THE CHALLENGE: For blind or visually impaired children, learning how to do their laundry and wash their dishes is as important and challenging a lesson as are math and social studies. The team at NCECBVI believes that transition is key, and they work tirelessly to help the children and their families set clear and achievable goals and learn how to attain them.
THE CHAMPIONS: Administrator Sally Giittinger, Principal Audrey Graves, Home Life Supervisor Joan Schroeder, and the entire team at NCECBVI.
THE SOLUTION: When a student arrives at the center, Principal Graves meets with them to discuss their goals. She recognizes that a student’s goal might change year over year but, regardless, she and her staff help the students understand the steps they must take to realize their dream.
NCECBVI’s staff focuses on the whole student, and traditional coursework is intertwined with daily living skills and learning leisure-time skills they can enjoy throughout the course of their lives. Off campus field trips – even individual excursions - are a common occurrence. For example, a student who wants to work with animals might visit a veterinarian’s office to learn about that career path.
Every aspect of the center has been designed with the visually impaired in mind, from the signage on the walls (written in Braille and marked by a 3D symbol students can touch to identify), to the state-of-the-art resource library featuring large-print books, books in Braille and other accessible resources.
A residential program allows students to live in a dormitory where they learn about living independently. Dorm residents are responsible for keeping their rooms clean and doing their own laundry, teaching them valuable real-life skills they might not have the opportunity to learn at home.
Educators at NCECBVI are frequently consulted by families, schools and teachers across the state. The mission of NCECBVI is to also provide outreach services with staff traveling statewide and serving kids in their local school districts. Teachers state-wide can access myriad specially-designed educational materials and support, and the center opens its doors for various events that are open to all blind and visually impaired kids in the area.
It is this sense of community that makes NCECBVI such a unique place.
THE RESULTS: There’s perhaps no better way to see the results of NCECBVI’s hard work than to attend their annual prom festivities. The teachers begin preparing students early on in the school year, working on developing social skills, discussing dating etiquette, and learning manners and grooming techniques.
Prom at NCECBVI is a community event and the center opens its doors to special education students from throughout the area covered by ESU 4. That includes cities like Syracuse, Falls City and Nebraska City. The students look forward to the event the entire year. It presents a unique opportunity to be surrounded by kids like them, who understand their challenges and can share in their successes.
RESOURCES: Learn more about NCECBVI by clicking here.