem, with ability to attend to visual stimuli Medically identified vision problem, with impaired ability to attend to visual stimuli Medically identified vision problem resulting in profound loss of vision
2. Functional Visual Status Visual skills being maintained/reinforced in a variety of settings New visual skills being introduced or developed Visual skills fluctuate depending on activity Totally blind-no input
3. Response to Stimulation/ Instruction Minimal response to stimulation/ instruction Occasional response to stimulation/ instruction Frequent response to stimulation/ instruction Consistent response to stimulation/ instruction
4. Educational Need Classroom participation is not affected by vision loss Classroom participation is occasionally affected by vision loss Classroom participation is frequently affected by vision loss Classroom participation is consistently affected by vision loss
5. Educational Growth No measurable gains even after intervention Minimal growth even after intervention Demonstrating growth but on a plateau Continues to demonstrate steady growth
6. Potential for Improved Use of Vision Minimal, gains appear remote Currently functioning at a level equal to developmental ability Some improvement appears possible, gains probable with vision services Prognosis for improved visual functioning appears to be good
7. Physical Independence Dependent on special care for medical and daily living functions Dependent on others for daily living functions Dependent on a modified environment, difficulty with certain activities Basically independent
TOTAL SCORE

Return to Michigan's Vision Severity Rating Scales List 1996 - 2008

Introduction

The Vision Services Severity Rating Scale (VSSRS) has been developed to assist the teacher of the visually impaired in making recommendations for services to the visually impaired population in the state of Michigan.

A VSRS should be completed before every Individualized Educational Planning Committee meeting (IEPC). In addition, it is recommended that the Vision Severity Rating Scale be up-dated at the end of each school year.

Each of the eight categories listed on the Vision Severity Rating Scale Characteristic Worksheet is structured in terms of the impact on vision functioning as it relates to the student's educational program (core curriculum). When using the Vision Severity Rating Scale, criteria provided within each of the categories is not all inclusive and many criteria overlap from one severity level to the next. Additional factors may influence the selection of the severity level by the teacher of the visually impaired. Additional evaluations may be conducted to aid in the choice of severity levels.

Rationale

A committee consisting of teachers of the visually impaired throughout the state of Michigan and from Michigan School for the Deaf and Blind was formed to address the standardization of service delivery to the visually impaired population. The need for consistency when determining the educational needs of the visually impaired was voiced repeatedly. Other concerns frequently mentioned were:

  • Frequency of services
  • Caseload management
  • Service delivery models
  • Preparations of materials
  • Teaching the use of tangible aids
  • Modifications to the learning environment
  • Visual skills evaluation

Each of the these concerns was discussed extensively. The VSRS is the result of these discussions.

Purpose and Development

The purpose of this manual is to define criteria and guidelines for using the Vision Severity Rating Scale (VSRS) with students identified as visually impaired. It is primarily intended for use with students in general education settings and may be applicable for some students with additional mild impairments. Further, it is intended to assist the IEPC in the selection of a vision service delivery model for existing as well as newly identified visually impaired students. The Scale will also be used to document change from one service delivery model to another for existing visually impaired students.

The VSRS consists of the following eight categories:

  1. Functional Visual Status
  2. Level of Vision (Medical)
  3. Near Vision Acuity (Functional)
  4. Reading Medium
  5. Use of Tangible Aids/Low Vision Devices/Technology
  6. Materials Preparation
  7. Communication with Pertinent Individuals and Parents
  8. Compensatory Skills

This scale is sequentially structured based upon a student's need for intervention by a teacher of the visually impaired, the core curriculum teacher's need for assistance, and the amount of time required for material adaptations. Each of the eight categories is structured in terms of impact of visual functioning as it relates to the student's educational program. The severity level descriptors within each category purposely overlap to some degree. To aid the teacher of the visually impaired in the selection of the level that is most characteristic of the visually impaired student, additional evaluations may be necessary.

