Why VSDB

Why Choose VSDB for Your Student?

VSDB provides an integrated, holistic approach to education and personal development with a full array of services and programs that are simply not available at any other school in Virginia. Students grow in every aspect, do to expand capabilities and gain confidence, and become capable adults who succeed in post-secondary education, in the workforce, and as citizens in their communities.

Expert teaching

VSDB’s faculty are simply the best — highly qualified and caring, they dedicate their careers to teaching students with hearing and vision impairments.

  • Collectively, our faculty has more than 250 years of experience in teaching children who are blind, who have vision impairments, who are deaf, who are hard of hearing, who are deafblind, or blind or deaf with other disabilities. Their expertise is exceptional!
  • The average class size is about five to seven students, so all children receive the individual attention they need and deserve.

Exceptional outcomes

VSDB prepares students for success in whatever comes next for them. For high school students and post-high school students who have participated in transition services, that may mean embarking on a career, independent living in the community, and/or post-secondary education. For younger children who attend preschool at VSDB, that may mean being ready to attend a school closer to home within a year or two. Whatever age students are when they come to VSDB, we’ll help them reach their best at what’s next.

Hands-on learning

Interactive, experiential learning builds skills, knowledge, and confidence that translate into lifelong success — in post-secondary education, in the workforce, and in their communities.

Community of peers

At VSDB, students are “one of many” instead of being the “only one” … often for the first time. They thrive when they have friends and classmates with similar experiences and capabilities.

Life and career skills

Because they’re prepared and confident in what they can do, VSDB graduates are successful in post-secondary education, in the workforce, and in their communities.

Day or residential options

Like residential students, day students have complete access to VSDB’s educational programs and are encouraged to participate  in social activities, extracurricular opportunities, outings, athletics, clubs, and service. For some students, distance from home or other factors may make living on campus during the week a better option. For others, living at home while participating in classes and activities on campus is the best arrangement. In either case, students benefit from being fully engaged at school and participating in age- and developmentally-appropriate activities. Weekends at home means students have time with their families, too, to feel the support and love they need to prosper and grow.

No cost to families

As a state agency, we cover all costs for education, services, transportation, room, and board.

Transportation provided

VSDB provides all transportation for residential students weekly at no cost to families or to school systems. VSDB delivers students to established “hubs” throughout the state, per a predetermined schedule on Friday where parents or school systems pick them up and head home. On Sunday, VSDB picks the students back up at their assigned hub locations and times and transports them back to VSDB in preparation for the following school week. Depending on the length of the route, students are accompanied by VSDB staff in chartered busses, VSDB busses, or state vehicles. Day students are transported daily by their local school division or parents/guardians.

Transition services that are available nowhere else

VSDB provides an array of transition services to prepare students for life after graduation including fully accessible programs that are unique to Virginia. These include but are not limited to

  • Supported academic experiences online and in the post-secondary setting
  • On and off campus work experiences through the Achieve Work Experience Program
  • VSDB Independent Living Apartments Program provides a supervised independent living program
  • CROPS Horticulture and Agriculture Program occurs on Virginia’s largest educational urban farm, right on our campus
  • The 18+ Residential Program

Safe, Fully Accessible Campus

We make sure that the facilities on our beautiful and historic campus, home to the first school for the deaf and the blind, are set up for full access by our students. That is our mission and our practice. Our location in Staunton means that the environs have an enviable low crime record, and our campus security (and indeed our entire staff) works tirelessly to protect the well-being of students, staff, and campus visitors.

Adult role models

Students enjoy the opportunity to interact with adults who are successful and independent in their own communities and can share valuable insight and experiences with students. For many students, VSDB provides their first opportunity to interact with adults who share the same day-to-day real-world experiences and challenges.

Assistive technologies

We stay up-to-date on what assistive technologies are available to support people who are blind, hearing impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or deaf or blind with other disabilities. We know accessibility and we know technology, so we ensure that our students are exposed to and instructed in the most current and most appropriate technology to meet their needs.