Blindness Skills Specialists

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has contracted Blindness Skills Specialists to consult with public schools in the identification and service planning for students who are blind.

Blindness Skills Specialist Program - Missouri State University
Julie Anderson-
Missouri State University
Park Central Office Bldg. Rm 130
Springfield, MO 65897
417-836-5490 417-836 -5997 (fax)

Blindness Skills Specialist Program - Truman State University
Jessica Hall
Northeast Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC)
Truman State University
Violette Hall 2200, 100 East Normal
Kirksville, MO 63501

Deafblind Resources

Deafblind Resources

Eligibility Criteria

From the Missouri State Plan for Special Education Regulations Implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Visual Impairment/Blindness Definition Regulation III – Identification and Evaluation Pages 29-30)

Visual Impairment, including blindness, means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Criteria for Initial Determination of Eligibility:

A child displays a Visual Impairment when:
  • A visual impairment or a progressive vision loss has been diagnosed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist;
  • Visual acuity has been determined to be:
    • for visual impairment of 20/70 to 20/200 in the better eye with best correction by glasses;
    • for blindness of 20/200 or less in the better eye after best correction by glasses or a visual field measuring 20 degrees or less; and,
  • The visual impairment adversely affects the child’s educational performance.

General Links

IEP Process


Online Opportunities

OSEP Dear Colleague Letters

Outreach Services


Quality Services

Self-Determination Resources

Transition Resources

Unified English Braille (UEB)

Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas

Readers for the Blind

Any legally blind citizen of Missouri who regularly attends a public school district, a special school district, a Missouri college, university, technical or professional school that is legally authorized to grant degrees, other than an institution established for the regular instruction of the blind, may apply to Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB) for RBP services. Public schools educating such student should submit applications to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Division of Special Education for processing, approval and payment.

Studies and Reports

Task Force/Legislation

House Bill 401

Requires an annual report from DESE to the State Legislature about the literacy of blind and visually impaired children; requires DESE and Rehabilitation Services for the Blind to develop a joint referral system; creates the Blindness Skills Specialist Fund; requires school districts to give preference in purchasing textbook materials to textbook vendors that make materials available in Braille, or an electronic format approved by DESE; requires that every infant born in Missouri shall be screened for hearing loss, and establishes the Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee; requires that health insurance companies provide coverage for the Newborn Hearing Screening, Re-screening, Audiological Assessment, and Follow-up, and Initial Amplification.

Textbook Procurement

The part of House Bill 401 that requires school districts to give preference in purchasing textbook materials to textbook vendors that make materials available in Braille, or an electronic format is approved by DESE.

MO Accessible Textbook Statute

The citation in RSMo 170.132

Provision of Braille Instruction and Provision of Materials

Two statutes relate to HB401

Useful Links

VI Coursework