Visual Impairment Including Blindness
The Visual Impairment Including Blindness disability is an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Visual Impairment Including Blindness is one of the four birth mandate classifications in Delaware. Children identified under those classifications are eligible for services to be provided by their local school districts through free and appropriate public education (FAPE). When a referral to Child Development Watch (CDW) is requesting an evaluation due to suspecting one of the above classifications, CDW will be immediately notify the local school district to include them in all aspects of the referral, evaluation, eligibility determination and Individual Education Plan (IEP) development.
If a child age birth to three is diagnosed as visually impaired, please contact Child Development Watch. They will collaborate with your local school district to evaluate, determine eligibility, develop a plan and provide services, if needed. Please refer to the Visual Impairment Birth Mandate Referral Process for a detailed description of collaboration between CDW and school districts.
The current eligibility criteria for Visual Impairment Including Blindness under state law is found in Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code Section 925. If a student is found to have a disability, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must also determine the need for special education and related services (6.0 Determination of Eligibility).
Blindness shall be defined as a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, or a peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends less than 20 degrees.
Partially Sighted shall be defined as a visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 in the better eye after best correction, or a disease, condition or impairment of the eye or visual system that seriously affects visual function directly, not perceptually.
Age of Eligibility: The age of eligibility for children with visual impairment falls under the birth mandate. This shall be from birth until the receipt of a regular high school diploma or the end of the school year in which the student attains the age of twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.
* Retrieved from Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code.
Office of Early Learning
Delaware Department of Education
Dover, DE 19901