What does "visual impairment" encompass?Free K-12 online school for blind and visually impaired students in Wisconsin

A visual impairment is any issue with vision that interferes with a student’s academics. For an official definition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines it as “an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.” Signs a child may have a visual impairment
  • Eyes don’t move together or appear unfocused
  • Frequent rubbing of eyes or covering one eye
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Holding a book close to the face or sitting unusually close to a TV screen or computer monitor
Visual impairment can range from near-sightedness and far-sightedness to conditions such as congenital cataracts, strabismus (misaligned or crossed eyes), amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and, at the extreme end of the spectrum, blindness. To determine if a student is eligible for special education services, a specially trained teacher has to assess the extent that the visual impairment affects the student’s ability to learn and what type of classroom accommodations they’ll need.