Vision Screening Background and Overview
The Vision Screening Procedures for Infancy, Childhood and School Age Children, revised in 2017 is available in sections on the left side of this webpage. Click the links to view the various topics or you may download a copy of the manual (PDF) for offline use and printing.
Purpose and Rationale
Vision screening is a set of procedures performed by properly trained persons for the purpose of early identification of children who may have vision problems and referral to appropriate medical professionals for further evaluation.
Impaired vision in children can contribute to the development of learning problems which may be prevented or alleviated through early identification and intervention. Children with impaired vision often are not aware of their impairment; therefore, they do not complain or seek help. If they have always seen things in a blurred or distorted way, they accept the imperfect image without question. It is up to adults responsible for children's health care and education to assure that children have their vision screened on a regular basis.
Minnesota's Vision Screening Programs
This vision screening training manual provides the screener with instructional information to conduct vision screenings in schools or clinics. The screening procedures herein serve as guidelines for Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC), Head Start, Early Childhood Screening, and school programs.
Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC)
(federally titled Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment [EPSDT]) is a program administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services for children and teens enrolled in Medical Assistance under Minnesota Statute MS 256B.04-256B.0625. The Minnesota Department of Health provides health recommendations to the program. For more information refer to the C&TC section of the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) Provider Manual.
Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs which serve children from birth to age 5. They are child-focused programs and have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families. Minnesota Head Start follows Child and Teen Checkup guidelines. For more information refer to Minnesota Head Start.
Early Childhood Screening or evidence of a comparable screening by a non-school provider (e.g., Head Start, Child and Teen Checkups/EPSDT or a health care provider) is required for entrance in Minnesota's public schools or within 30 days of enrollment into kindergarten (MS 121A.16-121A.17). Early Childhood Screening is offered throughout the year by local school districts. For more information refer to Minnesota Early Childhood Screening.