University of Edinburgh

Vision for Doing

Assessing Functional Vision of Learners who are Multiply Disabled

Chapter 7 Assessing Vision for Doing

Section 18: Summary Chart


This short section is designed to provide you with a general profile of an individual learner's abilities. This allows you to refer to the appropriate suggestions for curricular development. Alternatively, you may use it as an 'at-a-glance' chart.

How to use

summary chart

Figure 7.18.1. presents in the form of a diagram what you will be doing with the Summary Chart. There are four steps to take:-

fig 7.18.1

Figure 7.18.1 Steps to take in obtaining suggestions for curriculum development

Step 1:

for each of Sections 1 to 17 in turn, make your observations. Record the results of your observations on the checklist at the beginning of each section. Then

Step 2:

transfer a summary of the checklist for each section to the corresponding row on the Summary Chart

(Row 1 = Section 1 and so on);

Step 3:

once the Summary Chart is complete, discover the 'highest' level of functioning;

Step 4:

using this 'level', collate suggestions for curricular development from each section.

Step 1: Making observations

For each section in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 you were invited to record the results of your observations. You do this on the checklist beginning each of Sections 1 to 17.

Step 2: Transferring results

As you complete each section, this is the time to transfer a summary of results to the corresponding row in the Summary Chart. Within each section you are given guidance on how to translate a summary of results to the Summary Chart. Each section has a corresponding row in the Summary Chart.

Row 1 = Section 1

Row 2 = Section 2 and so on

Each row is split into five columns. These relate to Awareness, Attending, Localising, Recognising and Understanding. (Chapter 3 explains the rationale for these five broad categories).

On the Summary Chart you simply put a tick into the box which is appropriate to your results. For example if your results for Section 4 suggest that the learner is only Aware of Sound, then find the row for Section 4, travel along it until you come to the box for Aware, and place a tick in the box. If, however, results suggested Localising, you would insert a tick under Awareness, Attending, and Localising. To guide you, information is provided in each section on how to interpret your results, and where to insert them in the Summary Chart.

Step 3: Discovering highest 'level'

(read this part after you have completed all of Sections 1 to 17).

We assume that you have now completed observations for all of the sections in Chapters 5, 6 and 7. There is one other thing to know about the Summary Chart. You will notice that some of the boxes of the chart are of a different shade. This is because for that particular section, any results you obtain cannot give you information as to the shaded part. You will see that for almost every section to do with visual assessment, you cannot tell more than that the learner is Localising. Indeed for several sections on visual assessment, the most you can infer is Attending. Of course, you might have other information which could tell you whether to tick a shaded box. For example, if a learner tells you the name of an object you would know she Recognises the object. Only if you have this additional information should you tick in a shaded box.

Now it becomes clear why you needed to assess use of 'The Other Senses'. For it is this part of the assessment that will help you discover if the learner is in fact functioning at a higher 'level' than you can tell by assessing only her vision. Look at your completed Summary Chart, find out what is the highest 'level' you recorded. Use that 'level' to collate suggestions. But only do this for vision, hearing and touch. Do not use smell and taste in order to determine the 'level' for curricular development! In the example given in Figure 7.18.1. we see that there are no boxes ticked above the 'level' of Localising.

Step 4: Collating suggestions

Now you are ready to bring together the curriculum development topics appropriate to this "level". You will recall that most sections in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 contained examples of suggestions for developing the learner's curriculum. The suggestions are sub-divided into those relevant to learners who are Aware, those who Attend, those who Localise, those who Recognise and those who Understand.

Having discovered from the Summary Chart the learner's 'level' (eg; Localising), you can then go back through each section, and pick out the suggestions relevant to that 'level'. Then apply these to the curriculum. If you find that this is too high a level, then simply drop down one and use the suggestions for this new 'level'. In the example given in Figure 7.18.1. you would collate suggestions to do with Localising.

Strengths as well as weaknesses:

A glance at your completed Summary Chart will show you three things:-

  • it will indicate a general level for your intervention;
  • second it will show you the limit of the learner's visual abilities;
  • third it will show you the optimum sense around which to concentrate your intervention.

Let us explore each of these in turn.

General level for intervention:

Not surprisingly, you may find that for different senses the Summary Chart shows different "levels" of ability:-


hearing = Attend

touch = Aware

vision = Localise

For the general level for intervention you should take the highest "level" among vision, hearing and touch. Collate suggestions for curriculum development around this "level". In the example given above you would collate suggestions from each section to do with Localising. If this is unsuccessful you can always drop down a "level". (Those interested in questioning our 'model' for intervention may want to read the accompanying text in the caption).

Limit of visual abilities:

Not surprisingly you may find some rows of the Summary Chart to be blank (tick not recorded). This tells you that at this point you have reached the limit for that learner's visual abilities. Where this is the case, curriculum suggestions in that particular section will probably be of little benefit. Be sure though to follow up the suggestions given on Mobility (Section 17).

And of course, as it is a cycle of assessment, you would want to come back another day and try again. Perhaps at that point your previous efforts will be rewarded and a new area of opportunities may be afforded to the learner.

Optimum sense:

This statement is simply to suggest that for the best chances of success you should concentrate on what the learner is best at. So if hearing shows the highest 'level', use this as a principal route for learning.

You will also have noticed that we have left out Smell and Taste from this comparison. That is because the most important routes for learning are Vision, Hearing and Touch. Of course you must not neglect Smell and Taste. That is why each section contains suggestions for curriculum development. Normally, we do not use our senses in isolation. It has only been done for the purposes of refining our own understanding of the learner. That after all is the purpose of assessment.