Future Reflections                                                                                      Summer/Fall, 2002

(back) (next) (contents)

IEP Services Checklist
for Parents of Blind Children

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230
(410) 659-9314 ext. 360
www.nfb.org/nopbc. htm

 The following checklist is a tool to help parents who want to make sure that their child receives the special education and related services listed in their IEP. The law requires that the number of hours of service be listed on your child’s IEP; however, the name and contact information for the service provider and the schedule for services are not normally listed on the IEP. This checklist can help you keep all that information together in one place.

Notice that the checklist distinguishes two types of service hours. Direct hours are those hours of services given directly to your child. Indirect hours (sometimes called consultation) are those hours of services given to your child’s teachers or other service providers to help them with your child’s special needs.

You will need to review your child’s IEP, make a few phone calls, and/or visit your school, to get the information for this checklist. Please remember, however, that this checklist is only a management tool. It does not address the issue of quality of services or the appropriateness of services.

You may find that your IEP does not distinguish among the services provided by the teacher of the visually impaired (TVI); they may all be lumped together. On the plus side, this allows flexibility for the teacher to adjust instruction according to the needs and pace of the child. The down side is that it can present a problem in accountability, and instruction in some skills may fall by the wayside.

For example, let’s say your child’s IEP does not distinguish the number of hours dedicated to keyboarding instruction versus Braille reading/writing. If your child fails dismally to meet his or her keyboarding objectives for the year, who is accountable for your child’s failure? Were the total service hours listed in the IEP inadequate to meet your child’s instructional needs in both skills? Was the teacher poorly organized, or did she not have the skill needed to provide the appropriate instruction? Was your child not ready for keyboarding instruction? How can the problem be correctly analyzed if instruction time is not documented? A whole year of instruction time in an essential adaptive skill can be lost if the IEP is not specific.

If your team is reluctant to put into the IEP a break-down of the service hours from the TVI, ask that a note be put in the minutes about the distribution of time. If this doesn’t happen, get a verbal estimate from your team or TVI, then document it in a follow-up letter to the TVI with a copy to the school for your child’s file.

Some schools assign an IEP case manager. Many times the management of the IEP for blind/visually impaired children is assigned to the TVI. Sometimes it’s not clear who has responsibility for coordinating your child’s services. In any event, before or shortly after school starts, find out the name and phone number of the first person you need to call if problems arise with the provision of IEP services to your child. Also, it is helpful to have the name and number of an alternative person to call, preferably someone higher up in the chain of command, such as your school district’s Special Education Director.

When you make a phone call or, for that matter, write a letter or send an e-mail to any school personnel regarding your child, it is a good idea to keep a log of these contacts. A simple spiral notebook kept close to the phone works well. Make and keep copies of letters that you send to the school about your child and his/her special education services. Keep all materials together where you can find them. You don’t need an elaborate filing system—a box will do.

But back to the checklist. You will notice that it begins with a list of the common categories of services provided to blind/visually impaired children and progresses to a list of special services not specific to the blind. Please remember that your child may or may not require a particular service that is listed here. This checklist is designed to be a tool to help you organize information; it does not address what specific services should be provided to your child. The IEP team (which includes the parents) must make that decision.

Finally, the checklist refers to hours per week since most services are provided on a weekly basis. If your child receives a service on a monthly or yearly schedule, make a note of that on the checklist below: 

IEP Services Checklist
for Parents of Blind and Visually Impaired Children

Title used for IEP coordinator in my school:_______________________________

Name: _______________________Phone number: ________________________

E-mail:________________________Best time to call:_______________________

Special Education Director or other title:_________________________________________

Name: _______________________Phone number:_________________________

Total hours per week of all special education and related services:
Direct hours = _________  Indirect hours = _________

Braille reading and writing instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

Slate and Stylus instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: Braille writing with the Braille writer is typically incorporated with Braille reading instruction, see above. The slate and stylus is typically taught as a separate skill.

