New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - 1900 North White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310, phone (800) 437-3505

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NMSBVI Programs - Residential Program Information

Multiply Impaired Program & Individualized Education Plan
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Multiply Impaired Program & Individualized Education Plan

Multiply Impaired Services | Individualized Education Plan

Multiply Impaired Services: NMSBVI provides services for students with multiple impairments including those with severe medical challenges. The Multiply-Impaired (MI) Program is broken down into three levels – elementary, intermediate, and secondary. These programs focus on self-help skills, physical, and/or motor movement, daily living and home management awareness, pre-vocational skills, speech and language, leisure, cane travel, and Braille awareness. When appropriate, functional life skills and community-based instructions are taught. All students in the MI Program are visually impaired and have one or more other impairments.

Individualized Education Plan: As per P.L. 94-142, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting is convened for each student upon enrollment at NMSBVI. IEP’s are updated annually in accordance with federal law. The type and level of services, placement, and goals are determined at each IEP.  Parents who cannot attend are connected to the meeting via teleconferencing. Additionally, IDEA (P.L. 101-476) requires an individualized transition plan beginning at age 14 years and updated during the annual IEP meeting to plan for post secondary education options, employment possibilities and assisted/independent living opportunities. The student’s need for services such as Braille and Orientation & Mobility instruction is also discussed at each IEP.

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Assistive Technology | Braille | Business Partnerships | Community Involvement | Education
Inclusion | Adaptive Physical Education & Athletics | Transition Services | Career Education

Assistive Technology: Assistive technology services provide individualized assessment and instruction for the development of technological skills to be used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of blind and visually impaired students. Devices may include low vision aids, screen readers, screen enlargement, Braille input devices, Braille printers, personal reading devices, and communication devices.  Assistive technology is considered to be a fundamental work tool used to access and use standard tools, complete educational and vocational tasks, and participate on an equal basis with non-disabled peers in the regular electronic educational environment. As determined by the IEP team, students may check-out appropriate equipment for use in classes and at home to complete educational tasks. 

Braille:  All students enrolled at NMSBVI will have a Functional Low Vision Evaluation and Learning Media Assessment to determine necessary instructional accommodations. Effective the 1999-2000 school year, all NMSBVI students who are cognitively and tactually able are required to take two semesters of Braille instruction in order to graduate. The Board of Regents and PED also approved Braille as an elective credit or communication skills credit for high school students seeking a traditional High School Diploma. 

Business Partnerships:  NMSBVI enthusiastically participates in community/business partnerships in order to better prepare the students to enter the world of work. The exploration of various jobs and/or settings allows a student to make better decisions as to employment they would or would not seek. 

Through the Partners in Education Program, NMSBVI and its Partners expose students to a variety of jobs and business practices. The School-to-Work Program has provided grant funding for curriculum, equipment, training, etc. to enhance the student awareness, skills, and experience in work. NMSBVI students have held positions at Alamogordo Animal Hospital, Animal Rescue Thrift Shop, The Space Center (NM Museum of Space History), Coca Cola Bottling Company, Buggies to Bikes Day Care Center, The Ink Well, Zia Therapy Center and Peter Piper Pizza. 

Community Involvement: NMSBVI continues to strengthen its connection with the local community. The inclusion of students in the Alamogordo Public Schools and New Mexico State University Alamogordo are prime examples of this involvement. Students are also involved in scouting and many recreation programs.  Also, the survey that was recently conducted in the community has brought back valuable information to NMSBVI staff. These results are being studied and different venues will be used to get information to more community members. 

NMSBVI has opened its doors to several summer camps. Camp Enchantment (Cancer) and Muscular Dystrophy Camps have been held at NMSBVI during the summer months. NMSBVI also offers summer camps (recreation and enrichment) opened to blind and visually impaired students throughout the State. In addition, there is a summer recreation program for local NMSBVI students. 

NMSBVI works very closely with the New Mexico Commission for the Blind once a student reaches 14 years of age for a smooth transition into adult services. One of the more popular programs is the Students In Transition to Employment Program (STEP) which provides a paid work and educational experience for high school age students in either Albuquerque or Alamogordo. 

Education:  The curriculum is designed to provide an individualized educational program for each student.  Each student’s program is based upon current and measurable objectives that are reviewed annually. The curriculum includes specific support and ancillary services that will provide developmental and educational reinforcement for students who have significant learning impairments in addition to visual impairments. 

NMSBVI has initiated two new reading programs. The first one is the Lexia Reading Program which includes an early reading program, a primary reading program, teaching reading: stages and strategies, a quick reading test and a comprehensive reading test. This program is designed to help students improve basic reading skills. The second reading program is My Reading Coach. My Reading Coach works on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension. In addition to the two new reading programs, NMSBVI is using the Accelerated Reading Program. 

Inclusion:  Recognition of the least restrictive environment has provided NMSBVI with a positive vehicle to move our students into an education experience in the local public schools with their non-disabled peers via “mainstreaming” then “responsible inclusion”. Students capable of attending classes through the Alamogordo Public School (APS) system are encouraged to do so at the elementary, middle school and high school level. An inclusion coordinator works closely with APS teachers and students to encourage success.  Transcription services, through Braille or large print, are provided along with assistive technology. The inclusion coordinator not only assists our students to be successful, but also serves as resource and contact person for public school teachers. 

