Integrated Program (B/LV)

Special Education Service Delivery Model in the OCDSB: A Guide for Parents Of Students With a Visual Impairment
The Ministry of Education defines the exceptionality of Blind/Low Vision as:
A condition of partial or total impairment of sight or vision that even with correction affects educational performance adversely
The OCDSB supports students in a variety of ways. The OCDSB Blind/Low Vision specialized service supports students who have been diagnosed with a visual impairment who, in addition to targeted Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions, would still benefit from support of an itinerant teacher of Blind/Low Vision. The itinerant teacher of Blind/Low Vision supports students at their school. Students are integrated into the mainstream to the greatest degree.
Here Is What We Do To Support Elementary Students who have a Visual Impairment (Tiered Intervention Approach)
There is no specific time requirement for each intervention; the length of time an intervention should be tried is dependent on the individual strengths and needs of the learner. Which interventions are tried also depend on the individual strengths and needs of the learner; there is no one-size that fits all.
School Based Support (Tiered Intervention) MAY include but not limited to:
· Classroom Teacher
· Learning Support Teacher
· Learning Resource Teacher
· Principal/Vice Principal
· Educational Assistant
· Early Childhood Educator
· ESL Teacher
· Multi-Disciplinary Team (Psychologist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Social Worker, etc.)
· Parent(s)/guardian(s)
Classroom based supports (Tier One Interventions) for students with a Visual Impairment in the regular classroom MAY include but not limited to:
· Identification of strengths and needs
· Classroom observation and tracking
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Classroom assessments
· Differentiation of instruction, environment and/or assessment (e.g. ability grouping, visual supports, use of assistive technology)
School based supports (Tier Two Interventions) for students with a Visual Impairment MAY include but not limited to:
· In-School Team Meeting Referral
· Targeted, precise specific instruction to adhere to need
· Development of Individual Education Plan (IEP)
· Educational Assessment
· Specific differentiated supports in place for areas of strength and need (e.g. alter tasks based on ability, social skills building activities, use of assistive technology, visual schedules, organizational skill building)
· Continued parent/guardian consultation
· Consultation with other departments (i.e. Curriculum Services, Business and Learning Technologies, Facilities and Planning)
Other school based supports (Tier Three Interventions) for students with a Visual Impairment MAY include but not limited to:
· Cognitive Assessment (WPPSI, WISC-IV/V,)
· Multi-Disciplinary Meeting, possible specialized program class referral
· Counseling (social emotional support as needed)
· Continued development of IEP
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Updated action plan (e.g. type of assessments used, possible SEA application)
Specialized Program: Blind/Low Vision
Specialized Support Available
Grades K – 12
Class Sizes
Grades K – 12 - students are supported by an itinerant teacher for Blind/Low Vision, at their school
Assessments, Documentation, and Student Profile for Referral
Physical Assessment
To ensure best practice, a current ophthalmological or optometry report from an optometrist or ophthalmologist is required.
Criteria: diagnosis of 70/20 or less in the best eye, with correction
Student Profile
Due to a visual impairment, the student requires specialized instruction and environmental accommodations. Students may require large print material and/or instruction in reading and writing Braille. Assistive technology may be required, such as text-to-speech programs, screen magnification, Braille translation, note takers, etc. The student may require class instructional material to be transcribed to Braille. The student may require orientation/mobility training for safe and independent travel around the school property and to/from school.
Social/Behavioural Profile
There may be social and/or behavioural factors that warrant being explained as part of a referral process. This information is helpful to provide a fulsome picture of the learner. These social/behavioural observations may be within the classroom and/or at home.
Additional Supporting Information
Additional information may be helpful in a referral process for Specialized Blind/Low Vision Services. This information may be relevant to the student’s needs and programming requirements. Additional supporting information may include information from a Social Work Assessment, anecdotal report from school/home/caregiver, Occupational/Physiotherapy Assessment, and/or an additional Speech/Language/Cognitive-Communication Assessment.
Specialized Program Referral Process
Referral Process for the Specialized Blind/Low Vision Services for OCDSB students:
· OCDSB referrals are coordinated through the multi-disciplinary team at your child’s school.
· All questions relating to this process can be directed to your child’s current school.
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year.
Referral Process for the Specialized Blind/Low Vision Services for non-OCDSB students:
· Parents/guardians should discuss a possible referral with the principal at their OCDSB community school.
· Please review OCDSB current criteria for our programs on the OCDSB website prior to requests for referral forms
· The referral documentation must be completed as a joint effort between parents/guardians, OCDSB community school, and child’s current school
Other Information Regarding Referral Process
· Parents participate in the referral process, their input is required as part of a referral form.
· Those students who meet criteria will receive specialized service from an Itinerant Teacher for Blind/Low Vision.
· Referrals may be submitted at any time throughout the year.
· Please note: further information about referrals can be provided through Learning Support Services (LSS) upon request.
Final Note:
We support learners in a variety of ways within the OCDSB in recognition that each learner has their individual needs; and that what works for one may not work for another within a similar profile.
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