Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBE-Q 64.4 Fall 2019

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/1172972

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Page 11 of 71

VIDBE-Q Volume 64 Issue 4 12 A lack of federal consensus regarding epidemiology or demographics of children with VI in the United States has made it difficult for researchers and program administrators to access accurate data about this special population. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has failed to take the lead in creating a mechanism to adequately count children with VI, who are served through diverse special education programs and services in every state. Several factors contribute to this failure. For example, some states are non-categorical, meaning that they do not always assign the label of "visual impairment" to students who meet the federal definition of blindness or VI. Also, students with the label of multiple disabilities may not always carry a secondary or tertiary label such as VI. In addition, classification language related to children with VI varies across organizations, professional research, and both the education and medical fields. Names of syndromes, diseases, and physical or neurological features that pertain to VI and blindness are applied inconsistently, making data collection and analysis challenging. In an attempt to counteract all these limitations, Babies Count collects information using consistent terminology that the field will be able to analyze and add to over multiple years therefore creating a longitudinal view of the population.

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