Special Education

Annual Registration of All New Students Classified as Legally Blind for Procurement of Adapted Educational Materials Produced by the American Printing House for the Blind

January 2018

SPECIAL EDUCATION FIELD ADVISORY

To: District Superintendents
Superintendents of Schools
Public School Administrators
Nonpublic School Administrators
Charter School Administrators
Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools
Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools
Directors of Approved Preschool Programs and Preschool Educators
Directors of Special Education
Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
Chairpersons of Committees on Special Education
Chairpersons of Committees on Preschool Special Education
Head Start Directors
Early Childhood Direction Centers
Independent Living Centers
CBVH Regional Offices
Others Involved with the Education of the Visually Impaired

From: Christopher Suriano, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Special Education

Subject: Annual Registration of All New Students Classified as Legally Blind for Procurement of Adapted Educational Materials Produced by the American Printing House for the Blind  PDF of Special Education Field Advisory and 2017-18 Registration Form PDF document

2017-18 Registration Form for Children Classified as Legally Blind  Microsoft Word Doc

The Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind was enacted by Congress in 1879.  This act is a means for providing adapted educational materials to eligible students who meet the definition of blindness.  The annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House (APH) for the Blind.  These funds are credited to Federal Quota Program accounts which are maintained and administered by APH and its Ex Officio Trustees throughout the country.  New York State’s fund administrator is located at the New York State Resource Center for the Visually Impaired (NYSRCVI) in Batavia, New York.

The annual registration form is for students who are legally blind and newly enrolled in your school/agency as of January 2, 2018.  Please do not re-register a student if the student has been previously registered by your school/agency or another school/agency unless the student is new to your school prior to January 2, 2018.  If you are unsure about a student’s registration status, please contact the NYSRCVI at (585) 343-5384, extension 207.  Your cooperation in designating one person for this process is appreciated and will help to eliminate duplication of registrations.

Eligibility Requirement:  In order for students to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the Definition of Blindness (*MDB) - central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees, or Function at the Definition of Blindness (*FDB) which is visual performance reduced by brain injury or dysfunction when visual function meets the definition of blindness as determined by an eye care specialist or neurologist.
  • Be enrolled in a formally organized educational program of less than college level. School-aged students must be enrolled with the registering school or agency on the first Monday in January.  Adult students must be registered for at least three months of instruction during the preceding calendar year (an accumulation of 12 weeks).

There is no chronological age limit for eligibility.  However, for adults to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following requirements (for these purposes, an adult is a student over school age as determined by State law):

  • Meet the Definition of Blindness (*MDB) - central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees, or Function at the Definition of Blindness (*FDB) which is visual performance reduced by brain injury or dysfunction when visual function meets the definition of blindness as determined by an eye care specialist or neurologist.
  • Are enrolled in instructional programs, at less than college level, for 20 hours per week.  Social and leisure programs do not qualify as instruction.  However, student practice to develop skills can be included in instructional hours.
  • Registered for at least three months of instruction during the preceding calendar year (an accumulation of 12 weeks).

Directions for Completing the Registration Form:

The attached 2017-18 Registration Form for Children Classified as Legally Blind must be completed and received no later than March 1, 2018.  The per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by APH is contingent on appropriate registration of eligible students.

It is important that the following information be completed on the registration form:

  • Level of Visual Fuctionality Codes (i.e., MDB or FDB)
  • Grade codes as described below:
 

IP- Infants:  Children of preschool age served by infant programs.

PS- Preschool Students:  Children of preschool age served by preschool programs.

KG- Kindergarten Students:  Children enrolled in kindergarten classes.

01-12- Students of School Age:  Determined by state law, in regular academic grades 1 through 12.  Please indicate grade placement by using numerals 01 through 12.

AN- Academic Nongraded:  Students of school age, as determined by State law, who are working to acquire skills necessary for placement in a regular grade.

FC- Functional Curriculum Students:  Students in Grades 01-12 working toward a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential

TR- Transition Students:  Students of school age, as determined by State law, in secondary instructional programs designed to supplement the traditional academic curriculum.  Could include students in post-graduate programs at less than college level.

OR- Other Registrants:  Students of school age, as determined by State law, who do not fall into any of the above placements (e.g., students enrolled in classes for nonacademic students).

AD- all students above the State's age/grade limitation for high school.

 

Maintenance of Records:

The following documents must be kept of file in the event an audit is conducted, and evidence of the student's educational program or visual acuity is required to be produced:

  • A written education plan for each student registered that verifies the student is in a formally organized educational program. This verification may be an individualized education program (IEP), a Section 504 Accommodations Plan or any other written action plan.
  • A current eye report by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist must be on file where the student is enrolled.  (A report from a neurologist, etc., is acceptable for students classified as 'Functions at the Definition of Blindness.') These reports must be within the last three years.  Exemptions from the current eye report requirement include:  students with proven nonchanging eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos, or other conditions determined immutable.

Send completed registration forms to:

  • For eligible students in public school programs in New York City, forms must be returned to:  Educational Vision Services, 400 First Avenue, New York, New York 10010, phone (917) 256-4228. 
  • Students enrolled at the New York State School for the Blind, Lavelle School for the Blind, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf Blind Youths and Adults, and the New York Institute for Special Education are registered through their own Ex-Officio Trustees and should NOT be sent to the NYSRCVI.
  • For all other schools, including those in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, registration forms should be returned by mail to: New York State Resource Center for the Visually Impaired – APH, 2A Richmond Avenue, Batavia, New York 14020 or FAX               (585) 343-0652 or email to Lisa.DeSantis@nysed.gov.

Once a student is approved for APH materials, it is recommended that schools/agencies assign the responsibility of ordering materials to one person who can also act as a liason between the school/agency and the NYSRCVI to track the orders and use of the school's/ agency’s total allotment.  All orders should be submitted to NYSRCVI.  Materials acquired with Federal Quota Funds are considered New York State property.  Any questions regarding procedures for ordering APH materials may be referred to NYSRCVI at the above address or by calling (585) 343-5384, ext. 207.  All requested information MUST be included or the order may be returned, causing a delay in the arrival of materials.  Forms for ordering books and materials can be found on the NYSRCVI website at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/nyssb/rc.html

Please Note: Obtaining instructional materials in alternative formats is a process that requires sufficient lead time and clear and timely communication between school/agency personnel.  Orders should be placed as soon as possible to ensure that students have access to their instructional materials in a timely manner.  It generally takes approximately three to four months for texts to be converted to large print.  It takes an average of three to six months for straight literary text (without mathematics, special symbols or graphics) to be converted to Braille.  Mathematics, music, science, social studies or other textbooks containing symbols, maps, graphs and other graphics take an average of six to nine months or longer to produce. For more detailed information about APH materials and registration visit www.aph.org.

 

Last Updated: January 22, 2018