Services for Students Identified as Hearing or Visually Impaired

Superintendent’s Memo #279-18

Department of Education
DATE:                  October 5, 2018

TO:                        Division Superintendents

FROM:                  James F. Lane, Ed.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Services for Students Identified as Hearing or Visually Impaired

The Code of Virginia at § 22.1-217.01 was amended and requires school boards to annually post information on school division websites and to inform the parents of students who are identified as hearing or visually impaired of its availability as follows:

“The Department of Education shall annually prepare and distribute to local school boards packets of information describing the educational and other services available through the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired. Local school boards shall annually post this information on the school division’s Web site and inform the parents of those students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired of its availability. School boards shall ensure that packets of such information are available in an accessible format for review by parents who do not have Internet access.”

Attached is a compilation of the required guidance documents and additional resources that are available at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website: Special Education-Sensory Disabilities.  Administrators and teachers may reprint the VDOE guidance information to share with parents.  School divisions may also provide paper copies as well as alternate formats at public schools and in public libraries.

Questions may be directed to Wanda Council, Education Specialist, Office of Special Education Instructional Services, at (804) 371-4059, or at


  1. Resources for Serving Students with Sensory Disabilities-2018 (docx)

Virginia Department Of Education Training for Parents of Students with Disabilities

VDOE Presents “Critical Decision Point” Training for Parents of Students with Disabilities

Richmond, Va. — The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is offering training to parents of students with disabilities on critical decision points that can affect a child’s ability to earn a diploma and be ready for higher education or a career.

The free, four-hour sessions — offered in eight locations, beginning this month through February — are available to parents of children with disabilities who are currently eligible or being considered for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973.

“There are decisions that parents of students with disabilities make as early as elementary school that can impact the ability of a student to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma,” Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services John Eisenberg said. “Parents need to know about these critical decision points and their potential consequences.”

The training dates and locations are as follows:

  • October 17 in Bristol
  • October 18 in Roanoke
  • November 8 in Manassas
  • November 15 in Staunton
  • December 10 in Richmond
  • January 16 in Suffolk
  • January 16 in Fredericksburg
  • February 5 in Appomattox

The training sessions are being offered in partnership with the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.

The registration deadline is October 10 for the sessions in Bristol and Roanoke. Additional information and links to register for any of the Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities training is available on the VDOE website.

A limited number of hotel rooms are available for parents and caregivers who want to attend and who live more than 60 miles from the training locations.

See announcement from Virginia Department of Education News Release:   10-3-18-critical-decision-points