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Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) is a Texas special public school, in the continuum of statewide placements for students who have a visual impairment. It is considered a statewide resource to parents of these children and professionals who serve them. Students, ages 6 through 21, who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, are eligible for consideration for services at TSBVI.

Founded in 1856, the school is currently located at 1100 West 45th Street in Austin and serves not only the local community but also most of the blind children in other schools across the state. The school has special equipment and classroom routines tailored to blind students, and according to a 2008 Texas Monthly article, blind students who previously attended ordinary public schools had a positive reception to TSBVI after enrolling there.[1] It is the subject of a documentary, The Eyes of Me.[2]

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  • ✪ School Helps Visually Impaired Students Reach New Horizons
  • ✪ Teaching Math to Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired


This news segment from KLRU, brought to you by Texas Mutual Insurance. Ever since I was six, I've been blind. Yeah, so it's gotten easier for me now, I'm already used to it, but then for other people who become blind later, it's always harder for them to adapt. We're on the campus of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, Texas where we have sat since 1916. It's K-12, and we also have a post-secondary program for kids who have finished all of their high school requirements but are still not quite ready to go live and work independently in the community. Our kids work in the same curriculum that students do at any other school in Texas, but we also concentrate very heavily on what's called the "Expanded Core Curriculum", and that comprises all of the special skills that blind kids need to have to function independently and to succeed in schools. We also have something called "On Air", which is orientation and mobility, which is a class where we learn how to use our cane, and travelling, and you can go by yourself. So I'll take the skills that I learn here in mobility, and I apply them to my actual living skills. And that was helpful, and I did my own travelling during the summer. I think that many people can't quite envision the level of independence and the level of capability that they have. People are constantly amazed to see what our students do. We do teach some hard skills like - have you been working in the coffee shop yet? Yes. We have a pretty intense coffee maker in there. It's not just the little on-your-counter-top, it's for real. We've had students that have gone and taken some of that knowledge over to Starbucks. You get to communicate that it's OK if you're in the kitchen and you get hurt. That happens to everybody, it's not just because you can't see where something was. Some students just lost their vision a year ago, and so they are just beginning to experience how it's like to be blind. It's really nice to be there for those other students, and you can still do whatever you want to do. I'm taking electives like Maps To, which is a career class where we learn about different careers. And you told us the one you were interested in for five years. I want to be a UN Rights lawyer. I hope our school lets students know that just because you have visual impairment, or just because you can't see, does not mean you're less worthwhile, you're just like everybody else, you just don't see great. And that's cool because you guys can do all kinds of things, probably not the best drivers, but you can do all kinds of things and it still makes you worthwhile and priceless. This news segment from KLRU was brought to you by Texas Mutual Insurance.



On August 16, 1856, the Texas Legislature enacted a measure providing for the establishment of a Texas Asylum for the Blind in Austin. The state leased the Neill–Cochran House as a temporary site for the asylum while a permanent campus was constructed. The asylum facility was designed and built by Abner H. Cook, a local architect who had recently designed both the Neill–Cochran House and the Texas Governor's Mansion. In 1857 the asylum moved into its new campus (now the University of Texas at Austin's Little Campus), where it operated until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.[3]

After having its facility commandeered by Reconstruction forces for a year, the asylum was reopened in 1866 and occupied its original campus from then until 1915,[3] while the program was renamed the Texas Blind Institute in 1905 and then the Texas School for the Blind in 1915. During World War I the School for the Blind was displaced by a military pilot training program, and it relocated to its current campus in 1917.[4]

The state transferred control of the school to the Texas Education Agency in 1953, from which point the School for the Blind became a self-contained school district. In the late 1960s the school was integrated with the all-black Texas Blind and Deaf School. In 1989 the program was renamed the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.[4]

Student body

As of 2008 50% of the school's students are of high school age. TSBVI may take up to 150 boarding students. Usually, deaf students in Texas attend school in their local school districts, which are obligated to educate them under the law. Students who attend TSBVI do so only after their parents and their schools and school districts all agree that TSBVI is best-equipped for their education.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Colloff, Pamela. "Out of Sight" (Archive). Texas Monthly. August 2008. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "The Eyes of Me." PBS. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY – NOMINATION FORM (74002091)" (PDF). National Park Service. August 13, 1974. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Markham, James W.; Delahoussaye, Paulette (September 19, 2010). "Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved June 21, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 June 2018, at 17:50
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