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Table of Contents

  1. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
  2. Three-Part Legislative Mission
  3. Program Descriptions and Access to Services
  4. Supporting Local School Districts with Provision of a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE)
  5. Length of TSBVI Placements
  6. TSBVI’s Relationship with Education Service Centers
  7. TSBVI’s Relationship with the Texas Workforce Commission Programs: Texas Workforce Solutions - Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS) 
  8. Cost to Local School Districts or Parents for TSBVI Services

1. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) was established in Austin and funded by the Texas Constitution and Legislature in 1856. Since then, TSBVI has served students with visual impairments throughout Texas.

2. Three-Part Legislative Mission

In 1995, the Texas Legislature passed a comprehensive set of statutes establishing the School as a state agency with a governing board appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. This legislation defined TSBVI’s three major educational roles within the State of Texas:

  1. Serving students with visual impairments in an on-campus overnight program;
  2. Conducting supplemental programs; and
  3. Providing statewide services to parents, local school districts, educational service centers and other agencies. Education Code 30.021

More information about the school is available on the TSBVI website (www.tsbvi.edu).

3. Program Descriptions and Access to Services

TSBVI has established three educational departments to implement its three-part legislative mission: 

  • Outreach Programs
  • Short-Term Programs
  • Comprehensive Programs

3.1 Outreach Programs

The Outreach Programs of TSBVI serve as a statewide resource on visual impairment and DeafBlindness for families and professionals. Information about requesting Outreach support is available by phone at 512-206-9268 or 512-206-9242 or on the Outreach Programs page of the TSBVI website (www.tsbvi.edu/outreach).

The TSBVI Outreach Staff performs a variety of functions:

  • Consultation on Student Programming. The staff consults with local school districts on student programming, implementation of evidence-based practices, and transition planning, in coordination with regional education service centers. A request for individual student consultation or local teacher training must come from the local school district staff.
  • Family Support.  TSBVI Outreach supports families of children with visual impairment and/or DeafBlindness to gain access to resources, connection to other families, and needed training. Families can request information, home consultation, assistance to attend training, and/or helpful connection to other families.
  • Statewide Training. The staff provides local and regional workshops, sponsors on-campus workshops and statewide conferences, online courses, and live and archived webinars. Request training (www.tsbvi.edu/req-outreach-services/request-training).
  • Publications and Materials. The Outreach Program produces original materials, including a quarterly newsletter - TX SenseAbilities (in print and on the website), instructional modules, blogs and a variety of distance learning materials. To request a subscription to the TSBVI quarterly newsletter for families and professionals, please go to TX SenseAbilities (www.tsbvi.edu/tx-senseabilities).
  • Technology Loan Program. Subject to availability, local school districts may borrow specialized technology for use by individual students for up to one school year by completing a technology loan application. The technology loan program administered through the TSBVI Outreach Department is available to any local school district within the state of Texas.
  • VI Registration Coordination. TSBVI provides guidance and coordination of the statewide registration of students with visual impairments and the DeafBlind census.
  • APH Materials Distribution. Specialized materials from the American Printing House for the Blind may be ordered from the TSBVI Outreach Program using federal quota funds to provide VI specific materials to eligible students.
  • Coordination of Professional Mentors and Support for Professional Preparation ProgramsTSBVI provides professional mentorship to new teachers of students with visual impairments and certified orientation and mobility specialists. This is accomplished in collaboration with universities and regional education service centers that recruit and train new professionals in the field. 

Visit Outreach Programs online (www.tsbvi.edu/outreach).

3.2 Short-Term Programs

Short-Term Programs offers various group and individualized classes for students with visual impairments on a rotating schedule. These brief classes provide instruction in a variety of topics to address needs in academic, social, and independent living skill areas. In on-campus programs, students travel to Austin and participate with visually impaired peers from across the state. In our distance learning programs, students access instruction using a computer while remaining in a local school program. The Short-Term Programs department is subdivided into two distinct programs:

  1. Short-Term Programs. A wide range of classes are offered during the regular school year for students who are on or close to grade level. The in-person classes are usually 3-5 days long and offer intensive instruction and training in academic areas and the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) including social and independent living skills.  Distance learning classes and individualized instruction are offered online so that students do not have to leave their home districts. Eligible students must be referred by their local school district; usually the student’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Referrals are made online via the Short-Term Programs referral form (shortterm.tsbvi.edu/StudentReferral/Create).
  2. Summer Programs. A wide range of summer enrichment programs are offered on-campus and serve students of all levels and ages from elementary through high school. The classes may change from year to year to meet the interests and needs of the state’s visually impaired student population. Classes range from a few days to several weeks in length. The summer application (shortterm.tsbvi.edu/SummerAppGateway/BeforeWeBegin) is available online at the TSBVI website between January and the February 14th deadline. Although a summer application does not require a local school district referral, the TVI is asked to complete the application with supportive information from the family.

