Vision services are provided to students who have a visual impairment and who are determined to be eligible for services through the IEP process. Services may be provided directly to students and vary depending on individualized need. Direct service may include instruction in braille, low vision and visual efficiency skills, self-advocacy, and utilization of low vision tools. Instruction in the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum such as daily living, career education and sensory efficiency is also provided. Services may also be delivered on a consultative basis. Consult services may include support in areas such as training for staff, adaptation of curriculum, instructional strategies, accommodations, environmental access, emergency plans, observations, test administration, and team meetings.
CASE provides teachers licensed in education for students who are blind or visually impaired to districts in both DuPage and Cook Counties. Vision itinerant teachers work directly with students with varying levels of academic needs. To determine the educational impact of the visual impairment, vision itinerant teachers conduct Functional Vision Assessments (FVA). The completed Functional Vision Assessment guides the team in determining eligibility and appropriate supports for students with vision loss. Vision itinerants also interpret ocular information and explain its educational impact to the IEP team. Collaboration is essential and vision itinerant teachers communicate regularly with students, parents, IEP team members, and medical personnel. Additionally, CASE vision itinerant teachers familiarize each student’s educational team with student-specific details regarding vision loss and classroom procedural recommendations. Lastly, vision itinerant teachers connect staff, family, and students to outside resources and transition planning.
CASE schedules and hosts Low Vision Clinics by partnering with the Spectrios Institute for Low Vision. These clinics are an opportunity for students with low vision to experience an evaluation with a low vision optometrist. These specialized optometrists explore and recommend low vision tools such as telescopes,magnifiers, rec specs, and even sunwear. Parents are present during the evaluation to ask questions and explore options with their son or daughter.
CASE Vision itinerant teachers work closely with school staff throughout the year. Vision itinerants provide ongoing coaching in adapting and modifying materials, adapting school environments, designing instruction, and maximizing student participation in classroom activities. Ongoing student-specific trainings occur throughout the school year as needed. General trainings regarding visual impairments may also be provided to nurses, administrators, and other staff.