Braille Nemeth Math Code instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: Depending upon the quantity and complexity of math symbols introduced in a particular grade, Nemeth Code instruction hours may be listed separately or incorporated with Braille reading/writing instruction hours above.

Braille Music Code and/or Braille Foreign Language Code instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: This will obviously depend upon whether the student is in a music or foreign language class. Sometimes this instruction may be incorporated in the service hours for Braille reading/writing instruction.

Low vision aids instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: This includes the use of a variety of low-tech and high-tech optical devices. The devices may be used for academics and/or O&M.

Keyboarding/touch-typing instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: This should not be confused with computer or adaptive technology equipment instruction.

Computer instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: The need to use adapted equipment (see below) and techniques—such as using the keyboard instead of the mouse—may require that basic computer instruction in using the Internet, word processing, etc. be provided as a special education service.

Adaptive technology instruction.
NOTE: This will typically include one or more of the following electronic products for the blind/visually impaired:

• Electronic notetaker (BrailleNote, TypeLite, Braille ’n Speak, etc.),
• Synthesized speech program for computers (JAWS, WindowEyes)
• Braille translation program (Duxbury, Megadots)
• Braille embosser
• Refreshable Braille display for a PC (Alva displays, Braille Focus, etc.)
• Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)
• Screen enlarging program (ZoomText, MAGic)

1. Name of equipment/tool _______________________________________________
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

2. Name of equipment/tool________________________________________________ Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________Indirect hours = _______

3. Name of equipment/tool________________________________________________ Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

4. Name of equipment/tool________________________________________________ Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

5. Name of equipment/tool________________________________________________ Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

Orientation and Mobility Instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

Other Special Instruction
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: This may include instruction in listening skills, using a live reader, studying from books on tape, self-advocacy, ordering textbooks, study skills, organizational skills, etc.

Functional Life Skills
Total hours per week:  Direct hours = _________ Indirect hours = _______

NOTE: Also called Activities of Daily Living Skills (ADL) or Daily Living Skills (DLS).

Other Services

Speech/Language: _________hours per week/month
Physical Therapy: _________hours per week/month
Occupational Therapy: _________hours per week/month
Psychological Services: _________hours per week/month
Social Work Services: _________hours per week/month
Counseling: _________hours per week/month

Transportation—describe type of service (regular or special bus, pick-up and drop-off points and times, etc.) and person(s) to notify regarding changes or problems. ­­­­­­­

Instructional Assistant (other titles may be paraeducator, aide, etc.)– describe type and amount of aide support to be provided (one-on-one aide, classroom aide, aid/wrap-around service, Braille support/transcription, P.E. support, etc.)

Parent training—describe what type of training, how much, when, etc. (i.e. Braille instruction, 5-week course, 2 hours per week.)

Intervener for deaf-blind students—describe intensity of service:

Now that you have a checklist of “What” and “How much” (services and service hours) your child will get per his or her IEP, you are ready to list the Who, How, and When. That is, what’s the specific name of the person providing a specific service, how can you get in touch with him or her, and what is the specific schedule for the direct service hours. (There is no schedule, of course, for indirect or consultation hours).

Example

Service:   Orientation and Mobility, 2 hours per week
Name :    J. Walker, O&M instructor
Phone:   (999) 999-9999                E-mail:    Jwalker@OM.CANE
Schedule: 7:00 a.m. on Mondays (45 minutes), 2:20 p.m. on Thursday (1 hour, 15   minutes). Six times in the year—about every 5 weeks—instead of the schedule above, 2 hours in a community setting: Thursday, 12:30—2:30 p.m.                    

1. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

2. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

3. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

4. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

5. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

6. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

7. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

8. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

9. Service: __________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

10. Service: _________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

11. Service: _________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

12. Service: _________________________________________________
Name: _____________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________E-mail: __________________________
Schedule:___________________________________________________

(back) (next) (contents)