The South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of programs and services on the campus in Aberdeen designed to serve the educational needs of students from birth to twenty-one years of age who are blind, visually impaired, or multi disabilities.
Special emphasis is given to adapting teaching materials and methodologies to meet the needs of each student. The curriculum blends academic coursework and expanded core curriculum skills to address each student's individual learning modes and achieve their maximum independence.
Students who are blind or visually impaired who reside in South Dakota attend free of charge. Students from out of state may attend on a tuition basis.
SDSBVI has been working to improve its programs and services to children who are visually impaired since the school first opened. Developments in technology, educational philosophy, and eye conditions themselves have necessitated many changes. It has been necessary to continually adapt the program to meet the needs of a diverse population and utilize the current "best practices" in the field.
Specialized coursework in independent travel, Braille, activities of daily living, low vision utilization, and use of specialized equipment is included. A completely individualized program is developed for each student to meet his/her needs. Parents, our vision specialists, and local school district representatives are all involved in planning each student's IEP.
An early learning classroom provides "readiness" activities for preschoolers who are visually impaired. A Functional Living Program meets the needs of a growing population of students who are visually impaired who have one or more additional disabilities which prevent them from functioning on grade level. The Deaf Blind/Multihandicapped serves children who have disabilities in addition to their vision loss and need a multisensory program.
Faculty and staff at the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired are dedicated to creating an environment in which students can learn the skills necessary for an independent and successful adult life. Our teachers are trained in vision in addition to their academic certification. This means that the SDSBVI can offer a team of educators who understand the impact of vision loss on the students' learning and who work together to help the students meet the challenges.
For more information or to make a referral, please contact Dr. Jessica Vogel at 605-626-2580 or 1-888-275-3814 or by email at Jessica.Vogel@sdsbvi.northern.edu.