Category Definitions

  1. FUNCTIONAL VISION STATUS -- refers to the student's ability to independently apply visual skills to the core curriculum.
  2. LEVEL OF VISION (MEDICAL) -- refers to the student's level of vision as reported by an eye care specialist.
  3. NEAR VISION ACUITY (FUNCTIONAL) -- refers to the student's ability to use vision for near point tasks such as reading (i.e., Lighthouse Near Vision Test).
  4. READING MEDIUM -- refers to the student's primary mode of receptive learning (i.e., Braille, print, print modifications, tape, or combination). See Appendix B for resources.
  5. TANGIBLE AIDS/LOW VISION DEVICES/TECHNOLOGY -- refers to the student's need for/use of low vision devices and technology (specialized equipment) to facilitate maximum participation in the core curriculum.
  6. MATERIALS PREPARATION -- refers to the estimated time needed by the teacher of the visually impaired to modify materials necessary for the student's participation in the core curriculum.
  7. COMMUNICATION WITH PERTINENT INDIVIDUALS -- refers to the amount of time needed for communication with school personnel, parents, medical personnel, and agencies, regarding learning environment modifications necessary to ensure the visually impaired learner's maximum participation in the core curriculum.
  8. COMPENSATORY SKILLS -- refers to life role orientation which emphasize disability related needs, including vocational, social, and personal management skills.

Functional Vision Status

When determining a student with a visual impairment's ability to independently apply visual skills to the core curriculum, results of the following assessments may be considered by the teacher of the visually impaired.

  • Distance Acuity- The following are suggested distance charts at 10 or 20 feet. Indicate the type of lighting present in the school environment.
    • Lighthouse Flash Cards - Identification of three pictures used for younger students.
    • HOTV - Identification of four items used for younger students.
    • SOSH (Students of Optometry Serving Haiti) - This is a number chart and can be used for students able to recognize numbers.
    • Lighthouse Distant Acuity Card or Sloan - letter charts to be used to identify letters of the alphabet.
    • Feinbloom Low Vision Chart - a number chart that can measure up to 20/700.
  • Near Point Acuity- Use of one of the following charts is recommended to screen near point acuity from a distance of 14-16 inches.
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity Pictures (apple, house, umbrella)
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity- Numbers
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity- Letters
    • SOSH Near Acuity Chart- Numbers
    • Sloan Test Reading Cards for Low Vision Patients
  • Field Screening- If a student has a suspected field loss that has not been indicated by the eye care specialist, the following may be used to get a determination of field loss:
    • Informal Screening
    • Referral to eye specialist with statement of concern
  • Fixation - The ability to look at or maintain gaze on the object or person. At first the child may fix for one or two seconds (a duration of 10-15 seconds is preferable).
  • Shifting of Gaze - Shifting of visual attention from object (or person) to object (or person).
  • Convergence - Eyes turn in simultaneously to focus on the approaching object.
  • Scanning - A student's ability to coordinate head and eyes to systematically search for stationary objects in the environment.
  • Tracking - The student visually follows a slowly moving target crossing midline, in a vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and circular pattern. Observe the student's eyes to determine if smooth eye movement is present.
  • Saccadic Movement - Successive, sequential eye movements characterized by eye jumps--ability to shift gaze from one point to another as in reading a line of print and shifting from one line to another.
  • Print Size- Using a variety of print sizes including the student's reading book, math book and a sample of the worksheets used in class, have the student read selected portions of the material. Record the following observations:
    • Size of print
    • Contrast of materials
    • Distance from materials when reading
    • Posture of student
    • Sustained reading time