Questions about Short-Term Programs and Summer Programs may be directed to .

3.3 Comprehensive Programs

  • On-Campus Educational Programs. TSBVI’s Comprehensive Programs include the School’s on-campus K-12 educational program and the 18+ Experiences in Transition (EXIT) program. Students enrolled in these Comprehensive Programs are referred by a local school district Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee. Students who are admitted to TSBVI attend school during the regular two-semester school year and do not attend TSBVI during the summer.  If a student requires extended school year services, those services will be provided by the local school district; TSBVI does not provide extended school year services. Students attend school on the TSBVI campus and return home on most weekends during the school year. Students who live a reasonable travel distance to the TSBVI campus are enrolled as day students with daily transportation provided by the local school district.  
    • Eligibility Requirements. To be eligible to attend TSBVI, the student must be a resident of Texas who has been determined by the local school district’s Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee to be visually impaired or DeafBlind. Additionally the student must meet the following criteria:
      1. 21 years of age or younger, and 5 years of age or older on September 1 of any school year; and
      2. require specialized or intensive educational or related services related to the visual impairment.

TSBVI is not intended to serve students whose:

      1. needs are appropriately addressed in a home or hospital setting or in a residential treatment facility; or
      2. primary, ongoing needs are related to a severe or profound emotional, behavioral or cognitive deficit; or Education Code 30.021
      3. conduct resulted in:
        1. a removal to an alternative education program or expulsion the preceding year;
        2. being declared delinquent or in need of supervision and is on probation or other conditional release for that conduct; or 
        3. conviction of a criminal offense and is on probation or other conditional release. Education Code 25.001(d)
  • Campus Tours. Local school district staff, parents and students interested in learning about TSBVI’s Comprehensive Programs may tour the TSBVI campus. Visitors are welcome to schedule a guided tour of the campus facilities, including educational, recreational and dormitory facilities to learn more about campus services. To arrange a tour, please contact Admissions Coordinator by phone, 512-206-9182, or by email to .
  • Student Referral for Admission. To start the referral process, TSBVI must receive a referral from the local school district ARD committee. Upon receipt of a referral, the TSBVI Admissions Coordinator will communicate by phone with the designated local school district representative and follow up by sending an application for admission. This will include a request for information such as the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), evaluations, medical reports and other important documents.
  • TSBVI Referral Committee Decisions and Notification. After receiving the student application and other documentation requested, the TSBVI Referral Committee will review all information to determine if the student is eligible for services at TSBVI, and if so whether it appears that the student is receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) from the local school district (see section 5, below). For students who are eligible for TSBVI services and appear to need TSBVI admission in order to receive a FAPE, TSBVI will notify the local school district and parent that the student will be admitted and begin collaboration efforts with the local school district and parent to prepare for transitioning the student to TSBVI. An ARD meeting will be scheduled to address the change in location for IEP services prior to the student’s enrollment at TSBVI. If, upon review of the information provided by the local school district, the student appears to be receiving a FAPE in the district, or not eligible for TSBVI services, TSBVI will communicate with the district to ensure that all relevant referral information has been considered and make a final determination whether or not to admit the student and notify the local school district of this determination.
  • Resolution of Differences. If a local school district does not agree with the determination of the TSBVI Referral Committee, the district may call the TSBVI Director of Center for School Resources for additional discussion about the referral and/or may seek resolution through the Texas Commissioner of Education and the Texas Education Agency or through any due process hearing to which the local school district or school is entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400 et seq.)

4. Supporting Local School Districts with Provision of a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE)

A student’s local school district is responsible for ensuring that each of its students receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Depending upon the needs of the student, any of TSBVI’s three program options may be considered by a local school district. The overarching role of each of TSBVI’s three educational programs is to assist local school districts in ensuring that all students with visual impairments receive a free appropriate public education.

