NMSBVI’s Low Vision Clinics offer an opportunity to identify infants, toddlers, and students around New Mexico (birth to 21 years) who may have vision impairment. The mobile clinic offers a special medical examination to determine whether assistive devices might help visual functioning. The clinics are provided at no cost to parents and school districts. Several clinics are offered in different parts of the state each year.
What is “Low Vision”?
Students who have a reduced level of visual functioning that interferes with their educational and day-to-day activities, but still have some degree of functionally useful vision, are typically referred to as having “low vision”.
Why be seen at a Low Vision Clinic?
to establish a baseline of acuity measurement and general visual functioning level (for very young or nonverbal children, it may be possible to use non-traditional methods to obtain a general indication of visual functioning and a prognosis of expected vision development
to help parents and teachers to better understand “how” he/she sees
to determine if there is refractive error (and a need for eyeglasses)
to provide information and assistance in determining appropriate learning media, literacy media and print size
to assess visual skills and determine if they may be a factor in concerns regarding other developmental areas
to determine if low vision devices, technology equipment or other adaptations and accommodations will enhance functioning and to assist educational team members with trial and/or acquisition of recommended devices, equipment, or strategies
to provide reevaluation to determine if visual function is improving, remaining stable, or otherwise changing (it is important that students return for follow-up visits as growth and maturation affects a student’s need)
to assess vision in terms of acquiring a learner’s permit of driver’s license when appropriate
to assess whether there is a need for other related services such as Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
the Low Vision Clinic Team includes professionals who are available to explore suggestions and possibly demonstrate some learning techniques and equipment
How is the Low Vision Clinic different from a regular eye exam?
a doctor of optometry with specialized training in working with students with low vision will measure how well the student sees
throughout the evaluation, the student’s family, medical personnel and a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment (TSVI) will confer
the assessment process includes:
the student and family’s goals
reading medium and speeds
What should I expect from a Low Vision Clinic?*
because the age and individual needs of each student determine the time needed, expect to spend one to three hours at the clinic
parents and the students TSVI are encouraged to accompany the student to the clinic and participate throughout the process
additional time will be needed depending on the follow-up trial with devices provided
a summary report of findings will be sent to the student’s parents and the student’s TVI (these results can be an essential component in the process of identifying the needs and outcomes for students with low vision)
follow-up services will be planned as appropriate (the Low Vision Clinic Coordinator and TSVIs provide follow-up training on recommended low vision devices)
assistive technology help is available at each clinic
if assistive technology is recommended, NMSBVI specialists can meet and provide additional input and recommendations
Considerations for a Child Who Has Multiple Disabilities
What is the referral process for a Low Vision Clinic Evaluation?
How does a child get registered for a Low Vision Clinic?
For additional information about the Low Vision Clinic or Low Vision Services, please contact: