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Course Offerings

STP offers both weeklong and weekend classes. We are pleased to offer a model of instruction that includes both on-campus and online courses throughout the school year. The referral opens each school year in August and should be submitted as early as possible. An application is also required.

Calendar and Class Descriptions

School year short-term program classes are designed to provide Expanded Core Curriculum support for academic level students who are learning from a curriculum that is on or close to grade level. The classes are listed here with the option to filter by subject matter, grade level, on campus or online, date, etc. There are descriptions for each listing but if more information is needed to make a decision about what classes would be right for your student, please contact our admission team at [email protected]. You can also view a Google Doc of the course offerings.

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Individualized Instruction

Date Ongoing
Location On Campus, Online
Grade Lvl. 1 - 12

Sometimes, students are unable to attend a Short-Term Programs class during the school year. However, they may benefit from instruction to support their academic coursework.

In order to serve students who are unable to attend our traditional in-person classes, Short-Term Programs staff offer individualized instruction that may take the form of distance communication (e.g., via Zoom web conferencing platform), student-teacher visits to our campus, or a Short-Term Programs teacher visiting your district to teach a lesson.

The individualized instruction model seeks to find a solution that best fits your student’s needs.

What Next?

  • If you are interested in exploring individualized instruction for your student, submit a referral for Individualized Instruction.
  • A Short-Term Programs teacher will contact you to discuss student needs, dates, and locations.
  • You can help our teachers by identifying available classroom or instructional spaces in your district.

student using a protractor

We look forward to working with you to support students this way each school year!

For additional information about the content of this section contact Sara Merritt at [email protected] or 512-206-9176.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Algebra I SBOE Credit – Fall

Date August 14 - December 21, 2023 (On campus August 17-20 and October 29 - November 3)
Ref. Date May 19, 2023
Location On Campus, Online
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- Math

Primary Requirements:

(1) Attend the in-person classes at TSBVI, two each semester:

  • August 17 – 20, 2023 – How to Algebra I
  • October 29 – November 3, 2023 – Principles of Graphing and Tactile Graphics

(2) Obtain the textbook.

Algebra 1 – TEKS Texas Student Edition

ISBN-13: 9780021402465

ISBN-10: 0021402469

Publisher: McGraw Hill

Published: 2016

This a Texas-adopted textbook as per TEA. It can be ordered through the EMAT system (see TEA’s Accessible Instructional Materials page) by the district’s Instructional Materials Coordinator. Please contact us with any questions.

Note: If you are ordering the book in braille, make sure to request the UEB version. TEA should not send the EBAE version out in the future, but it is best to make sure to request UEB.

If you currently have the EBAE version (in the district warehouse), we can use that for this school year, but a plan for replacing that needs to be made by the district.

(3) Be able to access and interact with class materials online, which includes:

  • Using Zoom videoconferencing on a computer or device mostly independently (i.e., muting/unmuting, turning on/off video);
  • Having intermediate screenreader skills for accessing and interacting with Desmos graphing calculator, Google Classroom, and email;
  • Being able to successfully advocate for alternatives if needed (i.e. TI-84 Graphing Calculator, BNT+) and incorporate them efficiently during class activities.

*TSBVI will award credit in place of a local district’s Algebra class.

For additional information contact: John Rose, M.A., M.Ed.

Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments at [email protected].

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Elementary Independence Weekend: Fun with Art, Craft, and Fine Motor

Date August 24-27, 2023
Ref. Date August 1, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 3 - 5
Subject - ECC
- Art

The Independence Weekend classes offer theme-based learning opportunities to practice skills from the Expanded Core Curriculum. A class theme provides motivational, real-world relevance for learning, and students practice a range of interdisciplinary skills by working collaboratively to obtain meaningful products or experiences. Students also have the opportunity to share personal experiences with others who are blind or have low vision.

In Fun with Art, Craft, and Fine Motor, students, in grades 3 – 5, will explore types of art that can improve their fine motor and tactile skills. Students will have an opportunity to create their own works of art. At the same time, students will review and practice a number of Expanded Core Curriculum skills throughout the weekend, including social skills, self-determination, O&M, and sensory efficiency.

The students, of course, will just think they are having fun!

