Accessing Early Intervention and School-Aged Services and Supports for Vision Loss
Child Find and Early Intervention
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) covers children birth through age 21 who have special needs. Make a referral to Help Me Grow to access programs that serve young children and their families, including Ohio Early Intervention Services, Home Visiting, and Moms and Babies First. If you have concerns about your pregnancy, want support as a new parent, or have concerns about your child’s development, you can call 1-800-755-4769 (GROW). To learn more about Home Visiting and Mom’s and Babies first, visit the ODH website. To learn more about Ohio Early Intervention services, visit http://ohioearlyintervention.org
Children Birth-3: Early Intervention (EI) services are available to families for children ages birth through 36 months. These services are guided by the development of an Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP) that addresses needs related to case management, nutrition and support. As a child approaches their third birthday a plan for transition becomes part of the IFSP. This gives families an opportunity to prepare for the transition from EI services to public school services.
Educational Evaluation Guidelines
For learners with a suspected visual impairment, eligibility is determined by an MFE conducted by an interdisciplinary team. A variety of assessment tools may be used by the TVI and/or O&M, to gather information about the learner in functional, developmental, and academic areas. Families are encouraged to provide the school district with an eye doctor’s report for review, which can provide information about current and future changes with visual conditions. Ohio special education regulations require that assessments be technically sound and administered by qualified professionals in the area of visual impairments.
School-Aged Special Education Services
Assessment and evaluation of progress among children who are have vision loss or blindness is a complex process. Challenges often go undetected by individuals unfamiliar with the hidden impact of a vision loss. The local educational agency (LEA) continues to be responsible for providing a team comprised of qualified professionals and the student's parent or guardian to collect multiple sources of information relevant to determining eligibility for specialized services and then developing an educational program that is not only individualized but leads to measurable increases in learning. For more information on special education and related services please visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website and the Office for Exceptional Children’s website.