DI 34222.003 Special Senses and Speech Listings from 01/06/86 to 05/23/02
102.00 SPECIAL SENSES AND SPEECH
A. Visual impairments in children . Impairment of central visual acuity should be determined with use of the standard
Snellen test chart. Where this cannot be used, as in very young children, a complete
description should be provided of the findings using other appropriate methods of
examination, including a description of the techniques used for determining the central
visual acuity for distance.
The accommodative reflex is generally not present in children under 6 months of age. In premature infants,
it may not be present until 6 months plus the number of months the child is premature.
Therefore, absence of accommodative reflex will be considered as indicating a visual
impairment only in children above this age (6 months). Documentation of a visual disorder
must include a description of the ocular pathology.
B. Hearing impairments in children. The criteria for hearing impairments in children take into account that a lesser impairment
in hearing which occurs at an early age may result in a severe speech and language
Improvement by a hearing aid, as predicted by the testing procedure, must be demonstrated
to be feasible in that child, since younger children may be unable to use a hearing
The type of audiometric testing performed must be described and a copy of the results
must be included. The pure tone air conduction hearing levels in 102.08 are based
on American National Standard Institute Specifications for Audiometers, S3.6 - 1969
(ANSI - 1969). The report should indicate the specifications used to calibrate the
The finding of a severe impairment will be based on the average hearing levels at
500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hertz (Hz) in the better ear, and on speech discrimination,
as specified in 102.08.
102.01 Category of Impairments, Special Senses and Speech
102.02 Impairments of central visual acuity.
A. Remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less; or
B. For children below 3 years of age at time of adjudication:
1. Absence of accommodative reflex (see 102.00A for exclusion of children under 6
months of age); or
2. Retrolental fibroplasia with macular scarring or neovascularization; or
3. Bilateral congenital cataracts with visualization of retinal red reflex only or
when associated with other ocular pathology.
102.08 Hearing impairments.
A. For children below 5 years of age at time of adjudication, inability to hear air
conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels (db) hearing level or greater in
the better ear; or
B. For children 5 years of age and above at time of adjudication:
1. Inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 70 decibels (db) or
greater in the better ear; or
2. Speech discrimination scores at 40 percent or less in the better ear; or
3. Inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels (db) or
greater in the better ear, and a speech and language disorder which significantly
affects the clarity and content of the speech and is attributable to the hearing impairment.