"Vision Screening" is the process or system used to identify children in Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grades who may be at risk of having or developing visual problems that may adversely affect their ability to acquire knowledge, skill or learning. The process is for the purpose of recommending further evaluation by an eye care professional. A vision screening is NOT the equivalent of a comprehensive eye exam.
Oklahoma Vision Screening Resources
Oklahoma Vision Screening Act, 70 O.S. §1210.284
Vision Screening Rules, Title 310, Chapter 531
This legislation and subsequent rules focus on increasing the number of elementary school age children receiving a vision screening by qualified vision screeners.
What grades are affected by this legislation?
- Children entering kindergarten, first grade, and third grade in Oklahoma public schools.
What are the 2020 Legislative Changes for Vision Screening at school?
- Removal of Snellen chart for screenings
- Addition of Lea Numbers screening chart
- Addition of Sloan Letters screening chart
- Addition for children under 72 months of age, language that states a photoscreener may be used to meet screening requirements, with approved training.
- Addition of a process for new vision screening tools to be added, once determined by the Department to be a comparably effective and efficient screening tool.
- Removed the Random Dot E Stereoacuity test from being required.
- Removal of Vision Screening Trainer of Trainers requirement for those training trainers of screeners.
What tools can be used for vision screenings?
Approved for ages 3, 4, 5, & 6:
- LEA SYMBOLS® and/or HOTV wall chart or MASS Vat LEA SYMBOLS® and/or HOTV flip charts (including lines from 10/40 to 10/8), photoscreeners (see below)
Approved for 6 years and up:
- Sloan Letters or LEA NUMBERS®
What photo Screeners can be used and at what age?
- Allyn Spot™ Vision Screener
- Welch Allyn SureSight® Vision Screener – Version 2.25
- Plusoptix S12C
- Righton Retinomax
- All may be used up to 72 months of age.
Can photoscreeners be used on other grades besides the 1st and 3rd grades?
- The only grades mandated for screening are Kindergarten, 1st, and 3rd grades with the recommendation to use approved/appropriate tools.
Who can be screened with the photo screeners?
- Following the list of approved tools, the only students that can be screened with photoscreeners are Kindergarteners or students up to age 72 months. You may not use a photo screener on the 1st and 3rd graders to meet the requirements of this legislation unless they are under 72 months of age.
Can we use Dixie Cups, stickers, paper towels, or cut out paper shapes for vision screenings?
- It is no longer recommended to use Dixie Cups or small disposable cups, tissues, stickers or paper. However, to reduce COVID-19 risk, disposable items may be used as an exception at this time.
When is the vision screening due?
- Proof of vision screening for kindergarten is to be completed during the previous twelve months or during the school year.
- Proof of vision screening for first grade is to be completed during the previous twelve months and presented to the school within thirty days of starting school.
- Proof of vision screening for third grade is to be completed during the previous twelve months and presented to the school within thirty days of starting school.
What is the purpose of the vision screen?
- The purpose of vision screening is to measure distance acuity and refer for a professional eye exam if necessary. Children who have difficulties with their vision may face challenges in reading and learning activities, if those difficulties go untreated.
How do I know that the vision screener is qualified?
- The Oklahoma State Department of Health maintains an updated list of qualified vision screeners on their website. Qualified vision screeners remain on the list from the date of approval for a period of 3 years from the date of training or renewal of training.
What determines a qualified vision screener?
- Individuals must complete acceptable training that included basic anatomy and physiology of the eye, common eye problems, the screening process, how to use the required screening tools, and the how to screen special populations. Renewal of qualified vision screener status requires completion of the above training every three years. Approval is required from the Vision Screening Committee.
Who determines acceptable training?
- The Vision Screening Committee, comprised of members from the Maternal and Child Health Service at Oklahoma State Department of Health, staff from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and an Oklahoma-licensed pediatrician, review training to assure it meets standards.
How do I know if a vision screening trainer is qualified?
- A trainer of vision screeners is a person who has been approved as a vision screening provider and vision screening trainer. They have completed additional training approved by the Vision Screening Committee to be a trainer of vision screening providers. This training is renewed every three years and the trainer must also maintain their vision screening provider status every three years as well
How will I notify the school of my child’s vision screen?
- The Oklahoma State Department of Education and/or your local school can provide you with needed forms.
Where can I find information on training or the forms needed to administer vision screening at my school?
- Training sign-up may be found here.
- Examples of forms may be found below.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology-The Eye M.D. Association
- American Optometric Association
- Education World, Executive Headquarters
- KidsHealth (search: vision)
- National Eye Institute
- Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology
- Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians
- Oklahoma Lions Service Foundation (OLSF)
- Oklahoma State Department of Education
- Prevent Blindness America
- House Bill 1462 (amendments Section 1, Chapter 160, modifying duties for board members)
- Senate Bill 964 (2009 changes to the vision screening law)
- Senate Bill 1795 (vision screening time frames for certain students)
- "Vision Screening for Kids"
- Vision USA™
Gayle Black, BSN, RN, School Health Coordinator
Phone: (405) 426-8082
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Child and Adolescent Health Division
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 426-8085