By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 4, 2017
As part of conducting the Functional Vision Evaluation (FVE), it is important to interview the people who are familiar with the student. It is always helpful to talk with caregivers to gain an understanding of their concerns and perception of the visual diagnosis. Interviews can screen for problems and help identify areas to address in the Functional Vision Evaluation.
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Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.
Parents and/or caregivers can provide invaluable information about how the student uses their vision during all times of the day and can provide information. They can tell you about the onset of the visual impairment, information on how the student performs activities of daily living, any recreational and leisure skills, as well as social interactions. You can use the form to the left to guide you in possible questions to ask a parent/caregiver.
The classroom teacher can also provide valuable information about how the student is using their vision to complete activities in school and get around in the school environment. They can provide input on the quality and quantity of class work, the students reading level and how they interact with peers. They can also provide information on what accommodations the student is using and if they are using prescribed devices including glasses. Your district may have a teacher interview tool or you are welcome to use the one to the left to help guide you in possible questions to ask the classroom teacher.
PreK/MD Teacher Interviews
Students in preschool classrooms and in self-contained classrooms will spend the majority of their day with their teacher. The questions you ask these teachers will be different than those you may ask a teacher of an academic content area. You may use this form to help guide you through the interview.
When possible (if the student is verbal or otherwise able to communicate), it is also important to talk directly with students about their vision and gather information about what they are having difficulty seeing or concerns they have. Interviewing the student can provide a way for the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments to develop a rapport with the student. This is an ideal time to discover how much the student knows about their visual impairment and their ability to explain it in simple, understandable terms. Ask the student what they have difficulty seeing or if there is a strategy they have found helps. It is helpful to discover how the student perceives themselves. Do they perceive themselves as blind or their difficulty seeing things or do they view themselves as having normal vision? This is also a natural time to discuss the students hobbies and their preferences as well as if they have goals for their future.