The relationship between the student’s local school district and TSBVI is similar to the relationship between a primary care physician and a specialist.  Depending on an individual’s current condition a specialist may be required for a certain period of time. It is the responsibility of the primary care physician to oversee the person’s health and to provide services over the long term and to refer the person to a specialist for diagnostic and specialty treatment when needed. The primary care physician does not relinquish the person’s care at any time while the person is being treated by the specialist. Following intervention by the specialist, the primary care physician once again resumes responsibility for the person’s overall care and treatment.

TSBVI and local school districts collaborate together at varying levels of intensity depending on the student’s needs.  A student’s local school district has the long-term responsibility for providing the student with a FAPE. It may be that, during the student’s educational career, the local school district enlists the special services of any one of TSBVI’s programs (Outreach, Special Programs, Comprehensive Program) to meet the student’s special needs for educational and related services identified at the time of the local school district’s request and/or referral for services.

Outreach services support the local school district’s capacity to provide FAPE through consultation and training. Short-Term Programs can support the local school district’s capacity to provide FAPE through direct instruction provided through intensive short-term classes on the TSBVI campus or through distance learning opportunities. Comprehensive Programs is designed to assist local school districts by admitting students to TSBVI for the provision of a FAPE on a time limited basis.  During the student’s enrollment at TSBVI the local school district and TSBVI collaborate to provide services and prepare for the student’s return to the local school district or transition on to a post secondary setting.

5. Length of TSBVI Placements

5.1. Entitlement to Free Appropriate Public Education for Students with Visual Impairments 

 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires the State of Texas to ensure that all eligible students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE)  and recognizes that intensive programs focused on visual impairment needs, such as those at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired may be appropriate for meeting this requirement.

The Texas Education Agency is responsible for ensuring that students with visual impairments have an opportunity for achievement equal to the opportunities afforded their non-disabled peers with normal vision and that local school districts have the flexibility of meeting the needs of students with visual impairments through short-term or long-term services through the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). Education Code 30.002

Local school districts may consider TSBVI along with the continuum of other statewide alternative placements to ensure that a student with a visual impairment receives a free appropriate public education.

5.2 FAPE and LRE Concerns for Local School Districts when Considering IEP Services at TSBVI

The State of Texas public education system serves over 10,000 students with visual impairments. Only a small number of these students can be served at TSBVI at any one time. When a local school district determines that a student has specialized and intensive needs for services related to the visual impairment, the district may consider a referral to TSBVI. Two factors are central to this consideration: Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

  • Free Appropriate Public Education. The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.
  • Individualized Education Program. To provide a FAPE, a local school district must develop an IEP that provides the student with access to specialized instruction and related services that are individually designed to provide educational benefit to the student.  The student is not entitled to receive the maximum potential benefit but the educational program must be reasonably calculated to enable the student to make progress appropriate in light of the student’s circumstances. These standards are very important in TSBVI’s consideration of student admission, continued placement and return to the local school district.
  • Least Restrictive Environment. In looking at the continuum of placement options available to meet the student’s needs, the local school district must look for the setting that can provide the student’s FAPE that is also the least restrictive environment in which FAPE can be provided. The student’s ARD committee must ensure that the student is educated to the maximum extent appropriate with children who are nondisabled; and that a setting like TSBVI occurs only if the nature and the severity of the disability preclude satisfactory achievement of education in the regular classroom with the use of supplementary aids and services.

5.3 Length of Student Enrollment in TSBVI Comprehensive Programs

The IDEA reflects a strong preference for the student to be educated in regular classes with the student’s nondisabled peers with appropriate supplementary aids and services. To this end, Commissioner Rule requires that, when a student’s ARD committee refers the student to TSBVI, the local school district is required to list the services in the student’s individualized education program which TSBVI can provide and to include in the student’s IEP the criteria and estimated time lines for returning the student to the local school district. 19 TAC 89.1085 (c)

In accordance with Commissioner Rule and the IDEA’s preference, when a student is admitted, TSBVI collaborates with the student’s local school district to prepare for the student’s return back home to the district for further programming. In some cases it is appropriate for a student to transition directly from the TSBVI Comprehensive Programs into adult life without returning for programming in the local school district. In these situations, TSBVI will actively collaborate with local school district staff and family to plan for the student’s successful transition into adult life. The local school district remains responsible for each student’s transition.

