Secondary Special Education Director
Vision Service Providers (VSP's) provide special education services to students with visual impairments, ages 3-21, as addressed under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). These services include direct instruction as well as consultation. Students with visual impairments may also be eligible for orientation and mobility training by an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (OMS).
Teachers, nurses, special education staff, or parents can refer students for vision services. This referral can be made as a result of a vision screening, Child Find screening, or as a transfer from another district. After the referral is made, information is gathered by means of existing records, screenings, or observations. If additional testing is necessary, permission to assess will be secured from the parents. It is imperative that a current ophthalmological report be on file before services begin.
A visual disability is defined by the Colorado Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children's Educational Act as a decreased visual acuity of no better than 20/70 in the best eye with the best possible correction or a visual field of 20 degrees or less. Also included are physical conditions of the visual system that cannot be medically corrected, such as oculomotor apraxia, cortical visual impairment, and/or progressive vision loss. In addition to these visual conditions, there must also be a need for adaptation of the visual content of educational materials and instructional methods. Specifically excluded from the definition of "visual disability" are those who have learning difficulties as the result of visual perception and/or visual motor problems.
Components of the Program
The Cherry Creek Vision Service Providers work with children who are totally blind or who have low vision. Listed below are the types of services provided based on individual needs as determined by the IEP (Individualized Education Program) team.
- consultation services and in-service training for parents and staff
- collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team at each school
- functional vision assessments and instruction in the use of low vision aids
- literacy plans and Braille instruction
- orientation and mobility assessment and training
- daily living skill assessments and instruction
- compensatory skill evaluations and instruction
- assistive technology evaluations and training
- adaptation of instructional materials
- procurement of special equipment, aids and modified textbooks/standardized tests