Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Special Education

Committee Chair

Elizabeth A Dooley


Because lay vision screeners rarely receive formal training in how to screen vision and because older children were seen in clinic with vision disorders that should have been detected earlier through vision screening, a pediatric ophthalmologist and the researcher created the Vision Initiative for Children (VIC) in 2001 as a statewide program of the West Virginia University Eye Institute. VIC has trained, equipped, and provided ongoing support to lay individuals who are mandated or want to screen preschoolers' vision. This program evaluation study explored, from the perspective of Head Start personnel, whether VIC prepares Head Start personnel to screen preschoolers' vision and whether participants encountered screening experiences that were not discussed during VIC's workshop. Forty-seven participants, representing 8 of the state's 24 Head Start grantees, completed an evaluation at the end of each workshop; 27 completed a postworkshop evaluation after screening vision. The workshop evaluation captured perceptions of the instructional content and delivery system, the instructor's skills in teaching and delivering the content, and the logistical arrangements. The postworkshop evaluation captured perceptions of the workshop after screening vision. This study also explored whether participants learned new vision screening knowledge, as measured by the difference between pretest and posttest scores administered at the workshop; whether they maintained knowledge, as measured by the difference in scores between the workshop posttest and a 3-month posttest; and which of VIC's job aids they preferred. Results yielded positive perceptions and indicated that participants learned and maintained a significant amount of knowledge, regardless of education. Participants preferred a flowchart (96%) and handout packet (92%) over a web site (15%) as job aids for transferring learning from the workshop to the workplace. Results indicated that 44% of participants encountered no vision screening experiences that were not discussed during the workshop; 56% encountered distracting screening environments, uncooperative younger children, and concerns that pediatricians, in follow-up exams, reported vision was "good" although children failed vision screening. Additionally, 92% of participants reported that animated Microsoft PowerPoint slides enhanced their learning, 96% reported that receiving instructor feedback during practice enhanced their learning, 100% reported that practicing tests were necessary parts of a vision screening workshop, and 98% reported that an instructor's modeling and demonstration of tests were necessary parts of a vision screening workshop.