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).
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
The VISSIT must be completed by a TVI who has the vision-specific knowledge to quantify the levels of service intensity.
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.
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.
The VISSIT should be based on current evaluation data such as the FVE/LMA, evaluation of ECC areas, and present levels of functioning.
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).
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.
While all areas of the ECC are important, these two areas were determined to typically require higher intensity of service by the TVI.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.