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2019-05 AER/COSB position paper: The Bill of Rights for All Children with Visual Impairments and their Families
Membership Organizations for Families:
Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas – DBMAT
Professional Organizations in Texas:
Texas Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired – TAER
VI Endorsement Programs in Texas:
These are programs in Texas that provide training programs for teachers of students with visual impairments and for Orientation & Mobility Specialists:
Stephen F. Austin State University – SFASU
Texas Tech University – Texas Tech University
Advocacy Organizations in Texas:
Alliance of Visual Impaired Texans – AVIT
Education Agencies in Texas:
The Texas Education Agency – TEA
The Texas Education Agency is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education. It is headed by the commissioner of education. The mission of TEA is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students.
There are 20 Texas Education Service Centers – ESCs
* Location and contact information – map and contacts
* History and purposes: ESCs History and Purposes
In 1967 the Texas Legislature directed that the State Board of Education provide, by rules and regulations, for the establishment and operation of regional Education Service Centers (ESCs). Twenty Regional Service Centers were established to provide services to school districts throughout the state. The Centers are service organizations, not regulatory arms of the Texas Education Agency, and participation by schools in services of the centers is voluntary. Chapter 8 of the Texas Education Code, enacted by the 75th Texas Legislature in 1997, specified the following purposes of ESCs: Regional Education Service Centers shall:
* Assist school districts in improving student performance in each region of the system;
* Enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically; and
* Implement initiatives assigned by the legislature or the commissioner.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired – TSBVI
TSBVI serves as a special public school in which students, ages 6 through 21, who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, are eligible for consideration for services on the TSBVI campus. It is also a statewide resource to parents of these children and the professionals who serve them, from birth through transition from school.
Social Service Agencies:
Social Security Administration – SSA
Social Security Disability Benefits & Income – SSDI
Texas Health and Human Services Blind & Visually Impaired – HHSBVI
National Blind Adult Advocacy and Support Organizations:
American Foundation for the Blind – AFB (non-membership)
AFB advocates for better policies that promote accessibility, equality, and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB focuses on education, employment, and aging.
Hadley School for the Blind – Hadley (non-membership)
The mission of Hadley is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower people to thrive – at home, at work and in their communities.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley following his loss of vision at age 55, Hadley offers education free of charge to anyone with a visual impairment, as well as families and professionals serving them. Today, Hadley serves nearly 150,000 individuals each year, from all 50 states and in 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille worldwide.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Hadley relies on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs.
American Council of the Blind – ACB (membership organization)
The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.
National Federation of the Blind – NFB
NFB strives to promote the economic and social welfare of the blind.
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children – POBC and NOPBC
Founded in 1983 under the leadership of NFB, the NOPBC is a national membership organization of parents and friends of blind children reaching out to each other to give vital support, encouragement, and information.
Lighthouse Guild Support Services – Lighthouse Patients-Families
Lighthouse Guild offers other programs and resources for parents and teens with our tele-support groups. Through our National Tele-Support Network for Parents of Children with Visual Impairment, you can connect with other parents to share resources, experiences, strength, and hope, and our Youth Transition Program helps students prepare for life after high school, including the transition to college.
Support for Siblings:
Sibling Support Project – Sibshops
Sibshops provide young brother and sister peer support and information in a lively, recreational setting.
Information about Vision and Eyes:
Search the internet on “eyeball medical terminology” and lots of information comes up about the eye.
Information about Eye Conditions and Diseases:
Links to Organizations about Specific Conditions that Cause Blindness:
Cortical Visual Impairment
Joubert Syndrome and Related Disorders Foundation – jsrdf.org
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia – Magic Foundation – ONH-Magic
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