New Vision Screening Law 7/1/19

Annual Vision Screening Report

Checklist for Planning Tier 1
Sample Vision Opt-Out Form
Vision Certification for School Entry
Vision Referral to Eye Care Professional
Vision Screening Policy 7-30-19
Vision Symptoms Questionnaire
Screening Skills:

Email from Betty Sue Hinkson on 7/31/19​

"As of July 1, 2019 a new vision screening law went into effect.  It will now be monitored by to the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), specifically my position.  A large committee was organized to develop the new policy, create forms, and training modules to be used by all Utah public schools.

There is a new written policy that has just been approved, which I've attached.  There are four basic changes that all schools will need to comply with:

1.  Vision screening is now managed by UDOH, and no longer by Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI).  The school Nurse Consultant is the one to give any guidance on this.  DSBVI is no longer available to come out to assist charter schools with vision screening, or provide vision screening cameras.  UDOH will not be able to provide vision screening in schools, only guidance on implementation.

2.  Screening is now separated into tier 1 (mass distance screening) and tier 2 (a more specific screening).  Tier 2 can only be done by a school nurse or other trained health care professional. 

3. Distance Vision screening (tier 1) is now mandatory, no longer optional.  It is required that all students in grades PK, K, 1, 3, 5, 7 or 8, and 9 or 10 have a distance vision screening.  You can screen more than these grades, but not less than these grades.

4.  The Q90 you may be familiar with is no longer operational.  No personally identifiable information will be collected.  Annual aggregate reporting is required.

Your school should only use approved charts for vision screening.  You can find information on approved/not approved charts in the attached policy.  Many charts used in the past are no longer approved.

Designated Vision Point Person
If you do not have a school nurse your school will need to designate someone to manage the vision screening, including the newly created Symptoms Questionnaire.  We are calling this person a designated vision point person (DVPP).  This person will be the one responsible to set up the vision screening, evaluate any symptoms questionnaires, send out any referrals, document results, and submit the annual report.

The school nurses have been kept informed on all these changes, but if you do not have a school nurse your DVPP will need to undergo training.  I will be holding a training session on September 24 from 10:00 - 12:00.  This can be attended in-person at the Cannon Health Building (288 N 1460 W in Salt Lake City) or virtually.  This training will be recorded so those that cannot attend can view the information at a later date.  More information on this will be sent out later.

There are also online training modules that have been developed, per legislation.

Module A is instruction on how to set up a tier 1 vision screening by a school nurse or DVPP.  Please do not attempt to set up a vision screening without a school nurse until your DVPP has viewed this module.

Module B is a statute required training that all vision screening volunteers must undergo (unless trained by a school nurse).  This training generates a certificate that the volunteer can bring to the school on the day of the training.

Outside Entities
If your school has used an outside entity to assist with vision screening in the past please know these outside entities must also undergo approval and training.  To date, the only outside entity to complete this process is Friends for Sight.  No other outside entity is permitted to assist with vision screening until approved by Utah Department of Health.  If you are approached by another outside entity to provide this service please refer them to me to complete the approval process.  I am currently working with the Lions Club to get them approved, but they have not yet completed the process.

I will be the point of contact for any questions related to vision screening.  Please let me know how I can help answer any questions on this process in your school.

BettySue Hinkson MSN RN NCSN
Utah School Nurse Consultant
Public Health Nursing Director
Utah Department of Health
Healthy Living Through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC)
P.O. Box 142107
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2107

Utah State Board of Education
Student Advocacy Services

Counseling, Equity, and Prevention
(801) 419-1078 - cell
(801) 538-6814 - UDOH office"