• What is a Visual Impairment?
    The State of Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education defines a visual impairment as the following: 

    R 340.1708 Visual impairment explained; determination.

    Rule 8.

    (1) A visual impairment shall be determined through the manifestation of both of the following:

    (a) A visual impairment which, even with correction, interferes with development or which adversely affects educational performance. Visual impairment includes both partial sight and blindness.

    (b) One or more of the following:

    (i) A central visual acuity for near or far point vision of 20/70 or less in the better eye after routine refractive correction.

    (ii) A peripheral field of vision restricted to not more than 20 degrees.

    (iii) A diagnosed progressively deteriorating eye condition.


    (2) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a full and individual evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include an ophthalmologist or optometrist.


    (3) If a student cannot be tested accurately for acuity, then functional visual assessments conducted by a teacher certified in visual impairment may be used in addition to the medical evaluation for determination of impairment.


    (4) For students with visual impairment who have a visual acuity of 20/200 or less after routine refractive correction, or who have a peripheral field of vision restricted to not more than 20 degrees, an evaluation by an orientation and mobility specialist shall be conducted. The orientation and mobility specialist shall also include in the report a set of recommended procedures to be used by a mobility specialist or a teacher of students with visual impairment in conducting orientation and mobility training activities.