Vision services are provided by a Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (CTVI) to students ages 0-21 who are blind or visually impaired. The term visual impairment means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the child’s educational performance. To determine eligibility, a Functional Vision Evaluation and Learning Media Assessment must be conducted by the CTVI. Additionally, a licensed eye specialist must determine that the child has a serious vision loss after correction or a progressive medical condition that will result in a serious vision loss after correction.
Once the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee determines eligibility, direct and/or consultation services are provided by the CTVI to address the individual needs of the visually impaired student. The CTVI collaborates with students, parents, school personnel, and community agencies. The CTVI attends ARD meetings and actively participates in the development of the student’s Individual Education Plan to assist in determining appropriate goals, accommodations, modifications, and supports. Additional roles of the CTVI include providing specially designed instruction to address the Expanded Core Curriculum, interpreting eye reports, conducting ongoing student observations, identifying necessary technology supports and instructional strategies (i.e. Braille, low vision devices).
Orientation & Mobility
The Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) is a specialist who teaches blind or visually impaired students to travel safely and effectively. If a student meets eligibility for O&M services, direct and/or consultation services are provided. In addition to serving students, O&M specialists work collaboratively with parents, teachers, and school personnel. Instruction varies, but can target skills such as concept development, motor skills, use of low vision devices, etc.