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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Current vision status does not determine need for Braille instruction

Dear Colleague Letter, 61 IDELR 172 (OSERS 2013): The federal Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued a guidance letter clarifying that a blind or otherwise visually impaired student should not be denied instruction in Braille absent “a thorough and rigorous evaluation” that determines “that instruction in Braille would be inappropriate for that child.”  The IDEA requires instruction in Braille for blind and visually impaired students, unless the child’s current and future reading and writing needs indicate that such instruction is inappropriate.  Since the child’s future needs must be taken into account, a school district cannot rely exclusively on a child’s current vision status to deny Braille instruction.

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