Eligibility for Special Education under designation of Visual Impairment
The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) define eligibility for special education services within thirteen categories of disability.
R 340.1702 Student with a disability defined.
Rule 2. “Student with a disability” means a person who is determined by an individualized education program team or a hearing officer to have 1 or more of the impairments specified in this part that necessitates special education or related services, or both, who is not more than 25 years of age as of September 1 of the school year of enrollment, who has not completed a normal course of study, and who has not graduated from high school. A student who reaches the age of 26 years after September 1 is a “student with a disability” and entitled to continue a special education program or service until the end of that school year.
R 340.1708 Visual Impairment explained; determination.
Rule 8. (1) “Visual impairment including blindness,” means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes partial sight, blindness, and a progressively deteriorating eye condition.
(2) A determination of eligibility must be based on a full and individual evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which must include all of the following:
(a) An eye report by an ophthalmologist or optometrist or a medical evaluation by a physician as that term is defined in article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.
(b) A functional vision assessment by a teacher of students with visual impairment.
(c) A learning media assessment by a teacher of students with visual impairment.
(3) A certified orientation and mobility specialist shall conduct an orientation and mobility evaluation that complies with subrule (4) of this rule for a student who satisfies at least 1 of the following:
(a) A visual acuity of 20/200 or less after routine refractive correction.
(b) A peripheral field of vision restricted to 20 degrees or less.
(c) A visual acuity of 20/200 or more and a recommendation by a teacher of students with visual impairment, an ophthalmologist, or an optometrist after an evaluation.
(4) The certified orientation and mobility specialist shall conduct the evaluation in familiar and unfamiliar settings and under a variety of lighting and terrain conditions and shall take into consideration the individual needs of the student.
(c) Definitions of disability terms. The terms used in this definition of a child with a disability are defined as follows:
(13) Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.