Vision Services

Baltimore County Public Schools utilize an itinerant model for delivery of services. Services are intended for students with visual impairments ages birth through 21 including students with multiple disabilities and are provided by a Maryland State Department of Education certified teacher of the visually impaired. The level of instruction is determined after a review of medical records and assessments by the school team.

Who is eligible for services of the teacher of the visually impaired?
Blindness or visual impairment, as defined by Maryland House Bill 859 (1992) is:
  • A visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses or a limited field of vision so that the widest angle of the visual field is 20 degrees or less.
  • A medically indicated expectation of visual deterioration.
  • A medically diagnosed limitation in visual functioning that restricts the student's ability to read and write standard print at levels expected of other students of comparable ability and grade level.
The child's eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) is considered the "qualified examiner" in determining a visual impairment. The parent/guardian will be asked to provide a written report from the eye doctor. The report should include the eye condition, corrected visual acuity, and the prognosis of the visual impairment.
What are direct and indirect school vision services?
Indirect vision services are services to school teams on behalf of a student. These services may include, but are not limited to:
  • Explaining how a child's visual impairment will affect school performance.
  • Adapting educational materials.
  • Referring a student for other special service consultations.
  • Helping to set realistic and appropriate expectations for the student's performance.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of modifications and accommodations carried out by school personnel.
  • Supplying educational materials in the appropriate medium, such as Braille, large print or audiotape.
Direct services are provided directly to the student. These services may include, but are not limited to, instruction in the areas of:
  • Reading and writing in Braille, including the literary code and Nemeth code (math).
  • Utilizing low vision aids such as magnifiers, closed circuit televisions, and telescopes.
  • Developing tactile skills for functional and pre-braille instruction.
  • Managing daily living skills needed to develop independence.
  • Utilizing appropriate assistive technology.
What is Orientation and Mobility training?
Orientation and Mobility training (O&M) is instruction in travel skills designed to allow blind and visually impaired individuals to travel in safely and independently. The level of instruction is determined after the completion of an evaluation of the students O&M skills. Instruction is provided by a teacher trained specifically in this area.
How can I find out more about vision services in Baltimore County Public Schools?
If your child attends a Baltimore County Public School, contact your child's teacher, school administrator, or the Vision Program Team Leader.

If your child is birth to three years old, contact Baltimore County Infants & Toddlers Program at 443-809-2169.

 If your child is between three and 21 years old and does not attend a Baltimore County Public School, contact the Office of Child Find at 443-809-3017.