Ophthalmic assessment tests often employed in a clinic setting can be used by vision educators to obtain important functional vision information of a young person with or without a diagnosed eye condition.
These tests can provide specific functional vision data for teachers when the young person is new to BLENNZ services or when a review of previous results is required. As educators of young people whose primary sensory channel is vision, we need the most current and pertinent medical results of the specific eye condition from an ophthalmologist and optometrist.
However, we also require the important functional vision information which affects visual accessibility across environments and tasks with the various materials that the young person will encounter and use to access the curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum.
Teachers can use these vision tests to glean from the testing procedures and results specific vision data such as print range, distance acuity and issues surrounding various levels of contrast and colour. In addition, the tests can be an avenue to observe the young person’s visual responses and behaviours such as the effects of clutter on visual functioning and the most appropriate presentation and proximity of materials. Lastly, these tests can be signposts for further in-depth observations, assessment and instruction.
Though important to maintain the integrity of the tests with consistent and correct testing procedures, as educators we not only want the ‘clinical’ results that these tests can provide but also we need to be able to interpret the results and the observed visual responses and behaviours during the testing procedures so that relevant recommendations can be made to assist the young person’s visual accessibility across settings, tasks and materials.
The educational implications derived from the results and observations from the various tests may be more beneficial to teachers than the purely ophthalmic/medical data that the tests provide. Educationally-relevant recommendations for effective and efficient strategies, adaptations and/or modifications can be developed based on the results and interpretations from the vision tests and the observations of the young person’s visual responses and behaviours while undergoing the tests.