A referral for services from the RI Vision Education and Services Program originates with the
district special education office at the request of a parent, teacher, or administrator.
The district is responsible for obtaining an Ophthalmologist report, which includes a visual diagnosis
To be eligible for assessment and evaluation, a child must meet the definition of visually impaired.
In addition, a student who has a condition that is expected to deteriorate and result in significant
loss of visual functioning will be eligible for evaluation. A physician or ophthalmologist must verify
Once eligibility is verified, the district must submit a request for assessment and/or services.
Districts are asked to designate a liaison responsible for gathering information, scheduling assessment
visits, arranging for a testing area, etc.
The items needed for a referral are:
Ophthalmologic report that verifies the visual condition (within three years)
Permission to release information
Medical information including medications
Reports from most recent evaluations (OT, PT, SLP, Educational, Psychological, etc.)
Reason for referral
Upon receipt of the referral packet, a representative from RIVESP will contact the district.
If eligible for services, a completion timeline will be determined. The start date of the evaluation
will be determined by availability of certified Teachers of Children with Visual Impairments (TVI) and/or
certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS). Every effort will be made to complete the evaluation
within the mandated time frame. If the appropriate personnel are not available to complete the assessment,
the Special Education Director will be notified. LEAs retain responsibility to provide services and are
required to utilize all available resources to provide these services.
For more information, contact:
RI Vision Education and Services Program
Sherlock Center on Disabilities
Rhode Island College
600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908-1991
(401) 456-8072 (voice)
(401) 456-8919 (fax)
(401) 456-8773 (TDD)