Chose Vision for IEP Eligibility

Vision is the primary learning mode for children with perfect vision. Vision gathers information quickly, links previous learning to new learning and links information from all the other senses for a full and complete understanding.

We know that for children with CVI, vision is the primary disability. For children with CVI, their visual impairment impacts all access to all of the general education curriculum. Their visual impairment impact all access to all of the special education curriculum.

Identifying the student with CVI and determining eligibility as “Vision” ensures that a teacher of students with visual impairments is part of the team and that there is consideration of the Expanded Core Curriculum. The Expanded Core Curriculum addresses the Unique Disability-Specific Needs of a child with a visual impairment.

For a child with CVI:

  • Their lack of visual attention and visual recognition limits the effective gathering of information about how the world works.
  • Their lack of visual attention and visual recognition limits the effective gathering of information about how the people in the world behave.
  • Their lack of visual attention and visual recognition impacts their connecting, categorizing and classifying of information.
  • Their lack of visual attention and visual recognition limits their understanding of sound sources.
  • Their lack of visual attention and visual recognition requires direct experiences in natural environments.

The Expanded Core Curriculum includes these 9 areas:

  1. Compensatory skills
  2. Orientation and mobility skills
  3. Social interaction skills
  4. Independent living skills
  5. Recreation and leisure skills
  6. Career education
  7. Use of assistive technology
  8. Sensory efficiency skills
  9. Self-determination skills

This is not an extra curriculum. This is an essential curriculum for the child with visual impairment. These are skills that everyone needs to live and work successfully to their full potential. The critical difference for our children with CVI is ACCESS to these 9 skill area. Children with perfect vision begin their exposure to the Expanded Core Curriculum at birth. Children with CVI must have the same consideration.

Children with and without additional disabilities can have Expanded Core Areas addressed in their programming due to the absence of or reduction of incidental learning.

Children with CVI

  • lack access to all visual information which optimizes all the learning for their peers with perfect vision.
  • lack access to the same number of repeated opportunities for visual information to reinforce concepts which optimizes all learning for their peers with perfect vision.
  • lack access to visual experiences to link new information to old information which optimizes all learning for their peers with perfect vision.
  • lack the ability to access and practice continuously in naturally occurring environments which optimizes all learning for their peers with perfect vision.

CVI is a neurological condition but is manifests in a visual impairment. This visual impairment is the issue for all learning. For the eligibility section of the IEP, chose “Vision” and the primary disability and “Neurological” as the secondary disability.

Bring Vision to the forefront for all learning.

5 comments

  1. Ellen, can you imagine a situation where an eleven year old student with phase II CVI does not qualify for a single component of the expanded core curriculum based on the recommendations of the TVI? He is either ‘too disabled’ or ‘too young’. This child scoots on the floor and uses a Kidwalk gait trainer for primary ambulation. Would listing CVI as a primary diagnosis, instead of the third diagnosis behind OHI and speech change anything? Also, is there a formal recommendation from CVI endorsed providers that the CVI Range score be done annually on children older than three years old? Current state requirements for evaluation are every three years unless the parents know to ask and also convince the IEP committee to agree? Love your blog!

    Like

  2. I would think that in Phase II there is a fairly strong visual impairment.
    The Expanded Core considerations can be adapted for everyone. Even if the child does not move independently they deserve to understand where they are and what they will do there (that’s the orientation part of orientation and mobility).
    I like to have vision as the primary learning issue on the IEP since 80%+ of learning is visual. Learning connects the other senses. If you hear something but can’t see it, you have no meaning to that sound. If you feel a spider crawling on your arm, you can’t understand it unless it is seen or explained to you directly.
    It is always best practice to assess children with any visual impairment yearly if they have a possibility of change. For kids with ocular impairments, sadly this change is usually reduced vision. You need the assessment to make sure the materials and methods match the current visual skills. For kids with CVI, the possibility of improvements warrant an assessment yearly so the material and methods match the current visual skill. Waiting 3 years might miss a huge change and materials and methods might not match the new visual skills.
    Hope that helps!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s