For additional information about the content of this section contact Kathryn Heitman at [email protected] or 512-206-9388.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Junior Access to Academic Skills – Fall

Date September 10-15, 2023
Ref. Date August 7, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 6 - 8
Subject - Access to Academics

Access to Academics classes teach access skills in a small group setting, usually two to three students with a teacher. Math and Assistive Technology are the instructional areas most frequently addressed. This year we offer these topics:

  • Low Vision
  • Math
  • STAAR Test Taking Strategies for Braille Testers
  • Technology

STAAR Test Taking Strategies

A new class is being offered this year, with the goal of preparing braille-reading students for the paper-based STAAR test. Students will have the opportunity to share these learning experiences with others who are also braille test takers.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • General test-taking strategies
  • Subject-specific test-taking strategies
  • Having knowledge of and advocating for one’s own accommodations for the STAAR in appropriate situations
  • Positive self-talk and adjusting to stress and anxiety during the STAAR
  • Strategies for using a live reader or a scribe

We will be asking the teachers for the following:

  • to provide the student’s approximate current level of performance in the identified skill areas
  • to provide the student’s copy of the STAAR Accommodations so that we can tailor the instruction individually
  • to integrate newly learned strategies into student’s lessons as much as possible so that the skills are second-nature when the STAAR is taken

After the course is completed, we will be providing the opportunity for the students to continue on with individualized instruction.

Students coming to work on screen reader skills must meet certain prerequisites as described below.

student posing for picture

The Short-Term Programs teacher and the student’s local TVI jointly determine objectives for each student (e.g., develop basic Algebra skills such as solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations; develop skills in using the Talking TI-84+ Graphing Calculator; use a screen reader or screen enlarger to create, edit, save and manage documents and to access the internet for research and recreation).

We will also ask you about your student’s current level of performance in the identified skill areas. The purpose of the class is to increase each student’s ability to access the academic curriculum (TEKS) by using a specific adaptive skill set.

We request that local TVIs integrate newly learned skills into students’ daily lessons after the student completes this class. Daily practice is the best way to reinforce current skill levels and promote new learning. We can be available to help you with this by offering the following supports:

  • Zoom online meetings
  • Phone conversations

Screen Reader Prerequisites: Students using a screen reader can learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys. Students ideally should be able to type simple sentences. Help your student learn typing skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512-206-9361 to discuss your options.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

For more information about the content of this section contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512-206-9361.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Elementary Series

Date September 24–27, 2023; October 22-25, 2023; November 12–15, 2023
Ref. Date August 15, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 2 - 5
Subject - Access to Academics

Students must be able to attend all three classes.

Part A: September 24 – 27 (Sunday – Wednesday)
Part B: October 22 – 25 (Sunday – Wednesday)
Part C: November 12 – 15 (Sunday – Wednesday)

The Series classes are designed to offer short and repeated instruction for elementary students in grades 2 – 5 who are tactual learners. Each class is formatted for two or three students. Students can attend only one section (math, STAAR testing strategies, or technology).

Math

Grades 2 – 5
This series class is designed to provide students in grades 2 – 5 who are braille readers with the ability to access math concepts through a comprehensive approach. This program includes the following four components:

  • Nemeth Code: supports students’ abilities to read and write math expressions
  • Cranmer Abacus: supports students in completing math computations using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, as appropriate
  • Manipulatives: support concept development related to place value, mathematical operations, and 2- and 3-dimensional figures.
  • Tactile Graphics: support students’ abilities to relate 2D representations to 3D concepts

Requirements:
Students must have daily access in their local schools to a math textbook and/or handouts prepared in Nemeth Code, a Cranmer abacus, a braillewriter, and appropriate math manipulatives, so that they can continue to build skills between sessions.

Grades 2 – 3

  • Students should understand one-to-one correspondence, recognize simple shapes and objects, understand that a number refers to a set amount or group of objects, and be able to count whole numbers to 100
  • Solve basic problems, including story problems, related to addition and subtraction through 10.

Grades 4 – 5

  • Students should understand place value to three digits, the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and should have the majority of the math facts committed to memory.
  • Students should have the potential to function mathematically on grade level, but require compensatory skills training to realize their potential, such as learning to use the abacus to complete grade-level computations.

STAAR Test – Taking Strategies

Grades 3 – 5
A new class is being offered this year, with the goal of preparing braille-reading students for the paper-based STAAR test. Students will have the opportunity to share these learning experiences with others who are also braille test takers.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • General test-taking strategies
  • Subject-specific test-taking strategies
  • Having knowledge of and advocating for one’s own accommodations for the STAAR in appropriate situations
  • Positive self-talk and adjusting to stress and anxiety during the STAAR
  • Strategies for using a live reader or a scribe

We will be asking the teachers for the following:

  • to provide the student’s approximate current level of performance in the identified skill areas
  • to provide the student’s copy of the STAAR Accommodations so that we can tailor the instruction individually
  • to integrate newly learned strategies into student’s lessons as much as possible so that the skills are second-nature when the STAAR is taken

After the course is completed, we will be providing the opportunity for the students to continue on with individualized instruction.

