The IMESD provides a variety of services for children ages birth to 21 who have been identified blind, low vision or deaf-blind children ages birth through 21. These services are provided by teachers of the blind and visually impaired and a deafblind consultant. Orientation and mobility services are also provided.
Areas of assessment include functional vision, developmental skills, independent living skills, orientation and mobility, and learning media. Specialists participate with school staff and families in the IFSP/IEP development and implementation, inclusion strategies, and transition planning. Recommendations for appropriate equipment, including low vision aids, devices and technology may also be provided. Specialists also provide in-service training regarding vision impairment.
Children eligible for services may receive direct instruction in concept development, compensatory skills necessary for classroom setting, technology access, low vision aids and/or assistive devices, Braille, auditory training, orientation and mobility, transition, adaptive and specialized materials and providing resources available for loan including large print, audio or Braille materials.
For a child to be eligible for vision services, the child must meet Oregon's Eligibility Criteria for Vision Impairment. When eligible, an Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Family Service Plan is developed, which identifies the instruction, equipment or services that will be provided.
At least one of the following eligibility criteria is required for services from the Regional Program for the Visually Impaired and must be established by a statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist:
- The student’s residual acuity is 20/70 or less in the better eye with correction.
- The student’s visual field is restricted to 20 degrees or less in the better eye.
- The student has an eye condition, either an eye pathology or a progressive eye disease which, in the opinion of the ophthalmologist or optometrist, is expected to reduce either acuity or field to the criteria stated above, or
- The assessment results of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist are inconclusive or the child demonstrates inadequate use of residual vision.
For a child to be eligible for special education services as a child with vision impairment, the eligibility team shall determine that the child’s disability has an adverse impact on the child’s educational performance and the child needs special education services as a result of the disability.
Support for children with deafblindness and their families is available through the regional deafblind consulting teacher. Deafblindness is an ‘access to information’ disability, and the earlier the student is provided support, the earlier the opportunities available to the student to become more independent.
(The following links are for external sites)
Cortical Visual Impairment
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
Septo Optic Dysplasia
Referral Process & Form
Documents required for the referral process include:
- "Request for Regional Services" form signed by a school administrator.
- "Confidential Eye Exam Report" signed by an eye doctor indicating the student meets the eligibility requirements for vision services.
- Permission to evaluate (Functional Vision Assessment)
Send/fax documents to the IMESD.
Director of Regional Programs & Related Services
Patty Jo Lathrop