Model of Service Delivery

  1. MONITORING -- The student is seen by a teacher of the visually impaired 1-5 times per school year. An annual functional vision evaluation may be conducted by the teacher of the visually impaired. Contact with the student, and pertinent individuals is intermittent throughout the remainder of the school year.
  2. CONSULTATION -- The student receives services from the teacher of the visually impaired on a monthly basis and/or regularly scheduled times throughout the school year. The services can be direct, as with a vision evaluation, or indirect, such as consultations with pertinent individuals in which specific recommendations to appropriately modify the student's learning environments are suggested.
  3. SUPPORTIVE -- The student is seen directly by the teacher of the visually impaired 1-2 times/week or 30-100 minutes per week. Functional vision evaluation is on-going throughout the school year. A minimal amount of preparation of materials or adapted aids might be needed. In addition, the teacher of the visually impaired may provide direct support to pertinent individuals, and make recommendations for changes in the student's learning environment.
  4. INTEGRATED -- The student in this model requires direct service from the teacher of the visually impaired 3-5 times/week or 60-300 minutes per week. Preparation of materials (print modification, etc.) needs become frequent. The student might need to be introduced to some new tangible aids or new skills, i.e., multiplying on the abacus, keyboarding, or life skills. The teacher of the visually impaired provides regular communication to pertinent individuals regarding the student's needs.
  5. INTENSIVE -- The student in this model is most likely to be one whose learning needs require intensive instruction 5 or more times/week or 180-360 minutes per week by the teacher of the visually impaired in order to facilitate academic growth and participation in the regular classroom. The student may be learning to use tangible aids and technology to facilitate communication in school work. Modifications in a student's learning environment (including frequent material preparation) and instruction in disability specific skills is on-going throughout the school year. The teacher of the visually impaired also has the responsibility of communicating regularly a student's visual strengths and weaknesses to all pertinent individuals.
  6. COMPREHENSIVE -- the student in this model is one who needs almost total intervention (5+ times or 240-600 minutes per week) by the teacher of the visually impaired in the adaptations/preparation of materials. Many of the students in this model are learning/utilizing high technology. Consultation with school personnel may occur on a daily basis to facilitate maximum participation in the core curriculum. Ongoing communication with other pertinent individuals is necessary.

Professional Judgment Factors

On occasion the professional judgment of the teacher of the visually impaired can influence the selection of a service delivery model that has been determined by the Severity Rating. A choice of one or more of the Professional Judgment Factors on the Vision Severity Summary may be used to place a student at a higher or lower level Model of Service Delivery than indicated by the Severity Rating alone.

The use of the Professional Judgment Factors may be necessary when it appears that the Model of Service Delivery indicated by the Severity Rating does not reflect the true needs of the visually impaired student. Based upon the professional judgment of the teacher of the visually impaired, all factors which influence a modification of the Model of Service Delivery should be marked.

The following factors are to be considered:

  1. Age of student
  2. Availability of materials/equipment
  3. Classroom teacher's need for support
  4. Transition to a new school/building
  5. Student cooperation
  6. Parent concern
  7. Attendance
  8. Progressive condition
  9. Home environment
  10. . Visual field restriction
  11. . Other (e.g., educational placement, additional impairments)

Remember, each of these factors may be either positive or negative and should be marked if modifying a service delivery rating.


DIRECTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE VISION SEVERITY CHARACTERISTICS AND VISION SEVERITY SUMMARY

This chart may be used three times.

1. Category names are listed vertically along the left hand side of the Vision Severity Characteristics Worksheet. Refer to definitions on preceding page as necessary.

2. Descriptors are listed horizontally for each category. The descriptors are listed sequentially in terms of severity, from mild to profound.

3. The numbers attached to each severity are considered part of a continuum. The specific number under each severity name is the numerical rating to be given for that severity. For example, under MILD, a numerical rating of 0, 1, or 2 is possible; while under PROFOUND, a numerical rating of 11 or 12 is possible.

4. For each category, mark the descriptor that best describes the visually impaired student. Place the appropriate severity number in the right hand column (Severity Score Column). Three columns are provided for evaluation on three separate occasions.

5. Total the right hand column to get a TOTAL SEVERITY SCORE.

6. Using the Total Severity Score, refer to the Vision Severity Summary to determine:

  • Severity rating
  • Frequency of service
  • Total minutes of service per week.
  • Model of service delivery

Record these findings in the Recommendations of Services section on the Vision Severity Summary.

