Session of 1998
By Committee on Education
            9             AN ACT concerning pupils who are blind or visually impaired; requiring
10             a statewide study to assess the literacy of such pupils.
12       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
13           Section 1. (a) As used in this section:
14           (1) ``Blind pupils'' or ``visually impaired pupils'' means pupils who:
15           (A) Have a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best
16       possible conventional correction, or have a limited field of vision such
17       that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance not
18       greater than twenty degrees; or
19           (B) have a reasonable expectation of visual deterioration to the level
20       described in (A); or
21           (C) cannot read printed material at a competitive rate of speed and
22       with facility due to lack of visual acuity.
23           (2) ``Literacy'' means reading and written communication and com-
24       prehension of reading and written communication including, but not lim-
25       ited to, braille and large print;
26           (3) ``Pupil'' means any exceptional child who is eligible for special
27       education services for the blind or visually impaired.
28           (b) The state department of education shall conduct or cause to be
29       conducted a statewide study to assess the literacy of blind pupils and
30       visually impaired pupils on a grade-level basis and report the findings of
31       the study and any recommendations to improve literacy of blind pupils
32       and visually impaired pupils to the governor, senate education committee,
33       house education committee, and state board of education no later than
34       January 31, 1999. Such study, in the assessment of each pupil, shall in-
35       clude an assessment of whether the most appropriate communication
36       media, such as braille and large print, are being utilized.
37           (c) By no later than January 31, 2000, the state department of edu-
38       cation, having evaluated the study, shall issue a plan with specific dated
39       milestones for the purposes of correcting any deficits in literacy of blind
40       pupils and visually impaired pupils to grade and age-appropriate levels
41       which have been identified, as compared with their sighted peers. While
42       it shall be noted within study results if pupils are identified as having
43       learning, emotional, or mental disabilities in addition to their blindness

HB 2774


  1       or visual impairment, these additional impairments shall not exempt such
  2       pupils from participation in the study or from the assessment of whether
  3       the most appropriate communication media are being utilized to obtain
  4       maximum potential literacy.
  5           Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
  6       publication in the statute book.