Resources for Serving Students with Sensory Disabilites (Vision/Hearing)
Services for Visually and Hearing Impaired
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides information on educational services and resources to support students who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind at its website. The following links to information and resources are excerpted from the VDOE’s website at Special Education-Specific Disabilities-Sensory Disabilities:
- Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) - The VSDB is located in Staunton, Virginia and provides a K-12 educational day program, outreach services, and residential services exclusively for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind. The VSDB Outreach Services assist early intervention providers, local school divisions, and families in meeting the needs of children across the Commonwealth. The VSDB’s admissions policy is available at its website.
- Contact: Pat Trice, Superintendent, at Trice@vsdbs.virginia.gov or
Specialty Centers and Programs
- Accessible Instructional Materials Center-Virginia (AIM-VA) - The AIM-VA’s extensive library has developed an alternative system of providing accessible educational media under standards set by federal law to students who meet the federal requirements for print disabilities and who are eligible for accessing educational media under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as required under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The AIM-VA, in conjunction with partnering agencies, provides required accessible educational materials to students with an IEP and training for staff, at no cost to Local Educational Agencies.
- Contact: AIM-VA Help Desk, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 926-1879
- Radford University Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program - Radford University offers Virginia’s only academic program leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Hearing Impairment PreK-12. Courses are taught through combined on-campus, distance education, and varied educational field experiences. The comprehensive program teaches all communication/instructional approaches used with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
- Contact: Karen Stinson, Graduate Advisor, at email@example.com or
- Technical Assistance Center for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TAC-DHH) - The TAC-DHH provides training and technical assistance pertaining to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Assistance is available to local public school divisions as well as early intervention and preschool programs through the Virginia Network of Consultants for Professionals Working with Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VNOC).
- Contact: Ann Hughes, Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 828-1342
- Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Visual Impairment (VI Consortium) - The VI Consortium is the only academic program in Virginia for teacher preparation leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Visual Impairment PreK-12. Classes are offered through combined on-campus, video, and web conferencing through five universities: George Mason, James Madison, Norfolk State, Old Dominion, and Radford. Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
- Contact: Kimberly Avila, Coordinator, at email@example.com or (703) 993-5625
§ Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB) - The HALB provides hearing aids and FM systems for children in Virginia under age 18 whose hearing loss is confirmed by an audiologist. Devices are loaned for free for up to six months while families/school divisions are waiting for a permanent device to arrive.
§ Professional Development for Educational Interpreters - The VDOE provides grant funding to assist Virginia educational interpreters and cued language transliterators with acquiring and maintaining the skills and qualifications that are required to work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing in Virginia public schools. Free regional workshops and 1:1 mentoring support are available. American Sign Language-English Interpretation programs and courses are offered at Reynolds Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College, Radford University, and Liberty University.
For additional information, please contact:
Wanda Council, Education Specialist
Virginia Department of Education