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Eligibility Requirements


A ‘print disability’ has been defined as, a student who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability.

Who is Eligible for AIM-VA Services?

A student is eligible to receive AIM-VA services if they meet both of the following criteria:

  1. The student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that indicates the student may benefit from using alternative print materials for reading.
  2. The student has a print disability due to one of the following:

    Low Vision/Blindness

    A student who is blind or has low vision and who is unable to read standard print is eligible for AIM-VA if a competent authority confirms that the student is legally blind or has a significant problem accessing standard text.

    Examples of Competent Authorities
    • Teacher of the Visually Impaired
    • Special Education Teacher
    • Family Doctor
    • Ophthalmologist
    • Optometrist
    • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped or similar government body outside of the United States.

    Physical Disabilities

    A student with a physical disability who is unable to access standard print is eligible for AIM-VA if a competent authority confirms that the disability significantly interferes with reading.

    Examples of Competent Authorities
    • Resource Specialist
    • Special Education Teacher
    • Physical/Occupational Therapist
    • Family Doctor or other Medical Professional

    Other Disabilities

    A student with a disability is eligible for AIM-VA if a competent authority confirms that the disability significantly interferes with reading.

    Examples of Competent Authorities
    • Special Education Teacher
    • Licensed Specialist (SLP, OT, PT, etc.)
    • School Psychologist
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Family Doctor
    • Psychiatrist
    • Neurologist

What about students placed outside of public schools?

Students who receive special education services provided through a Virginia public school division while attending a private school, homebound instruction, or home schooling may receive AIM-VA materials according to the current eligibility criteria within the students’ IEP or ISP. Materials are then ordered and managed by public school Digital Rights Managers (DRM).

What is a Competent Authority?

A ‘competent authority’ confirms a student’s print disability within one of the three categories; Low Vision/Blindness, Physical Disabilities, or Other Disabilities. School divisions identify competent authorities for each print disability category. School personnel such as special education teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and/or school psychologists may act as a competent authority.

What about Testing Accommodations?

Accommodations are aligned to student disability and based on individual needs. While accommodations for instruction and assessments are integrally intertwined, there may be eligible AIM-VA students who qualify for instructional accommodations in the classroom and not in testing environments.

Guidelines for Special Test Accommodations (2019)

How is eligibility implemented in my Division?

Each school division determines how eligibility is implemented within the VDOE guidelines outlined above. School divisions will need to identify:

Where and how will the need for alternate print materials be referenced in student IEPs?
Who constitutes a competent authority for each of the three print disability categories?
How will the confirmation of print disability under a specific category will be documented?
Will materials from AIM-VA be provided to students with an Individualized Service Plan?

Sample competent authority confirmation

Sample of information that a division may use in a student’s academic record, to show that a print disability has been confirmed by a competent authority.

Student Name:


Low Vision/Blindness
Physical Disability
Other Disability
Competent Authority (Signature)
Competent Authority (Print Name)
Job Title