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Board Meeting Dates

Sep. 29, 2017      Committee Meetings 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Full Board Meeting 10:15 a.m.

Nov. 17, 2017      Committee Meetings 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Full Board Meeting 10:15 a.m.

Jan. 26, 2018      Committee Meetings 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Full Board Meeting 10:15 a.m.

Apr. 6, 2018        Committee Meetings 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Full Board Meeting 10:15 a.m.

Jun. 1, 2018        Committee Meetings 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Full Board Meeting 10:15 a.m.


Parent Flyer - Printable version in Color

Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a vital part of educational opportunitities that are available to blind and visually impaired students in Texas. In order to make informed decisions about their children's education, parents should know about the programs and services available from TSBVI.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas 78756

  • General Information (512) 454-8631
  • Admissions (512) 206-9182
  • Outreach Services (512) 206-9268
  • Website:
  • Toll-free number (answering machine) 1-800-872-5273 (TSB-KARE)
  • TDD (512) 371-1599

  • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) is a special public school established by the Texas Legislature to provide specialized and intense services which focus on the unique learning needs of students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities.
  • TSBVI is located in a pleasant neighborhood in Austin, Texas. The forty-five acre campus is close to shopping, recreation areas, restaurants, and public transportation. Students attend school in well-equipped classrooms. They live in homelike residences with living rooms, playrooms, bedrooms, study areas, and kitchens.
  • TSBVI recognizes and addresses the unique educational needs and interests of each student.
  • Every student receives instruction and guidance from staff who have been specially trained to work with children and young people with visual impairments.
  • TSBVI is a partner to the public schools of Texas, advocating for students to be able to learn and live in their local communities. The school can help students to do this successfully.
  • We offer a variety of short-term and long-term programs, as well as outreach services specially designed to meet the unique needs of students with blindness or a visual impairment.
  • We stand ready to assist local schools and parents whenever students need the specialized services and resources of this school.

You Have Options

Soon you will be having your annual ARD meeting to develop your son or daughter's educational program and placement. Often your local school can provide the educational services which your child needs. However, there may be times in your child's education when specialized, intensive services might be needed from a special school. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired can help when this happens, either at its Austin campus or in your local area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can TSBVI offer students?

TSBVI provides a broad range of specialized instruction and services on its campus. Students can:

  • Learn with specially trained teachers and other staff who understand vision loss and its effects on development
    • teachers certified in visual impairment
    • orientation and mobility specialists
    • occupational and physical therapists
    • adaptive physical education teachers
    • speech/language therapists
    • counselors and social workers
    • low vision specialists
    • technology teachers
  • Have access to a 24-hour per day Health Center, staffed by licensed nurses 7 days a week.
  • Experience a school day which integrates language development, motor skills, independent living and self-help skills, behavior management, and social development into all aspects of learning.
  • Learn to talk and communicate, read and write, using Braille or other special communication systems.
  • Become familiar with specialized technology such as adapted computers and notetakers.
  • Acquire academic skills at TSBVI and in Austin public school classes.
  • Learn to get around independently using orientation and mobility skills.
  • Participate fully in extracurricular activities.
    • be in a school play
    • learn photography and create art
    • join the wrestling, swimming, or track teams
    • be in tandem biking
    • learn to play a musical instrument
    • learn outdoor sports such as fishing, boating, running
  • Have a home away from home.
    • live in pleasant dorms with caring staff
    • visit museums, parks, malls, and more
    • have fun with friends at the School's Recreation Center, bowling alley and pool
  • Learn the skills needed to live independently, (e.g., dressing, eating, cooking, maintaining an apartment, budgeting money).
  • Learn work skills, explore a career, get a job on campus or in the community.
  • Grow with special friends who share and understand visual loss.

Where does the student live while going to TSBVI?

Students live in campus houses, apartments, and dorms with one- or two-student rooms. Students go home on a weekly or monthly basis to be with their families. The school operates a "Weekends Home" program using school vehicles. Some students from the Austin area live at home and attend TSBVI as day students.

How long does a student attend TSBVI ?

TSBVI returns students to local programs as soon as possible. The student's family, local school, and the staff of TSBVI decide together when a student is ready to make a successful transition to home and local programs. The School offers both long-term and short-term programs. Some of these programs take place during the school year, others are offered during the summer.

How much do these services cost?

There is no cost to students or their families for instructional and residential services. Families simply provide for their child's clothing, medical care, and personal needs.

Are there services provided by TSBVI for families and students throughout Texas who attend their local schools and live at home?

