Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School

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Coordinates: 42°09′44″N 92°01′58″W / 42.162205°N 92.032732°W / 42.162205; -92.032732

The Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School campus

The Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School is located in Vinton, Iowa. Students from all over Iowa were housed and educated there. Students in special education are entitled to educational programming until age 21. Students may attend the school for short-term enrollment for specialized skill development and training. Students attend classes that meet individual educational needs. Some students attend select classes at the local public school. Instruction is provided in specialized areas of core curriculum for students with visual impairments, which include compensatory skills, orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, independent living skills, career education/work experience, use of assistive/adaptive technology and visual efficiency skills.

The school was opened in 1852 as the Iowa College for the Blind. Mary Ingalls, sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of the Little House on the Prairie series), attended the school.[1]

As of fall 2011, IBSSS will no longer have a residential component. All school-age visually impaired children in Iowa will receive specialized instruction in their local school districts from professionals employed by the agency, whose administrative offices are located in the old school building in Vinton. As part of its transformation from a residential school to a state agency, it is undergoing a name change to the Iowa Statewide System For Vision Services. Students may continue to come to the school for short term summer programs in the future, though the difficulty of maintaining trained staff without an ongoing residential program could affect the viability of such programs.

During the July 2011 Derecho, the campus and buildings sustained considerable damage, which may affect the location of its administrative headquarters.

The school is a member of Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB).

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