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Annual Registration of the Legally Blind

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
December 8, 2014

Dear County and District Directors of Special Education, Special Education Local Plan Area Directors, Adult Education School and Regional Occupational School Principals, Charter School Administrators, and Private School Administrators:

Annual Registration of Legally Blind Students for the American
Printing House for the Blind Federal Quota Program

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Federal Quota Program allocates federal funds to public and private educational programs that register students who are legally blind. The amount allocated to each agency is based on the number of students registered with the APH. The allocation entitles students to receive textbooks in braille or large print, educational aids, and special equipment at no cost to the local educational agency (LEA).

  • Definition of legal blindness is divided into two categories:
    • MDB Meets the Definition of Blindness: Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction (using the Snellen Chart); or a peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
    • FDB Functions at the Definition of Blindness: Visual performance reduced by a brain injury or dysfunction that meets the definition of blindness as determined by an eye specialist or neurologist.

The APH will be collecting the information below to enroll students who qualify for the program.

  • Agency Certification Form (Attachment  1) 

This form must be returned to the CDE for all students (new and continuing students). Submitting this form certifies that the school/agency is complying with APH requirements. Students who are enrolled in more than one school must be registered by the agency that is providing the majority of related services. Avoid duplication of student records.

  • Registration Form (Attachment 2) (Must be completed for each new student)

Complete and submit all information on the Registration Form for each new student only. Ensure that MDB or FDB is selected and right and left eye acuities are completed.

  • Instructions for completing the Registration Form (Attachment 3)

Instructions include lists of reporting codes for each category, used for the verification and selection of the appropriate code when registering students.

  • APH Federal Quota Authorization List(s) (Attachment 4)
  • Sample of Parent Permission Form (Attachment 5)

The Parent Permission Form must be written, signed, and dated. The signed form should be kept with the student’s record at your location. The requirement for positive parental consent before releasing confidential student information is a provision of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, 20 USC Section 1232g; Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 99) and its counterpart, California Education Code Section 49060. These requirements extend to nonpublic schools operating under contract with a public school.

Register only students who are legally blind and enrolled in your program as of January 5, 2015.

Return the completed registration forms no earlier than January 5, 2015, and no later than February 3, 2015

If your agency already has registered students, you should have received an e-mail for continuing student, with instructions on how to download the 2014 list of registered students. Please make all necessary updates and be sure to change the grade level if necessary. Please return the list along with the other registration forms, as needed.

Eye Report: An eye report prepared by an optometrist or ophthalmologist must be thorough and confidential and must confirm that the student’s vision falls within the definition of legal blindness. This report must be current within the last three years and must remain with the LEA. Partially sighted students are not eligible.

If you have any questions regarding APH requirements and the APH program, please contact Jonn Paris-Salb, Ex-Officio Trustee, by phone at 916-323-2202 or by e-mail at or Laurie Garcia, Manager II, by phone at 916-319-0964 or by e-mail at

For questions regarding this packet, and registering new students, please contact James Morrison, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, by phone at 916-323-1329 or by e-mail at or Kelli Cornejo, Manager I, by phone at 916-323-4737 or by e-mail at


Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Deputy Superintendent
Instruction & Learning Support Branch



Attachment 1: Agency Certification Form [] (PDF)

Attachment 2: Registration Form [] (PDF)

Attachment 3: Instructions for completing the Registration Form []

Attachment 4: APH Federal Quota Authorization List(s) [] (PDF)

Attachment 5: Sample of Parent Permission Form [] (DOC)

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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