What are some questions that I need to ask both public schools and the local school for the blind

My husband and I have recently considered moving to a different state. What are some questions I need to ask both the local public schools and the states school of the blind? I want to make sure we move to a good school district that is willing and capable of teaching a fully blind student. Or is there a state agency I need to ask these questions to?

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Posted by Amber Bobnar on Feb 14, 2016 - 8:03am

Each state will be different in terms of state agencies. In Massachusetts we have the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and they could help in answering your questions, although you'd definitely get more info by going directly to the school district you're considering moving to.

If there is a local school for the blind that can be a really good place to start. They should have social workers that can help you and are very familiar with blindness, school districts and the appropriate state agencies to contact. They can also help you figure out which questions you want to ask. When we moved from Hawai'i to Massachusetts the very first thing we did was contact Perkins School for the Blind and got in touch with a social worker (Ann Ross - our hero!). She held our hands and helped us make the big move so much easier.

If you're looking at a mainstream classroom placement, you might want to find out how involved the school for the blind is in the mainstream schools. Do they support the teachers with professional development training focused on blindness issues? Do they provide TVI and O&M staff to the schools? Will they do home visits or consultation visits with the school staff? Do they provide outreach services that your son could participate in on the weekends or during holiday vacations? Those would all be excellent services to help augment what the mainstream school is doing.

I also posted your question to Facebook. You can see what others had to say here: https://www.facebook.com/wonderbaby.org/posts/1169237399760867

Some good points were:

*Check to see if they have certified TVI hired for the district/school either full/part time or do they contract.

*Find out if they have blind students in AP or advanced classes

*Find out if they have an O&M on staff