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Visual/Hearing Impairment IEP

Lisa M. Nance
Grand Canyon University: SPE-358
March 9, 2014

Visual/Hearing Impairment IEP
Children with physical or health impairments struggle with their everyday life just trying
to do the simplest tasks. Their situation becomes more complicated when a visual impairment is
added. Visual impairments can be acquired at birth or later on in life. The range of vision can be
from mild to completely blind. The children must be given opportunities as other students with
modifications to help them be successful. Teachers need every chance to be provided with the
proper training to understand the needs of the children. Not all visual impairments are caused by
a defect in the eyes. It can be an issue with the brain such as Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI).
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is needed for a 12 year old female student with a
neurological disorder and CVI which was present from birth.
Cortical Visual Impairment may be defined as bilaterally diminished visual acuity caused
by damage to the occipital lobes and or to the geniculostriate visual pathway (aph, 2012). Within
the neurological disorder, the student suffers from encephlomyopathy, seizures and cerebral
palsy. The student as an infant was able to watch a ceiling fan with their eyes rapidly moving
trying to keep up. She would recognize the color red more often than other colors. It took a
period of time before she would react to quickly flashing an object into her face for a threat
reaction. It still is not consistent as well as eye contact with other people. Through a series of
assessments, it was determined that there is nothing wrong with the structure of her eyes. She
does not seek out an object visually only through touch or auditory sounds.
An overall medical assessment should be performed to determine specifics.
Ophthalmologists or optometrists play a key role in ruling out anterior pathway diseases, which
can coexist with CVI and require thorough ophthalmologic management (Baker-Nobles, et al.,
2008). The assessment determines overall eye health, refractive error, ocular pathology,
measures acuity, visual fields, eye movement, color vision and sensitivity. A team is put together
to develop an IEP based on the information from the doctor. A functional vision assessment is
given in order to determine the impact of their education. There are many techniques teachers are
able to use. Determine the students form of communication, how they express and receive the
information. Give the student enough time to respond because if they do not have time to process
they may end up very frustrated. Being there is a neurological issue there could be damage to the
brain. Students with vision issues needs there space to be clutter free.
IEP goals and objectives are used to provide the information which guides the teacher.
One goal can be using assistive technology that will display different colors and sounds. Another
goal could be would be using use real objects to experience the tactile aspect. Infant toys are
wonderful because they display bright primary colors when music is playing. They also have
different tactile textures which is good for their sensory diet. The students touch sensors are
heightened due to the deficit in their sight. Students with physical and visual impairments have
many needs which need help. For educational purposes they will need support staff such as a one
on one paraprofessional, physical, occupational, speech and vision therapist. A vision therapist is
verse in the different aspects of vision. They are able to work with the student and teacher to help
develop strategies. The therapist could pull the student out of their class and work one on one
with the student. Many times they find it more beneficial to incorporate everything in the class.
They feel it allows the other students to be able to learn and be more beneficial as a peer buddies.
Parents do not know at first that the school system should not state they cannot provide
services because they do not have money. When school systems have to provide support services
it can cost then a lot of money. Even though for the most part they do want to provide what the
student needs, they have to look at the bottom line. It is up to the administration to allocate the
funds for the student. The various impairments a student can have can cause some school
personal to focus on one and not all. They feel that this could be a way to reduce the cost because
strategies can be combined. No matter what the student should receive everything that are
entitled to just as general education students.
Students with vision impairments can learn with their other senses. The vision deficit can
be caused by an injury to the eye or because of a neurological disorder. Even though many
strategies and techniques can be used for most impairment, the vision impairments have specific
ones that must be used. Teachers must understand they need to learn everything they can in order
to help their students. They have difficulty navigating through their life. We should be able to
help alleviate some of their struggles as much as possible.

What is CVI?. 2012. Why you child/students may have impaired vision:. American Printing
House for the Blind. Retrieved from http://www.aph.org/cvi/define.html
Baker-Nobles, et al. 2008. Statement on Cortical Visual Impairment. American Foundation for
the Blind. Retrieved from http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/eye-