Yes. TSBVI has a group of excellent teachers and other professionals in our Outreach Department who can work with parents and local school teachers to develop ideas on how to improve learning in the student's local program. Workshops, on-site consultations, newsletters and parent support are available.

What are the eligibility requirements for services from TSBVI ?

A student must be 21 years of age or younger, must have a visual impairment or a visual impairment with an additional disability, and must need specialized services related to the visual impairment to receive services. The student's local school and parents must agree to request the services of TSBVI , whether those services are at the school or provided locally by Outreach Services.

However, TSBVI would not be able to meet a student's educational needs if the student requires educational services in a hospital or in the home, or requires intensive services related to a severe emotional, behavioral, or mental disability, including the services of a residential treatment facility.

You Have Rights

What rights do parents have if they request any of these services from TSBVI , and either the local school or TSBVI disagrees?

Although this does not happen very often, the parent may request assistance from the Texas Education Agency to provide mediation in order to resolve the problem, or the parent may request a due process impartial hearing in accord with the provisions of the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

How do I get more information about services from TSBVI ?

Contact the school's admission office if you are interested in school year, short-term, or summer programs.

Contact Outreach Services if you desire services to be provided in your local area.



Short-Term Programs provide short-term services to visually impaired students who attend their local districts during the school year. Short-Term Programs provide two types of service:

  • School Year Short-Term Programs: range from three to five days in length and offer  intensive, individual, narrowly focused training to academic students who are on or close to grade level in any area specifically related to vision loss, such as adaptive  technology, Braille & Nemeth Code, and tactile math tools in relation to the Expanded Core Curriculum. Close collaboration with independent school districts occurs before and after participation in these programs. Instruction supports the regular curriculum (TEKS) by teaching:

    • Disability-specific skills needed to access the regular curriculum (e.g., technology, low vision tools and strategies, math tools and strategies)

    • Basic concepts that support the curriculum (e.g., college prep, social studies, research, number concepts)

    • Attitudinal changes that support successful learning (e.g., self-determination, social skills, independent living) 

  • Summer Short-Term Programs: provide a wide range of offerings, from elementary to high school, academic to severely multiply-impaired,  in a broad array of content areas such as vocational, functional application of academic skills, independent living skills, social-emotional  development, and adapted athletics.

 If you would like more information about Short-Term Programs, please contact: Sara Merritt, Principal of Short-Term Programs (512) 206-9176  .


* on or close to grade level: Most of these students take the regular or accommodated TAKS/STAAR tests and pass at least one test. They typically receive primary instruction in the regular classroom supported by a TVI rather than content mastery, resource room, or inclusion support. If a student does not perform at this academic level, he or she should apply for our summer school program (the application is posted between January 9 - Feb 14 on our website).


TSBVI students walking along the covered path and laughing while it rains. General School Contact Information

  • Address:
    Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    1100 W. 45th St.
    Austin, TX 78756
    MapQuest View of TSBVI - location within Austin
    Campus Map
  • Switchboard: (512) 454-8631
  • Toll Free Number: 1-800-872-5273
  • FAX Number: (512) 206-9453
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm

 Board of Trustees

Staff Directory


William Daugherty
(512) 206-9133

Open Records Coordinator & Customer Service

All open record requests should be submitted in writing to TSBVI’s Open Records Coordinator:

Susan Houghtling, Open Records Coordinator, Customer Service Representative
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas   78756
Fax: 512-206-9453

Principals/Assistant Principals/Coordinators

  • Comprehensive Programs
    • Miles Fain - Principal
      (512) 206-9251
    • Tad Doezema  - Assistant Principal
      (512) 206-9457
    • Eden Hagelman - Assistant Principal
      (512) 206-9451
    • G'Nell Price - Assistant Principal
      (512) 206-9396
  • Post Secondary Program
    • Linda Locke Cordinator
      (512) 374-1664 
  • Special Education Coordinator
    • Valerie Perwein
      (512) 206-9281
  • Short-Term Programs
    • Sara Merritt - Principal
      (512) 206-9176

