My child is eligible for special education services under the category of Visual Impairment. What does this mean?
According to the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008), Visual Impairment, including Blindness, is an impairment in vision that even with correction adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Each child shall exhibit:
- A visual impairment, not primarily perceptual in nature, resulting in a measured visual acuity of 20/70 or poorer in the better eye with correction; or
- A physical eye condition that affects visual functioning to the extent that special education placement, materials, and/or services are required in an educational setting.
Can a student with Visual Impairment attend any CMSD school?
Every school in CMSD is staffed with at least one Intervention Specialist to support students in all disability categories with access to the general education curriculum along with specially designed instruction in academic areas. All schools also have access to related services (speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and postsecondary transition services. Every school can provide access to large print and text-to-speech accommodations.
There are also several schools within the District that are fully equipped to serve students with visual impairments via instruction from a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI).
What specialized instruction will my child receive?
CMSD is committed to excellence in education of all children and youth with vision loss. The instructional staff will work collaboratively with families to ensure that our students with vision loss become independent and self-sustaining, now and in the future. The establishment of a primary reading medium is the foremost consideration prior to the development of an instructional program for the student.
Teachers provide direct instruction in the use of technology to maximize each student’s limited vision through the use of specialized techniques and devices including access to print and internet information through computers, electronic note takers, screen readers and low vision devices, reading machines, and Braille translation software. The instructional program focuses on continuous academic and compensatory skill development for each student and provides opportunities in the following areas:
- keyboarding proficiency
- organizational and study skills
- reading and writing Braille
- instruction in and practice using assistive technology devices
- use of recorded text and voice output
- low vision aids
- tactual materials to support course content, such as tactual graphics, charts, and maps
- life skills
- social interaction skills
- orientation and mobility both on and off campus
Students are taught by staff who are specifically trained and licensed by the Ohio Department of Education or other licensing agency appropriate to the service delivery area. Intensive and highly specialized teaching methods focus on the unique needs of students with visual impairments, including those students who may have additional disabilities. Each child's strengths and weaknesses are carefully assessed in order to develop programs, instructional strategies and to identify the most appropriate materials and equipment needed.