The Student Data Program plays an important role for Texas. In January each year, two important counts are made related to students with visual impairments and deafblindness for the Texas Education Agency by this program. These are known respectively as the VI Registration and the Deafblind Child Count.
Information is gathered about every student in Texas identified as having a visual impairment or deafblindness who is enrolled in a public, private or charter school on a specific date. The kinds of information that is gather includes information about the degree and cause of the visual impairment, age of the child, location of the school and type of program where the child or student receives his/her education, whether or not the child uses braille or large print and other information.
This student information is completely confidential. However, summary demographic data is used for long-term planning and identifying trends and issues for students with visual impairments and deafblindness at Texas Education Agency, the twenty Education Service Centers, DARS-Division of Blind Services, and Outreach Programs. Other agencies and organizations may request specific information to help them advocate for services for individuals with visual impairments and deafblindness at all age levels.
Additionally the number of students counted each year on the VI Registration generates funds based on the number of students who are legally blind. These funds are used to purchase materials from the American Printing House for the Blind for local districts through the APH Materials Loan Program. Last year approximately 1.5 million dollars flowed to Texas and down to local districts to help pay for the specialized materials needed by students who are visually impaired and deafblind.
2015 VI Registration: Important Changes and Reminders
- Students must have their new TSDS unique identification number entered for 2015. Their previous numbers will be permanently replaced in the data storage with the new ID for 2015. After 2015, the TSDS Unique ID will be the identification of record. Children birth-three may still use the last 4 digits of their social if there is no TX ID.
- Identification of students with a visual impairment under Section 504 is the responsibility of the District 504 Coordinator. It is not the responsibility of the TVI, since they are not providing services to these students.
- The Superintendent's signatures will be collected electronically for the first time. At the end of the registration period, they will be notified by email that their page is open and given a password to access their district data. Once notified, they will have a five-day window to click on a box certifying their district's information. No paperwork will need to be submitted!
- We will no longer require visual acuity details, but will use MDB (meets the definition of blindness), FDB (functions at the definition of blindness) or NLB (not legally blind.) These are the terms that the American Printing House for the Blind has established for determining entitlements for Federal Quota funds.
- The language question changed last year, but a reminder to note the language used in instruction, not necessarily the language spoken by the child at home.
- Reading media requires a grade level. There is a drop down for the media used and the grade level media used.
Consent for Release of Confidential Information (English version)
Consentimiento para Divulgar Información Confidencial (Spanish version)
Changes in the 2015 Deafblind Child Count
- Ten-digit TSDS unique identification number is required for each child.
- Children birth-three may still use the last 4 digits of their social if there is no TX ID.
- Superintendent's signatures will be collected electronically. They will be notified of a date when their page is open, click on a box and it will be done.
- A space for parent email addresses has been added.
Contact Sue Enoch, Demographics Program Coordinator