OSEP Letter

OSEP Letter about Visual Impairments

On November 12, 2014, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a response to an inquiry for policy clarification addressing whether a State educational agency (SEA) and/or local educational agency (LEA) is permitted to establish procedures that further define the disability category, “visual impairment including blindness,” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).1 Since that time, OSEP has received a request for written guidance to assist SEAs in supporting their LEAs in reaching appropriate eligibility determinations for children with this disability. The purpose of this memorandum is to ensure broad dissemination of the key points made in our November 12, 2014 letter, provide the additional guidance requested on this important issue, and share information about outside resources that may be helpful as you examine your State’s procedures related to the identification and evaluation of children suspected of having a visual impairment including blindness.