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3.4.12 Visually Impaired

Key Topics:   Visual Impairment Criteria Checklist   


"Visually impaired" means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the environment to the extent that special education instruction and related services may be needed. (M.R.3525.1345)


A child is eligible and in need of special education when the child meets one of the criteria in item A and one of the criteria in item B:

A. medical documentation of a diagnosed visual impairment by a licensed eye specialist establishing one or more of the following conditions:

(1) visual acuity of 20/60 or less in the better eye with the best conventional correction;

(a) estimation of acuity is acceptable for difficult-to-test children; and

(b) for children not yet enrolled in kindergarten, measured acuity must be significantly deviant from what is developmentally age-appropriate;

(2) visual field of 20 degrees or less, or bilateral scotomas; or

(3) a congenital or degenerating eye condition including, for example, progressive cataract, glaucoma, or retinitis pigmentosa; and

B. functional evaluation of visual abilities conducted by a licensed teacher of the visually impaired that determines that the child:

(1) has limited ability in visually accessing program-appropriate educational media and materials including, for example, textbooks, photocopies, blackboard, white boards, computers, or environmental signs, without modification;

(2) has limited ability to visually access the full range of program-appropriate educational materials and media without accommodating actions including, for example, changes in posture, body movement, focal distance, or squinting;

(3) demonstrates variable visual ability due to environmental factors including, for example, contrast, weather, color, or movement, that cannot be controlled; or

(4) experiences reduced or variable visual ability due to visual fatigue or factors common to the eye condition.


Current as of 10, 2007