Occasionally, a student may continue enrollment at TSBVI for a longer time period.  Reasons for this include lack of availability of appropriately trained staff or other essentials for the provision of FAPE in the local school district. Throughout this time, TSBVI will continue to actively collaborate with the local school district and family so that the district can prepare for the student's return home to receive a FAPE as soon as appropriate staffing or other essential needs have been met.

  • Collaboration with Local School Districts, Education Service Centers, Texas Workforce Commission, and Other AgenciesFrom the time a student is accepted for admission, TSBVI focuses on developing a strong partnership with the staff of the student’s local school district, the Educational Services Center serving the student’s local school district, and Texas Workforce Commission and other agencies or entities that support the student and the student’s family. The goal of this extensive collaboration is to support the local school district’s efforts and abilities to provide the student with a FAPE upon the student’s return to the district. During the student’s enrollment, TSBVI not only provides the instruction and IEP program the student needs to ensure a FAPE, but also collaborates intensively with the local school district, other agency staff and the student’s family to prepare for the student’s return to the local school district.  Collaborative activities include:
    • facilitating onsite visits by TSBVI and local school district staff;
    • conducting specialized assessments;
    • developing effective strategies for student instruction to enhance learning both at TSBVI and within the local school district
    • identifying student’s individualized needs for:
      1. Special Education Services
      2. Related Services
      3. Supplementary Aids and Services
      4. Program Modifications
      5. Identifying and training staff that will be needed when the student returns to the local school district program 
  • When the local school district is prepared to provide a FAPE, the student will return to a local program. Being prepared to provide FAPE does not mean that the local school district will provide the student with precisely the same level of services or the same opportunities to benefit from education that were provided while at TSBVI. It does mean, though, that the local school district is able to implement an IEP reasonably calculated to enable the student to receive educational benefit. Because TSBVI is a center of expertise for the education of students with visual impairments, TSBVI is able to provide a level and intensity of services not typically available in local school districts. Sometimes, it is difficult for parents to accept that the services offered by the local school district when the student returns does not match what was offered at TSBVI.  In order to maximize the educational benefit and ensure a successful return to a local school district program, TSBVI strives to work collaboratively with the local school district teams throughout the time the student is enrolled at TSBVI. Continued support from TSBVI is also available to local school districts following the student’s return back to a local school program in order to assist the districts and student with the transition.

6. TSBVI’s Relationship with Education Service Centers

The State’s Education Service Centers (ESC) were created by the Texas Legislature to assist school districts in improving student performance to operate more efficiently and economically, and to implement initiatives assigned by the legislature to the Texas Education Agency. TSBVI partners with ESCs to support the needs of all students in Texas with visual impairments.  ESCs are informed when a local school district makes a request for services from any of TSBVI’s programs and similarly when a student transitions back to a local program. ESCs collaborate directly with TSBVI when Outreach services are requested. The ESC may also provide assistance to local school districts in funding transportation and per diem costs related to Outreach staff consultations.

7. TSBVI’s Relationship with the Texas Workforce Commission Programs: Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS)   

  • Outreach ProgramsOutreach Programs actively link with TWS’ Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS)  to serve students and their families across the state. VRS staff are invited to participate in local school consultation visits. Workshops are often co-sponsored with VRS, especially for topics relevant to family members. The quarterly TX SenseAbilities newsletter is an ongoing joint effort between TSBVI and VRS. This close collaboration with VRS benefits all students with visual impairments.
  • Short-Term ProgramsTWS-VRS works with TSBVI to distribute information about Special Programs throughout the state. As a co-sponsor, TWS-VRS is specifically involved in administering the TSBVI summer vocational Summer Work Experience in Austin Texas (SWEAT) program.
  • Comprehensive ProgramsWith adult student or parent permission,TWC caseworkers are invited to attend student ARD committee meetings and to visit a student while at school. TWC has a critical role in facilitating training and other opportunities outside of the school for students and families such as independent living skills, self-advocacy, vocational preparation and transition to adult life.

8. Cost to Local School Districts or Parents for TSBVI Services

8.1 Outreach Program Services Costs

Certain expenses may be associated with Outreach services:

  • Registration Fees. TSBVI charges a registration fee to help cover the costs of conferences.
  • Transportation Costs. A local school district may pay for the transportation costs of Outreach staff coming to their district for technical assistance or training.
  • Consultation Services. Consultation fees may be requested for certain Outreach services.   

