-Meet with families and team to clarify any questions, gather information and discuss any concerns.
-Explain how the clinic will work.
-Clarify where follow-up reports will be sent.
A Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) is an assessment that is done in order to gain a better understanding of how the student uses their vision in their everyday life. While an opthalmological assessment is important in order to determine how the student sees in optimal circumstances, the FVA will help to determine how the student sees in varying environments, where lighting, glare, fatigue, and/or time of day could all be factors that affect vision. The FVA is conducted by a teacher for the visually impaired and includes formal and informal testing in the following areas;
-Visual acuity - near and distance
-Light sensitivity and optimal lighting conditions
Based on this assessment, the teacher for the visually impaired can suggest modifications to the student's environment, instructional strategies and/or adaptions of the student's learning materials.
The Low Vision Clinic provides students with an opportunity to try a range of optical and non optical low vision aids for near viewing. The clinic inventory includes a range of magnifiers; task lights etc. and this equipment can be loaned to the student on clinic day at no cost. Each student will be assessed at the low vision aids centre by a clinic staff member. Input from the student, the student’s family and the student’s learning team is a vital component of the LVA evaluation.
Orientation and Mobility provides students who are visually impaired with the skills needed for safe, efficient, and independent travel in environments that are appropriate to their age and requirements.
An orientation and mobility assessment reviews the personal mobility needs of the student and the use of their vision within functional settings both indoors and outdoors. Low vision aids for distance viewing may also be assessed to determine the student's access to visual information and to provide strategies in the use of these devices.
Through a generous donation from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, portable medical eye examination equipment is available at the Travelling Low Vision Clinic. Clinic ophthalmologists and optometrists are able to provide a comprehensive eye health exam and make recommendations for eye glass prescription, future medical follow up or intervention, and report on the status of the eye health of the child or student.
Assistive technology can have a profound effect in terms of providing access to information for students who are visually impaired. Clinic staff provide a comprehensive look at what the student is currently using and what might be appropriate for future use, whether it is a hardware solution such as a CCTV, a piece of screen enlargement software or a recommendation for a learning resource, such as a title from the Digital Repository. Most of the hardware devices that are recommended during the clinic process are available on a loan basis from Alberta Education’s Learning Resources Centre. Clinic staff is happy to entertain questions from school staff about the use of any type of technology, be it specialized or mainstream.
Every low vision assessment concludes with a “wrap-up” session that is attended by several of the clinic staff who have been directly involved in the evaluation of the student’s vision. The “wrap-up” meeting provides an opportunity for the student, the student’s family, and the student’s learning team to meet briefly with the Low Vision team and share pertinent information as well as any follow-up recommendations that should be considered for the student.
A comprehensive report is provided subsequent to every student’s attendance at the Low Vision Clinic. This report summarizes the student’s low vision assessment and outlines adaptations and educational strategies that can be incorporated into the student’s school program.