Vision and Mobility Services

Vision services are instructional methods specially designed to meet the unique needs of a student with a visual impairment. In addition to mastering skills taught to all students, the student with a visual impairment receives instruction in the skills an IEP team determines are necessary for the child to access and participate in the general curriculum as well as the skills related to future employment, vocational training or postsecondary education.

Who provides Vision services?
PREP employs certified teachers for students with visual impairments. The teachers instruct students directly and/or consult with professionals, paraprofessionals, and parents to adapt or modify the learning environment to facilitate the students’ successful participation in the school environment.

How does a student qualify to receive Vision services?
Visual impairment, including blindness, is a disability under Part B of the Individual with Disabilities Act. A student may qualify to receive vision support if the student has a visual impairment that, even with correction, adversely affects the child’s educational performance. The district in which the student resides is responsible for determining student eligibility for special education services. Once found eligible, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written which identifies goals and accommodations for the student.

What are Orientation and Mobility services?
Orientation and mobility services are provided to visually impaired and blind students to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community. The skills that are taught include:

  • spatial and environmental concepts and the use of information received by the senses to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel
  • use of a long cane to supplement visual travel skills or as a tool to safely negotiate the environment for students with no available travel vision
  • to understand and use remaining vision and distance low vision aids
  • other concepts, techniques and tools

Who provides Orientation and Mobility services?
An Orientation and Mobility specialist instructs students directly and/or consults with professionals, paraprofessionals, and parents to adapt or modify the learning environment to facilitate the students’ successful participation in their school, home, and community environments.

How does a student qualify to receive Orientation and Mobility services?
Orientation and mobility is a related service under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities (IDEA) Act. It is provided to visually impaired and blind students to enable those students to be able to safely and efficiently travel in their school, home and community environments. A student must be found eligible for special education services as a student with a visual impairment to be found eligible for orientation and mobility services. Eligibility as a visually impaired student does not mean automatic eligibility for orientation and mobility services.

Resources:
https://aerbvi.org/about/chapters/virginia/

https://www.vdbvi.org/

https://www.afb.org/blindness-and-low-vision/familyconnect-8160#:~:text=FamilyConnect%20is%20a%20website%20created,children%20from%20birth%20to%20adulthood.&text=This%20section%20also%20introduces%20parents,living%20well%20with%20vision%20loss.

VDOE Superintendent’s Memo RE: Services for Students Identified as Hearing or Visually Impaired: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2016/218-16.shtml

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