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PR 6251 Blind Students Independence, Training and Education

Each blind or visually impaired student will receive instruction in Braille reading and writing as part of the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) unless the IEP or IFSP team determines, based on the student's skills, needs and whether the student requires Braille instruction. No student will be denied instruction in Braille reading and writing solely because the student has some vision. During the evaluation process, consideration shall be given regarding appropriate Braille instruction based on a potential vision loss due to a degenerative medical diagnosis. 

        For purposes of the Policy/Regulation, the following terms and definitions are applicable: 

     1. "Accessible assistive technology device," an assistive technology device, as defined in 20 U.S.C. Section 55 1401, as amended,               that provides blind or visually impaired students the benefits of an educational program in an equally effective and                           integrated manner as that provided to nondisabled students. 

     2. "Adequate instruction," the quality teaching of blind or visually impaired students, as it pertains to general education and                  necessary blindness skills, in alignment with the U.S. Department of Education's definition of free appropriate public                        education, as defined in 20 U.S.C. Section 1401, as amended. 

     3. "Blind or visually impaired student": 

               a) A child who: 

                   i. Has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), as such terms are                              defined in 20 U.S.C. Section 1401, as amended, or a 504-plan created under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation                        Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. Section 794, as amended; and

                   ii. Is identified as having the disability of "visual impairment (including blindness)" within the definition of "child with                           a disability" in 20 U.S.C. Section 1401, as amended; or

                b) An individual who is deaf-blind under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended, or                       other federal law. 

     4. "Braille", the system of reading and writing through touch. 

     5. "Expanded core curriculum," a disability-specific curriculum that compensates for vision loss, is foundational to all other                  learning, and that covers the nine essential areas of compensatory access, sensory efficiency, assistive technology,                              orientation and mobility, social interaction, recreation and leisure, independent living, self-determination, and career                      education. 

     6. "Grade level instruction," instruction that aligns with state-designated content standards and curricula for students of the                    same age or level of maturity, based on the development of intellectual, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacity that is            typical for the student's age or age group. 

     7. "Local educational agency" or "ELA," the same definition as in 20 U.S.C. Section 1401, as amended. 

     8. "Nonvisual access," the ability of a blind or visually impaired student to use all functions of a device, without using the                        student's vision, in an equally effective, equally integrated manner and with equivalent ease of use as the student's sighted                peers. 

     9. "Nonvisual skills," skills that are taught in such a way that the student does not need to use any vision. 

     10. "State educational agency," the same definition as in 20 U.S.C. Section 1401, as amended. 

Last modified: August 2022

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