VISUAL IMPAIRMENT  
 
Authorities:  34 C.F.R. Part 300; Texas Education Code; 19 T.A.C. Chapter 89
 
 
 
FEDERAL AND STATE REQUIREMENTS CITATIONS
D The child must be assessed in all areas of suspected disability. 300.304(c)(4)

P The local educational agency (LEA) must comply with the EVALUATION PROCEDURES framework.

P In Texas, the group of qualified professionals that determines whether the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child is the child's ADMISSION, REVIEW, AND DISMISSAL COMMITTEE. 89.1040(b)
89.1050(a)(5)

P For the child from birth through two years of age with a visual impairment, an individualized family service plan meeting must be held in place of the admission, review, and dismissal committee meeting; and the LEA must comply with the AGES 0-5 framework. 89.1050(b)

D A person who is appropriately certified as an orientation and mobility specialist (COMS) must participate, as part of the multidisciplinary team, in evaluating data used in making the determination of the child's eligibility as a child with a visual impairment. 89.1040(c)(12)(E)
TEC 30.002(c-1)(2)

EVALUATION PROCEDURES


D The evaluation data reviewed by the group of qualified professionals in connection with the determination of the child's disability based on a visual impairment must include: 89.1040(c)(12)

D
  • A report by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist that: 
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

D
    • States the visual loss in exact measures of visual field and corrected visual acuity at a distance and at close range in each eye; or
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

D
    • If exact measures cannot be obtained, provides best estimates of the visual loss; and
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

D
    • Includes a prognosis whenever possible;
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

D
  • A functional vision evaluation by a certified teacher of children with visual impairments, or a COMS that includes: 
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(ii)(I)

D
    • Performance tasks in a variety of environments requiring the use of both near and distance vision; and
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(i)(I)

D
    • Recommendations concerning the need for a clinical low vision evaluation;
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(i)(I)

D
  • A learning media assessment by a certified teacher of children with visual impairments that includes:
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(ii)(II)

D
    • Recommendations concerning which specific visual, tactual, and/or auditory learning media are appropriate for the child; and 
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(ii)(II)

D
    • Whether there is a need for ongoing evaluation in this area; and
89.1040(c)(12)(A)(ii)(II)

D
  • An orientation and mobility evaluation performed by a COMS in a variety of lighting conditions and a variety of settings including in the child’s home, school, and community and in settings unfamiliar to the child.
89.1040(c)(12)(C)
TEC 30.002(c-1)(1)

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA


P A child with a visual impairment is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for visual impairment. 89.1040(c)(12)
300.8(c)(13)

P The term visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the child's educational performance, and includes both partial sight and blindness.
89.1040(c)(12)
300.8(c)(13)

P In meeting the criteria for a visual impairment, the child with a visual impairment has been determined by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist: 89.1040(c)(12)(A)
300.8(c)(13)

P
  • To have no vision or to have a serious visual loss after correction; or
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

P
  • To have a progressive medical condition that will result in no vision or a serious visual loss after correction.
89.1040(c)(12)(A)

FUNCTIONALLY BLIND


P The child with a visual impairment is functionally blind if, based on the functional vision evaluation and the learning media assessment, the child will use tactual media, which includes braille, as a primary tool for learning to be able to communicate in both reading and writing at the same level of proficiency as other children of comparable ability. 89.1040(c)(12)(B)

 
 
Last Updated: Thursday, April 06, 2017