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PURPOSE

1. Q: Can the VISSIT be used for all students on my caseload, including those with multiple impairments and/or those with deafblindness? How about infants?

A: The VISSIT is designed to determine the appropriate type and amount of services needed for ALL students with visual impairments on the TVI caseload (Pogrund, Darst, & Munro, 2015).

2. Q: Is the VISSIT to be used as a caseload analysis?

A: The VISSIT is not a caseload analysis tool but can be used as part of a process to determine appropriate caseload size. The VISSIT does not take into account issues related to workload (e.g., planning, travel, and material preparation) (Pogrund, Darst, & Munro, 2015).

HOW TO USE THE VISSIT

3. Q: Can professionals who are not teachers of students with visual impairments fill out the VISSIT?

A: The VISSIT must be completed by a TVI who has the vision-specific knowledge to quantify the levels of service intensity.

4. Q: How often should the VISSIT be completed? When might I complete the VISSIT?

A: The VISSIT should be completed prior to any determination of service type and amount. It should be completed prior to any IEP or IFSP meeting so that the TVI can have data to determine and support recommended type and amount of services for students.

5. Q: How time-consuming is the VISSIT?

A: Once you are familiar with the VISSIT and have collected the needed evaluation data, the time needed to complete the scale is approximately 30 minutes per student. With increased use, the process will become faster.

6. Q: How do I rate the intensity of student need? Do I have to complete other evaluations to complete the VISSIT?

A: The VISSIT should be based on current evaluation data such as the FVE/LMA, evaluation of ECC areas, and present levels of functioning.

7. Q: In the directions, you mention that the TVI will complete and/or review current evaluations prior to completing the VISSIT. Are observations of student performance and interviews with family members, the student, and other team members considered as evaluation data?

A: Yes, observation and interview data may contribute to the evaluation process in support of the FVE/LMA, the ECC evaluations, and other relevant evaluations and may be used in considering student needs when completing the VISSIT (Pogrund, Darst, & Munro, 2015).

8. Q: When identifying the intensity of service need, can I use a number besides the choices provided (0, 1, 4, 7, 10)?

A: No. The VISSIT is based on the use of these numbers to accurately determine type and amount of services needed. Please use the choices provided.

9. Q: Why do the ECC skill areas of Compensatory Skills and Assistive Technology ask for more than one estimate of service need? Why are there subsections under these two areas?

A: While all areas of the ECC are important, these two areas were determined to typically require higher intensity of service by the TVI.

10. Q: Does the supporting information for each category and subsection provide a comprehensive list of items that should be considered for that item?

A: No. The descriptions of the skill areas and subsections provided in the VISSIT are not comprehensive. These descriptions are examples offered to assist the TVI with an understanding of the skill areas or subsections.

11. Q: Do I have to answer each of the subsections under Compensatory Skills and Assistive Technology? Do I have to put answers in every box of the VISSIT?

A: YES! All sections of the VISSIT must be addressed. In some cases, a score of zero may be entered to indicate that the item does not represent a current area of need.

12. Q: Why are the Contributing Factors and Additional Areas of Family Support added to the scale? Do I have to complete these sections?

A: Yes. There are some factors that may impact the individual student's service. These additional contributing factors may add to or decrease the recommended time to meet student needs. If these factors do not apply to a particular student, you will put a '0' (zero).

13. Q: Why were additional contributing factors not included in the Contributing Factors section?

A: There are many factors already built into the VISSIT that should be considered as you determine need for an individual student. These might include age of onset of the visual impairment, behavioral concerns, cognitive level, and the effect of additional disabilities. You do not need to add or subtract points for these factors because the scoring system for direct instruction and educational team support/collaboration (0, 1, 4, 7, 10) should reflect individual student characteristics through the identification and prioritizing of needs.

14. Q: Why are the suggested service times in minutes-per-week increments? What if I want to see my student a certain number of minutes per month?

A: In order to maintain consistency in the way that time is reported, the VISSIT needs to express recommended service time in minutes per week. It does not make recommendations on how these minutes are divided up across the month. For example, if you get a score of 29-37, which converts to a service time range of 60-90 minutes per week, the service time could be delivered at the rate of two, 45-minute long sessions each week if that works best for the student. Or, if you get a score of 10-16, which converts to a service time range of 15-30 minutes a week, the service time could be delivered at the rate of one hour per month or two 30-minute sessions per month. However, amount of time per session should be based on student need (e.g., time on task, goals/objectives) and not on teacher/school convenience. If you are used to thinking in terms of hours of service, you would convert the time to minutes per week.

15. Q: What do I do with the VISSIT document once I have completed it?

A: Since the VISSIT is used to help the TVI determine the type and amount of services provided for students, it should be included in the student's educational records.

EFFECT ON PROGRAMMING

16. Q: How can I use the VISSIT to help me better serve the students on my caseload?

A: The VISSIT will provide quantitative data to help TVIs determine the appropriate type and amount of services for students on their caseloads. The VISSIT may be shared with other team members and administrators to document that recommendations for service intensity were based upon a systematic process (Pogrund, Darst, & Munro, 2015).

17. Q: Should the value of intensity reflect the services I am currently providing?

A: The VISSIT should NOT be used to justify your current level of services but should be used as a predictor and recommendation for the appropriate type and amount of services needed by individual students.

18. Q: What if the VISSIT indicates the need for more service time than I am currently able to provide?

A: If you have completed the VISSIT and prioritized student needs for annual IEP recommendations, and you still have a problem meeting the scheduling needs of your caseload, it might be necessary to meet with your administrator to review the results of the VISSIT and to look at the needs of all of your students. You might consider conducting a caseload or workload analysis for a complete picture of your work week and to determine if additional staff is necessary to meet the needs of your students.

19. Q: Should a student who has direct services also have time allotted for Educational Team Support/Collaboration?

A: YES!!! All students who receive direct instruction will require collaborative consultation services to provide information, identify areas of need, reinforce skills, and support all team members, including families.

20. Q: Some students require more time due to the time it takes to travel to their home/school. How is travel time factored into the VISSIT?

A: The VISSIT looks only at direct and collaborative consultative time needed for any given student. Travel time is best addressed in an evaluation of your entire caseload or workload (Pogrund, Darst, & Munro, 2015).

21. Q: What if my student has a high need in one skill area, but someone other than the TVI will be providing the services?

A: The VISSIT should be used ONLY to determine services that will be provided by the TVI. If your student has a high need in an area that will be provided by another team member, perhaps the support/collaboration in this area may be higher, or the results will show that little or no time of the TVI is needed for a particular area because it is being addressed by others on the team.

22. Q: What if my student has so many needs that it would take more than a year to address them all?

A: Each IEP should be designed to meet identified, measurable annual goals. Recommendations for TVI service should similarly address annual student achievement. The IEP committee may need to identify priorities so that programming can be focused and progress can be made. Addressing too many needs at one time can impede progress because of inconsistent/intermittent instruction.