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Screenings, Assessments, and Educational Evaluations for Learners who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Expanded Core Curriculum

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) refers to nine categories of experiences and concepts casually and incidentally learned by sighted students that need to be systematically and sequentially taught to learners who are visually impaired, through their educational teams. The Texas School For the Blind provides a nice overview of the ECC.

  • Compensatory Skills:

    These critical skills include concept development and organizational skills, as well as communication skills, such as speaking and listening, sign language, tactile symbols, braille or print reading and writing, and accessing recorded materials.

  • Orientation and Mobility:

    Skills to help a child to know where she is in space and to move safely, independently, and efficiently in the environment

  • Social Interaction:

    Skills needed to participate actively and appropriately in social situations

  • Independent Living:

    Skills of daily living needed to care for oneself independently, including personal hygiene, food preparation, cleaning, clothing care, and money management

  • Recreation and Leisure:

    Skills to promote the enjoyment of leisure activities, including learning new leisure activities and making choices about how to spend leisure time

  • Sensory Efficiency:

    Skills that help students to use all of their senses, including functional vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell

  • Assistive Technology:

    Skills to use computers and other electronic equipment to function independently and effectively at school, home or work

  • Career Education:

    Skills that encourage students to explore career options and learn about the world of work

  • Self-Determination:

    Skills that enable students to become effective advocates for themselves based on their own needs and goals

Social-emotional support and other educational needs are factors that the education team should consider when discussing the whole child approach of learners. The ECC discussion can be addressed during the educational meetings with the team, including family members. The reference on legal language on ECC falls under part B. (34 CFR 300.320 (a)(2)(A)(B))

Preview the following tools for evaluating a learner’s ECC area skills.

  • Evaluating Visually Impaired Students (Evals) is a 5-part evaluation set, including evaluations tools for ECC areas, academic subject areas for Practical Academics and Basic Skills, Independent Living Skills Assessment, and TAPS Comprehensive Assessment.

  • ECC Needs Assessment is a screening tool where the learner’s team collects information to guide their focus for the upcoming school year. The tool, along with the Instruction Continuum Checklist on the page, help guide the learner’s instructional needs.

  • Expanded Core Curriculum Content Area Resource Mapping: Utilize this website for assessments, curriculums, and resources specific to ECC areas.