Know Your Rights As the Parent of a Blind or Visually Impaired Child
If you live in the United States, your child who is blind or visually impaired is entitled to free and appropriate educational services under the federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
IDEA, and additional federal and state regulations, inform you of the types of services entitled to children who qualify, inform you of the evaluation process used to determine appropriate services, and inform you of what to do when you have concerns regarding services.
In the “Know Your Rights” section, you can find information on:
- Early intervention services entitled to infants, babies, and toddlers who are blind or visually impaired, and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), or blueprint of services the educational team (including you) find appropriate and beneficial for your young child.
- Services entitled to children age three through the completion of high school, and the Individualized Education Program (IEP), or blueprint of services the educational team (including you) find appropriate and beneficial for your child.
- The Central Role of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and what to do if your child has not been assigned a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI).
- Specialized assessments your child who is blind or visually impaired is entitled to, including a functional vision assessment used to determine if your child sees best in particular circumstances (such as in a well-lit room with high contrast); a braille vs print assessment used to determine if braille would be beneficial for your child; a technology assessment used to determine which technology may be appropriate and beneficial for your child; and an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) assessment used to determine if Orientation and Mobility services ( instruction in body concepts, spatial concepts, environmental concepts, and safe travel techniques) are appropriate for your child.
- Exploring possible educational placements for your child who is blind or visually impaired such as a local public school classroom, a classroom for students with disabilities, home-schooling, or a school for the blind.
- Learning about the accommodations and modifications your child is entitled to use in order to access instruction, materials, assignments, and her environment at school.
- Understanding the Expanded Core Curriculum, or the curriculum that children who are blind or visually impaired are entitled to learn in addition to basic academic subjects.
- How to be an effective advocate for your child.
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