Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child/student qualify for vision services?

Program criteria requires a documented vision impairment and an educational, communication, or a social need. We use the BVI criteria checklist.

What is the "BVI criteria" my child must meet to qualify?

VI Eligibility



Blind or Visually Impaired (B/VI) means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the environment to the extent that special education instruction and related services may be needed. A multidisciplinary team shall determine that a student is eligible as being Blind or Visually Impaired (B/VI) and in need of special education and related services when the student meets one of the criteria in item A AND  one of the criteria in item B.



(For complete information regarding these disability requirements, refer to Minnesota Rule 3525.1345.  Effective: 11/26/2001, Revised: 3/13/2008.)





A. The student file must include documentation of visual impairment by a licensed eye specialist in

at LEAST ONE of the following:

1. Visual acuity of 20/60 or less in better eye with best conventional correction estimation of acuity for difficult to test students. For pre-kindergarten, measured acuity must be significantly deviant from what is developmentally age-appropriate.

2. Visual field of 20 degrees or less or bilateral scotomas.

3. Congenital or degenerative condition (e.g., progressive cataract, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa).



B. The student file must include AT LEAST ONE functional evaluation of visual abilities



At least one area must be evaluated by a teacher of the visually impaired.

1. Limited ability in accessing program appropriate educational media without modifications.

2. Limited ability to access a full range of program appropriate materials or media without accommodating actions (changes in posture, body movement, squinting, focal distance, etc.)

3. Variable visual ability due to environmental factors that can't be controlled, such as contrast, color, movement, or weather.

4. Reduced or variable visual ability due to visual fatigue or eye condition factors.

How is a child referred for vision services?

Usually a child is identified through the Universal Newborn Screening Process completed at the hospital before the baby is released. If the child fails the initial screening and the follow-up vision recheck, the hospital or clinic refers the child for special education.

If my child was not identified at birth as having a vision impairment, how do I know if there is a problem?

A child with vision loss might:

  • close or cover one eye
  • squint the eyes or frown
  • complain that things are blurry or hard to see
  •  have trouble reading or doing other close-up work
  • hold objects close to eyes in order to see. 
  • blink more than usual or seem cranky when doing close-up work (such as looking at books).
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15770 18th St. NE
Little Falls, MN 56345

Ph: (320) 631-2500
Fax: (320) 6323981

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