The basic eligibility criteria states:
All persons, residing in the State of Oklahoma . . . whose vision is so defective as to prevent them attending the public schools, and who are of such physical, mental and moral character as to enable them to pursue any one of all of the courses of study taught in this school, are eligible . . .” (70 OS 1991, Section 1724.)
The school accepts referrals from Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs), educational cooperatives, parents residing within the State of Oklahoma, and/or third party agencies or individuals. The local school districts are advised of all referrals. When a referral is received, an evaluation is scheduled and/or records are obtained to ascertain eligibility. If the initial screening reveals that the student may be eligible for admission, parents and LEA will be notified to participate in the initial Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting, and an interim 30-day IEP shall be developed by the team. A final decision as to whether or not to continue enrollment shall be made no later than the lst day of the 30-day interim period.
Admission to the school is accomplished through application directly from parents or guardians. The Oklahoma School for the Blind is committed to assuring that the provisions of Federal Statute 20 U.S.C. 1400-1485 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are met and, toward this end, cooperates with the LEAs.
Visual loss requirements are:
Corrected visual acuity of 20/70 or less, or
visual field no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye, or
a visual impairment which, even with the best correction, adversely affects performance in a regular class
Visual impairment should be a major contributor to the student’s inability to succeed in the public school.
As a result, when attempting to determine whether placement is appropriate at OSB. We first attempt to determine clinically whether the student has a visual impairment. We then look to see how the impairment affects the student’s ability to learn in the public schools and whether the impairment constitutes a significant impediment to the student’s success.
In determining whether a student should be in the public schools or at OSB, a key consideration is whether the OSB staff uses their skills as specialists in visual impairment when working with a student, or whether they act merely as special ed teachers.