Students with visual disorders/not acuity

Learning-related visual disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following disorders; ocular motility dysfunction/eye movement disorders, vergence dysfunction/inefficiency in using both eyes together, strabismus/misalignment of the eyes, amblyopia/lazy eye, accommodative disorders/focusing problems, visual sensory disorders, and motor integration. Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of these disabilities must be qualified to do so and have expertise in assessing the needs of adult learners. The qualified professional in this field is licensed to practice as an optometrist and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. The diagnostician must be impartial and not a family member.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Accessibility Resource Services Office in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes:

  •  A clear statement of the learning-related visual disability with supporting numerical description (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student, and the student's request for accommodations). Documentation must reflect the current impact the disability has on the student's functioning,
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores,
  • Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis,
  • Medical information relating to the student's needs, the status of the individual's vision (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program,
  • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities that might be helpful in understanding the student's profile including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy, (if appropriate),
  • A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities, and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Accessibility Resource Services Office collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.

**These guidelines are not meant to be used exclusively or as a replacement for direct communication with the Accessibility Resource Services Office regarding the individual nature of a disability. While submitted documentation meeting the above guidelines may be acceptable to SUNY Oswego, it is important to be aware that they may/may not meet the documentation guidelines required in other academic or testing organizations (e.g., special certifications, board examinations, standardized tests for admission to graduate schools, law schools, etc.)

All documentation should be sent to:

Dr. Starr L. Wheeler, Coordinator
Disability Support Services
SUNY Oswego
155 Marano Campus Center
Oswego, NY 13126

Source: The Policy Book, LRP Publications, 2000