Vision Outreach Services

Wyoming Department of Education > For District Leadership > Special Education Programs > Vision Outreach Services

Contact Information

Vision Outreach Services Program Manager
Leslie Bechtel Van Orman
(307) 857-9267
leslie.vanorman@wyo.gov
Administrative Assistant
Jackie Miller
(307) 857-9268
jackie.miller@wyo.gov

Eligibility

In order to receive Vision Outreach Services, one of the following qualification factors must be present:

  • Visual acuity of 20/50 or less in the better eye with best possible correction
  • Visual field of 20 degrees or less
  • Evidence of progressive vision loss that may affect future ability to learn
  • Evidence of blindness due to an active disease process
  • Visual acuity may not be measurable, but the individual is functionally blind

Services

  • Support for individuals and family members to aid in the adjustment to sight loss
  • Customized trainings to meet the specific needs of individuals or agencies
  • Assistance with orientation and mobility
  • Educational presentations
  • Instruction in independent living and adaptive techniques
  • Instruction in reading and writing Braille, keyboarding and use of adaptive technology
  • Advice on high-tech equipment to assist in reading and other visually oriented tasks
  • Technical assistance for school personnel
  • Loan of low vision aids and instruction in their use
  • Referral to other agencies and services
  • Access to special projects and resources

American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Quota Fund

The Federal Act to Promote the education of the blind was established by Congress in 1879. This act is a means for providing adapted educational materials to eligible students who meet the definition of blindness. An annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota accounts, which are maintained and administered by APH and its ex officio trustees throughout the country.

Lending Library

The Lending Library provides videos and books on deaf- blindness, visual impairments, Braille, life skills, communication, adjusting to loss of vision, eye conditions, mobility, and much more. Materials are available to Wyoming agencies, educators, families or clients in Wyoming as part of the Wyoming Deaf-Blind Project.

Talking Books

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, administers this free program that loans recorded, large print and braille books and magazines, and specially designed playback equipment to residents of the United States who are unable to read or use standard print materials because of learning disability, a visual impairment or physical limitations. This program is available through all of the regional offices of Services for the Visually Impaired. Talking Books Application.

The Wyoming Deaf-Blind Project

The mission of the Wyoming Deaf-Blind Project is to ensure that all students in Wyoming who are deaf-blind receive the appropriate support and tools needed to enable them to achieve improved outcomes in school and go on to become contributing members of their community by providing technical assistance, resources and training to educators, service providers and families.

Next Step Assessment Clinic

The Next Step Assessment Clinic offers a transdisciplinary, play-based assessment designed to address areas of concern identified by the school and family. Information from the Next Step Clinic can be used to validate existing programming, identify areas of need, offer recommendations, resources and strategies for educational programming.

Educational assessment teams may include an Autism Specialist, Assistive Technology Professional, Deaf-Blind Educator, Occupational Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Physical Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Teacher of the Deaf, Teacher for Students with Visual Impairments, Special Education Teacher or School Psychologist. In addition, students may see an Audiologist, Optometrist, or Mealtime Management/Nutrition Team. Family members and school personnel are encouraged to participate during assessments. A written report is provided to the family and educational agency following the assessment. The WDE Deaf-Blind Project hosts the Next Step Assessment Clinic twice a year.

Next Step Assessment Clinic Application Form

Montgomery Trust Fund for the Blind

Roy Montgomery left a portion of his estate to the State of Wyoming for the purpose of alleviating the condition of the visually impaired in order that their lives be made more productive, pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable. Interest from the trust is used each year to fund grant applications for adaptive equipment and specialized training. In order to qualify for funding, the trust must be the last source of funding available and the individual or group applying must be a client of WDE Vision Outreach Services and meet the qualifications and requirements of the Montgomery Trust Fund Review Board.

Additional Resources