These notations serve as an indication of the approximate relationship between recordings of distant and near vision and point type sizes. Note A.M.A., Jaeger, and Metric are Near Vision measurements.
Distant Snellen A.M.A. Jaeger Metric % Central Visual
Efficiency for Near
Point
20/20 (ft.) 14/14 (in.) 1 0.37 (M.) 100 3
20/30 14/21 2 0.50 95 5
20/40 14/28 4 0.75 90 6
20/50 14/35 6 0.87 50 8
20/60 14/42 8 1.00 40 9
20/80 14/56 10 1.50 20 12
20/100 14/70 11 1.75 15 14
20/120 14/84 12 2.00 10 18
20/200 14/140 17 3.50 2 24
12.5/200 14/224 19 6.00 1.5  
8/200 14/336 20 8.00 1  
5/200 14/560        
3/200 14/900        

Student: ______________________________________  Date of Birth: ________________

Grade

Teacher of the Visually Impaired

Date Completed
     
     
     

RECOMMENDATIONS OF SERVICE

DATE SEVERITY RATING FREQUENCY MIN/WEEK MODEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY
         
         
         
         

 

SEVERITY SCORE SEVERITY RATING FREQUENCY OR MIN./WEEK MODEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY
0-10 1 1-5/YEARLY MONITORING
11-36 2 1-2/MONTHLY CONSULTATION
37-54 3 1-2/Week or 30-100 MIN. SUPPORTIVE
55-72 4 3-5/WEEK or 60-300 MIN. DIRECT
73-90 5 5+/WEEK or 180-360 MIN. INTENSIVE
90-108 6 5+/WEEK or 240-600 MIN. COMPREHENSIVE

 

PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT FACTORS:

_____ 1. Age of student _____ 7. Attendance
_____ 2. Availability of materials/equipment _____ 8. Progressive condition
_____ 3. Classroom teacher's need for support _____ 9. Home environment
_____ 4. Transition to a new school/building _____ 10. Visual field restriction
_____ 5. Student cooperation _____ 11. Other ____________________
            ____________________________
_____ 6. Parent concern

Introduction

The Vision Services Severity Rating Scale (VSSRS) has been developed to assist the teacher of the visually impaired in making recommendations for services to the visually impaired population in the state of Michigan.

A VSRS should be completed before every Individualized Educational Planning Committee meeting (IEPC). In addition, it is recommended that the Vision Severity Rating Scale be up-dated at the end of each school year.

Each of the eight categories listed on the Vision Severity Rating Scale Characteristic Worksheet is structured in terms of the impact on vision functioning as it relates to the student's educational program (core curriculum). When using the Vision Severity Rating Scale, criteria provided within each of the categories is not all inclusive and many criteria overlap from one severity level to the next. Additional factors may influence the selection of the severity level by the teacher of the visually impaired. Additional evaluations may be conducted to aid in the choice of severity levels.

Rationale

A committee consisting of teachers of the visually impaired throughout the state of Michigan and from Michigan School for the Deaf and Blind was formed to address the standardization of service delivery to the visually impaired population. The need for consistency when determining the educational needs of the visually impaired was voiced repeatedly. Other concerns frequently mentioned were:

  • Frequency of services
  • Caseload management
  • Service delivery models
  • Preparations of materials
  • Teaching the use of tangible aids
  • Modifications to the learning environment
  • Visual skills evaluation

Each of the these concerns was discussed extensively. The VSRS is the result of these discussions.

Purpose and Development

The purpose of this manual is to define criteria and guidelines for using the Vision Severity Rating Scale (VSRS) with students identified as visually impaired. It is primarily intended for use with students in general education settings and may be applicable for some students with additional mild impairments. Further, it is intended to assist the IEPC in the selection of a vision service delivery model for existing as well as newly identified visually impaired students. The Scale will also be used to document change from one service delivery model to another for existing visually impaired students.

The VSRS consists of the following eight categories:

  1. Functional Visual Status
  2. Level of Vision (Medical)
  3. Near Vision Acuity (Functional)
  4. Reading Medium
  5. Use of Tangible Aids/Low Vision Devices/Technology
  6. Materials Preparation
  7. Communication with Pertinent Individuals and Parents
  8. Compensatory Skills

This scale is sequentially structured based upon a student's need for intervention by a teacher of the visually impaired, the core curriculum teacher's need for assistance, and the amount of time required for material adaptations. Each of the eight categories is structured in terms of impact of visual functioning as it relates to the student's educational program. The severity level descriptors within each category purposely overlap to some degree. To aid the teacher of the visually impaired in the selection of the level that is most characteristic of the visually impaired student, additional evaluations may be necessary.

