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Functional vision assessment:
What to consider
Proyash Institute of Special Education and Research
Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP)
What is a functional vision assessment?
Functional vision assessments is to make people use their
They are normally done in school /home.
Why do a functional vision assessment?
We cannot tell how much a child sees from looking at
their eyes: some children's vision is also affected by
cerebral vision impairment (CVI), attention, epilepsy &
An assessment can help to ensure that a child makes most
of sight they have. By observing the child in daily routine,
adjustments can be made as per need.
FVA will influence: –
• teaching approaches
• choice of learning materials.
Assessment of children with CVI is a lengthy process,
more easily carried out at home or school than in a
Aim of FVA:
The aim of a functional vision assessment should be
to supplement clinical findings, and identify
appropriate learning conditions to effectively
address the child's needs.
What does an assessment investigate?
• ability to recognise objects, pictures, shapes,
• perception of movement
• figure-ground discrimination
• depth perception
• how visual attention is affected
• capacity to "look and listen", or "look and do".
4 major areas to assess:
1. Communication (eye contact, expression, object’s
size/distance/color, gesture, visual signs, auditory, vocal
language, tactile information)
2. Near vision related activities
3. Activities of daily living
4. Orientation and mobility
Steps of FVA:
• Visual acuity and visual field
• Observe the use of visual task
• Identify color contrast or which color
• Shape of different objects
• Walking by avoiding barriers on way
• Identify pictures
• Identify differences in picture
• Identify incomplete pictures and complete
• Eye hand coordination
Before starting FVA:
1. Length of time: several visits
2. Routine : Children with complex needs tend to have a busy routine
- various therapies, medical procedures, personal care, assisted
a) Epilepsy and medication can affect wakefulness and cause
significant fluctuations in vision.
b) Cerebral palsy often causes acute discomfort , reduced motor
control. Visual responses will vary according to positioning in terms
of comfort, head control and other visual access. It should be
possible to see the impact of these factors on the child's visual
attention during classroom observation.
c) Environmental factors - assessment report on how a child sees in
his normal living environment.