has been determined by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist to have no vision or to have a serious visual loss after correction, and
has been determined by a functional vision evaluation and a learning media assessment, conducted by a certified teacher of the visually impaired, to have a need for special services
Early education for children with a visual impairment is based on the premise that the ability to learn is directly affected by the ability to access information. By providing opportunities to learn in ways that circumvent the visual impairment as early as possible, there is no limit to what can be learned. Children birth to age 3, enrolled with an Early Childhood Intervention (E.C.I.) Program, are provided services to address developmental delays in the following areas: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, cognitive development, language development, and self-help skills. The direct involvement of parents in the education of their child results in significantly greater gains for children with visual impairments.
DIRECT INSTRUCTION/CONSULTATIVE SERVICES
Qualified students who have entered school continue to receive services from a certified teacher of students with visual impairments. Many students benefit from individualized instruction to address educational needs, which are unique to students with visual impairments. Direct instruction may be required to teach concepts, use of functional vision, Braille reading and writing, abacus, use of low vision aids, keyboarding skills, use of Assistive Technology, and organizational skills. Other students are more appropriately served through consultative services. In this model, the teacher of students with visual impairments works with the multidisciplinary team to ensure that the curriculum, materials, and methods are adapted for each student’s individual needs.
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
Instruction in orientation and mobility enables the student to move purposefully in any environment, familiar or unfamiliar, and to function safely, efficiently, and independently. Instruction may focus on environmental concepts, spatial awareness, sighted guide technique, use of clues/landmarks, cane techniques, street crossings, residential/business travel, and bus travel. It is essential that each student assume responsibility for his or her own travel needs at school and in the community. Due to the nature of this service, the student may receive regular instruction on and/or off campus.