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ERIC Number: EJ849496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
The Need for a Uniform Method of Recording and Reporting Functional Vision Assessments
Shaw, Rona; Russotti, Joanne; Strauss-Schwartz, Judy; Vail, Helen; Kahn, Ronda
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v103 n6 p367-371 Jun 2009
The use of functional vision by school-age students who have visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities, is typically reported by teachers of students with visual impairments. Functional vision assessments determine how well a student uses his or her vision to perform tasks throughout the school day. The information that is gathered during the functional vision assessment is summarized and used to determine an appropriate initial educational intervention or to modify an intervention on the basis of changes in the student's use of vision. Functional vision assessments are mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. There is no one correct way to assess functional vision. The assessment materials and methods that are used depend on such factors as the age of the student, the presence of additional medical or disabling conditions, the amount of available time to conduct the assessment, and the environment. Some teachers use one or more of the myriad assessment protocols that are available; some use forms they have developed, and some use a combination of protocols. Selected commercially available tools are designed for students who are young or developmentally delayed; others are designed for young academic students, and yet others are designed for academic students who are older. Since functional vision assessments are not standardized, nor can they be, the literature indicates that professionals use existing tools or their own (checklist) forms and (narrative) reports (or both), either singly or in combination. This article reports a survey which the authors developed to determine the need for a uniform way of reporting and recording information about functional vision. The 15-question survey was distributed in five states through distribution lists of personnel in schools for students who are visually impaired, as well as state and regional groups of educators of students who are visually impaired. The results of this study indicated an enthusiastic response to using one form to assess the functional vision of all students who are visually impaired. However, many respondents used more than one form, which may suggest that they prefer choice, even though they said that they would prefer to use one instrument.
American Foundation for the Blind. 11 Penn Plaza Suite 300, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 800-232-5463; Tel: 212-502-7600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act