Assessment Resources

This section provides resources about different assessment tools and when they might be most helpful. This can be complex because there is no single assessment tool for students with visual impairments. Instead, there are various tools specific to different needs - some for skills, some for cognitive assessment, some for other needs.

It is crucial to remember that the vast majority of assessment tools are designed for students who are sighted, and assessment tools should not penalize students with visual impairments for not being able to perform tasks that require vision.

Most teachers use a combination of formal and informal assessment tools. Some are designed specifically for students with visual impairments, while others are adapted or modified.

This assessment tool is designed to pinpoint exactly how a child is currently communicating and to assist in creating communication goals. This user-friendly online version is aimed at parents whose children have severe multiple disabilities. Available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Czech.

In two one-hour sessions, the staff of the New England Eye Low Vision Clinic at Perkins dive deeply into the causes and impacts of cortical/cerebral visual impairments, and discuss the importance of collaborative care for children with CVI.

Source: Perkins eLearning (Webinar)

This 3-page article (on pp.6-8 of the newsletter) offers strategies for planning an effective transition from school to adult life. It includes information about the members of the team and creating an effective futures plan.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

In this 30-minute webcast, Mary Zatta describes the purpose and components of a vocational portfolio, and discusses the importance of development processes.

For more information on this topic, see this title from Perkins Publications: School to Work - Developing Transitional Portfolios for Students with Significant Disabilities

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

This three-part multimedia presentation covers an introduction to CVI, case studies, and intervention strategies.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

A questionnaire for determining whether a vision evaluation is needed; includes links to related topics such as pediatric care, vision therapy, vision checklists and learning disabilities.

Source: Optometrists Network

Karl R. White discusses the importance of early detection of hearing loss; available in English and Spanish.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Mary Zatta and Diane Pullin describe the impact of "alternate assessment as part of standards-based education reform." They review state efforts to implement alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities, with a focus on Massachusetts' solution.

Source: Education Policy Analysis Archives

In this video webcast, Dr. Karen Blankenship discusses the importance of using a combination of assessments: Functional Vision Assessment (FVA), Learning Media Assessment (LMA) and the Expanded Core Curriculum when assessing students with visual impairments.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding specific visual conditions are composed and periodically reviewed by pediatric ophthalmologists and certified orthoptists from the Public Information Committee of AAPOS. For questions or suggestions regarding FAQs please contact us. Some terms are available in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

Source: American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)

Short videos that give brief overviews about assistive technology in FSDB classrooms, showing how and why the devices support learning. Includes the Braille Notetaker, interactive whiteboards, and Mountbatten braille writer.

Child-driven assessment techniques for working with children who are congenitally deafblind. The author discusses the importance of knowing about the development of vision and hearing skills and possible implications of clinical findings.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services

Chapter from an online book; includes definitions, factors that affect functional vision, a list of eight areas for assessment, and much more.

Source: Low Vision Online

Lists the seven functions that comprise the spectrum of visual functioning.

Source: Scottish Sensory Centre

An explanation of the functional field of vision test, with definitions of terms.

Source: Lea-Test

Darick Wright explains the essential components of a functional vision assessment and illustrates them with specific examples. The workshop materials are listed along with other assessment tools and include PDFs of a slideshow, handouts, and evaluation tools.

Source: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (British Columbia)

Darick Wright, Coordinator of New England Eye Clinic, offers a multimedia overview of the essential components of a functional vision assessment. Includes printable assessment worksheets.

Source: SET-BC (Special Education Technology-British Columbia)

A quick outline of the components of an assessment and their importance. Also available in Spanish.

Source: FamilyConnectfamilyconnec

A fact sheet on functional assessment for children with deafblindness by Dr. Irene L. Troper.

Source: Colorado Department of Education; Colorado Services to Children with Deafblindness

Darick Wright explains the essential components of a functional vision assessment and illustrates them with specific examples. For handouts, visit

Source: Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired