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Children's Services Program - Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind

Services for Children who are blind or visually impaired

About the Program

Services for Infants, Toddlers and Preschool Children

Services for School-Aged Children

Training Opportunities for Parents, Professionals and Paraprofessionals

Children's Services Policy Manual

Children's Services Newsletters

Contact Us

 

About the Program
The Children’s Services Program at the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) provides educational services to children who are legally blind, deaf-blind, and visually impaired by:
  • Establishing partnerships among children, families, schools, and communities
  • Ensuring accessibility to educational curriculum through the provision of adapted materials, equipment, and books
  • Teaching compensatory skills such as Braille
  • Promoting individual choice, independence, and life-long learning
  • Creating an accurate perception of blindness through community outreach and education
  • Providing opportunities for children with blindness or visual impairment to experience full inclusion in extracurricular activities
Teachers and consultants of the program provide specialized instruction in the Braille code, access to adapted technologies, and independent living and social skills training. A full-scope lending library of adapted textbooks and materials is available to ensure equal access to classroom instruction. Program staff provides specialized training and consultation to classroom teachers, parents, paraprofessionals, and local school district staff on strategies to utilize for maximizing full inclusion in educational programs and curriculums.

 

Services for Infants, Toddlers and Preschool Children
BESB staff work directly with infants, toddlers and preschool children at home and in educational settings.  Our education consultants, specializing in the education of children who are blind or visually impaired, can provide assistance to:
  • Conduct a functional vision assessment
  • Arrange for low vision, auditory and other appropriate examinations and evaluations
  • Evaluate a child's progress and development
  • Develop and implement the child's Individual Family Service Plan or Individual Education Plan
  • Teach parents and care givers how to work with children who are blind or visually impaired
  • Work with community providers and programs
  • Make connections with self-help groups and supportive professional networks
  • Provide specialized early intervention and school services for infants and pre-school children with limited vision and hearing
  • BESB also works in coordination with the New England Consortium for Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance and Training to provide the above services to children who have combined vision and hearing loss
Services for School-Aged Children
BESB works with school-aged children in the school, in special-needs programs and at home.  Our education consultants, specializing in the education of children who are blind or visually impaired, can provide assistance to:
  • Conduct a functional vision assessment
  • Become a member of each child's educational planning team to formulate appropriate goals and make referrals to related professionals, such as orientation and mobility instructors, rehabilitation teachers and vocational rehabilitation counselors
  • Provide curricular materials in Braille and large print as appropriate
  • Consult with parents and other education team members regarding specific techniques for working with children who are blind and visually impaired
  • Instruct a child in Braille, use of low vision aids, organization skills, adaptive equipment and other skills needed for independence
  • Provide specialized educational and consultative services to children, parents and professionals
 
Training Opportunities for Parents, Professionals and Paraprofessionals
BESB staff provides ongoing educational opportunities for parents, school district staff, and community providers on best practices for working with children and students who are blind or have visual impairments. Training is offered during the autumn and spring each year, focusing on specific areas of specialization in each training program offering. Information on upcoming training opportunities can be found at Event Brite, or by contacting Lisa Tanguay at lisa.tanguay@ct.gov.

 

For additional information, contact:
Catherine Summ, Children’s Services Supervisor
Phone: 860-602-4233
Email:  Catherine.Summ@ct.gov