ACR GCD’s CFM-TV Validity Study Improves Data on Children with Disabilities

The study will help teachers more reliably identify and support children with disabilities

ACR GCD’s CFM-TV Validity Study Improves Data on Children with Disabilities
low vision and blind students in school with a teacher

Low vision and blind students and a teacher. Photo Credit: Resources for the Blind, Inc.

All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD), a partnership of USAID, World Vision and the Australian government, is working with World Vision Nepal, World Education and School-to-School International to conduct a validity study of the teacher-administered version of the Child Functioning Module in Nepal.

The Child Functioning Module-Teacher Version (CFM-TV) is a tool used by teachers  to collect data on early grade learners with disabilities. Traditionally, trained medical personnel administer evaluations to identify students who qualify for disability benefits and services. These evaluations take time and expertise to conduct, and there is limited expertise and screening options for children with disabilities in international programs, especially in low resource contexts. CFM-TV seeks to fill this gap in knowledge with an easy-to-use survey tool.

The tool was created by Washington Group and consists of a questionnaire designed to replicate a disability screening system. CFM was originally created for use in households with parents or caregivers administering the survey, but users wanted a tool that could be used in the classroom to help teachers identify student’s functional difficulties. Questions such as “Does the student wear glasses or contact lenses?” help teachers identify visual, hearing, mobility or intellectual difficulties in students so they can better support them in the classroom. 

In addition to surveys, the mixed methods study will collect data through cognitive interviews, key informant interviews and a review of existing data. Researchers will focus on understanding the influence of teachers, caregivers and medical personnel in using the tool and interpreting results. The study will also include medical screenings with a sample of students to measure the correlation between the CFM-TV’s identification of functional disabilities and diagnosis of disabilities in three areas—vision, hearing and mobility.

The study will be conducted in 48 primary schools across five provinces of Nepal where ACR GCD partner World Vision and ACR GCD awardee World Education are currently implementing inclusive education programming. Data collection began this month, with a target of disseminating the results in a written report in 2023.

Goals of this study are to determine when CFM-TV can provide adequate information on learners’ functional disabilities and to evaluate when CFM-TV results are adequate for reporting reading outcomes disaggregated by disability status.

More than 93 million children globally have a disability, and of those who reside in countries with high poverty levels, at least 90 percent do not attend school.

Children with disabilities must be assessed in ways that accurately show their abilities. ACR GCD has implemented groundbreaking adapted assessments and requires a commitment by implementers to ensure children with disabilities are included in assessments and assessed in appropriate ways, inspiring others to do the same.

With the CFM-TV Validity Study, ACR GCD hopes to contribute to global evidence on the helpfulness of the CFM-TV for providing data on learners with disabilities in school settings.

Learn more about ACR GCD’s work to enhance literacy learning for children with disabilities.

By Jamie Brian. All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government