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Expert Q&A

Does a child with vision impairments need to be placed in a special education setting?

I have twin daughters that are in second grade. Both have a vision impairment called nystagmus. Both of my children see 20/40. One of my girls can see just about everything but has a little trouble seeing things written on the board. Because of this they are wanting to put both my children in special ed., and the teacher is harassing me to sign them into the special ed. program. Is there anything that I can do?

There are a wide variety of assistive technology systems and/or accommodations that can help students with vision impairments and may be sufficient to allow your daughters to function well in a regular education classroom. Unless there are important educational reasons for either of them to be in a special education class, difficulty seeing the black board does not seem like a reasonable basis for that recommendation.

You should ask for an assistive technology evaluation to help identify visual aides that could be used in the classroom, along with accommodations, such as having the teacher provide your daughters paper copies of what is being written on the board or other means to allow them to see what is being done.

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