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Rhode Island Vision Education and Services Program

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Eligibility & Referral

A referral for services from the RI Vision Education and Services Program originates with the district special education office at the request of a parent, teacher, or administrator. The district is responsible for obtaining an Ophthalmologist report, which includes a visual diagnosis and acuities.

To be eligible for assessment and evaluation, a child must meet the definition of visually impaired. In addition, a student who has a condition that is expected to deteriorate and result in significant loss of visual functioning will be eligible for evaluation. A physician or ophthalmologist must verify this diagnosis.

Once eligibility is verified, the district must submit a request for assessment and/or services. Districts are asked to designate a liaison responsible for gathering information, scheduling assessment visits, arranging for a testing area, etc.

The items needed for a referral are: Upon receipt of the referral packet, a representative from RIVESP will contact the district. If eligible for services, a completion timeline will be determined. The start date of the evaluation will be determined by availability of certified Teachers of Children with Visual Impairments (TVI) and/or certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS). Every effort will be made to complete the evaluation within the mandated time frame. If the appropriate personnel are not available to complete the assessment, the Special Education Director will be notified. LEAs retain responsibility to provide services and are required to utilize all available resources to provide these services.

Referral for Services and DirectionsForm 14.4 kb (PDF)
Authorization for Release of Information Form 7.61 kb (PDF)
Request for Extended School Year Services and Directions 7.5 kb (PDF)

For more information, contact:
RI Vision Education and Services Program
Sherlock Center on Disabilities
Rhode Island College
600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908-1991
(401) 456-8072 (voice)
(401) 456-8919 (fax)
(401) 456-8773 (TDD)
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