Accessibility Coordinator

  • Jim Allan
    (512) 206-9315


  • Cathy Olsen, Coordinator
    (512) 206-9182

Business Department

  • Amanda Hafer, Director of Accounting
  • (512) 206-9208

Business, Information/Technology, and Operations

  • Pamela Darden, Administrator
    (512) 206-9422

Center for School Resources

  • Susan Hauser, Director
    (512) 206-9273

Health & Medical Issues

Human Resources

  • Kate Mainzer, Director
    (512) 206-9132

Information/Instructional Technology

  • Dan Hampton, Director of Information Resources
    (512) 206-9210 

Operations Department

  • Brian McDonald 
    (512) 206-9126

Outreach Program

  • Cyral Miller, Director
    (512) 206-9242
  • Miriam Miramontes, Outreach Administrative Coordinator
    (512) 206-9268
  • Randall McAlister, APH Quota Materials
    (512) 206-9344
  • Chrissy Cowan, Mentor Coordinator and Personnel Prep
    (512) 206-9367


  • Valerie Perwein, Supervising Psychologist
    (512) 206-9281

Publications / Curriculum

Book Orders & Order Status

  • Bob Mellon
    (512) 206-9272 Voice or (512) 206-9282 FAX

Questions About Publication Content

  • Debra Sewell
    (512) 206-9183
  • Jeanne Williamson
    (512) 206-9383

Short-Term Programs

  • Sara Merritt - Principal -
    (512) 206-9176

Student Counselors and Social Workers

Student Trust Fund

  • Amanda Hafer
    (512) 206-9208

Supervisors of Comprehensive Residential Programs


  • Gloria Bennett , Coordinator
    (512) 206-9234


  • Stacey Rayos
    (512) 206-9458
  • Dennis Kimble
    (512) 206-9175
  • Kristi Sprinkle
    512) 206-9207

Weekends Home:

  • Shelly Allen
    (512) 206-9179
  • H. Garner Vogt
    (512) 206-9115
  • Gian Calaci
    (512)206-9231 - Office
    (512) 844-9362 - Cell

Contact Information

 General Contact Information

  • Address:
    Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    1100 W. 45th St.
    Austin, TX 78756
  • Switchboard: (512) 454-8631
  • Toll Free Recording Number: 1-800-872-5273
  • TDD (512) 206-9451
  • FAX Number: (512) 206-9450
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm

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  • Bill Daugherty (512) 206-9133

Principals/Assistant Principals/Coordinators: 

  • Comprehensive Programs
    • Miles Fain - Principal - (512) 206-9251
    • Tad Doezema - Assistant Principal - (512) 206-9457
    • Eden Hagelman - Assistant Principal - (512) 206-9451
    • G'Nell Price - Assistant Principal - (512) 206-9396
  • Post Secondary Program
    • Linda Locke - Coordinator - (512) 374-1664

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Special Education Coordinator

  • Valerie Perwein (512) 206-9281

Supervisors of Comprehensive Residential Programs 

  • Shelly Allen, Residential Director A,  (512) 206-9179
  • H. Garner Vogt, Residential Director B,  (512) 206-9115

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Social Workers 


  • Valerie Perwein, Supervising Psychologist (512) 206-9281

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Short-Term Programs: 

  • Sara Merritt, Principal (512) 206-9176

Center for School Resources: 

  • Susan Hauser, Director (512) 206-9273

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Health & Medical Issues: 

  • Andrea Ashton, Supervisor (512) 206-9137 

Weekends Home: 

  • Shelly Allen - (512) 206-9179
  • H. Garner Vogt - (512) 206-9115
  • Gian Calaci - (512) 206-9231

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  • Cathy Olsen, Coordinator (512) 206-9182 

Volunteers, Community Resources and Donations: 

  • Gloria Bennett, Coordinator (512) 206-9234

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Student Trust Funds: 

  • Director of Accounting (512) 206-9208 (contact Pam Darden until further notice at )

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Outreach Program: 

  • Full TSBVI Outreach Staff list
  • Cyral Miller, Director (512) 206-9242 
  • Miriam Miramontes, Outreach Administrative Coordinator (512) 206-9268
  • Randall McAlister, APH Quota Materials (512) 206-9270
  • Chrissy Cowan, Mentor Coordinator (512) 206-9367

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Business, Information/Technology, and Operations 

  • Pamela Darden, Administrator (512) 206-9422
    • Business Department
      • Amanda Hafer, Director of Accounting (512) 206-9208
    • Information Resources Department
      • Dan Hampton, Director of Information Resources (512) 206-9210
    • Operations Department
      • Brian McDonald, Director of Operations (512) 206-9126

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7:50 - 8:40


8:45 - 9:35


9:40 - 10:30


10:35 - 11:25

5 (1st Lunch)

11:25 - 12:10

6 (2nd Lunch)

12:15 - 1:05


1:10 - 2:00


2:05 - 2:55


3:00 - 3:50

Download the PDF Brochure: "A Parent's Guide to Services at TSBVI"

Photo of Students with Delta Gamma Volunteers in the TSBVI Learning Resource Center

A Legacy of Service: 1856 to Present

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) in Austin was established by the Texas Legislature in 1856. We have been proudly serving Texas students with visual impairments since that time!

