The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that educational agencies conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs in accordance with the procedures outlined in 34 CFR §§300.304 through 300.311.

For children who are blind or have visual impairments, the IDEA also requires that instruction be provided in braille unless, after an evaluation of the child’s reading and writing skills, needs and appropriate reading and writing media, the IEP team determines that instruction in braille is not appropriate.

  • Functional Vision Evaluation (FVE) – a Functional Vision Evaluation, also called a Functional Vision Assessment is an evaluation of the day-to-day use of the vision system of an individual who is visually impaired.  When we talk about the “functional vision” this refers to the way in which an individual uses whatever vision they have. There are strategies that can be taught for increasing visual efficiency.  This assessment should be completed by a certified teacher of students with visual impairments.
    • A kit can be obtained/purchased through APH equipment
    • Resources at TSBVI (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired)
  • Learning Media Assessment (LMA) – a key part of the Functional Vision Evaluation, this should also be conducted by the teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) and is used to determine the appropriate literacy media for a student.  Literacy media refers to the way in which students access the general education curriculum and includes braille, print, auditory strategies, objects and pictures.
  • Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) for the Blind and Visually Impaired (B/VI) – This is the body of knowledge and skills that are needed by students with visual impairments due to their unique disability-specific needs.  Students with visual impairments need the expanded core curriculum in addition to the core academic curriculum of general education.  The nine areas of the ECC for Blind/Visual Impairment are:
    • Compensatory or Functional Academic Skills, including Communication Modes
    • Orientation and Mobility
    • Social Interaction Skills
    • Independent Living Skills
    • Recreation and Leisure Skills
    • Career Education
    • Technology
    • Sensory Efficiency
    • Self-determination
  • CVI Range – Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) – is a form of visual impairment that is caused by a brain problem rather than an eye problem. The CVI Range is used to determine the degree of effect of CVI on a zero to ten scale.  Developed by Christine Roman-Lantzy, three phases of visual functioning correlate loosely with 3 levels of strategies to develop visual function in children with CVI.