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Wisconsin National Agenda

What School Can My Child Attend?

Goal No. 5 of the National Agenda for Students with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities, states that a full array of placement options will be available for students who are visually impaired.

Wisconsin Placement Options for Students with Visual Impairment

School and Residential Facility. Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped (WSVH), a component of the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Students from all over the state of Wisconsin attend school at WSVH, either boarding at the school or attending as day students. WSVH is a 24-hour facility providing comprehensive instruction on a daily basis in academics, communication skills including braille, activities of daily living, Orientation and Mobility, technology, as well as other needed skills. One strength of a residential placement is expanded opportunity for participation in extra-curricular and social activities with other students with visual impairment. Integration in classes within the Janesville Public School system is available for students whose IEP's reflect such a setting. Placement at WSVH can vary from a few weeks to several years, depending on the needs of a particular student.

Dr. Tom Hanson, WSVH Superintendent
1700 West State Street
Janesville, WI 53546

Special Class. A Special Education Program located in a regular school building, which serves children with visual impairment in the majority or all of the instructional areas within the special education classroom. Individual students may be integrated into other regular or special education programs, for short periods of time during the day. As a strength of this program, students receive a high level of direct instruction in one-to-one or small group settings. As a result, students will be better prepared to participate successfully in general education and community environments.

Resource Program. Regional resource programs are designed to serve students with visual impairment from a number of school districts. Students are integrated into general education academic classes. In addition, students receive instruction in specific skills within the resource program as needed. A strength of this program is the opportunity for socialization with both regular education peers and peers with visual impairment. The resource teacher provides direct instruction, student support in all classrooms, and consultation with regular education staff.

Itinerant Programs. A special education program for students with visual impairment in which the teacher serves students in several schools, often in several school districts. The itinerant teacher can provide a range of services including direct instruction and indirect consultation, based on student need. A strength of this program is that students receiving itinerant services attend the majority of general education classes and have the opportunity to participate in regular extra-curricular activities.

Information on Program Options

Samantha Hoffman
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Education Consultant--Visual Impairment
125 South Webster
Madison, WI 53702

Private Agencies Serving Students with Visual Impairment in Wisconsin

Holy Assumption Resource Room for the Blind
1526 South 72nd Street
West Allis, WI 53214
Contact: Sister Mel Marie Stoll

Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children: Non-profit special education and therapy services for blind or visually impaired children, and their families.
5600 West Brown Deer Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Contact: Erica Weise

Did You Know the Following?

  • According to IDEA 97 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act--Federal Special Education Legislation), you are an equal participant on your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
  • There is a nationally recognized curriculum for students with visual impairment (see the National Agenda document). The needs of your child should determine educational placement decisions made by the IEP team.
  • Each school district, Local Education Agency (LEA), must provide a Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
  • School districts, LEA's, must provide a variety of placement options for students with disabilities.
  • Your child can attend his/her local school and also attend the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped (WSVH) during the same school year.
  • At any time, one or more of the following placement options may be beneficial to meet the needs of an individual student.

This document is available in alternative formats upon request. Please feel free to copy this document as needed or for additional copies, please contact:

Wisconsin Council of the Blind
354 West Main Street
Madison, WI 53703
(Revision date) 1-28-2000