Technology

Grades 2 – 5
This series class is designed to provide students who are visually impaired the ability to access computers and screen reading software through the use of a comprehensive approach including:

  • Basic computer concepts
  • Basic navigation
  • Word processing skills

Requirements:
Students benefit most when they have the screen reader already installed on district computers and have daily access to these computers so they can practice between sessions.

Students can choose to learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: Appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys and be able to compose and type simple sentences. This skill can vary, but students who have very little knowledge of touch typing will find executing the keyboard commands necessary to use screen reading programs (i.e., Alt + Tab) to be challenging. You can help your student acquire this skill by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: Appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512-206-9361.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

  • Your local ESC
  • TSBVI Tech Loan Library

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512- 206-9361.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

In Your Element: Access to Chemistry

Date October 8 - 12, 2023; April 14 - 18, 2024
Ref. Date August 28, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- Science

TSBVI partnered with Baylor University as a part of their NIH grant project to provide blind and low-vision students the opportunity to learn about chemistry through hands-on experiences.

Part 1: October 8 – 12, 2023

Part 2: April 14 – 18, 2024

While attendance in both parts is not mandatory it is recommended.

Students will:

  • receive instruction on basic Chemistry concepts from a college chemistry professor in collaboration with STP staff
  • meet and engage with blind scientists
  • be able to visit a chemistry lab on the Baylor campus to perform experiments with a state-of-the-art chemistry robot alongside a team of college students
  • be provided with tactile graphics and 3-d models

In addition to enhancing students’ access to scientific knowledge, this class will increase their self-determination skills.

For more information about the content of this section contact Helen Benton at [email protected] or 512-206-9471.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

High School Access to Academic Skills – Fall

Date October 29-November 3, 2023
Ref. Date September 11, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Access to Academics
- College Prep
  • Low Vision (Sunday-Wednesday)
  • Mathematics
  • Technology

Students may select to work on skills related to low vision,  mathematics, or technology. Instruction will be provided in a small group, highly individualized setting (typically two to three students with a teacher and TA). Students coming to work on screen reader skills must meet certain prerequisites as described below.

The Short-Term Programs teacher and the student’s local CTSVI will jointly determine objectives for each student (examples: develop introductory skills in using the new Orion TI-84+ Talking, Graphing Calculator; use a screen reader or screen enlarger for word processing, internet research, to create spreadsheets, and/or to create PowerPoint presentations). We will also ask you about your student’s current level of performance in the identified skill areas. The purpose of the class is to increase each student’s ability to access the academic curriculum (TEKS) by using a specific adaptive skill set.

In addition to the specific objectives selected, students will practice skills of independent living (e.g., preparing simple meals, serving and cleaning in the kitchen, organizing one’s personal area), as well as social skills, recreation & leisure, and self-determination after school. Students attending these week-long classes are asked to bring local assignments with them, and we provide two hours each day for students to work on them.

We request that local CTSVIs integrate newly learned skills into students’ daily lessons after the student completes this class. Daily practice is the best way to reinforce current skill levels and promote new learning. We can be available to help you with this by offering the following supports:

  • Zoom online meetings
  • Phone conversations
  • Visits to TSBVI

Screen Reader Prerequisites: Students using a screen reader can learn to access the computer in two ways: using a keyboard or using a refreshable braille display.

Keyboard: appropriate for students with a basic knowledge of the alphabet, number, and punctuation keys. Students ideally should be able to type simple sentences. Help your student learn typing skills by using the free Talking Typer software from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Refreshable braille display: appropriate for students who are comfortable typing on a Perkins brailler and who can transfer skills to the keys of a braille display. Please ensure your student has access to a braille display in the home district in order to build on skills after the class ends. If your student doesn’t have access to a braille display and you are interested in exploring instruction using this method, please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer or John Rose to discuss your options.

For additional information about the content of this section contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512-206-9361.

To borrow a braille display, investigate:

  • Your local ESC
  • TSBVI Tech Loan Library

Software to be taught in the TSBVI class must be installed on a computer that the student can access for frequent practice after returning home, in order to maintain skills.

Special Focus: Preparing for College

This section is for students who wish to learn about the issues and challenges associated with getting ready for college.

