PRCVI Caseload Analysis Process
Caseload Analysis is a process designed to provide school or district administration with a data-driven estimate of the TSVI service requirements for students with visual impairments enrolled in the independent school, distance/distributed school program, or school district.
Background to the Process
In order to meet the programming and service delivery objectives for students with visual impairments set out by the BC Ministry of Education in Special Education Services: A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines (2016), PRCVI has developed a process to inform the process of developing workloads for qualified Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVIs).
According to the Special Education Services manual, a student with a visual impairment is a learner whose profile includes an organic impairment of the brain's visual system resulting in a significant impairment of visual functioning that meets Ministry of Education qualification criteria for visual impairment and "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" (p. 74).
- There is great diversity in learning requirements and profiles among students with visual impairments. For example, nearly 50% of students registered with PRCVI are identified for supplemental special needs funding from a category other than Category E - Visual Impairment. The PRCVI Caseload Analysis Process is designed to provide an estimate of the service level requirements of all qualifying students enrolled by the school/program/district. The scope of the process is not intended to be solely determined by the Ministry of Education special needs funding category in which the student is claimed for supplemental funding.
Rationale of the Process
Given the diversity among students with visual impairments, it is important that service levels from the TSVI be personalized to the unique profile and access requirements of the learner. A further consideration in determining service levels relates to the predominant model of providing specialized service to students with visual impairments in British Columbia - the itinerant model of service delivery. TSVI serve students on an itinerant basis and as a result, have a number of unique factors that impact workload, such as geography (i.e., travel time between schools), writing specialized assessment reports, and consulting with medical professionals (e.g., ophthalmologists) regarding students' vision health.
The PRCVI Caseload Analysis Process starts by associating service level estimates with key features of the student's profile, such as:
- Functional use of vision and sensory efficiency (e.g., visual acuity, visual fields, contrast sensitivity)
- Transition status
- Learning media (print, braille, dual media)
- Instructional priorities in the Expanded Core Curriculum
Student service level estimates are then combined to generate an aggregate TSVI service level estimate for the school/program/district. Please note: The PRCVI Caseload Analysis process is currently designed to provide TSVI service level estimates and cannot be validly applied to the process of determining service levels from qualified Orientation and Mobility Specialists. For evidence-based tools for estimating O&M service levels, please see the Michigan Orientation & Mobility Severity Rating Scales (O&MSRS) or the O&M VISSIT: Orientation and Mobility Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas
Overview of the Process
The Caseload Analysis process is instigated by a formal request made to the PRCVI Program Manager from school, program, or district administration.
Once the request has been confirmed and tentative dates have been set, the PRCVI outreach team contacts the TSVI(s) working in the school, program, or district to make specific arrangements for the caseload analysis process. Depending on the number of students with visual impairments in the district, the process may require between 2-4 days to complete. It has five essential components:
- Initial Planning. PRCVI gathers information on the Caseload Analysis request from school/program/district administration and connects with TSVIs to review and plan for the process.
- Review of student files. Files include the most recent IEP and relevant medical reports on visual functioning. This is done collaboratively between the TSVI(s) and the PRCVI outreach team.
- Select site visits. During the file review, TSVI(s) indicate students whose service requirements are not adequately conveyed through documentation/reporting. The TSVI(s) and the PRCVI outreach team determine a schedule over the subsequent days to conduct site visits to gather more detailed information on student service requirements.
- Generate a Caseload Analysis report. Following the data collection phase of the process, the PRCVI outreach team generates a detailed report on the process, including service level estimates for individual students as well as an aggregate estimate given in Full-Time Equivalent (FTE).
- Administrative Debriefing. After submitting the Caseload Analysis report, the PRCVI Program Manager schedules a time to meet with the requesting administrator(s) to go through the final report and answer any questions or provide more information.
Results of the Process
Similar processes are used across Canada and the United States to generate data-driven estimates of TSVI service levels for students with visual impairments. Please see the links below for more information:
- Canadian National Standards for the Education of Children and Youth Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Including Those with Additional Disabilities (2017 update)
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Caseload Analysis Guidelines
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - VISSIT: Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas
- Michigan Department of Education, Low Incidence Outreach - Vision Services Severity Rating Scales (VSSRS)
- Quality Programs for Students with Visual Impairments (QPVI)
Emerson, R. W., & Anderson, D. (2014). Michigan severity rating scales: usage and validity. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 108, 151-156.
Munro, H. R., Darst, S., & Pogrund, R. L. (2017). Development and Initial Validation of the O&M VISSIT for Orientation and Mobility Specialists to Determine Service Intensity. International Journal of Orientation & Mobility, 9, 11-21.
Pogrund, R. L., Darst, S., & Munro, M. P. (2015). Initial validation study for a scale used to determine service intensity for itinerant teachers of students with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 109, 433-444.
Pogrund, R. L., Darst, S., & Munro, M. (2019). Determining Type and Amount of Service Delivery Time by Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments: Results of a National Validation Study of the VISSIT. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 113, 129-139.
Toelle, N. M., & Blankenship, K. E. (2008). Program accountability for students who are visually impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 102, 97-102.