Superintendent’s Memo #251-22
October 28, 2022
Annual Resources for Serving Students with Sensory Disabilities
(Revised October 2022)
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides information on its website about educational services and resources to support students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind. The following links to information and resources are excerpted from the VDOE’s Sensory Disabilities webpage.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing:
§ Guidelines for Working With Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Virginia Public Schools (Revised September 2019)
§ Virginia Communication Plan for a Student Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Revised September 2019)
Blindness and Visual Impairment:
§ Guidelines for Working With Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired in Virginia Public Schools (Revised December 2017)
§ Unified English Braille Implementation Plan for Virginia Public Schools (Updated September 2019)
§ The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) is located in Staunton, Virginia, and provides a comprehensive PreK–12 educational day program, outreach services, and residential services exclusively for Virginia students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind. The VSDB Outreach Services Program assists early intervention programs, local school divisions, and families in meeting the needs of children with sensory disabilities across the Commonwealth. The VSDB’s admissions policy is available on its website.
· Contact: Pat Trice, Superintendent - Telephone: (540) 332-9000
§ The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) Education Services Program provides services to early intervention providers, school personnel, and families to assist children with visual impairment, blindness, and deaf-blindness to be successful in school and the community, and to prepare for the future. The Library and Resource Center provides services to local school divisions to support the education of children who are blind or visually impaired and persons who are print disabled. The Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired offers training in the skills of blindness.
· Contact: Caren Phipps, Director of Services for Children and Youth -
Telephone: (804) 625-3972
§ The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) provides information and services for telecommunication services and equipment, interpreter standards, referrals, Deaf mentors for families, and other services. These resources promote accessible communications so that students and parents who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing may fully participate in programs, services, and opportunities throughout Virginia.
· Contact: Eric Raff, Director - Telephone: (804) 404-9090 or (800) 552-7917
Technical Assistance Centers
§ The Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA) developed an extensive library and alternative system for providing accessible educational media under standards set by federal law to students who meet the federal requirements for print disabilities and who are eligible for accessing educational media through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The AIM-VA, in conjunction with partnering agencies, provides required accessible educational materials to students and training for school division staff at no cost to local educational agencies.
· Contact: AIM-VA Help Desk - Telephone: (866) 926-1879
§ The Center for Family Involvement (CFI) at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University provides information and training to support children with disabilities, their families, and professionals.
· Contact: CFI Office - Telephone: (877) 567-1122
§ The Technical Assistance Center for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
(TAC-DHH) provides information, training, and technical assistance pertaining to children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Assistance is available to Virginia public school divisions, including early childhood special education and early intervention programs, through the Virginia Network of Consultants for Professionals (VNOC) Working with Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
· Contact: Tracey Yurechko, Project Director - Telephone: (804) 828-1342
§ The Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank (HALB) program provides hearing aids and FM systems to eligible children in Virginia whose hearing loss is confirmed by an audiologist. Devices are loaned at no cost for up to six months while families and school divisions are waiting for a permanent device to arrive.
· Contact: Sandra Woodward, Program Director - Telephone: (434) 924-0222
§ The Virginia Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness (VDBP) provides technical assistance, training, distance education, and networking information to service providers and families of children with deaf-blindness and dual sensory disabilities.
· Contact: Ira Padhye, Project Director - Telephone: (804) 828-2052
Professional Education and Training Programs
§ Radford University’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program offers Virginia’s only academic program leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Deaf and Hard of Hearing PreK–12. Courses are taught through combined on-campus, distance education, and varied educational field experiences. The comprehensive program teaches all communication and instructional approaches used with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
· Contact: Karen Stinson, Graduate Advisor - Telephone: (540) 831-5549
§ The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Visual Impairment (VI Consortium) is the only academic program in Virginia for teacher preparation leading to Virginia teacher licensure with an endorsement in Special Education-Visual Impairment PreK–12. Classes are offered through combined on-campus, video, and web conferencing through three universities: George Mason, Old Dominion, and Radford. Tuition assistance is available for qualified Virginia teachers.
· Contact: Kimberly Avila, Coordinator - Telephone: (703) 993-5625
§ The Educational Interpreter Services and Training program is supported with grant funding from the VDOE to assist Virginia educational interpreters and cued language transliterators with acquiring and maintaining the required skills and qualifications to work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing in Virginia public schools. Free regional workshops and mentoring support are available.
· Contact: Marla Pollack, Region 4 Interpreter Training Grant Coordinator - Telephone: (571) 982-1504
· American Sign Language-English Interpretation programs and courses are offered at the following Virginia community colleges and universities:
o Liberty University - Telephone: (434) 582-2064
o Northern Virginia Community College - Telephone: (703) 323-3192
o Radford University - Telephone: (540) 831-5549
o Reynolds Community College - Telephone: (804) 523-5604
o Tidewater Community College - Telephone: (757) 214-6157
For questions regarding this guidance, contact Wanda Council, Education Specialist for Sensory Disabilities, in the Office of Instructional Services, by telephone at (804) 371-4059, or by email at Wanda.Council@doe.virginia.gov.