Category Definitions

  1. FUNCTIONAL VISION STATUS -- refers to the student's ability to independently apply visual skills to the core curriculum.
  2. LEVEL OF VISION (MEDICAL) -- refers to the student's level of vision as reported by an eye care specialist.
  3. NEAR VISION ACUITY (FUNCTIONAL) -- refers to the student's ability to use vision for near point tasks such as reading (i.e., Lighthouse Near Vision Test).
  4. READING MEDIUM -- refers to the student's primary mode of receptive learning (i.e., Braille, print, print modifications, tape, or combination). See Appendix B for resources.
  5. TANGIBLE AIDS/LOW VISION DEVICES/TECHNOLOGY -- refers to the student's need for/use of low vision devices and technology (specialized equipment) to facilitate maximum participation in the core curriculum.
  6. MATERIALS PREPARATION -- refers to the estimated time needed by the teacher of the visually impaired to modify materials necessary for the student's participation in the core curriculum.
  7. COMMUNICATION WITH PERTINENT INDIVIDUALS-- refers to the amount of time needed for communication with school personnel, parents, medical personnel, and agencies, regarding learning environment modifications necessary to ensure the visually impaired learner's maximum participation in the core curriculum.
  8. COMPENSATORY SKILLS-- refers to life role orientation which emphasize disability related needs, including vocational, social, and personal management skills.

Functional Vision Status

When determining a student with a visual impairment's ability to independently apply visual skills to the core curriculum, results of the following assessments may be considered by the teacher of the visually impaired.

  • Distance Acuity- The following are suggested distance charts at 10 or 20 feet. Indicate the type of lighting present in the school environment.
    • Lighthouse Flash Cards - Identification of three pictures used for younger students.
    • HOTV - Identification of four items used for younger students.
    • SOSH (Students of Optometry Serving Haiti) - This is a number chart and can be used for students able to recognize numbers.
    • Lighthouse Distant Acuity Card or Sloan - letter charts to be used to identify letters of the alphabet.
    • Feinbloom Low Vision Chart - a number chart that can measure up to 20/700.
  • Near Point Acuity- Use of one of the following charts is recommended to screen near point acuity from a distance of 14-16 inches.
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity Pictures (apple, house, umbrella)
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity- Numbers
    • Lighthouse Near Acuity- Letters
    • SOSH Near Acuity Chart- Numbers
    • Sloan Test Reading Cards for Low Vision Patients
  • Field Screening- If a student has a suspected field loss that has not been indicated by the eye care specialist, the following may be used to get a determination of field loss:
    • Informal Screening
    • Referral to eye specialist with statement of concern
  • Fixation - The ability to look at or maintain gaze on the object or person. At first the child may fix for one or two seconds (a duration of 10-15 seconds is preferable).
  • Shifting of Gaze - Shifting of visual attention from object (or person) to object (or person).
  • Convergence - Eyes turn in simultaneously to focus on the approaching object.
  • Scanning - A student's ability to coordinate head and eyes to systematically search for stationary objects in the environment.
  • Tracking - The student visually follows a slowly moving target crossing midline, in a vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and circular pattern. Observe the student's eyes to determine if smooth eye movement is present.
  • Saccadic Movement - Successive, sequential eye movements characterized by eye jumps--ability to shift gaze from one point to another as in reading a line of print and shifting from one line to another.
  • Print Size- Using a variety of print sizes including the student's reading book, math book and a sample of the worksheets used in class, have the student read selected portions of the material. Record the following observations:
    • Size of print
    • Contrast of materials
    • Distance from materials when reading
    • Posture of student
    • Sustained reading time

Model of Service Delivery

  1. MONITORING -- The student is seen by a teacher of the visually impaired 1-5 times per school year. An annual functional vision evaluation may be conducted by the teacher of the visually impaired. Contact with the student, and pertinent individuals is intermittent throughout the remainder of the school year.
  2. CONSULTATION -- The student receives services from the teacher of the visually impaired on a monthly basis and/or regularly scheduled times throughout the school year. The services can be direct, as with a vision evaluation, or indirect, such as consultations with pertinent individuals in which specific recommendations to appropriately modify the student's learning environments are suggested.
  3. SUPPORTIVE -- The student is seen directly by the teacher of the visually impaired 1-2 times/week or 30-100 minutes per week. Functional vision evaluation is on-going throughout the school year. A minimal amount of preparation of materials or adapted aids might be needed. In addition, the teacher of the visually impaired may provide direct support to pertinent individuals, and make recommendations for changes in the student's learning environment.
  4. INTEGRATED -- The student in this model requires direct service from the teacher of the visually impaired 3-5 times/week or 60-300 minutes per week. Preparation of materials (print modification, etc.) needs become frequent. The student might need to be introduced to some new tangible aids or new skills, i.e., multiplying on the abacus, keyboarding, or life skills. The teacher of the visually impaired provides regular communication to pertinent individuals regarding the student's needs.
  5. INTENSIVE -- The student in this model is most likely to be one whose learning needs require intensive instruction 5 or more times/week or 180-360 minutes per week by the teacher of the visually impaired in order to facilitate academic growth and participation in the regular classroom. The student may be learning to use tangible aids and technology to facilitate communication in school work. Modifications in a student's learning environment (including frequent material preparation) and instruction in disability specific skills is on-going throughout the school year. The teacher of the visually impaired also has the responsibility of communicating regularly a student's visual strengths and weaknesses to all pertinent individuals.
  6. COMPREHENSIVE -- the student in this model is one who needs almost total intervention (5+ times or 240-600 minutes per week) by the teacher of the visually impaired in the adaptations/preparation of materials. Many of the students in this model are learning/utilizing high technology. Consultation with school personnel may occur on a daily basis to facilitate maximum participation in the core curriculum. Ongoing communication with other pertinent individuals is necessary.

Professional Judgment Factors

On occasion the professional judgment of the teacher of the visually impaired can influence the selection of a service delivery model that has been determined by the Severity Rating. A choice of one or more of the Professional Judgment Factors on the Vision Severity Summary may be used to place a student at a higher or lower level Model of Service Delivery than indicated by the Severity Rating alone.

The use of the Professional Judgment Factors may be necessary when it appears that the Model of Service Delivery indicated by the Severity Rating does not reflect the true needs of the visually impaired student. Based upon the professional judgment of the teacher of the visually impaired, all factors which influence a modification of the Model of Service Delivery should be marked.

The following factors are to be considered:

  1. Age of student
  2. Availability of materials/equipment
  3. Classroom teacher's need for support
  4. Transition to a new school/building
  5. Student cooperation
  6. Parent concern
  7. Attendance
  8. Progressive condition
  9. Home environment
  10. . Visual field restriction
  11. . Other (e.g., educational placement, additional impairments)

Remember, each of these factors may be either positive or negative and should be marked if modifying a service delivery rating.


DIRECTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE VISION SEVERITY CHARACTERISTICS AND VISION SEVERITY SUMMARY

This chart may be used three times.

1. Category names are listed vertically along the left hand side of the Vision Severity Characteristics Worksheet. Refer to definitions on preceding page as necessary.

2. Descriptors are listed horizontally for each category. The descriptors are listed sequentially in terms of severity, from mild to profound.

3. The numbers attached to each severity are considered part of a continuum. The specific number under each severity name is the numerical rating to be given for that severity. For example, under MILD, a numerical rating of 0, 1, or 2 is possible; while under PROFOUND, a numerical rating of 11 or 12 is possible.

4. For each category, mark the descriptor that best describes the visually impaired student. Place the appropriate severity number in the right hand column (Severity Score Column). Three columns are provided for evaluation on three separate occasions.

5. Total the right hand column to get a TOTAL SEVERITY SCORE.

6. Using the Total Severity Score, refer to the Vision Severity Summary to determine:

  • Severity rating
  • Frequency of service
  • Total minutes of service per week.
  • Model of service delivery

Record these findings in the Recommendations of Services section on the Vision Severity Summary.