Ms. Jungersen

Ms. Jungersen

434-528-6499 #29245
Classes Taught: 
Vision Services

What is a vision specialist?
A vision specialist, or teacher of the visually impaired, is a credentialed teacher who holds a special credential in vision impairment in addition to having a standard teaching credential. A vision specialist is trained to work with visually impaired students from preschool through grade 12.

What does the vision specialist do?

The vision specialist:

  • Provides Braille instruction to both blind and low vision students.
  • Provides adaptive equipment: Braille materials, large print books, light boxes, magnifiers, lap desks, computer programs, and other aides to help a visually impaired child function in the classroom.
  • Consults with classroom teachers and staff regarding student progress and special needs and makes necessary adaptations of classroom materials.
  • Provides Nine Week tests and SOL's in Braille or large print.
  • Provides direct services to younger or multiply handicapped students in visual tracking and scanning, object localization, and color shape identification so they use their functional vision to the best of their ability.
  • Provides parents with information about the state low vision clinic, and other resources.
  • Attends IEP meetings and develops vision goals and objectives.
  • Contacts ophthalmologists for updated eye reports on each visually impaired student.
  • Gives presentations (by teacher request) to classes about Braille or low vision.
  • Arranges for Orientation and Mobility services to be given by an O&M instructor.

A vision specialist does not test visual acuity or make any kind of medical diagnosis!

How does a student qualify for vision services?

To be considered legally blind, the child must have a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye after correction and/or less than 20 degrees of field vision is measured by a licensed eye specialist. If measured vision is better than 20/200 acuity and 30 degree field vision, there must be a chronic eye condition or function loss of vision identified by a qualified specialist that does not allow the student to function well without special modification in programs of the public schools.

Vision impairment includes cortical vision impairment (the eye is normal but the brain does not process with the eyes seen) but not visual perception problems.

Testing and Referral

There are no standardized tests for visual impairment. Even students with identical eye conditions or acuity may function very differently. An ophthalmologist's report stating the diagnosis and description of the student's visual problem and indicating cause, acuity, and field of vision are necessary for diagnosis and classification.

To refer a student for vision services, attach a copy of the eye report to the referral, or assigned parental release of information form for the vision specialist to send to the ophthalmologist. Do not refer students whose vision would be normal if they wear prescription lenses.

Since there are no standardized tests, the vision specialist relies on information vision checklists and functional vision assessments to provide information for the three-year reevaluation. It is also necessary to have an updated eye report every three years for continuing services.

For more information click on the boxes below.

American Foundation for the Blind                     Braille Bug                     Parent Checklist

What Families Need to Know

The goal of all education is to prepare students to participate in society, and for most people, vision is fundamental to learning. But what happens when a child has a visual impairment? Limitations on the ability to receive information from the world around us can have far-reaching effects, including an impact on a child's ability to understand concepts, learn language, move about freely with confidence, and develop in a variety of ways. For this reason, the families and teachers of children with visual impairments use alternative means and strategies for teaching them to read, write, interact socially, and perform various daily tasks.

Currently, nearly 94,000 children in the United States who are blind or visually impaired are being helped by some form of special education. These students are an extremely diverse group ranging from infants to young adults through age 21.

The nature and degree of their visual impairments are equally diverse, as are the ways they adapt to their vision loss. Some students have other disabilities in addition to visual impairment. Their level of academic functioning spans a great range. And in every way they are as disparate as any other group of individuals in terms of ethnic and racial background, religion, geographic location, and income. Given this diversity, it is important to remember that each child needs to be viewed as an individual with unique needs.

Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees visually impaired students a "free and appropriate public education," children who are blind or visually impaired still face many challenges educationally. There is a worsening shortage of personnel who are trained to teach children with visual impairments, and in addition many of these children receive their textbooks and learning materials late if they get them at all. AFB is committed to addressing these critical issues on the local, state, and national level. Follow the links to the right to get information, get help, or get involved.