Federal Quota



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.

Beginning in 2024, APH will institute a modified definition of blindness for the purpose of carrying out the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind. For students to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following criteria:

  1. Eligibility (one of the following)
    • 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,
    • 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 a 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).
    • If neither MDB or FDB, qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) definition of blindness — an impairment in vision, that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance (34 CFR §300.8(c)(13)).*
  2. School Enrollment
    • Be enrolled in a formally organized public or private, nonprofit educational program of less than college level (educational programs include public, private, and parochial schools as well as vocational and rehabilitation programs for adults) and have a written education plan. School-aged students (including infants, toddlers, preschool, homebound, home-schooled students) must be enrolled with the registering school or agency on the first Monday in January. Adult students must be registered for at least 120 hours of educational instruction during the preceding calendar year.

*For questions regarding Pennsylvania’s eligibility definition, please visit Pennsylvania’s Educational Visual Impairment Eligibility for training and resources related to this determination. 

Parent Permission

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.

  • Name
  • 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 


Repair Requests

All Federal Quota repair requests must be submitted and approved through the Pennsylvania Ex Officio Trustee.  Repair costs and evaluation fees will be deducted from accounts #176 or #177.  Click here to access the Federal Quota Repair Request Form. Send completed form to the Pennsylvania EOT for approval. If approved, additional information will be shared regarding shipping and handling of your APH Federal Quota repair item.


If you have questions or concerns regarding the annual Federal Quota registration and/or ordering, please contact