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Special Education

Guidelines for the Specialized Assessment of Students with Visual Impairments - replaces the Ten Step Guide (2006)

The purpose of the Guidelines is to:

  • Review types of assessments and provide sample assessment forms for an initial evaluation or three-year reevaluation to support the eligibility determination of special education services for students with visual impairments.
  • Help ensure a common understanding of the purpose and complexity of conducting specialized assessments of students with visual impairments.
  • Assist Teams in designing instruction and supports for students with visual impairments to ensure access to the general curriculum and life of the school.
  • Provide resources to help general and special educators and related service providers meet the unique needs of students with visual impairments and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.

The Guidelines have been prepared to ensure a common understanding of the purpose and complexity of conducting assessments of students with visual impairments, both for eligibility identification and for ongoing services and will assist IEP Teams in designing instruction and support to ensure access to the general curriculum and the life of the school for students with all levels of visual impairment. Various types of assessments are reviewed and sample assessments are provided for an initial or a three-year reevaluation. Additional resources are provided to help educators and related services providers meet the unique needs of students with visual impairments and to prepare them for transition to employment and independent living.

These guidelines are the result of a lengthy process and the input of many individuals with different perspectives who played a critical role in identifying the central topics emphasized in this document.

Guidelines by Sections

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Introduction
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The Impact of Vision Loss on Learning
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The Evaluation Process
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Specialized Assessments of Students with Visual Impairments
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1. Information from the Eye Doctor
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2. Parent/Guardian Interview
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3. Classroom Teacher/ Related Service Provider/ Staff Interview
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4. Student Interview
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5. Functional Vision Assessment
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6. Learning Media Assessment
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7. Assistive Technology Assessment
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8. Orientation and Mobility Assessment (O & M)
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Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments (ECC)

Appendices

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Appendix A: Definitions
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Appendix B: Sample Assessment Forms
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Appendix C: Job Descriptions for Specialized Professionals
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Appendix D: Resources

If you have any questions or comments about the Guidelines, please contact Martha Daigle at 781-338-3366 or mdaigle@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: April 10, 2015
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