This coming year, MDE-LIO will offer three opportunities to get involved with Blind/Visually Impaired (BVI) early childhood projects. These projects are not limited to teachers for the visually impaired; any staff providing service through their intermediate school district to students ages birth to 5 may participate. Take the Early Childhood Projects Survey if you'd like to be involved in any of the projects below.

Eligibility Determination Guidance Document

Beginning in fall 2023, participate in writing a guidance document for Michigan Mandated Special Education (MMSE) for BVI. This document will clarify the eligibility process to ensure consistent practice, compliance with education law and rules, best practices, and determination of eligibility. Similar guidelines were recently published for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, titled Determination of Eligibility for Michigan Mandatory Special Education for Infants and Toddlers, Birth to Age Three, Deaf or Hard of Hearing Guidance [PDF].

Babies Count

Babies Count is a national registry of young children (birth to 36 months) who are BVI. This registry partners with public and private agencies to collect standardized epidemiological and demographic data regarding children, their visual conditions, and systems that support them and their families. The plan for Michigan is to become involved in this registry. We will work with the Office of Early On Training and Technical Assistance (EOT&TA) beginning in winter 2024.

Training Using the Neonatal Assessment Visual European Grid (NAVEG) 

The Neonatal Assessment Visual European Grid (NAVEG) is a validated visual screening tool that indicates neurological risk for visual impairment. The NAVEG testing battery includes an ocular visual component, a motor visual component related to ocular motor functions, and a perceptual visual component. The NAVEG is a non-intrusive, functional vision screening protocol that identifies risk using a score of six and above that can be easily administered by trained non-medical personnel. 

MDE-LIO has an initial commitment to bring this training to Michigan for school personnel who work within their intermediate school district in some capacity. The training is not limited to teachers for the visually impaired, and persons in other areas of expertise can be trained. This three-part training will be held in August 2023 and will include two online trainings with an additional full day in-person training in Lansing. Participants will need to be committed to attending all of the trainings and then share the training with others in their area.

Want to Join?

Take the Early Childhood Projects Survey to let us know if you'd like to be involved in any of these projects.

Indicating your interest doesn’t fully commit you to any of the projects, but it lets us know that you would like more information. If you have questions, please email Johanna Brutvan at [email protected].