Author: Regina Richards, MA
Age Range: 5 through 14yrs
Time: 10-15 minutes
Qualification Level: E (Teacher/Other Professional)
The VSA provides an easy way to screen for common visual skill difficulties that can impact academic performance and participation, including reading and writing tasks by way of five items that assess binocular, ocular-motility, and visual-motor skills. The VSA requires minimal equipment and can be administered as part of a school’s annual vision screening program or with students who present with visual skill concerns to determine need for further optometric evaluation.
- Pursuits (Object Tracking) – Assess the child’s ability to smoothly track vertically, horizontally, and in a circle.
- Scanning (Trails) – Assess the child’s ability to accurately and efficiently visually follow intersecting lines between two points.
- Aligning (Push-Ups) – Assess the child’s near point of convergence and screen for strabismus and phorias.
- Locating/Saccadic Eye Movements (Numbers) – Assess the child’s ability to accurately and efficiently move the eyes between two visual targets.
- Eye-Hand Coordination (Design Completion) – Assess the child’s ability to accurately complete six unfinished forms when presented with a visual model to copy.
The VSA-2 was standardized on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 individuals ages 5.0 through 14.11.
Administration and Scoring
The VSA-2 can be administered in 10-15 minutes and scored in 5. Detailed examples are provided in the manual to assist with scoring the Design Completion items. Raw scores are converted to an Overall standard score and percentile rank. Individual items and time scores can be further analysed using frequency tables.
Reliability and Validity
- Average Cronbach’s Alpha value across all ages was 0.72.
- Test-retest correlation was 0.80.
- Interrater reliability correlation was 0.91.
- Validity studies demonstrated that the VSA-2 is able to identify visual skills challenges in children with specific learning disability, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorder, and is able to differentiate typically developing children from those with a known visual efficiency disorder.