Understanding Visual Impairment

  • How is Visual Impairment defined?

    Visual impairment is a condition that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

    To meet eligibility criteria in Oregon a student must have one or more of the following:

    1. Acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye with correction
    2. Visual field of 20 degrees or less in the better eye
    3. Progressive eye disease which is expected to reduce either acuity or visual field
    4. Inconclusive assessment results from an ophthalmologist, and inadequate use of residual vision

    How is a Visual Impairment identified?

    In addition to reviewing the medical statement from the ophthalmologist or optometrist, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) will conduct a functional vision assessment (FVA) to evaluate how a student uses vision to perform routine tasks in a variety of real-world situations .

    For students age 3 and above, the TVI will also conduct a Learning Media Assessment (LMA) to identify the best modality by which the student will read and access the curriculum. Learning media include print; braille; audio; and systems that use pictures, symbols, or objects. 

    The TVI will then gather with the school team, including the parents, to review the results of the evaluation and determine if the student meets the eligibility criteria for visual impairment.