Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

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Rhode Island Vision Education and Services Program

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All eligible students referred to the RI Vision Education and Services Program for an assessment will receiver a Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) conducted by a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). The purpose of a Functional Vision Assessment is to determine whether a visual impairment is interfering with a student's educational performance. Reading and writing skills, ability to use classroom materials, environmental factors, and use of non-prescription and prescription aids are assessed. An FVA provides suggestions for accommodations, modifications, or specialized instruction that allows the student to access the general curriculum independently.

If a child is legally blind, a Learning Media Assessment (LMA) will also be conducted by a certified TVI. The purpose of a Learning Media Assessment is to assess learning and literacy media needs and to provide recommendations for instructional programming. A student may need a variety of learning and literacy media to access curriculum and these needs may change. Therefore, on-going assessment is essential.

Orientation and Mobility skills may also be assessed. An orientation and mobility assessment looks at the student's ability to travel safely and efficiently within familiar and unfamiliar home, school, and community environments. A certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) completes this evaluation. Any student referred for orientation and mobility assessment must meet eligibility criteria and have a current Functional Vision Assessment.

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