Chapter 382

2005 -- H 5182 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/19/05





     Introduced By: Representatives Naughton, Slater, Lima, Kennedy, and E Coderre

     Date Introduced: January 25, 2005


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


      SECTION 1. Chapter 16-21 of the General Laws entitled "Health and Safety of Pupils" is

hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:


      16-21-14.1. Vision screening. -- (a) Upon entering kindergarten or within thirty (30)

days of the start of the school year, the parent or guardian of each child shall present to school

health personnel certification that the child, within the previous twelve (12) months has passed a

vision screening conducted by a health care professional licensed by the department of health or

has obtained a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed optometrist or

ophthalmologist. For children who fail to pass the vision screening and for children diagnosed

with neurodevelopmental delay, proof of a comprehensive eye examination performed by a

licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist indicating any pertinent diagnosis, treatment, prognosis,

recommendation and evidence of follow-up treatment, if necessary, shall be provided.

     (b) Any person who conducts a comprehensive eye examination of a child in response to

such child having failed a vision screening given in accordance with the provisions of this section

shall forward a written report of the results of the examination to the school health personnel and

a copy of said report to a parent or guardian of such child and the child's primary health care

provider. Said report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

     (i) date of report;

     (ii) name, address and date of birth of the child;

     (iii) name of the child's school;

     (iv) type of examination;

     (v) a summary of significant findings, including diagnoses, medication used, duration of

action of medication, treatment, prognosis, whether or not a return visit is recommended and, if

so, when;

     (vi) recommended educational adjustments for the child, if any, which may include the

following: preferential seating in the classroom, eyeglasses for full-time use in school, eyeglasses

for part-time use in school, sight-saving eyeglasses or any other recommendations;

     (vii) name, address and signature of the examiner.

     (c) The department of health in consultation with the department of education shall

promulgate regulations to carry out the purposes of this section, including the regular reporting to

the departments of health and education on the results of examinations provided under subsection

(b) above.

     (d) The commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall provide a

comprehensive report on the education of blind and visually impaired children to the general

assembly prior to March 1, 2009. The report shall include, but not limited to, an overview of

policies and programs; an analysis of the effect that vision exam reports have had on improving

education for children; and the comprehensive statewide vision education and services program;

and recommendations. The commissioner shall provide an update of said analysis and report to

the general assembly prior to March 1, 2012 and every three (3) years thereafter.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2006.     


LC00770/SUB A/3