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SOESD / Special Education / Vision Impaired / Eligibility and Referral

Eligibility and Referral

Eligibility Criteria Required assessment information:
  • The studentís residual acuity is 20/70 or less in the better eye with correction; or
  • The student has an eye condition or a progressive eye disease which is expected to reduce either residual acuity to either a level of 20/70 in the better eye or a visual field of 20 degrees or less in the better eye; or
  • The assessment results of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist are inconclusive; or
  • The student demonstrates inadequate use of residual vision.
In addition to the required assessment information above, the IEP team decides whether:
  • The studentís disability has an adverse effect on the studentís educational performance (kindergarten through age 21) or has an adverse impact on the studentís developmental progress (age 3 through 5); and
  • The student needs special education services; and
  • The studentís special education eligibility is not due to a lack of instruction in reading, math, or limited English proficiency.
Referral A student suspected of a vision impairment must go through the referral process before they can be made eligible for services. School-age children can be referred though their local school district. Children age 0-5 may be referred by either their parents or an Early intervention program. If your child is receiving services from Early Intervention they will contact the vision program with a referral. A report from an eye specialist is necessary to complete the referral process. Services are available to any child, birth through 21 years of age, with a qualifying vision loss. A qualifying vision loss is generally a corrected acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye or a visual field limited to 20 degrees or less. Any child, age birth through 21, with a verified or functional vision and hearing loss is eligible for deaf-blind services.


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