Achievement tests are individually given tests that measure a student's academic skills and knowledge. We have multiple assessment kits that provide standard scores in traditional areas such as Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Test results may help identify strengths and weaknesses, which are important when addressing the educational needs of students with sensory loss.
Adaptive Behavior Tests:
An adaptive behavior test will attempt to measure a child's abilities to perform more functional behaviors. The tests focus on Daily Living skills, Socialization skills, and Communication skills. They typically do not involve a direct testing session with the student. Instead, they involve families and/or educators (anyone familiar with the child) answering a few pages of questions. Once completed, these tests provide scores that compare the child's behavior to their same-age peers.
For children under the age of 8 years, these tests measure global development and not just academic knowledge. Instead of focusing on Achievement (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic), Developmental Scales typically test Motor skills, Social/Emotional development, Adaptive (self-help) skills, and Language development.
Eligibility & IEP Meetings:
If parents/guardians request it, Outreach Providers may attend formal Special Education meetings. We may offer content suggestions or guidance before the meeting. We will only speak on test results that we have given, student behaviors that we've observed, or recommendations that we've made in our written reports.
Upon receiving an Outreach referral, one of the first things we do is ask for copies of the student's Special Education Eligibility report and current IEP (Individualized Education Plan). We also try to obtain Opthalmological records. Depending on a student's unique needs, we may also request certain medical records, therapy notes, etc. To be most effective, we try to empower ourselves with as much knowledge about the student as possible.
A Functional Vision Assessment (FVA) supplements the results of the clinical eye exam with descriptions of the student's observable behaviors that may relate to vision. It identifies how the student's vision impacts their education and the student's range of visual function. Results explain how much usable vision a student has to perform visual tasks, confirms the absence of vision, and presents recommendations on how to modify instruction for the student. FVAs can be provided by any Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI).
Our Providers can administer IQ tests. They are uniquely qualified to understand how hearing and/or vision loss can affect a student's ability to participate in such testing. They are very thorough and provide the families and schools with a detailed report of these results.
To get a complete picture of a student's needs, we often want to interview the student's family, teachers, therapists, or even the child themselves. Sometimes it takes a new person's perspective to objectively review the situation.
A Learning Media Assessment (LMA) helps determine what kinds of literacy and functional learning materials are appropriate as educators plan to provide support, accommodations and/or modification which may increase the student's accessibility to public education. LMAs can be provided by any Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI).
Observing a student is a crucial tool we use to identify unique challenges to students with sensory loss. With our experience and knowledge, we're able to recognize issues that may impact the student's educational performance.
An Orientation and Mobility Assessment (O&M Assessment) helps determine the impact of a student's vision loss on their ability to travel in and around the educational environment safely, efficiently, and independently. The O&M Assessment results will provide ways to improve travel skills and enable students in their environment. O&M Assessments can only be provided by Certified Orientation & Mobility Instructors (COMS).
With parental/guardian permission, Outreach can provide some services virtually. We've had to adapt to COVID-19 issues, which means sometimes using Zoom, GoogleMeet, and similar video-conferencing platforms. To date, we've used these to conduct interviews, consultation, observations, participation in meetings, and administration of certain tests.
After completing our services, Outreach typically provides a report of observations and/or test results. The information goes to both the student's family and the school, and includes recommendations to address any issues that were noted. Recommendations are simply suggestions for the families and schools.