The Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired Assessment Center is located on the LSVI campus. Pupil appraisal divisions of the parish and the city school systems throughout Louisiana call upon the Center to assist in the identification and assessment of students with visual impairments. The Center's multi-disciplinary team sees infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged students with various degrees of vision loss. Some students may also have developmental delays or additional disabilities.
The Assessment Center conducts functional vision assessments, which include interpretation of medical information about the student's eye condition and its educational implications, functional visual acuity estimates, the student's need for optical aids and assistive devices, learning/reading media, orientation and mobility skills (travel skills), and living skills. In conducting a formal visual assessment, the examiners address specific questions such as, "Which optical aids would enhance this student's vision?" "Should this student learn Braille?" Is he a safe visual traveler, or does he need training to learn basic cane skills?
In addition to functional vision assessments, the Center provides many other specialized assessment services, including development assessment, educational testing in print and Braille, psychological assessment, adaptive behavior assessment, motor assessment, etc. Based upon the needs of each student, assessment team members make specific recommendations to help meet those needs.
The Assessment Center provides information and technical assistance to local school systems in meeting the needs of students with visual impairments. The Center assists in conducting workshops for teachers, early interventionists, and pupil appraisal personnel on topics such as common causes of visual impairment and educational implications, classroom modifications, the reinforcement of orientation and mobility skills in the school setting, etc.
The Assessment Center has been a source of information to parents for many years. Upon request, Center staff help families get in touch with child search coordinators and service providers in their local areas. Literature with guidelines for enhancing the development of infants, toddlers and preschoolers with visual impairments is distributed to families in need.