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Cove students receive vision support from school district

Posted Date: 03/10/2023

Cove students receive vision support from school district

COPPERAS COVE, TX (February 21, 2023)—Copperas Cove High School sophomore Moises Mata-Chacon has trouble seeing objects at a distance, like on a whiteboard or blackboard. But, thanks to modifications provided by his teachers and the CCISD Special Education Department to accommodate his low vision, Mata-Chacon continues to excel in the classroom.

To support Mata-Chacon and other students with low vision, Copperas Cove ISD hosted a low vision clinic to evaluate how students are functioning visually in school and what adaptive equipment students may need to meet educational goals. 

“When you have low vision, it means that you have trouble seeing even while wearing glasses or contact lenses, and that your vision problem can't be corrected by taking medicine or having surgery,” said Diania Wendt, certified special education teacher of students with visual impairments.  

The CCISD Special Education Department partnered with Education Service Center Region 12, Texas Workforce Solutions: Vocational Rehabilitation Services Blind Transition Program, and Health and Human Services: Blind Children’s Program to be able to provide the low vision clinic at no cost to students and their parents.

“This service typically costs $300 to $400 if the families had to pay out of pocket,” Wendt said. “However, our partnerships with community organizations cover this expense for CCISD students so that they are able to be successful in the classroom.”

CCISD hired licensed ophthalmologist, Dr. Jennifer Wood, who specializes in low vision tools for educational purposes.

“I am able to prescribe and/or make recommendations for low vision equipment such as a video magnification device, touch screen laptop, monocular device for distance viewing, and biopics for driving,” Wood said. “I consider all equipment that can improve a student’s visual functioning in a classroom setting.” 

Wood also updates students’ eye glass prescriptions and discusses students’ individual needs for adding items such as transitions, tinting, or blue light filters, to help with photopia which includes light sensitivity and glare issues to their prescriptions. A low vision evaluation may indicate that a print medium may not be functional, and the student may need braille medium to be successful in the classroom.

Teachers also make accommodations in the classroom for students with low vision including seating changes, when needed, to help kids see whiteboards or learning materials. Extra lighting may be needed. Teachers ensure the classroom is easy to move through and free of obstacles. Students may need extra help moving around or reaching things. Students may need more time to travel between classes, complete assignments or activities, and take tests.