Adaptive Physical Education & Athletics:  NMSBVI offers adaptive physical education classes for every student. These classes are modified to meet the needs of special education students who may be physically and/or mentally challenged. NMSBVI strongly encourages student participation in athletics with sighted and visually impaired peers. NMSBVI is a member of the South Central Association of Schools for the Blind (SCASB). NMSBVI students also participate in local athletic events in the sports of goal ball, wrestling and track & field. NMSBVI also has a cheerleading squad that competes at the annual wrestling and track & field SCASB Conferences. 

Transition Services:  At age 14, the student, together with parent/guardian, is asked to begin thinking of post-school goals in the areas of post-secondary education or training, vocation/career, residential, community involvement, and leisure activities. While the current legal requirement to address transition targets students 16 and over, NMSBVI begins to address transition at 14, in an effort to help parents and students clarify a vision for adult life over time. The indicated goals, needs and priorities are then taken into consideration in curriculum planning, career planning, scheduling of related services, and needed outside agency linkage. 

Career Education:  Because preparation for the work place is a salient component of successful transition into adult life, NMSBVI offers a comprehensive Career Education Program for secondary students. It is divided into three main areas: career exploration, career preparation, and career placement. Students are afforded the opportunity to explore career clusters, complete an interest assessment, research jobs of interest and learn how accommodations might make potential job choices realistic for them and participate in job shadowing and career fairs. Students may also enroll in a vocational course, where employability skills are taught, and then reinforced within class work projects, and/or via on and off campus work-study placements. As seniors, students learn application and resume writing, and have an opportunity to practice their interviewing skills in the mandatory Life Competencies class. 

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Related Services | Orientation & Mobility | Health Services | Counseling | Independent Living Skills
Recreation | Residential Program | Transportation

Related Services:   Related Services at NMSBVI are developmental, corrective, and other supportive services determined by the IEP Committee to be required for a child with a disability to benefit from special education. At NMSBVI, Related Services include audiological, counseling, early identification and assessment of disabilities, interpreters, medical evaluation, orientation and mobility, parent counseling and training, occupational and physical therapy, psychological, recreation (including therapeutic recreation), school health services, social work services, speech language pathology, and transportation services.  These areas also overlap into the Adaptive Physical Education and Eating Skills Programs by providing specialized adaptive equipment for the physical impairments encountered. 

Orientation & Mobility:  Orientation and Mobility services provide for the development of auditory and kinesthetic awareness, initiation and development of mobility skills, and the use of low vision, tactile, and auditory skills to enhance the blind and visually impaired student’s ability to move and function effectively in the environment. The ultimate goal of this training is to enable the student to enter any environment, familiar or unfamiliar, and to function safely, effectively and efficiently in an independent travel situation. 

Health Services:  NMSBVI maintains a twenty-four hour health services facility staffed by Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses. Both routine and acute care is provided to all students under the medical supervision of the school contracted pediatrician. A nine-bed, in-patient infirmary is available.  A clinic with the contract physician is held once a week to address health needs of students as they arise. The school contracts with an ophthalmologist to see students that are having acute problems with their eyes.

Counseling:  Counseling services are available to all students. Counselors assist them in making effective choices on using all available resources. Student contact with the school counselor may be for academic problems, social or personal problems, conflicts, guidance, and testing. A school psychologist can provide psychological testing of students in order to determine if counseling services are needed. 

Independent Living Skills:  The Independent Living Skills (ILS) Program focuses on developing independent skills for the older students at NMSBVI. Dormitory apartments and the ILS cottage provide graduated experiences and the development of advanced skills and techniques in cooking, cleaning, organization, money and time management.  

Recreation:  Recreation is an integral part of residential life by providing a variety of structured activities and introducing appropriate hobbies and crafts in the development of life-long leisure skills. Leisure skill development will compliment and reinforce goal areas outlined in the IEP. NMSBVI focuses on activities that provide a release of energy, develop appropriate social interaction and the acquisition of independence, and self initiation play skills. 

Residential Program:  The residential program at NMSBVI provides a healthy, family oriented environment for each student. Many activities are extensions of the education programs and provide opportunities for the student to master skills that are introduced during the academic day.  Daily living skills instruction is provided to students as needed. Instruction is directed toward mastering tasks of self-care which allow the students to function independently.

Transportation:  Transportation services are provided to all NMSBVI students to and from home (daily and weekend), educational field trips, athletic events, shuttle to and from public schools, medical appointments, recreational activities, and for personal needs. 

NMSBVI students are drawn from all four corners of New Mexico, traveling home every weekend with the exception of two on-campus weekends per school year.  The students travel by either ground or air.  The majority of the residential students travel between 200-300 miles (one way) per weekend to attend school in Alamogordo.  NMSBVI residential students come from large metropolitan areas as well as from smaller rural towns, pueblos, and reservation villages throughout the State. NMSBVI bears the entire cost in providing transportation services to all NMSBVI students.

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Last Updated: 5/11/2011