WSSB is a state-operated program and a secondary service provider to LEAs within the state of Washington. Due to this arrangement, WSSB works with the community and the local district in child find activities in local districts.
1. A student, whether or not enrolled in school, may be referred for a special education evaluation by parents, district staff, or other persons knowledgeable about the student. When WSSB staff has concerns that a student may have a suspected disability which could result in eligibility for special education services, they will notify the student's local education agency psychologist, SLP or administrator. The local education agency district’s special services department, psychologist, or SLP will process referrals in compliance with WAC 392-172A-03005, which provides:
a) A parent of a child, a school district, a public agency, or other persons knowledgeable about the child may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the student is eligible for special education. The request will be in writing, unless the person is unable to write.
b) The district will document the referral and:
(1) Notify the parent that the student has been referred because of a suspected disability and that the district, with parental input, will determine whether or not to evaluate the student;
(2) Collect and examine existing school, medical and other records in the possession of the parent and the district; and
(3) Within twenty-five (25) school days after receipt of the referral, make a determination whether or not to evaluate the student. The district will provide prior written notice of the decision.
2. If the Professional Group reviews a request for evaluation and supporting data and does not suspect that the child has a disability, the district may deny the request. In such a case, written notice, including the reason for the denial and the information used as the basis for the denial, will be given to the parent within twenty-five (25) school days.
3. If the determination is that the child should be evaluated, the reviewers shall include information about the recommended areas of evaluation, including the need for further medical evaluation of the student, in a written notice to the parent. A form for obtaining parental consent for the evaluation and the release of appropriate records will be sent with the notice.
WSSB does and shall:
1. Provide information to LEAs and ESDs about available WSSB services both on campus and through outreach.
2. Work as an active team member with representatives from the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB), the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Instructional Resource Center, Washington Sensory Disability Services (WSDS), Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, and WSSB.
3. Assist LEAs as requested with their child find process in regards to blind/visually impaired children.