The Federal Quota Program is a system through which specialized materials including textbooks, aids and other learning materials are distributed free to eligible students in educational settings with visual impairments and blindness. The Quota program is the result of the "Act to Promote the Education of the Blind" passed by the United States Congress in 1879. The Act named the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) as the national central source of these educational materials.
Eligibility for Federal Quota
At the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), PaTTAN conducts the annual Federal Quota Registration of Blind Students for Pennsylvania. To be included in the Federal Quota program, eligible students must be registered in an annual census and 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. Exemptions from the current eye report requirement include students with proven non-changing eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos, or other conditions determined immutable.
- Function 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’. Exemptions from the current eye report requirement include students with proven non-changing eye conditions, such as bilateral enucleations, anophthalmos, or other conditions determined immutable.
Parental permission is required for a student’s information to be reported to the census. If given, and eligible, the following information will be reported.
- Date of birth
- School system or agency in which student is enrolled
- Grade Placement
- Measurement of vision in right eye
- Measurement of vision in left eye
- Primary reading medium
- Primary Language of Learner
PaTTAN does not collect parent permission forms. Any audit completed by APH would require the LEA or agency to provide proof of that document.
Pennsylvania FQ Parent Permission (English)
Pennsylvania FQ Parent Permission (Spanish)
All APH materials obtained through Federal Quota funds are the property of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and are loaned for use by eligible students. It is a district or agency's responsibility to:
• Maintain an inventory of these materials
• Ensure their use only by eligible students
• Return materials to the PaTTAN when broken or no longer needed by a student
If you have questions or concerns regarding the annual Federal Quota registration and/or ordering, please contact