Writing the FVLMA Report
By: Carmen Willings
The Functional Vision Evaluation (FVE) report, written by the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) after conducting the FVE, should be specific with details about the student's performance on individual tasks in clearly described situations. It should be factual with conclusions based on clear, objective observations, rather than opinions or broad generalization.
The FVE report should be applicable and have direct links made to the tasks and activities normally performed by the student. It should also be void of VI jargon. It should include a summary for use as a quick reference by members of the educational team. Finally, it should include practical and specific recommendations that will assist the team members in providing for the student's educational needs related to the visual impairment.
The FVE should include the student's eye condition (summary of current eye exam, diagnosis, prognosis, acuity, recommended visual aids if any, and eyeglasses prescribed and when it is appropriate to wear them) along with the physician's name and the date of the report and definitions of the various diagnosis.
Statement of Reason for Evaluation
It should include the reason the evaluation is being conducted. It should indicate if the student has been receiving vision services and if the evaluation is part of a reevaluation process or if it is due to a change in vision. When evaluating a student for the first time, it should indicate the visual concerns and why the student was referred for services.
Functional Vision Observations
It should include a description of the location of the evaluation, a description of the lighting and the students positioning. It should describe observed activities and a description of the student's behavior. Indicate whether the student wore and tolerated prescribed glasses.
Performance on Functional Vision Evaluation Items
A detailed explanation of how the student performed on the various areas including ocular status, oculomotor skills, object discrimination, visual acuities, and visual perceptual skills should be included. Include information on the students near vision hobbies (include reading, sewing, stamp collecting, artwork, electronics or other near vision hobbies). Evaluators should not use diagnostic terms unless they have been included in medical reports because it is NOT the evaluator's role to make a medical diagnosis.
In many states, the evaluator must determine whether the student is eligible for services based on the functioning that has been observed, and he or she must explain the reasons for that determination. For example: "It is my professional opinion that this student does (does not) meet the eligibility criteria for visually handicapped as defined by the State Board of Education Rules for Handicapped Students. This decision is based upon the results of the eye specialist's evaluation and this functional vision evaluation."
The summary should describe the students strengths including current adaptations the student is currently successful in using. It should also describe the students needs and discuss how performance is affected by the visual impairment and by providing information on students’ learning style, utilization of visual information, and other strengths unique to individual students who are visually impaired.
This section of the report should explain the connection between particular recommendations and the visual functioning of the student, so that parents and other teachers will more clearly understand the importance of the recommendation.
This area will note areas of function for which additional information is needed from other specialists. May include recommendations for an assessment by a clinical low vision specialist or an O&M instructor. Also note the reason for the specific recommendation in the report.
Recommend Environmental Adaptations
The report may recommend adaptations to the educational environment to facilitate the use of vision. These can include variations in lighting, color, contrast, distance, and other characteristics that enhance a student's visual efficiency. When possible, describe with respect to the student's responsibility for making the adaptations.
Recommend Methods & Material Adaptations
This area may identify instructional methods and materials for meeting goals and objectives. It may indicate special considerations for classroom organization and changes in routine or disaster drills. Include recommendations about time modifications, positioning considerations for students, physical education modifications, and environmental and instructional material or equipment modifications.
Recommend Vision Specific Instruction
Recommend instructional and compensatory strategies including the actual areas that will require intervention. May include instruction or guidance in the development of specific visual skills, the use of equipment or optical devices, or the practice of compensatory skills.
Recommend the type of services that should be provided by the teacher of students with visual impairments or the O&M instructor. This may include instruction or guidance in the development of specific visual skills, the use of equipment or optical devices, or the practice of compensatory skills. May recommend regular consultative visits, so he or she can provide feedback to the student's teacher's, or regularly scheduled direct instruction in disability-specific skills.
The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments will collaborate with the general education teacher and recommend accommodations. The TVI will need to stay in contact with the classroom teacher and/or reading specialist about any difficulty the student is having accessing the print. If reading efficiently is difficult for a student, and a Reading Medium Assessment has confirmed that print is the student’s primary mode of learning, a referral to a reading specialist should be considered. Additionally, if the student has difficulty developing legible print even when provided with adapted devices and materials, an evaluation by an occupational therapist should be considered to determine if the student needs support in fine motor skills.
When I first entered the vision field at the Governor Morehead Preschool Program, the preschool director had TVI's throughout the state provide sample FVE reports. These reports were put into a binder and provided to TVI's as a reference. I found this tool incredibly helpful as I was able to see different report writing styles of students of various ages with different levels of visual acuity and with and without additional disabilities. I referred to these reports often throughout the years. It was for that reason that I put together samples of FVELMA reports I've written for your reference. I hope you find this resource helpful!
This presentation provides a walk-through of the process and steps of conducting a Functional Vision Evaluation and Learning/Reading Media Assessment. Key points include interpreting the eye report, materials to use in the assessment, conducting interviews and observations as well as strategies for direct assessment and writing a professional and thorough report that is informative to all audiences. Next steps are also covered including the importance of a low vision assessment, determining the need for additional assistive technology and implications for service.
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