Assessment Resources

This section provides resources about different assessment tools and when they might be most helpful. This can be complex because there is no single assessment tool for students with visual impairments. Instead, there are various tools specific to different needs - some for skills, some for cognitive assessment, some for other needs.

It is crucial to remember that the vast majority of assessment tools are designed for students who are sighted, and assessment tools should not penalize students with visual impairments for not being able to perform tasks that require vision.

Most teachers use a combination of formal and informal assessment tools. Some are designed specifically for students with visual impairments, while others are adapted or modified.

A quick outline of the components of an assessment and their importance. Also available in Spanish.

Source: FamilyConnectfamilyconnec

A fact sheet on functional assessment for children with deafblindness by Dr. Irene L. Troper.

Source: Colorado Department of Education; Colorado Services to Children with Deafblindness

Darick Wright explains the essential components of a functional vision assessment and illustrates them with specific examples. For handouts, visit http://www.prcvi.org/files/workshops/FVAhandouts.pdf

Source: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired

A functional vision assessment helps parents understand their child's visual abilities and how to make the most of them in various settings.

Source: Vision Australia

A bibliography of materials on functional vision; some include online text.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

A teacher's list of materials to assemble to create assessment kits; one for readers and one for students who don't yet read.

Source: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments

Accompanied by a one-hour video, this tutorial shows how to calculate optimum print size for a student, and discusses optical and non-optical methods of magnification. 1.5 CE or ACVREP credits available.

Source: Perkins eLearning (Tutorial/Webinar)

This guide summarizes the various visual impairments a child will have after hemispherectomy, TPO disconnection, and occipital lobectomy, and how they can affect a child’s daily living, functional mobility, and access to the educational curriculum in school.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Understanding the degree of functional vision is important in planning the educational program for students with deafblindness. (PDF file from a newsletter.)

Source: Missouri Deafblind Technical Assistance Project

How visual acuity is calculated using the Snellen Eye Chart.

Source: Prevent Blindness

This 4-page RTF worksheet is divided into different skill areas (motor, self-help, cognition, etc.), with columns for assessment, IFSP and materials.  It is a useful organizational tool in identifying and addressing the needs of infants.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This handbook by Dr. Virginia E. Bishop helps families and educators understand the importance of early identification, and how visual impairments may impede development if appropriate intervention is not provided.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This position paper was developed to disseminate “key points and guidelines” in intelligence testing of individuals who are blind and visually impaired.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

Dr. Lea Hyvärinen, a Finnish ophthalmologist, shares information and resources on of pediatric vision tests and tests for assessment of visual capabilities in occupational health services and in assessment of low vision.  Available in multiple languages.

Includes video demonstrations, infant vision, lectures on assessment of functional vision, information for parents, assement of vision and hearing of individuals who are deafblind, and testing the vision of a child with Down Syndrome.

This section of the Paths to Literacy site includes an overview of the Learning Media Assessment (LMA), Learning Media Assessment Educational Module, guidelines for deciding between print and braille, special considerations if the child has a hearing loss, and sample learning media assessments.

Source: Paths to Literacy

A brief overview of LMA is offered to parents, with related links to alternate media and assessments.

Source: Family Connect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This Zimbabwean handbook discusses communication, assessment, and goal planning for children with disabilities. Includes information on play, communicating in everyday situations, and working in groups. The complete booklet is available in separate PDF downloads per chapter.  From this link, scroll down to the title for this publication and download PDFs for the Introduction and 12 Sections.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

NCDB is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for information about deafblindness. While most resources focus on the needs of children and youth, there is wealth of information here in the Adult Services section.

This 13-page paper outlines some of the key issues in the provision of services in natural environments.  It describes the unique developmental needs of children with visual impairments and offers strategies for services and advocacy.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

Deborah Gleason, Regional Coordinator of the Hilton/Perkins Program, provides guidelines to determine how a child learns most effectively, how adults can support this learning, and what environmental conditions are best.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

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