We are here to support parents, students and professionals in providing quality educational services to Texas students who are visually impaired, DeafBlind, and/or have additional disabilities. These students are at the heart of our mission and of our collaboration with parents and ISDs.

Photo of Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired circa 1916

What We Do

Many years ago, TSBVI was viewed as the place where students with visual impairments lived and learned throughout their school years. These students rarely returned to their homes except during the summer months. Things have changed a lot since then!  We now have three programs (Outreach Programs, Short-Term Programs, Comprehensive K-12 Programs) delivering services throughout Texas. TSBVI works within a statewide network as partners with local school districts, educational service centers and related agencies. We are no longer viewed as a school where a student is likely to spend most of their school career. Instead, we offer a range of options to provide support to local educational teams when they request our assistance in educating their students.

Photo of staff in front of new Main Building

Outreach Programs

TSBVI established Outreach Programs to expand efforts already underway to serve families and local districts throughout Texas. Over time, Outreach Programs have become a recognized and highly valuable resource throughout the state. We offer a wide variety of services including but not limited to those listed below.

  • Family Engagement

TSBVI Outreach supports families of children with visual impairment and/or deafblindness to access training and resources, and to connect to other families. Family supports and trainings are coordinated as appropriate with the Health and Human Services Commission, Blind Children's Program and the Texas Workforce Commission, Blind Services Program. Click here to view  a list of Texas Family Resources on DeafBlindness.

  • School Consultation

Your student does not need to be enrolled as a TSBVI student in order to benefit from the expertise of our staff. Experienced TSBVI educational consultants can work with your local district to help your educational team with recommendations for quality programming. Requests must come from the local district and are coordinated with your regional Education Service Center (ESC) vision consultant to ensure long-term follow up. Click here to view a map of Texas' Educational Service Centers.

  • Statewide Training

TSBVI staff provides local and regional workshops, and sponsors on-campus workshops, statewide conferences, videoconferences (TETN) and webinars. Training is available for educational team members, including families, community and agency staff, and is often provided in collaboration with or upon request from a local district, education service center, and/or related organizations and agencies. Click here to view a statewide calendar of training opportunities.

  • Publications and Materials

The Outreach Program produces original materials, including their On-The-Go eLearning. TX SenseAbilities, a quarterly newsletter, is available online and in print, in both English and Spanish. Click here to request a subscription to TX SenseAbilities. Also available on the website are a wide variety of articles, links, blogs and other distance learning materials.

  • Costs of Outreach Program Services

There are no costs to the student’s parent for Outreach Program services. The student’s local school district may support Outreach services when there are costs associated with training (e.g., registration fees) or to help pay for transportation and related travel costs associated with Outreach visits.

Short-Term Programs: School-Year and Summer Programs

TSBVI Short-Term Programs includes school-year and summer sessions.

School Year Short-Term Programs

Short-Term Programs provides school-year classes between September and May to academic students who are functioning on or close to grade level and are able to quickly adapt and learn in a new environment. Ranging from 3-5 days in length, these highly intensive, fast-paced classes introduce students to aspects of the Expanded Core Curriculum that can be difficult to provide during the regular academic school day. Our residential instruction is as carefully planned and supervised as our day program. All classes are provided at no cost to the school or family; this includes transportation. Short-Term Programs also offers online Distance Learning opportunities and Individualized Instruction.

Instruction in Short-Term Programs aligns with the current Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives by teaching:

  • Disability-specific skills needed to access the regular curriculum (e.g., technology, low vision tools and strategies, math tools and strategies
  • Basic concepts that support the curriculum (e.g., college prep, social studies, research, number concepts)
  • Attitudinal changes that support successful learning (e.g., self-determination, social skills, independent living)

In addition to working on state identified objectives, students:

  • Interact with other students and adults with visual impairments who share many of their life experiences, thus supporting social-emotional development, self-advocacy skills, and self-determination skills. This alone can have a life-changing impact on a student’s perspective and willingness to learn in the classroom.
  • Practice supplementary skills and adaptations (before and after school) needed for food preparation, household tasks, personal organization and management, accessible recreational and leisure skills.
  • Experience the independence of living away from home for a short time in a totally supported environment, making choices and trying out new experiences on their own.
  • Better understand the need and value of using special adaptations related to vision loss
  • Join in activities that access the campus at large as well as the community.

