American Printing House for the Blind Federal Quota
The Federal Quota Program was initiated in 1879 by the Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind. This program is a means whereby a per capita amount of money is designated for the purchase of educational materials for each eligible student registered through an established Federal Quota account. These Federal Quota accounts are maintained and administered by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and its Ex Officio Trustees.
Eligibility for Federal Quota Registration
In order for students to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the requirements as outlined in An Act to Promote the Education of the Blind. Students must:
Meet the definition of blindness (MDB) — a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less (using a Snellen chart or an acuity determined in Snellen equivalents) in the better eye with the best correction or a peripheral field of vision no greater than 20 degrees. Required documentation is a Current eye report—by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist and must be on file where the student is enrolled. Exemption from the current eye report requirement include: students with proven non-changing eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos, or other conditions determined immutable.
Functions at the definition of blindness (FDB) — when visual function meets the definition of blindness as determined by an eye care specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) or other medical doctor such as a neurologist. Students in this category manifest unique visual characteristics often found in conditions referred to as neurological, cortical, or cerebral visual impairment (e.g. brain injury or dysfunction). Required documentation is a Current eye report—by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist and must be on file where the student is enrolled. A report from a neurologist, etc., is acceptable for students classified as ‘Functions at the Definition of Blindness’. Exemption from the current eye report requirement include: students with proven non-changing eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos, or other conditions determined immutable.
This verification ensures that the student is in a formally organized educational program such as an IEP, a 504 plan, or any other written action plan. Student must be enrolled in a formally organized public or private, nonprofit educational program of less than college level. School-aged students must be enrolled with the registering school or agency on the first Monday in January. Adult students must be registered for at least three months of instruction during the preceding calendar year (an accumulation of 12 weeks*). The educational programs providing services to these students can include public, private, and parochial schools.
Each infant, preschool, or school-aged student must have a signed parent permission form to be registered in the Federal Quota Program. If a student is an adult (18 or older) and his/her own guardian, the student will need to provide permission for release of personally identifiable information (PII).
There is NO chronological age limit for eligibility. The federal law limits registration to persons working at less than college level, but places no restriction on the ages of eligible students.
Signed education plans, medical documentation and permission forms are not kept by APH. It is the responsibility of the Ex Officio Trustee to secure and retain eligibility documentation from the LEA or parent in the event that an audit requires evidence of the student’s educational program or visual acuity:
Parent permissions do not need to be collected on an annual basis. Once you have secured the parent permission, it is good until FERPA and IDEA no longer apply.
For each student, the following information must be reported:
- Date of birth
- School system or agency in which student is enrolled
- Grade Placement
- Meet or function at the definition of blindness
- Primary reading medium
- Primary Instructional Language of Learner
APH processes the data reported by all the Ex Officio Trustees, electronically screening all records, eliminating ineligible students and duplicate registrations. After review the final number of eligible students is determined. The cycle then continues…The appropriation from Congress is divided by the total number of eligible students, thus determining the per capita Federal Quota allocation.
The APH Federal Quota Census takes place each year. In Massachusetts, certified teachers of students with visual impairments are responsible for reporting students to the AIM Library for the Federal Quota Census. Not responding by the due date will make your students ineligible for APH Materials!