Children who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind will benefit from a comprehensive evaluation conducted by experts at Perkins School for the Blind. We understand their unique learning needs and our independent evaluations can help their educational team better understand these needs, too.
Our independent evaluations can provide insight into your child’s educational programming needs. Formally evaluating a child’s strengths and needs allows teachers and parents to develop individualized education programs that provide the best learning experiences for each student. Our experts can assess a specific area of development, such as cognition, communication, motor or vision-related compensatory skills or provide a comprehensive evaluation in several areas. This approach allows evaluations to be customized. Perkins’ assessment areas include:
Complete a Perkins evaluation form. Choose the form that’s most appropriate for your child based on his/her age and diagnosis. The CVI Educational Assessment can be requested in addition to another evaluation, as well.
1. Submit form
Please submit an online Evaluation Application Form, located below.
In addition, please gather all educational, clinical, related services and medical records pertaining to your child. Refer to the Required Paperwork Checklist for all necessary application materials.
Once your completed application is received, Perkins’ evaluation team will review the submitted materials and student profile. Next, the team will determine if they can provide an appropriate, meaningful evaluation for your student that will address your questions and concerns. Then, you will be contacted with feedback and recommendations.
3. On-campus evaluation
The length of the on-campus evaluation will vary per student, based on the number of evaluation areas and the student’s level of participation. The student will work individually with evaluators – and parents may also participate in interviews. After direct assessment, evaluators meet to exchange information regarding evaluation results and recommendations. After this meeting you will receive initial feedback via a phone call and will then receive a written report approximately eight weeks later.
Thank you for visiting the Independent Evaluations webpage…
We are currently placing a hold on accepting any new applications due to a significant waitlist. This hold does not affect our ongoing CVI Evaluations, Clinical Low Vision Evaluations through the New England Eye Clinic at Perkins or Itinerant Services and Evaluations through Community Programs, please see the links below for more information.
If you are interested in being notified when applications for Independent Evaluations reopen, please sign up using the button below.
TheNew England Eye Low Vision Clinic at Perkinsoffers excellence in clinical eye care, support and training for optimal use of functional vision within a caring, compassionate environment focused on each patient’s individual needs.
Contact Carol Bernazaniin the clinic via phone: 617-972-7296. Office hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30am-4:30pm. The clinic is closed on Fridays.
The Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Educational Assessment can be requested for students from early childhood through adult transition (up to 22 years old) including those with ocular visual impairments, hearing loss and multiple disabilities.
Independent Evaluations at Perkins are either district funded or parent pay, we do not accept insurance.
What is a CVI Assessment?
A Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) Educational Assessment is a functional vision assessment that looks at the student’s use of vision as it relates to the visual behaviors of CVI. The student’s visual attention and recognition are evaluated in relation to potential supports and barriers to access. Compensatory skills, such as the use of alternative senses and adaptive strategies to gain access to learning are also evaluated. In some cases, a CVI Educational Assessment may serve as support documentation for medical providers in the pursuit of a diagnosis.
Who conducts a CVI Assessment?
CVI Educational Assessments, like all functional vision assessments, are conducted by licensed Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI). At Perkins, the evaluators consist of licensed TVIs who have specialized training and experience in the unique needs of students with CVI. Students who have a dual-sensory impairment, will be evaluated by licensed TVIs who also have specialized training in the implications of deafblindness.
What can I expect in my child’s CVI Assessment report?
The final report consists of thorough documentation of the outcome of assessment procedures (purpose of assessment, medical history, file review, interview(s), video observation, and direct assessment). Recommendations are provided based on the cumulative findings of the assessment process. These recommendations will include general recommendations, areas of ongoing assessment needs, integrated compensatory skills use, accommodations, and teaching methodologies.
All Perkins CVI Assessment reports will recommend that the student receive a comprehensive Learning Media Assessment (LMA) by a licensed TVI following the CVI Assessment. The impact of CVI, as documented within the CVI Assessment, is the cornerstone for the next step in the assessment process as it outlines all the multitude of ways that CVI can impact an individual with CVI. This comprehensive look at the specific brain based visual difficulties should be considered across the LMA process. The LMA is a legally required evaluation for students with visual impairments and is mandated to be completed by the TVI on the educational team serving the student. This mandate is outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Learning Media Assessment focuses on the identification of learning media needs among other areas of learning needs. It is a separate process that is not part of the Perkins CVI Educational Assessment.
What should occur as a result of the CVI Assessment?
It is recommended that the assessment results be shared with your child’s educational team for the carryover of recommendations geared at increasing access to learning. The recommendations are based on baseline findings and are meant to be incorporated into the student’s educational programming and modified over time as it relates to the student’s needs. The assessment is meant to deepen and broaden understanding of the child’s access needs essential for learning access. In some situations, it can broaden the team’s understanding of CVI.
we’re here for you
Perkins has offered independent educational assessments for children with visual impairments and deafblindness for more than 30 years.
Perkins is proud of our reputation as an educational leader of the visually impaired. We’re also proud of our proven track record of providing thorough, effective evaluation services for more than 30 years, which includes:
A team of experts in visual impairment who work daily with children like yours
Timely, objective and comprehensive evaluations
Thorough, customized reports with specific recommendations
Follow-up consulting and progress monitoring
Formally evaluating a child’s strengths and needs allows teachers and parents to develop individualized education programs that provide the best learning experiences for each student. Our experts can assess a specific area of development, such as cognition, communication, motor or vision-related compensatory skills, or provide a comprehensive evaluation in several areas. This approach allows evaluations to be customized.
If you are not sure which form is appropriate or if you would like to have a Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Educational Assessment in addition to another evaluation, please contact us for more information.
The evaluation takes one to two days to complete on the Perkins campus.
We use a team approach, which includes teachers and related service professionals who work directly with the students enrolled in one of our on-campus programs. Our evaluation teams have unparalleled knowledge of and experience with students who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities.
After the evaluation is completed, Perkins will provide a comprehensive evaluation report with recommendations for the student’s educational program and community environment.
Perkins’ assessment areas include:
Speech and language, communication
Orientation and mobility
Functional low vision
Expanded Core Curriculum areas and more
No. All children and young adults, ages 3-21, who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities, are eligible for evaluation services at Perkins.
As the parent of a son or daughter with special needs, you have the right to an independent educational evaluation for your child, as allowed under the federal special education law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You can read detailed descriptions of your parental rights in “A Parent’s Guide to Special Education,” a free online publication produced by the Massachusetts Department of Education and The Federation for Children with Special Needs. If you reside outside of Massachusetts, the Center for Parent Information and Resources has a helpful guide. In addition, our staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your parental safeguards.
Yes! We offer independent post-evaluation consulting to provide additional input and strategies for your child. This service is designed to help you clearly understand your child’s strengths and challenges, customize strategies and techniques for further success and analyze areas of concern to develop additional intervention and progress monitoring.