Examples of our many Short-Term Program classes are:

  • Elementary Access to Academic Skills
  • High School Access to Academic Skills
  • Low Vision Tools and Strategies
  • College Prep
  • Tech for Tykes
  • Iron Chef: Working in the Kitchen
  • Safe Driving with Low Vision
  • City Travel
  • Accessible Math Tools

Summer Programs

Summer Programs are available to Texas students are not enrolled full-time at TSBVI during the regular school year. These programs, which range from 1-5 weeks in length, serve students from elementary through high school, including those who are visually impaired with additional disabilities. Classes focus on various aspects of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) for students with visual impairments. Each summer, we bring approximately 300 students to our campus from all across the state. TSBVI offers these programs at no cost to parents, but does not provide or pay for transportation.

Summer Programming is:

  • Secondary Enrichment
  • Practical Experiences in Expanded Core (PEEC)
  • Elementary Summer Enrichment
  • Working and Living in the Community (WALIC)
  • Summer Work Experience in Austin Texas (SWEAT)

Summer applications are posted on our website in early January each year, and they are due no later than February 14. They are completed jointly by the student’s parent and Teacher of the Visually Impaired.

Click here for additional information regarding TSBVI's Short-Term Programs: School-Year and Summer Programs.

Photo of students working with geometric model

Photo of 2012 Braille Challenge Team

Comprehensive Programs (K-12, Post-Secondary, EXIT)

K-12: As in the past, we continue to have our on-campus regular school year program for students. Most students reside on campus Sunday night through Friday afternoon, traveling back to their homes either weekly or every other week. Students who live close to the school continue to live at home during their enrollment and are transported to the school on a daily basis by their local school districts. We know families are important! We work hard to make sure students are home and connected to their communities as often as possible.

Like all students with disabilities throughout the country, each student enrolled in Comprehensive Programs has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) developed by the student’s local Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee, which includes the student’s parents or guardian. For students attending TSBVI, our staff also participates in the ARD meeting, offering support to the local district.

TSBVI is a center of expertise in visual impairment. Our teachers and other support staff (O&M, OT/PT, Speech Language Pathologists, Nurses, and Paraprofessionals) are uniquely able to provide specialized support to you and your district when a student needs a period of intensive services on our campus. We are able to evaluate each student’s learning needs and help the local district build its capacity to provide appropriate instruction when the student returns home.

If you and your district determine that your student may need a period of intensive services in Comprehensive Programs, a referral can be initiated by the student’s local ARD committee.  If the student is accepted for Comprehensive Programs, an ongoing process of collaboration among TSBVI, you, and your district begins right away and continues throughout the student’s enrollment at TSBVI.  The purpose of the collaboration is to ensure that TSBVI makes an effective contribution to your student’s long term educational plan.  TSBVI will deliver an appropriate on-campus educational program while at the same time assisting you, your local school, and other agencies to prepare for the student’s successful return to the district or to adult life after graduation.

Comprehensive K-12 Eligibility Requirements

To be enrolled as a student at TSBVI, the student must be a resident of Texas who has been determined by the local school district Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee to be visually impaired or deafblind. By law, students who are admitted to TSBVI:

  • Must require specialized or intensive educational or related services related to the visual impairment
  • Must not have needs that are appropriately addressed in a home or hospital setting or in a residential treatment facility; and
  • Must not have primary, ongoing needs related to a severe or profound emotional, behavioral or cognitive deficit.

For more information about referral for admission, contact: Cathy Olsen, TSBVI Admissions Coordinator, or by phone 512-206-9182.

Photo of TSBVI Champion Robotic Team - The DotBots

Costs Associated with Comprehensive K-12

  • The student’s local school district shares in the cost of the student’s education when the student is enrolled in TSBVI. The cost to the district is based on each local school district’s property tax revenue.
  • The district also funds the costs of the student’s transportation at the beginning and end of the school year, and at each of the TSBVI school holidays when the School closes. There are eight school closings in the typical school year.
  • The student’s education is free to the parent. The student’s medical treatment is the responsibility of the student’s parents. Parents are encouraged to provide students with an “allowance” for personal items and special recreation activities, although most recreation activities are funded by TSBVI.

Click here for more information regarding TSBVI's Post-Secondary Program

Click here for more information regarding TSBVI's EXIT Program

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th Street Austin, TX 78756
Main Number: 512-454-8631
Toll free: 1-800-TSB-KARE
William Daugherty, Superintendent
; 512-206-9133