At Paradise Valley Unified School District’s vision department, we pride ourselves on being parent collaborators. Whether your child has just been diagnosed with a visual impairment or you face another big transition on your child’s journey, we strive to be a support and point of reference for your family.
Many parents of children with visual impairments as well as teachers with visual impairments have served in our vision department. This shapes our philosophy and expands our perspective on how we individualize your child’s educational plan.
PVSchools Vision Services
Qualifying for Vision Services
Students who meet the definition of visual impairment will first receive a Functional Vision Evaluation (FVA) and Learning Media Assessment (LMA) administered by a PVSchools teacher of the visually impaired. (Read the definition and common traits of visual impairment.)
Additionally, an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) screen and possible evaluation will be completed to determine if this student would benefit from this type of training. These assessments will help to determine what specific school supports the student is eligible to receive in order to better access the classroom curriculum.
For more information on the special education and Individualized Education Program (IEP) evaluation process for vision services, visit the following resources.
Types of Vision Services
The results of the student’s FVA and LMA will be reviewed at the MET/IEP meeting. At this time, the IEP team will develop vision-based goals and accommodations/modifications needed throughout the school day to ensure the student is able to access their curriculum.
Examples of Low Vision Services:
- Magnification device training: low tech (e.g., dome magnifier) and high tech (e.g., CCTV)
- Large print access: textbooks, handouts, and other materials
- Monocular training for classroom purposes (e.g., viewing the whiteboard).
Low Vision Evaluations
The Paradise Valley Unified School District’s Vision Resource Program provides low vision evaluations to qualifying students at the Foundation for Blind Children’s low vision clinic. The student is then trained by a PVSchools teacher of the visually impaired to utilize the low vision devices prescribed during the evaluation in the classroom and community.
Examples of Blind Services:
- Braille transcription
- Braille textbooks and materials
- Tactile training
- Orientation & Mobility cane instruction
- Braille skills
Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
The Paradise Valley Unified School District provides O&M instruction to visually impaired students who require specific training in navigating their classrooms, school campus, and community environments. Purposeful and directed movement is taught to all students to ensure that the skills and techniques that enable them to safely travel in their daily lives and live as independently as possible.
Examples of O&M Skills:
- Human/sighted guide: utilizing another person to aid in travel
- Protective techniques: specific skills which provide added protection in unfamiliar areas
- Sensory awareness: gaining information about the world through hearing, smell, touch and proprioception
- Spatial concepts: realizing that objects exist even if not heard or felt.
- Monocular training: reading environmental signage on campus and in the community
- Public transportation access: using community services to aid in advance travel (i.e., Valley Metro Bus, Dial-A-Ride, Light Rail, etc.)
- Searching skills: locating items/dropped objects or places efficiently
- Cane skills: using various cane techniques to clear one's path or to locate objects along the way