8.2 Short-Term Programs Costs

Certain costs may be associated with Short-Term Programs:

  • School Year Short-Term Programs. Short-Term Programs, including transportation costs, are provided by TSBVI at no cost to the local school district or parent.
  • Summer ProgramsThere are no costs for students to attend a summer program; however TSBVI does not support transportation to the summer programs and the responsibility for transportation costs remains with the local school district or family.

8.3 Comprehensive Programs Costs 

There are two costs to the local school district for a student enrolled in the Comprehensive Programs of TSBVI:

  • Student’s EducationThe local school district shares in the cost of the student’s education when the student is enrolled in TSBVI. The amount of the cost per student will vary from district to district and is determined by dividing the district’s local maintenance and debt service taxes by the district’s average daily attendance for the preceding year. Each local school district provides the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with the information necessary to make this calculation.  TEA then deducts the local school district’s amount from the foundation school funds payable to the district and remits the district’s share to TSBVI. If the local school district does not receive foundation school funds, TEA directs the district to remit the payment to TEA and TEA then remits the local school district’s share to TSBVI. The local school district never sends a payment directly to TSBVI. Education Code 30.003
  • Student Transportation Costs. The local school district is responsible for providing transportation to TSBVI from the student’s home. For day students that live in the Austin area this is daily transportation. For student’s that live too far away the local school district is responsible for travel for the student at the beginning and end of the school year, and at each of the TSBVI school holidays when TSBVI is closed. There are eight school closings in a typical school year. The cost to the local school district depends on distance, mode of transportation, and whether the student’s ARD Committee has determined that an escort is required to accompany the student. In some cases the student’s parent serves as the escort and transportation provider; the parent is reimbursed by the local school district for the cost of the transportation. 19 TAC 89.1090

Information related to costs to parents includes:

  • Education, Room and Board at No Cost to Local School District or Parent. The costs of the student’s education and related services, room and board at TSBVI are funded by TSBVI (through state appropriations) at no cost to the parent or the local school district.
  • Parent CostsThe 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.

 

Joe Paschall heads the physical education department at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Photo by Beth Bond
Joe Paschall heads the physical education department at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
By Veronica Meewes

Marketing Publications Writer

Published: 9:58 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24, 2011

Joe Paschall can't walk down the hall of his school without being greeted by just about everyone who passes him.

"Hi, Coach!" one passing student said while a teacher glided by in the opposite direction with a cheery "Hey, Joe!"

Paschall takes it all in with a huge grin, responding to each salutation without missing an energetic stride.

"We're all family here, can't ya tell?" he remarks with a chuckle.

For the past 10 years, Paschall has been the head of the physical education department at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). He teaches nine classes a day to students ranging in age from 6 to 22. He is also the track and field coach and with the recent addition of a brand-new pool will soon begin coaching the school's swim team.

"I love my job," Paschall said. "I want (my students) to be confident ... that they can make little changes or learn a little differently and the outcome will be the same. I tell them that there's ... other ways to teach you the skills than vision."

Most of Paschall's students come to TSBVI with little to no experience playing sports. He uses multiple approaches to teach basic skills — from three-dimensional diagrams and charts to modeling and hand-under-hand guidance.

"It takes a lot of extra work to understand a sport and understand drills and understand — when you can't see a coach — exactly what you're supposed to be doing," he said. "So what I do is I overcompensate. ... I have a little scale of a football field and then I take them to a football field, let them climb the goal posts. Take them to a basketball court, let them walk the perimeters. Here at school, I go and get ladders and show them where the basket is. Because all it is is noise, especially if you're totally blind."

Paschall knows what kinds of challenges his students face because he too is legally blind. He was diagnosed with ocular albinism at birth, a condition that causes extreme light sensitivity and visual impairment. Paschall has never let that stop him from doing what he loves, succeeding and then reaching even higher. He credits support from his family with getting him where he is today.

"They're just pretty much sports fanatics," he said of his family. "It just never entered my mind that I couldn't do it because I'm visually impaired. I just did it."

Attending public schools with help from Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Paschall was involved in athletics throughout his youth. In high school, he became even more active, notably in football and track and field. He cites several of his football coaches at Mesquite High School as major inspirations, as well as Mike Woodward, the former head coach at TSBVI. While enrolled at the University of Texas, Paschall started going to TSBVI to practice under Woodward's supervision. He became a member of the United States Association of Blind Athletes and competed in track and field, skiing, swimming, tandem cycling and goal ball, an adapted sport for the blind.

