Determining Service Time for Students with Vision Loss

Determining amount of time to work with a student can be rather tricky. Using your gut to tell you what to write down on an IEP is very hard to defend in court. Now, I hope many of you don’t have to defend your decisions in court, but if you did, I hope your evaluations gave you a clear picture of what the student needed and the IEP team discussed what goals and objectives were needed to get there. At that point the team can make a decision about the amount of time needed from a teacher of the visually impaired.

As many team members look to the teacher of the visually impaired for answers, it can put that person on the spot for making a recommendation. Sometimes that member is challenged by another team member. It could be someone thinks it is too much time or too little time to meet the needs of the student. There are many tools out there to help you check your ‘gut’ decision. What do you use??

I often reviewed my evaluations and wrote down my gut decision. Then I checked my decision against a variety of severity tools to see how I compared. One interesting discovery is the change in the Michigan Serverity Rating. My Michigan version from 2002 offered a greater variety of service amounts; I am not sure of their change, but keep this in mind if you are also running a ‘gut’ check for yourself.

Michigan Severity Rating Scales 2013

Colorado Severity Scale 2003

Texas VISSIT scale

British Columbia 2011

If I have missed some out there, please let me know. I will add to this post.

GoFundMe: White Canes for Mexico

GoFundMe: White Canes

A couple of O&Ms are working towards purchasing 100 White Canes for a small non-profit for the blind in Tijuana, MX. This is the last week to fundraise; they hoping you’ll check out their video http://gofundme.com/white-canes and make a donation…every little bit helps!

2015 Bill: Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act

There is much discussion about the bill recently filed regarding students with sensory loss. This bill, with differing language, has been submitted in previous years and died. Bills die for many reasons, so do not think it makes a bill good or bad. Read the language to decide if you are for or against the pieces it describes. Realize bill language changes through amendments, as it is discussed in both the House and the Senate. Know that bills must have a sister (or one place approves and sends it to the other side for approval) to move through both places and at times these bills will have different criteria. In the end, both the House and the Senate need to agree on one. I am giving you a variety of links so you can inform yourself regarding this bill. And, if bills and laws start getting fuzzy, we can lovingly fall back on School House Rock for guidance! Enjoy!

Press Release

AFB’s Announcement

Congress Bill where you can track changes

AFB easy to read bill language

School House Rock How a Bill Becomes a Law