Iowa Educational Services for Blind and Visually Impaired (IESBVI) is Iowa’s provider of educational services for children and adolescents ages birth to 21 who are blind and visually impaired. IESBVI contracts with the state’s area education agencies and serves most of Iowa’s school districts through an itinerant model. Staff travel to schools, homes and other locations as needed. Our employees consult with local school district employees working with students who are blind or visually impaired. Sometimes staff work one-on-one with students, focusing on the expanded core curriculum.
Some unique services provided by IESBVI’s specialized teachers of the visually impaired or orientation and mobility specialists are:
- Direct student services
- Consultation/collaboration with educators
- Family support
- Sports and activities
- Post-secondary transition program
Our Mission & Goals
Our mission is to enable Iowa’s students who are blind or visually impaired to function as independently as possible in all aspects of life by providing appropriate educational opportunities, resources and support services.
- Provide equitable access to a continuum of high quality services for all students in Iowa who are blind and visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities
- Assure an adequate supply of highly trained teachers and orientation and mobility specialists
- Assure adequate and professional supervision, ongoing professional development and equitable job assignments for professionals working with blind and visually impaired students
- Eliminate duplication in service delivery by creating a seamless coordinated system of services to blind and visually impaired students across multiple funding sources and agencies responsible for this population
- Maintain a center of excellence in Iowa for discipline specific expertise
Statewide System for Vision Services
Governance of Iowa Educational Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired changes from Board of Regents to Department of Education, as part of Gov. Reynolds’ state government alignment.
In August 2010, a legislative study committee provided seven recommendations to the Board of Regents, one of which was to use the name “Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired” (IESBVI) instead of “Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.” Since then, IESBVI has continued providing support and instruction for students with visual impairments across the state of Iowa.
The February 2008 Board of Regents docket item 13 created the Statewide System for Vision Services and also implemented the management team behind it.
The Statewide System for Vision Services is both a collaborative effort and a contractual agreement among the Board of Regents, the Iowa Department of Education, the Area Education Agencies and the Iowa Department for the Blind.
In July of 2006, the State Board of Education voted to accept the report; the Board of Regents voted to accept it in August, 2006.
In 2005, a task force of statewide stakeholders studied potential additional services, supports and collaborations which would enhance the education of students who are blind or visually impaired in Iowa. During this study, the task force studied the efficiency and effectiveness of Iowa’s existing services for the blind, and from the study, a coordinating council was formed.
This coordinating council developed recommendations for the future of vision services in Iowa, and from that discussion, the Statewide System for Vision Services was formed
The school has been known as the Iowa Asylum for the Blind, Institute for the Instruction of the Blind, Iowa College for the Blind, Iowa School for the Blind and in 1951, adopted the name Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.
A campus for the Iowa College for the Blind was established in 1862.
In 1858, land was donated in Vinton, Iowa
A private school for the blind was established in Keokuk, Iowa in 1852, making it the second oldest educational institution in Iowa. The school was moved to Iowa City in 1853.