OSEP (The Office of Special Education Programs of the United States Department of Education) has released a memo addressing Special Education eligibility for students with visual impairments. The memo provides some guidelines and resources. It begins by noting that: "...in the definition of 'visual impairment including blindness,' the regulations (in IDEA) do not contain a modifier; therefore, any impairment in vision, regardless of significance or severity, must be included in a State’s definition, provided that such impairment, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance." States differ in their criteria for eligibility and some states maintain that a child must have a specific acuity or field loss in order to be eligible for services.
The memo includes the following sections:
- Applicable IDEA Definitions
- State and Local Eligibility Criteria
Evaluation to Determine Whether the Child’s Visual Impairment Adversely Affects Educational Performance
AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) provides some helpful analysis of the memo.