McDowell Vision Screening Kit™

by P. Marlene McDowell, PN, BSN, MA and Richard L. McDowell, EdD

McDowell Vision Screening Kit™

by P. Marlene McDowell, PN, BSN, MA and Richard L. McDowell, EdD
Benefits Allows vision testing of very young or severely disabled children, identifying those who have the three most common and correctable vision problems
Ages 2.5 to 5.5 years of age
Admin time 10-20 minutes
Format Behavioral assessment of visual performance
Scores Simple pass/fail criteria
Publish Date 1994
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About This Product

Picture of McDowell Vision Screening Kit™


 Safety Warning Choking Hazard CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts. Supervision is required for children under 3 years.

Detect Vision Problems Early

With the McDowell Vision Screening Kit, you can test virtually any child for vision problems—even very young and severely disabled children who are too inattentive, difficult, or impaired to evaluate with conventional vision screeners. This unique test lets you assess the functional vision of children previously considered untestable.    

Convenient, quick, and economical, the McDowell provides a complete evaluation. It gives you a behavioral assessment of visual performance in five areas:

Distance Visual Acuity

Observation of visual fixation and tracking of colored balls.

Near-Point Visual Acuity

Observation of visual fixation and visual response to black dots positioned randomly on white cards.

Ocular Alignment and Motility

The cover–uncover test in conjunction with the pupillary light reflex test.

Color Perception

Matching blocks in primary colors.

Ocular Function

Observation of scanning ability, shift of attention, visual tracking, ocular convergence, conjugate gaze, visual fields, and blink reflex. 

The McDowell Kit contains all the toys, objects, and recording forms you need to do a comprehensive screening. The entire process takes only 10 to 20 minutes, and scoring is based on simple pass/fail criteria. If the child fails in a given area, referral recommendations are provided.

Minimize Misdiagnosis

The procedures used in the McDowell Vision Screening Kit consistently identify children with the three most common and correctable vision problems: refractive errors, ocular alignment dysfunction, and amblyopia. Virtually all children, regardless of their developmental level, can complete these procedures.

Studies reported in the Manual—based on 181 children from 2.9 to 5.4 years of age, from varied cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, with IQs from the intellectually disabled range to gifted—demonstrate that the McDowell is valid, accurate, and reliable. Test–retest reliability coefficients range from .89 to 1.00. And correlations between McDowell scores and results of standard vision screening procedures range from .90 to 1.00. In addition, vision problems identified by the McDowell were later confirmed by licensed eye-care specialists.

Do All Mandated Vision Screening

The McDowell is a real breakthrough because it gives schools the means to do all appropriate and mandated vision screening—at a low cost. No other instrument can be used effectively with preschool and severely disabled children. Unlike other vision screeners, the McDowell requires no matching skills and no verbal skills. It permits early detection and treatment of vision problems—before they cause permanent damage or developmental delays.