Children's Vision: Causes of Visual Impairments, Assessment and Learning Environments

Presented on 24 November 2009

Assessment of Children's Vision

Lesley Reid
Teacher of Visual Impairment Inverclyde

Why do teachers of the visually impaired need to assess vision?

Differences between clinical and functional vision assessment?

Notes: At home, in school, testing in non-clinical conditions as this is what real life is like. Clinical assessments look at thresholds and parameters of visual function, more quantitative, functional more qualitative

While an optometric or ophthalmological exam in and eye doctor's office can yield vital information about the student's eye condition, the results may not be readily transferable to another setting.

Unless care is taken to observe the student's visual performance in real-life environments where lighting and contrast cannot always be controlled, a true picture of a student's functional vision cannot be obtained.
(Anthony, 2000, p32)

Taking a History

Notes: In transitions may also seek input from educational psychologist for social and emotional component


Notes: because TVI only there part time and may miss something, best to timetable yourself for whole of half day observation if possible

What to look for

Notes: Obvious - DOB, stage, other agencies involved

Next step - Choosing Tests

choosing tests

Keeler Cards

keeler cards

Cardiff Cards

cardiff cards

Kay Pictures

kay pictures

Sheridan Gardner

sheridan gardner

Cardiff Cards

cardiff cards

Cambridge Crowding Cards

cambridge crowding cards





Near Visual Acuity

near acuity

Recording Snellen

(As with all tests, remember to record whether or not glasses worn during test.)
Notes: Can record parts of a line, eg; 6/12+2. Also record any particular behaviours, eg; AHP

Scoring log MAR

Other useful tests

Advantages of logMAR vs Snellen

Extra resources

Recording and reporting

May find it helpful to have proforma prepared in advance

What to include in a functional vision report (from Goodman and Wittenstein, 2003):

Notes: Proformas help keep you on track if child is anxious or you're using unfamiliar equipment.

Additional information (from history and observation) 


Goodman, SA and Wittenstein, SH (2003) Collaborative Assessment, Working with Students who are Blind of Visually Impaired including those with Additional Difficulties. AFB Press, New York

Rowe, F (2004) Clinical Orthoptics. Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Vision for the Future: a framework for minimum standards in visual impairment education (1995) The Scottish National Steering Committee for the Provision of Educational Standards for Children and Young People with Visual Impairment, RNIB