September 2, 2016
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Services for Students Identified as Hearing or Visually Impaired
The Code of Virginia at § 22.1-217.01 was amended and requires school boards to annually post information on school division Web sites and to inform the parents of students who are identified as hearing or visually impaired of its availability as follows:
“The Department of Education shall annually prepare and distribute to local school boards packets of information describing the educational and other services available through the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired. Local school boards shall annually post this information on the school division's website and inform the parents of those students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired of its availability. School boards shall ensure that packets of such information are available in an accessible format for review by parents who do not have Internet access.”
Attached is a compilation of the required guidance documents and resources that are available at the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Web site: Special Education-Sensory Disabilities. Administrators and teachers may also reprint the VDOE guidance information to share with parents. School divisions may also provide paper copies as well as alternate formats at public schools and in public libraries.
Questions may be directed to Wanda Council, education specialist, Office of Special Education Instructional Services at (804) 371-4059, or by e-mail at Wanda.Council@doe.virginia.gov.