Students with blindness or visual impairments; evaluation of students, Braille instruction. (SB1477)

Introduced By

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Students with blindness or visual impairments. Makes several changes to provisions relating to students with blindness or visual impairments, including (i) requiring a learning media assessment (LMA) to be administered as part of the initial evaluation and each reevaluation of each student with blindness or visual impairments or more frequently, if such student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team so determines and requiring instruction in Braille reading and writing and accommodations for materials in Braille to be included in the IEP of a student with blindness or visual impairments commensurate with his IEP team's determination of his needs based upon the results of such LMA and (ii) requiring the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to assist the Board of Education and each local school board with ongoing professional development for teachers of students with blindness or visual impairments, including knowledge of and instruction in Braille and the administration and evaluation of LMAs. Amends § 22.1-217, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/17/2017Presented and ordered printed 17101836D
01/17/2017Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/25/2017Assigned Education sub: Public Education
01/26/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB1477)
02/02/2017Stricken at request of patron in Education and Health (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


julie kay writes:

I used to teach in Texas and it was required to do a learning media assessment there. It provides valuable information to better serve a student immediately instead of waiting to discover their needs. Please pass this bill!
Julie Kay
Instructor and former dean
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D. writes:

This bill ensures not only that students with visual impairments receive timely, appropriate learning media assessment, but also that these learning media assessments are good assessments, individualized to the students! It is essential that professional TVI's are involved in designing and conducting appropriate LMA's that take into account all of student's unique strengths and needs. Assessments to make such important decisions for our very unique students should never be one-size-fits-all, and (as with Functional Vision Assessments) Learning Media Assessments should be conducted/updated prior to any further special education eligibility assessments, to ensure that the professionals giving those additional assessments are using the appropriate accommodations and learning media! Please pass this bill!

- Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D.
Certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments