Opportunities in all areas of life including education, vocation, and access to general information have historically been slower for minorities. The visually impaired have continued to struggle with access to education, equal opportunities at work, and access to general information. Significantly fewer blind and visually impaired individuals pursue graduate education with the most commonly pursued graduate degree being psychology (American Federation for the Blind, 2010). A core area of graduate training [defined by the American Psychological Association (APA)] is declarative knowledge, which is not accessible for the visually impaired student for neurological assessments (Johnson-Greene, Braden, Dial, Fitzpatrick, Leung, Schneider, & Willis, 2007). The same 27 participants (all with at least 19 years of education) were given both the standardized and the modified WAIS-IV. Participants scored significantly lower on the full scale IQ, the verbal comprehension index, and the processing speed index of the modified version. Validity of the modified WAIS-IV was assessed by comparing the correlation between it and the WIAT-II and the correlation between the standardized WAIS-IV and the WIATII. Despite the significant differences between the modified and standardized WAIS-IV, the standardized WAIS-IV and the WIAT-II, suggesting the modified WAIS-IV is a valid intellectual assessment instrument. The differences between the modified WAIS-IV and the standardized WAIS-IV can be accounted for by three predominate factors: the modifications of the block design and symbol search subtests, the multiple examiners that both administered and scored the WAIS-IV, and potential practice effects resulting from the high level of education of the participants. These findings suggest that the modified WAIS-IV should be further explored as a viable assessment option for visually impaired examiners due to the similarities found between the standardized and modified versions. These findings also highlight exciting potential opportunities for the field as a whole and more specifically for the visually impaired psychology doctoral student and professional psychologist.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Ropacki, Susan

Second Advisor

Boyd, Kendal

Third Advisor

Jaworsk, Elizabeth

Fourth Advisor

Vermeersch, David

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Disabled - education; Visually Impaired Persons - education; Psychology - vocational guidance; Intelligence tests

Subject - Local

Visually impaired; Graduate education; Psychology; Intelligence tests; WAIS-IV



Page Count

64 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons