Registering a Student with PRCVI

Step 1 - Review Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for registration with PRCVI, a student must be enrolled in a public school district or a Group I or II independent school in the Province of British Columbia.

PRCVI follows British Columbia Ministry of Education and Child Care eligibility criteria for visual impairment as outlined in the Special Education Policy Manual

Visual impairment is a generic term that covers a range of difficulties with vision and includes the following categories: blind, legally blind, partially sighted, low vision, and cortically visually impaired.

For educational purposes, a student with visual impairment is one whose visual acuity is not sufficient for the student to participate with ease in everyday activities. The impairment interferes with optimal learning and achievement and can result in a substantial educational disadvantage, unless adaptations are made in the methods of presenting learning opportunities, the nature of the materials used and/or the learning environment. It is not intended to include students described as having visual perceptual difficulties unless they also have a vision loss as described below. 

To be eligible for supplemental funding as a student with a visual impairment, the following conditions must be met:

In the opinion of an:

The student's functioning may be described by one of the following:

  • a visual acuity of 6/21 (20/70) or less in the better eye after correction;
  • a visual field of 20 degrees or less;
  • any progressive eye disease with a prognosis of becoming one of the above in the next few years; or
  • a visual problem or related visual stamina that is not correctable and that results in the student functioning as if his or her visual acuity is limited to 6/21 (20/70) or less. 

Step 2 - Complete the Referral Form

If a student's visual functioning is documented by one of the vision health professionals listed above as meeting one of these criteria, please complete the PRCVI Referral for Eligibility of Vision Resources Form (PDF). The form is also available in Word format and in additional languages:

Special thanks to our colleagues in the Surrey School Board for translating these forms and making them available to PRCVI. 

This form has two parts:

Part 1  - Referral for Eligibility of Vision Resources gathers information on the student, his or her visual condition and visual functioning, and on the individual submitting the registration form. Part 1 can be completed by a professional with knowledge of the student and with the permission of the parent/guardian. Part 1 is also where the student's parent/guardian affirms that they consent to the registration form and supporting clinical report being released to PRCVI, the student's school district or independent school, and the incoming teacher of students with visual impairments. PRCVI cannot proceed with the registration (i.e., contact the incoming teacher or school district/independent school) without a signature from the parent/guardian. In addition, this signature to affirm consent must be witnessed and dated. Forms without a witness signature will be returned. 

Part 2 - Certificate of Eligibility for Vision Resources contains the student's school and district information, grade, Personal Education Number (PEN), etc. Part 2 also contains information on the teacher of students with visual impairments connected with the student. Finally, Part 2 requires a signature from the administrator of learning services or designate at the school district or independent school. Please note - the administrator certifying the referral must supervise the work of itinerant teachers. School principals or vice principals cannot certify a referral to PRCVI unless they are also the administrator of itinerant services for students with visual impairments. 

Step 3 - Verify Supporting Documentation

All referrals submitted to PRCVI must be accompanied by a clinical report from one of the vision health professionals listed above. The clinical report must clearly document the student's visual functioning and indicate that her/his visual functioning meets one or more of the criteria in the BC Ministry of Education and Child Care eligibility criteria for visual impairment

While not typically used for initial registration with PRCVI, reports from the Children's Low Vision Project of BC can be used to update student information on file or to confirm registration status. 

Referrals that are not accompanied by supporting documentation will not be considered and will be returned. 

Clinical reports must be no more than two years old from the date of submission to PRCVI. If a clinical report dated within the last two years is not available at the time of registration, the student's parent/guardian and/or TSVI can ask the vision health professional to complete the PRCVI Provisional Checklist for Eligibility for Services. When completed by the vision health professional and submitted with the student's registration, this checklist can be used provisionally in place of a clinical report. If the checklist indicates that the student meets qualification criteria in the opinion of the examiner, the student may be granted conditional registration with PRCVI until a formal clinical report is available. Upon receipt of the formal clinical report, PRCVI can transfer the student to full registration status.  

Please note: PRCVI does not accept clinical notes or functional vision assessments in lieu of a formal report from the vision health professional. 

*****IMPORTANT***** If a student's vision is described as meeting the functional criterion only:

  • a visual problem or related visual stamina that is not correctable and that results in the student functioning as if his or her visual acuity is limited to 6/21 (20/70) or less. 

the clinical report from the vision health professional must clearly state that the student functions as if they meet the stated criteria for visual impairment and will benefit from the support of an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments.  

Step 4 - Submit to PRCVI

Completed forms can be emailed to or faxed to (604) 261-0778. Please note: Email attachments with large file sizes may not be delivered. Please ask for confirmation of receipt if sending email attachments with large file sizes.

Registration materials and clinical reports can also be mailed to:

The Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI)
#106 - 1750 West 75th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C.
V6P 6G2

The referrer will be contacted by a PRCVI Outreach Coordinator within 1-2 school days to follow up on the referral. 

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