A. Special education for visually impaired children provided by a school division shall be established, maintained and operated jointly by the school board and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired subject to the regulations of the Board of Education. Braille instruction shall be included in the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), whenever appropriate. When developing the IEP for students with visual impairment, the presumption shall be that proficiency in literacy is essential for such student to achieve satisfactory educational progress. However, use of Braille shall not be required if other special education services are more appropriate to the student’s educational needs, and the provision of other appropriate services shall not preclude Braille instruction.
B. The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall prepare and deliver a program of special education services in addition to the special education provided in the public school system designed to meet the educational needs of visually impaired children between the ages of birth and twenty-one and may prepare and deliver such programs for such individuals of other ages. In the development of such a program, the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall cooperate with the Board of Education and the school boards of the several school divisions. The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall assist the Board of Education and the school boards of the several school divisions with in-service training in Braille for currently employed teachers of students who are blind and visually impaired.
C. As used in this section:”Braille” means the system of reading and writing through touch and is commonly known as standard English Braille Grade 2.”Program” means a modified program which provides special materials or services and may include the employment of itinerant teachers or resource room teachers for the visually impaired.”Visually impaired” shall be defined by the Board of Education and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.
Code 1950, § 22-10.7; 1974, c. 480; 1978, c. 386; 1980, c. 559; 1990, c. 803; 1992, c. 755; 1995, c. 750; 1998, c. 852.