COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 18
February 9, 2001

INFORMATIONAL
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Assistive Technology for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information about resources that are available for providing assistive technology for students who are blind or visually impaired. The revisions to state special education regulations that became effective January 1, 2001, in conformance with the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, require the IEP team, in developing each child’s IEP, to consider among other provisions, whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services.

Through comments received by the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired during public meetings, we have learned that some gaps remain with respect to the provision of assistive technology for students with visual impairments. Please be advised that in addition to technical assistance available from the Virginia Department of Education and the Training/Technical Assistance Centers, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired employs several individuals who can offer such assistance. In the area of computer technology you may contact for assistance Dan Aunspach at 804/371-3343. For assistance in the area of low vision aids, you may contact Marge Owens at 804/371-3344.

For further information about services for students who are blind or vision impaired, you may contact Dr. Patricia Abrams at the Department of Education at 804/225-2707 (mailto: pabrams@mail.vak12ed.edu) or Mr. Glen Slonneger, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired at 804/371-3113.

JLD/HDC