Explore DPI resources, including special education guidance bulletins, to better support students with IEPs who are blind and visually impaired.
Statewide Services Provided by the Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESPDHH) and the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) were established to serve as a statewide educational resource relating to either hearing or visual impairments to benefit all students who have those disabilities. Wis. Stat. §§ 115.52(1m), 115.525(1m). Both provide services that benefit students throughout the State of Wisconsin, including outreach services to students who are enrolled in local school districts or educational placements at the state schools.
Special Education Guidance Bulletins: Supporting Students Who are Blind and Visually Impaired
Bulletin 10.01 Educating Blind and Visually Impaired Students; Policy Guidance
The policy guidance addresses important areas that were clarified by Congress in its reauthorization of IDEA 1997 regarding public agencies' responsibilities in educating students who are blind and visually impaired. It addresses the requirements regarding instruction in Braille. Also, it adds orientation and mobility as a "related service." Assistive technology also is given a special emphasis.
Bulletin 20.01 Additional Services due to Extended School Closures
This bulletin addresses additional services due to extended school closures.
Bulletin 19.01 Supported Decision-Making Agreements
This bulletin addresses supported frequently asked questions related to supported decision making agreements.
Bulletin 20.02 Legal Requirements for Accessible Materials (AEM) for Students with Print Disabilities
This bulletin provides frequently asked questions and resources related to legal requirements for accessible materials (AEM) for students with print disabilities.
Bulletin 10.07 Describing Special Education, Related Services, Supplementary Aids and Services, and Program Modifications and Supports
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide technical assistance on common procedural errors related to describing special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications or supports (most commonly found on DPI Model Form I-9, Program Summary).
Bulletin 10.05 Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education Paraprofessionals
This bulletin contains frequently asked questions about Special Education Paraprofessionals.
Bulletin 10.02 Extended School Year (ESY) Services for Children with Disabilities
This bulletin is intended to assist school districts, parents, and other interested parties in understanding ESY services.
Additional bulletins on other topics related to students with IEP can be found on the WI DPI Special Education Bulletins web page.
Vision Therapy vs. School Based Vision Services Chart
A chart comparing the medical-based services provided by a vision therapist with the school-based services provided by a teacher of the blind and visually impaired.
Memorandum: Eligibility Determinations for Children Suspected of Having a Visual Impairment
This memorandum discusses important considerations when determining eligibility of a student who is blind or visually impaired.
Please note, on August 1, 2021, the terminology in s. PI 11.36 (3) was updated from pupils with a “visual impairment” to pupils who are “blind and visually impaired”. The linked memo does not reflect this change in terminology. Below are important, updated links mentioned in the memorandum:
- OSEP 17-05 -- Eligibility Determinations for Children Suspected of Having a Visual Impairment Including Bl
- s. 115.782, Stats
- s. PI 11.36
- CCR IEP 5 Step Process | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- DPI Resources to Support Vision Needs of Students | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- OSEP Dear Colleague Letter on Braille, June 19, 2013 (PDF)
Examples of Conditions that May Result in Visual Impairment
Fact Sheet Regarding Convergence Insufficiency
Description: This fact sheet summarizes the impact convergence insufficiency can have on visual functions, as well as strategies, accommodations, and resources.
Fact Sheet Regarding Homonymous Hemianopsia
Description: This fact sheet summarizes the impact homonymous hemianopsia (HH), or homonymous hemianopia can have on visual functions, as well as strategies, accommodations, and resources.
Fact Sheet Regarding Severe Nystagmus
Description: Nystagmus is a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. This fact sheet summarizes the impact nystagmus can have on visual functions, as well as strategies, accommodations, and resources.
Eligibility Criteria for Visual Impairment Evaluation Guide
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has designed these technical assistance documents to assist the reader in understanding each of the new provisions of the rules and to give guidance in evaluating children to determine if they have an impairment and a need for special education.
Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists
A through explanation of the roles and responsibilities of Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists.
What is the Expanded Core Curriculum?
A detailed explanation of the Expanded Core Curriculum and its importance in the education of students who are blind or visually impaired.
Resources for Students who are Deafblind
Resources for students who are Deafblind in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Deafblind Technical Assistance Project
The Wisconsin Deafblind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP) is the state’s federally-funded technical assistance and dissemination project. WDBTAP is a resource to families, agencies, and schools supporting infants, children and youth ages birth to 21 with combined vision and hearing loss.
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