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Annual Registration of the Legally Blind

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

December 9, 2013

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).

American Printing House for the Blind Registration Guidelines:

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

  • 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.

  • Language will be determined as the Primary Language used for instruction in the classroom: Select English, Spanish, or Other (indicate language other than English or Spanish: example–American Sign Language) (Attachment 3).    

  • Register only students who are legally blind and enrolled in your program as of
    January 6, 2014.

  • If your agency already has registered students, please download the 2013 list of registered students to make updates for 2014 (Attachment 9). Be sure to change the grade level if necessary. Please return the list along with the other registration forms.

  • Include a new registration form for each new student (Attachment 3).

  • Complete all information in items 1 through 11 on the registration form. Ensure that MDB or FDB is selected and right and left eye acuities are completed (Attachment 3).

  • Enclosed are lists of reporting codes for each category for the verification and selection of the appropriate code when registering students (Attachments 4, 5 and 6).

  • A sample parent permission form has been enclosed for your convenience. Please add your agency information to the form before using. The signed form is to be kept with the students’ records at your location (Attachment 7).

  • Instructions for accessing the Instructional Materials Ordering and Distribution System (IMODS) have been included for ordering materials for your qualified students (Attachment 8).

  • 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.

  • Return the completed registration forms no earlier than January 6, 2014, and no later than February 3, 2014

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.

Agency Certification Form: Fill in all registration information and return with other required forms (Attachment 1).

APH Federal Quota Orders Authorization List: List the person(s) authorized to submit federal quota orders for APH materials and equipment. Please include the title, a telephone number, and an e-mail address for each person and return the form with the registration (Attachment 2).  

If you have any questions, contact Jonn Paris-Salb, Ex-Officio Trustee, by phone at 916-323-2202 or by e-mail at or Kelli Cornejo, Manager, by phone at 916-323-4737 or by e-mail at You may also contact James Morrison, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, by phone at 916-323-1329 or by e-mail at  


Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Deputy Superintendent
Instruction & Learning Support Branch


Attachment 1 (PDF)

Attachment 2 (PDF)

Attachment 3 (PDF)

Attachment 4

Attachment 5

Attachment 6

Attachment 7 (DOC)

Attachment 8

Attachment 9

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