CLINICAL LOW VISION EVALUATION
By: Carmen Willings
The results of the Functional Vision Evaluation may indicate there is a need for a Clinical Low Vision Evaluation. The Clinical Low Vision Evaluation differs from the medical examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist in that it provides functional, usable information about the visual abilities of an individual who has low vision. The evaluation focuses on verifying the student's visual acuity and on finding ways to enhance the students visual functioning.
A combination of the Functional Vision Evaluation and Reading Media Assessment will determine if the student’s primary mode is print. A low vision evaluation will further determine if optical aids will provide the student with low vision devices to access print. If devices are recommended, the TVI will need to instruct the student in the use of low vision devices.
Although there are certain components in all low vision evaluations, the focus will depend upon the concerns of the student, family and teachers. The individual who conducts the evaluation is the Low Vision Specialist but others may be involved in the entire visit. The Low Vision specialist will seek to identify optical and non-optical tools that will increase the student's ease of completing near and distance tasks. The evaluation can provide information that is critical to the kind of educational programming that is needed by students who have low vision. The information from the Clinical Low Vision Evaluation paired with the Functional Vision Evaluation and the Reading/Learning Media Assessment will provide the team with information that can assist in the students overall literacy program. The following are the areas and procedures carried out during the evaluation.
The Specialist will want to know the students medical history and information from the most recent ophthalmological exam. The family will be asked about the onset of the visual impairment, eye surgeries and dates, current treatments and medications and about the students general health. The specialist will also ask about the student's independent functioning at home, in the school and in the community.
The specialist will assess the general condition of the structures of the eyes in order to determine the nature and extent of the visual diagnosis. The specialist may be able to better explain the visual impairment to the family.
The specialist will assess the students visual acuities both with and without correction. Each eye will be assessed separately and then together. Both distance and near visual acuities will be assessed.
The specialist will assess the central and peripheral visual fields. There are a variety of tools to assess the students fields. These tests can also be used to assist in diagnosing the disease process in some visual impairments.
The students color vision will be assessed. This will provide useful information regarding the student's contrast abilities.
Refraction & Conventional Lenses
The specialist will test for refraction to determine if correction can be further corrected. Contact lenses may be recommended as they can sometimes improve the acuities of some students with irregular cornea surfaces or with high refractive errors.
Binocular Vision & Oculomotor Skills
The specialist can determine the potential for sustaining binocularity (use of both eyes). The results will have an impact on the prescription of the low vision device and training. Fixation, scanning and tracking may also be assessed as well as their head position and visual motor abilities.
Contrast Sensitivity, Light Sensitivity, and Illumination Needs
Assessment of contrast sensitivity will provide information on the degree of loss of the ability to detect materials when they are presented on low contrasting backgrounds. If the student performs poorly, more attention will be given to issues of lighting, contrast and glare.
Low Vision Devices
The specialist will select possible low vision devices for a student based on the goals of the student along with the acuity outcomes. The specialist may prescribe devices for near, intermediate, and distance activities.
At the completion of the visit, recommendations for low vision devices are typically made. Some clinics may provide low vision devices for the students to borrow. The students will typically be encouraged to use the devices for a period of time and return for a follow-up appointment where the results can be reviewed.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings