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The burden of undetected vision problems
School vision screening often misses common vision issues such as visual acuity, farsightedness or whether a student has binocular vision. When issues are identified, vision care is often delayed or absent because of incomplete and time-consuming follow-up to parents. We've designed VERA's routine screening to consistently identify more common vision deficits, enable automated follow-up of unfulfilled vision referrals and to provide you with lists of students who aren't seeing well so you can accommodate them in class while reinforcing the vision referral to parents. You can even use VERA on your computer to screen students you suspect of having vision issues.

If you're an educational specialist, you know that an eye examination should always precede recommendations for learning support or special education. However, there are vision issues which may not be addressed during a routine eye examination but which affect reading and learning.

Students who pass a near visual acuity test can still have reading and learning issues because they can’t easily sustain clear vision for reading. These "visual efficiency" problems are based in control of not only eye tracking ability, but of focusing and eye teaming as well. Abnormal visual efficiency is associated with poor reading ability, comprehension, ADHD, dyslexia, and chronic behavioral issues. Undetected inefficient vision places a burden not only on students, but on teachers, special educators and occupational therapists needing to understand the components of student’s learning issues in order to best direct support. Instead of the small fraction of these students who are now identified during a chance encounter with a practitioner who tests for and treats these issues, you can identify the majority of these students.

Learn more about visual efficiency…

VERA Visual Screening for Educators

Visual efficiency screening protocol

  1. The student passes the routine screening or has recently had their visual acuity corrected with eyeglasses. This avoids false positives on the visual efficiency screening.
  2. Students are surveyed for behavioral characteristics of vision difficulties (a behavioral checklist accompanies the program).
  3. If characteristic behaviors are present, the visual efficiency screening is given. If the student fails the screening, a significant part of their learning difficulty has been identified.

Appropriate ages for the VERA screening
The VERA routine screening is intended for most subjects 5 and older. The visual efficiency screening is most appropriate for subjects age 7 through early 30’s, before which a normal developmental lag may be mistaken for visual inefficiency and after which a normal decrease in focusing ability may yield a false positive. VERA will prompt if a subject's age is inconsistent with the database and compare screening results to the closest age data available.

I’ve identified a student with inefficient vision; now what?
Depending on available school and home resources, consider some or all of the following::

  1. Confer with the student’s teachers, reading specialist and/or occupational therapist to inform them of what may have been an obscure difficulty. Teachers may rebalance instruction towards auditory and conceptual learning to enable initial success. Occupational therapists may wish to consult www.visionedseminars.com.

  2. Accommodate these students in class. The following is discussed in sections of the VERA “Educator and Occupational Therapist Guide” which is included with the program download to learn about:

    • create a general learning environment in which affected students can perform better
    • address specific associated classroom difficulties
    • include activities for visual enhancement
    • integrate visual exercises with classroom instruction

  • Involve parents in accommodating these students at home. The “Educator and Occupational Therapist Guide” also contains information for parents. Give them the option to locate nearby specialists who treat these vision issues by searching "College of Optometrists in Vision Development" and/or "American Optometric Association". Consider reaching out to these local practitioners yourself to be confident of any referral you make. If they are not already familiar with VERA, invite them to visit www.visualscreening.com

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