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

November 2020

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                                                                                                        Family and Community Engagement Centers
Independent Living Centers
New York State Commission for the Blind
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 PDF document

American Printing House 2020-2021 Registration Form  PDF document

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 individuals.  Annual registration of eligible individuals determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota 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 individuals who are legally blind and newly enrolled in your school/agency by January 1, 2021.  Please do not re-register an individual if he/she was previously registered by you or another school/agency unless the individual is new to your school/agency prior to January 1, 2021. If you are unsure about an individual’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:

There is no chronological age limit for eligibility. In order to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program individuals must meet the following requirements:

Infants/Preschoolers

  • Must be born by the first Monday in January to be registered in the census of the same year and be enrolled in a formally organized, regularly scheduled educational or training program and have a written education plan.  An individualized family service plan (IFSP) or any other written plan may be used.  They can be registered with a note from their pediatrician, or any eye care specialist, stating they meet the definition of blindness since an actual acuity is impossible to obtain at this age.  Once the individual turns three, a new, official eye report from their eye care specialist, (optometrist/ophthalmologist) must be obtained with acuities to determine if they meet the definition of blindness, or from their neurologist if they function at the definition of blindness due to a brain injury.  Parent permissions are also required for this age group.

Adult/School Aged Individuals (for these purposes, an adult is an individual 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.
  • Be enrolled in a formally organized educational program of less than college level.
  • School-aged individuals must be enrolled with the registering school/agency on the first Monday in January.
  • Adult individuals must be enrolled in instructional programs, at less than college level, for 20 hours per week. Social and leisure programs do not qualify as instruction. However, practice to develop skills can be included in instructional hours.  Adult individuals must be 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 2020-21 Registration Form for Individuals Classified as Legally Blind must be completed and received no later than March 1, 2021. The per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by APH is contingent on appropriate registration of eligible individuals. It is important that the following information be completed on the registration form:

  • Level of Visual Functionality Codes (i.e., MDB or FDB)
  • Grade codes as described below:
  • IP – Infants: Children of preschool age served by infant programs.
  • PS – Preschool: Children of preschool age served by preschool programs.
  • KG – Kindergarten: Children enrolled in kindergarten classes.
  • 01-12 – 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: School age, as determined by State law, who are working to acquire skills necessary for placement in a regular grade.
  • FC – Functional Curriculum: Grades 01–12 working toward a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential.
  • TR – Transition: School age, as determined by State law, in secondary instructional programs designed to supplement the traditional academic curriculum. Could include individuals in post-graduate programs at less than college level.
  • OR – Other Registrants: School age, as determined by State law, who do not fall into any of the above placements (e.g., individuals enrolled in classes for nonacademic individuals).
  • AD – All individuals above the State’s age/grade limitation for high school.

Maintenance of Records:

The following documents must be kept on file by the school/agency in the event an audit is conducted, and evidence of the individual's educational program or visual acuity is required:

  • A written education plan for each individual registered that verifies the individual is in a formally organized educational program. This verification may be an individualized education program, a Section 504 Accommodation Plan or any other written action plan.
  • A current eye report by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist must be on file where the individual is enrolled. (A report from a neurologist, etc., is acceptable for individuals 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 individuals with proven nonchanging eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos or other conditions determined immutable.

Per Education Law 2-d, registration forms cannot be emailed due to data security.  Completed registration forms must be faxed or mailed to:

  • Individuals in New York City, forms must be mailed to:  Educational Vision Services, Attn:  Jeannine Hobbes, 400 First Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10010 or Faxed (718) 706-4554.  You can reach Jeannine at JHobbes@schools.nyc.gov or (917) 256-4259 with questions.
  • Individuals 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/agencies including those in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, registration forms should be mailed to: New York State Resource Center for the Visually Impaired – APH, 2A Richmond Avenue, Batavia, New York 14020 or Faxed to (585) 343-0652.  You can reach Lisa DeSantis at Lisa.DeSantis@nysed.gov or (585) 343-5384 ext. 207 with questions.

Once an individual is approved for APH materials, schools/agencies need to assign the responsibility of ordering materials to one person who can also act as a contact between the school/agency and the NYSRCVI to track the orders and use of the school/agency’s total allotment.  All orders should be faxed to the NYSRCVI at (585) 343-0652.  Materials acquired with Federal Quota Program 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 when ordering 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 New York State Resource Center for the Visually Impaired website.

Please Note: Obtaining instructional materials in alternative formats is a process that requires sufficient lead time and clear and timely communication among school/agency personnel.  Orders should be placed as soon as possible so individuals 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 the American Printing House website.
     

 

 

Last Updated: November 10, 2020