Ophthalmologists are the primary professionals involved in the diagnosis and medical treatment of individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Optometrists provide information regarding the measurement of visual acuity, as well as tracking and fusion difficulties (including, but not limited to, eye movement disorders, inefficiency in using both eyes together, misalignment of the eyes, lazy eye, focusing problems, visual sensory disorders, and motor integration). Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development may also provide therapy in treating the above optometric conditions. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.
Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student, and the student's request for accommodations. The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations.
Recommended documentation includes:
- A clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description;
- A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results;
- Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis;
- Medical information relating to the student's needs and the status of the individual's vision (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program;
- Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities that might be helpful in understanding the student's profile, including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate);
- Suggestions of reasonable accommodations that might be appropriate at the postsecondary level. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.
Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if coexisting learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. Appropriate accommodations are collaboratively determined by the student and the Office of Disability Services of Adams State University.