"I felt accomplished and I felt confident in myself," Paschall said. "And it not only works on your health and your appearance but your emotional well-being, too."

Paschall remembers how hurtful it was when peers were mean to him as a child trying to play baseball. His experiences inform the lectures he gives to blind and visually impaired students in public schools.

"I always say your best revenge is your own success," he said. "Don't waste your energy having a comeback. Don't even think about them. You only think about what you want to do, what skill you want to learn."

These days, he's pursuing goals like cycling 1,100 miles across Russia. He finished fourth out of 78 athletes competing in an Ironman Triathlon.

"I have kids come in from public schools and I'll have them work on a skill and they go, ‘If I do this, will you not laugh at me?' And that kinda gets you here, you know?" he said, motioning toward his heart. "I go, ‘We don't laugh at people here. We're here to help people.'"


 
 
  • Social Skills Cinema: Lessons for the Real World - Entry form, video, and written lesson plan must be submitted to TSBVI by May 27, 2011. Announcement of winners will be sent prior to August 2011.
  • LIMITLESS SOCCER CLINIC, Designed specifically for Elementary Age Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Soccer experience is not required. Saturday, June 4, 2011

  • Clínica Ilimitada del fútbol, Diseñado específicamente para los estudiantes elementales de la edad qué son ciegos o con deficiencias visuales. La experiencia del fútbol no se requiere. Sabado, June 4, 2011

  • 2011 Active Learning Conference, TSBVI Outreach Conference Center
    June 9th & 10th

 

This page and the entire TSBVI World Wide Web site strives to be accessible to all people.

Purpose

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired World Wide Web site reflects the schools vision of serving as a leading center of educational expertise for students with visual impairments. The TSBVI website strives to be a model for web site design to ensure the information is accessible to individuals with visual impairments. Such information can be easily transformed into Braille, large print, voice output, and regular text. As a technical information resource, the site will focus on four areas:

Training - materials to support training and education, announcements of upcoming training events, and provision of on-line training

Research - provide for the ongoing development and dissemination of research information developed here at TSBVI, within the State of Texas, and elsewhere. It is our hope that such information will coordinate the efforts of professionals working in the classroom, educational center, and academic context

Curricula - provide for the efficient sharing of information concerning education of students with visual impairments.

Technical - provide resources for professionals, parents, and lay persons associated with programs for the visually impaired and deaf/blind throughout the state, country, and world

All resources on the TSBVI Web page are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. You are welcome to use these resources as needed provided that the TSBVI Web page is cited as the source. A basic tenet of TSBVI is to promote the collegial sharing of information. You are invited to submit items for publication on the website. In all cases author contact information will be included. In this manner, we hope to build a valuable resource to promote the development of instructional materials and resources.

Disclaimer of Endorsement

All articles appearing on this website represent the individual positions of their authors and not the position of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The TSBVI website contains a variety of links and references to resources available through government, educational, commercial, nonprofit, and international websites. External links to websites from the TSBVI website and references to non-TSBVI resources are provided solely for informational purposes and the convenience of the user. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired does not control, review, approve, or endorse these sites or the information, products or services contained therein. These other sites may collect data or personal information. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site. If you decide to access any site linked to this site, you do so entirely at your own risk. In addition, the external links and resources are in no way intended to represent an exhaustive listing.

State Web Site Link and Privacy Policy

Accessibility Policy

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) is committed to making its Web site accessible to all users. To make the site more accessible, we include several features designed to improve accessibility for users with disabilities. Some of these features are described below.

A descriptive text equivalent is provided for images and other non-text elements, aiding users who listen to the content of the site by using a screen reader, rather than reading the site.

Major reports and other publications that are on the Web site are generally available in HTML or other accessible format. When publishing a document in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), we will also post an accessible version.

TSBVI is committed to making its Web site accessible according to the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Section 508 Web Accessibility Standards. To improve the accessibility of our Web site, we test any major redesign with screen readers and other tools. The results of these reviews are incorporated into the Web site.

TSBVI welcomes comments on how to improve the site's accessibility for users with disabilities. If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our Web site interferes with your ability to access the information, please contact the webmaster. To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the preferred format in which to receive the material, the Web address of the requested material, and your contact information.

Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities.

If you have a visual impairment there are many options which you can control from the selection of an accessible browser to modifying your browser to meet your needs. Visit Large Print and Speech Access to the World Wide Web.

Questons about accessibility?


Privacy Policy

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired maintains this web site as a public service. The following is the privacy policy for this site (all pages starting with www.tsbvi.edu):

  1. We do not use cookies to collect information. Note: A cookie file contains unique information a web site can use to track such things as passwords, lists of pages you've visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific page or to identify your session at a particular web site. A cookie is often used in commercial sites to identify the items selected for a specific shopping cart application. We do, however, use cookies to store your viewing preferences during your visit to our site so that if you choose to view the site in high contrast mode, your selection will be applied to every page that you view.
  2. If you send us an electronic mail message with a question or comment that contains personally identifying information, or fill out a form that e-mails us this information, we will only use the personally-identifiable information to respond to your request and analyze trends. We may redirect your message to another government agency or person who is in a better position to answer your question.
  3. For site management functions, information is collected for analysis and statistical purposes. This information is not reported or used in any manner that would reveal personally identifiable information, and will not be released to any outside parties unless legally required to do so in connection with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings.

We use Log analysis tools to create summary statistics, which are used for purposes such as assessing what information is of most interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. The following information is collected for this analysis:

  • User Client hostname - The hostname (or IP address if DNS is disabled) of the user/client requesting access.
  • HTTP header, "user-agent" - The user-agent information includes the type of browser, its version, and the operating system it's running on.
  • HTTP header, "referer" - The referer specifies the page from which the client accessed the current page.
  • System date - The date and time of the user/client request.
  • Full request - The exact request the user/client made.
  • Status - The status code the server returned to the user/client.
  • Content length - The content length, in bytes, of the document sent to the user/client.
  • Method - The request method used.
  • Universal Resource Identifier (URI) - The location of a resource on the server.
  • Query string of the URI - Anything after the question mark in a URI.
  • Protocol - The transport protocol and version used.

Submission Guidelines for Content Publication on TSBVI.edu

  • Use a FAQ structure (see bns faq as an example)
  • Identify sources of quoted materials (link to source when available)
  • When referencing specific products provide a link to appropriate manufacturer's product page
  • Provide complete author information. Name, Organization, Address, E-mail.
  • Submit publications for consideration to Jim Allan

Open Records Policy

The Spectacle

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Parent newsletter
May 2010

Halfway To A New Campus

By Bill Daugherty Superintendent

So much construction has been going on for so long at TSBVI that we are all like kids in the back seat on a long road trip—Are we there yet? Big, beautiful new buildings have risen up all around us, but in reality we are just a little over halfway to our destination in 2012. Sometime in mid-July we are scheduled to move into the new Main Building and Recreation Center, with the Fine Arts Center, Cafeteria, Pool, and Outreach Building and Conference Center close behind.

This fall we begin work on building the new elementary school where the old one sits, and also on the Career Education and Transition Building where Dorms D, E and F now stand. These will be followed by a new Gymnasium and a warehouse/operations building. Our last step is to complete the landscaping plan and then build perimeter fencing that we are designing to be both welcoming and secure.

The lighting around our four newest dorms near the Sunshine gate entrance is amazing at night, making it a very safe and appealing environment. By the time we are finished, this level of lighting will be the norm everywhere. Security cameras will be strategically placed around the campus and we will all feel much more comfortable about students walking around at night with greater levels of independence.

We ask for your patience with the inevitable disruptions this historic move will almost certainly entail. When it's all done it will be well worth the wait, because this will be the finest campus for students who are blind or visually impaired in the world. What we will have are facilities that will support and enhance the work of our outstanding faculty and staff. We look forward to celebrating with you this great investment the citizens of Texas have decided to make in the future of students who are blind or visually impaired.

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Manual para padres y estudiantes y Código de conducta estudiantil

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TSBVI and its staff and students are active members of the Austin community. In fact, Austin itself is a classroom where students work, learn traveling skills, eat out and spend hours of recreation. The many local entities who have a relationship with TSBVI students appear on our Community Partners page.

If you would like your organization to appear on the Community Partners page, contact:

Gloria Bennett


 TSBVI thanks the following Community Partners!