Blind and Visually Impaired
The Blind and Visually Impaired Program through WESD includes itinerant Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs), Orientation and Mobility Specialists (O&Ms) and a Braillist. Our staff have expertise in early intervention, early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), assistive technology, inclusion, multiple disabilities and much more. Our TVIs provide direct instruction to students and consultation to parents and school staff and our Orientation and Mobility Specialists have additional training to teach safe, efficient, and independent travel
To qualify for vision program services, a child or student must have a vision loss determined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist and a teacher of the visually impaired. The state eligibility requirements for vision impairment include
- A vision impairment that is uncorrectable by medical treatment, therapy or lenses, OR
- The examination results of a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist are inconclusive, and the child demonstrates inadequate use of residual vision, AND
- A functional vision assessment conducted by a teacher of the visually impaired to identify the child’s educational and compensatory needs, including a functional assessment of the child’s residual acuity or field of vision,
In addition the vision impairment must have an adverse impact on the child's educational performance or child's developmental progress; and the child or student must need special education services as a result of the disability.
Willamette ESD Special EducationVision Services are provided to children and students from birth through age 21 who reside in Marion, Polk, or Yamhill counties and meet state eligibility requirements. Services are provided in a variety of settings including regular classrooms, specialized classrooms, and preschools. For children who are birth through age 2, services are provided in the home with a family focused approach.
Vision Specialists serve as a member of a team to identify the needs of a child and provide the appropriate educational services.
Also provided are orientation and mobility services in the students' schools, community, and home neighborhoods. Daily living skills services are provided in the schools and/or in the students' homes.
- Assessment of unique needs of blind/visually impaired students
- Assistance with educational planning including goals related to expanded core curriculum for blind/visually impaired children and youth
- Consulting with school staff to devise and implement alternative instructional and assessment techniques
- Direct instruction as determined by the IEP
- Training and support for classroom teachers and other support staff
- Curriculum adaptation-providing accessible lesson materials
- Accessible instructional materials including materials in braille, digital or audiology formats
- Equipment loan, including materials from APH
- Referrals to the Oregon Lions Statewide low vision clinics
- Transitional planning for high school students including referrals to youth programs at the Oregon Commission for the Blind
- Extracurricular events and enrichment opportunities
- Low vision instruction
- Orientation and mobility
- Braille and large print
Oregon Low Vision Clinic
The purpose of the clinic is to provide low vision assessments that are directed toward your child’s educational and environmental needs. The clinic works in cooperation with state Regional Programs in providing services to children age birth through twenty-one years. The goal of the clinic is to help gain a better understanding of your child’s vision and to make recommendations that will assist him or her in the educational setting. When appropriate the optometrist will recommend and dispense low vision devices; and if necessary the optometrist will provide a follow-up assessment in your child’s educational setting, or a variety of settings. Low Vision Clinic Referral Form