Department for the Blind

Teacher with blind girl using Brailler machine

VSDB Department for the Blind

Our focus is on the whole child. VSDB serves both residential and day students with blindness or visual impairments, and with multiple disabilities.

We offer a comprehensive educational program throughout  the continuum of learning from kindergarten through 12th grade, and beyond that through workforce transition programs.

We are student centered. By building on the gifts, strengths, interests, and unique needs of each student, VSDB helps individual students maximize their potential and meet their personal goals.

We organize a team: You know your child, and we know education. That’s why we work collaboratively with families, local school divisions, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired to ensure that students have the benefit of all available insight, resources, and support.

We are academically strong. Our course content meets the statewide standards of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and prepares students to succeed in higher education, in the workforce, and in their communities.

Unique VSDB Benefits

Because of VSDB’s mission and status within Virginia’s educational system, we are in a unique position to provide educational benefits that are rarely available through local school systems and experiences that help your child develop skills to his or her fullest potential:

Instruction

  • Educational programs and supports specifically designed for students who are blind/vision impaired, deafblind, or blind/vision impaired with additional disabilities
  • Faculty who are highly skilled and specifically qualified to teach students who are blind or visually impaired, deafblind, or blind with other disabilities
  • Daily or weekly Braille instruction as deemed appropriate by the IEP team
  • Exposure and instruction in the most current technology and computer programs to support full access to the curriculum and to your child’s education
  • Instruction focused on the “whole child” so that areas including academics, social/emotional skills, self-advocacy, and independent living skills are part of each student’s educational program
  • Instruction that is developmentally appropriate and fully accessible at all ability levels
  • Curriculum specifically designed for students who are blind/vision impaired to support daily living skills, functional academics, and workforce skills in preparation for effective transition

Environment

  • Fully accessible learning environment including visual/audio safety alarms and current technology to support learning
  • Daily opportunities to interact with adult role models who are Blind/Vision Impaired
  • An educational setting where students can be with peers, develop friendships, and have the opportunity to be “one of many” and not “the only one”
  • Educational and recreational activities that support confidence, self-worth, and self-advocacy

Beyond the Classroom

  • Opportunities for all students to be involved in after school educational activities that extends education beyond the classroom
  • For middle and high school students, community based instruction and work experiences that are fully accessible and are supported to meet the prescriptive needs and abilities of each child
  • Activities that promote age appropriate interactions and social skills
  • Experiences that allow your child to develop skills to his/her fullest potential
  • For older students, opportunities to increase independence on campus, while under supervision, through participation in the Gold Card Program, 18+ Residential Program, and the Independent Living Apartments