Topics include:

  • Learning about services available to visually impaired students and how to obtain them
  • Communicating with and negotiating the complexities of various service agents such as TWC Texas Workforce Commission,
  • University Offices for Students with Disabilities, and Financial Aid
  • Choosing an appropriate college and filling out applications
  • Obtaining assistive technology
  • Discussing worries and concerns regarding college, and learning to find help for unanswered questions
  • Maximizing the college social experience
  • Developing and networking with valuable professional and peer contacts
  • Receiving information, helpful tips, and anecdotes from other visually impaired students who are successfully participating in the college experience at this time

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512- 206-9361.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

JAWS for Students and Teachers

Date November 9-12, 2023
Ref. Date September 25, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 5 - 8
Subject - JAWS

Does your student need to boost their JAWS skills? Do you want to support your student in learning JAWS? If so, this joint Student-TSVI class could meet your needs! 

Nina Wibbenmeyer (TSVI, STP teacher) and Donna Clemons (Assistive Technology Consultant, Outreach) are offering a weekend course designed to provide simultaneous basic- to intermediate-level JAWS instruction for local TSVIs and their students (TSVIs with basic skills are encouraged to apply). We hope to address the ongoing challenge of students maintaining their newly acquired skills by providing extra support and direct instruction to the local TSVIs. 

During the planning phase, the STP teacher talks with each TSVI to discuss current skill levels and then identifies a group of student/TSVI teams with relatively similar needs. We will also identify group and individual objectives. While attending the TSBVI on-campus class, Nina will provide instruction to the students, while Donna provides simultaneous instruction to the group of TSVIs (although attending together, students and TSVIs will be in separate groups for most of the instruction). 

To conclude the class, TSBVI staff and the local TSVIs will discuss the objectives, instructional strategies, and next steps in order to maintain the students’ and the local TSVIs’ skills with JAWS. The on-campus workshop is followed later in the year by one or more online, hour-long sessions using a web-conferencing platform (e.g., Zoom). The follow-up session(s) give students and their teachers the opportunity to reconnect, see how things are going, and build upon what was learned during the on-campus workshop. 

Please note: It is required for the student to already have basic keyboarding skills (a working knowledge of alphabet, number, and punctuation keys) and the ability to type simple sentences at a rate of about 10 wpm. If they are familiar with how to use a braille display attached to a laptop, this can be used in place of the laptop keyboard. Please ensure that the student already has JAWS installed on a computer prior to the weekend class, so that the student can maintain skills after returning home. 

Here are some important logistics to be aware of:

  • Students will reside in the dorm while on our campus. They will practice independent living skills (e.g., preparing simple meals, serving and cleaning in the kitchen, organizing one’s personal area), as well as social skills, recreation & leisure, and self-determination. We have found that the opportunity to simply be together and share similar challenges can be an invaluable, life-changing experience for students.
  • TSBVI can house TSVIs in the Wildcat Inn or in a dormitory on our campus. There will be access to inexpensive meals in our cafeteria or meals can be prepared in the Inn or in the dorm. There are also several good restaurants in walking distance from our campus.
  • TSBVI will pay transportation and all other costs for students; however, we will not be able to pay transportation costs for staff. Transportation costs would fall to the school district.
  • The class size will be relatively small; please apply soon!

For additional information about the content of this section please contact Nina Wibbenmeyer at [email protected] or 512- 206-9361.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Cooking Around the World

Date November 30-December 3, 2023
Ref. Date October 16, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 6 - 8
Subject - ECC

Join us at TSBVI, as we learn about culture, cooking, and five continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students will gain skills through a variety of food preparation activities. Examples include stirring, pouring, measuring, chopping, slicing, baking and using simple appliances. Practicing safety in the kitchen, setting and clearing the table, cleaning your workstation, and putting dishes in a dishwasher will be part of our program as well.

Students will have opportunities to:

  • read recipes in their appropriate media
  • follow instructions
  • sample unfamiliar food
  • open different kinds of packaging

You don’t need a passport to join this fun class!

For additional information about the content of this section contact Kathryn Heitman at [email protected] or 512- 206-9388.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Wellness Weekend

Date December 7-10, 2023
Ref. Date October 23, 2023
Location On Campus
Grade Lvl. 9 - 12
Subject - Health

The Wellness Weekend class will introduce students to a variety of health and self-care options to discover useful strategies to develop personal wellness goals and practices that they can continue to refine throughout their lives.

Lessons and activities will focus on:

  • Stress management and self-care, relaxation, and mindfulness techniques
  • Sound nutritional choices and alternatives to “empty calories”
  • Low-cost, widely available opportunities for recreation and leisure
  • Non-visual sensory (e.g., sound, aroma) experiences
  • Development of individualized wellness goals

For additional information about the content of this section, contact Annie Biondi at [email protected] or 512-206-9179.

Make a Short-Term Programs referral!

Are you looking for Summer Programs information?

This link will direct you to information about our summer program choices. No referral necessary. The application opens each January.

Summer Programs