Knowledge to Empower Your Success (KEYS)

Missouri School for the Blind (MSB) is pleased to offer short-term services to students who are blind and visually impaired who are attending local school districts. KEYS (Knowledge to Empower Your Success) is an IEP driven, individually designed short-course program created to address the vision - specific needs of students through direct one-on-one or small group instruction in the nationally recognized Expanded Core Curriculum. Referral for the KEYS program must be made by the IEP team and follow the same referral process for admissions at MSB.

KEYS short-courses are designed to provide intensive, direct instruction, on a short-term basis to enable students to acquire the skills they need to perform successfully in the general education curriculum. Since skills acquisition is vertical in nature, students may benefit from different levels of KEYS at different developmental levels; therefore, students with visual impairments, ages 5 to 21, may request 3 to 18 weeks of KEYS specialized instruction per school year.

What is KEYS?

KEYS is an intensive IEP driven short -term program designed to provide specific, direct instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ECC) as well as individually identified areas of need for students who are blind or visually impaired. KEYS students attend MSB for a predetermined period of time to develop Expanded Core Curriculum Skills while keeping up with the core curriculum areas as well as exploring personal interests in:

  • Athletics/PE/Adaptive PE
  • Practical Arts: Computer Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), Personal Finance, Work Practice/Experience
  • Fine Arts: Vocal and Instrumental Music, Visual Arts and Performing Arts

KEYS Courses may include:

Activities of Daily Living

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team
  • Goals may focus on increased independence in personal care, clothing care
  • Menu planning, food preparation/safe storage etc.
  • Household management and organization

Orientation and Mobility (O&M)

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team
  • Cane skills and travel techniques including public transportation
  • Orientation including mapping skills and route planning
  • Personal safety and advocacy

Braille Skills

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team
  • Literary code: Pre-Braille, academic literary Braille or functional literacy
  • Slate and stylus
  • Nemeth Code/math skills/abacus

Visual Efficiency Skills

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team
  • Exploration with appropriate low vision devices and techniques
  • Activities to encourage use of functional vision

Transition Training Skills

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team

  • Organization of time/space/materials
  • Adapted note-taking
  • Methods for seeking employment
  • Accessing information using electronic listening, recording and reading devices
  • Developing a resume
  • Banking and budgeting

Computer & Assistive Technology

  • Based on individual needs as determined by the IEP Team
  • Basic Computer Skills to assist students who are blind/ visually impaired to use the computer as a tool for learning; including: touch typing, word processing, spreadsheets, databases and telecommunications
  • Screen magnification and screen reading programs
  • Braille/large print production of documents
  • Portable note takers
  • Refreshable Braille devices

Summer Exploration Programs

Each summer MSB offers student with blindness and visual impairment an opportunity to explore a variety of topics based on their personal interests. 

Each year MSB staff prepare an average of six (6) Summer Exploration sessions focused on developing students' abilities to access Recreational Sports, Accessible Travel, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Performing Arts, College and Career Planning, and Activities of Daily Living.  Summer Exploration Sessions range in length from 5 to 20+ days based on the content of the session. 


Students may request more than one session per summer.  MSB does our best to schedule sessions in a manner in which each student can choose their Exploration.  Although we do our best to adjust our schedule, invariably, some courses overlap.  Due to high interest and extensive planning involved in these programs, as well as limited space, MSB asks that students and families commit to completing each course in which they enroll in full.  On very rare occasions, space permitting and with the permission of the Assistant Superintendent, students may take one week of a two-week course and then switch to another.  Through Summer Explorations, MSB seeks to provide non-traditional, high-quality, academic and functional programs designed to supplement the student’s regular educational experience with an emphasis on the Expanded Core Curriculum for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


For current course offering watch our website, social media accounts and SELs messages for updates.