To: Coordinating Council
From: Carol Bradley
RE: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Here are the results of your analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of possibilities
for making vision services in Iowa more effective and efficient. It is essentially a direct
rendering of your comments gathered after the small group work.
A. A model academic program is developed at UNI to focus on middle school
and high school aged students with emphasis on transition to higher
education. The model will incorporate the expanded core curriculum
emphasis on personal independence and social development.
Proximity to teacher training program.
Proximity of Vinton to UNI for opportunities.
Time to do expanded core curriculum (which could be done at IBSSS).
Reach more underserved students.
A "magnet-like" resource.
Help fill shortage of teachers.
Better ongoing teacher training.
UNI already strong in teacher education.
Expertise for residential component.
Price Lab school.
VI teacher preparation program.
700 to 800 student teachers go through Price Lab.
Core mission of Education Dept at UNI is social justice.
One third of teachers hired in state are graduates of UNI.
Appropriate math and science education.
Ease of transition to postsecondary education.
Intensive training in expanded core curriculum.
Offer a non-rural setting for O&M practice.
Would benefit students in training for teaching, (general education, special
education and TVI).
Allows the reallocation of Regents dollars.
Doesn't meet need for all students currently at IBSSS in Vinton.
Takes students away from families.
Limited numbers of students would benefit from this alternative.
May not be the best use of available dollars.
Would require capacity building at UNI among teaching staff.
How to provide residential services.
Need support of central administration of UNI.
Deals with one set of the population from IBSSS, but not both.
Presents access challenges--transportation to and from and not centrally
Unsure what it looks like; already established program could do it.
Creating another program? Why? Reinvent?
Take focus away from younger kids.
What about putting such young kids on a college campus?
Why would families go to this over existing programs?
B. ISD assumes responsibilities for outreach, business and human resource
functions, to include the establishment of regional outreach centers in x
locations of the state which will be operated in cooperation with the Area
Education Agencies to better serve students in their resident districts.
Better use of some resources, e.g. payroll.
Eliminate some duplication.
Similar to current IBSSS outreach model.
Enhanced efficiencies,(spread overhead).
Eliminate physical plant liability at Vinton.
Regionally located centers (better access regionally).
Centralization and efficiency.
Regional centers gets services closer to home.
Shared costs, more efficient.
From AEA view--fewer agencies to work with.
Regional centers and increased outreach provides better services to kids.
School for the deaf doesn't have this expertise and is not their primary
May cause more confusion for parents and others about service provision.
Addressing the specific disability concerns.
Concern about continuity of services.
Hard for people to break the mold so fear we will keep doing the same old
thing and not make change we need.
Removes residential option.
Lack of expertise at ISD to administer blindness/VI services statewide.
If Jeanne Prickett not there and ISD superintendent did not have VI
background, could it be a problem?
Distance, different bureaucracy.
C. ISD and IBSSS are co-located on the ISD campus with separate and distinct
educational and dormitory programs.
Could share pay roll, etc.
Residential option available.
Economies of scale/efficiencies relative to overhead costs and capital
Newer physical plant at ISD.
Proximity to Nebraska for resources/students.
Visibility, e.g. strength in combining missions and interests, "political
Maintains continuum, residential option for families.
Efficient for facilities and administrative costs.
May attract some students from Nebraska.
Advantage with Jeanne Prickett having expertise in both areas.
All the programs are in the western part of the state-larger geographically
remote program, problem with transition.
Lose services of UI.
Not centrally located.
Distance from potential key future partners, e.g. Regent universities.
Staff capacity/skills to deliver specialized VI/Blind education
questionable, (unless staff at IBSSS relocated or VI/Blind experts were
recruited to ISD)
If separate and distinct, why do it?
Loss of identity and advocacy for VI.
Deaf services might absorb funds.
Not central geographically.
Could be at IBSSS, why not?
Location is poor for where students are living—more kids on east side.
Students have different needs.
Travel for support to staff in resource centers.
Hard to find any one later if Jeanne P. left/retired.
D. The specialized technology services including the assistive device center and
low vision clinic responsibilities are assumed by cooperative agreements
between UI and the Area Education Agencies.
Expertise leveraged from UI and brought to the community level;
implement with integrity at local level.
Enhances coordination among capable but different resources.
Potential for better outcomes through the use of best practices.
Proximity to other services (health services).
Efficient for lending.
More variety available.
Opens possibilities to re-think LEA purchase of devices and then not
needing equipment if student moves or graduates.
Makes services available locally; but, we need to develop expertise.
UI assistive technology grant could go away--services go away.
Coordination could be problematic-need good working relationship.
Compete for resources in AEA.
Need a funding mechanism to support.
Conflicting information for families.
Lack of central coordination for overall educational services statewide.
Timelines of service providers.
Academic priorities, (e.g. publish or promotion) don't always match local
Bureaucracy and timetable challenges.
E. IBSSS is retained at its current location with more emphasis on flexible
programming alternatives; e.g. school year set up as five quarters across a
calendar year with students able to attend from one to five quarters, a fifth
year high school career/vocational option; a day program for students within
a 50 mile radius, etc.
Economic concerns for the community.
We need center based programs; but, it needs to be a revolving door
Less disruption for current staff, families and students currently there.
Better year-round use of facilities.
Fifth year option could help with post-secondary transition.
Day program could operate as a resource center concept.
Good qualified staff already in place.
More focused skill development.
More access for students who currently are unable to use.
Continue to use a state resource that has some great features; e.g.
Families might consider focused services that would defray operating
Parents and students have chance to realize emphasis on focused issues
(different approach from present).
Staff already in place/residential component as well in place.
Opportunity to serve more students.
Possibly more cost effective.
Potential disruption in public school experience and social development.
Still have aging physical plant.
Without a minimum number of quarters, the benefit/outcome may not be
Possible new pressures/responsibilities to local Vinton School District, if
unfunded this might magnify challenges.
How would it look?
Not sure families and districts would use it.
Residential settings are hard on family relationships.
5th year option is redundant with Dept for the Blind programs, inefficient.
Cost of maintaining old buildings and large campus.
More kids would be interested in summer, not equal across 5 quarters.
Questioning access because of location.
Give more families with above opportunities but geographical availability
to families would be better served with four across the state.
Will expanding service options expand the number of students and
families who access the services?
F. Alternative uses for the IBSSS facilities and grounds are identified; e.g. for
students currently placed out-of-state; for the unmet needs of students with
behavior disorders; and for students with severe behavior disorders within
the autism spectrum, etc.
May help with student assessment and management priorities.
May enhance "placement" options within Iowa for very complex/severe
Possible contemporary alternate use of existing Regent facility.
Possible resource (via, ICN) for school districts across the state on
State addresses its accountability for handling these needs.
Not our problem.
Are we trying to fill the campus or meet a need?
People prefer services closer to home.
Currently DHS is keeping students in own community and would they
Could we use other programs like Independence, Cherokee, Clarinda, etc?
Will there be other supports available such as therapy?
It would be sad to use IBSSS for something radically different.
Spread thin resources already allocated to blind students.
Dilute a focused program.
What's the message about importance of blind students' specialized
services we are sending?
May not include all the necessary experts, e.g. at UI.
Physical plant challenges don't go away; may need to retro-fit facilities to
achieve safe setting.
May stress local resources for these costly and complex students.
G. Explore a cooperative agreement with the Department for the Blind for
transition services for older students with visual impairments.
Possibility for greater job/life skills success.
Leverages Departments expertise in vocational areas.
Potentially expands/enhances the perspectives of both priorities.
Aren't we already committed to this?
Serve multiply impaired for vocational rehabilitation services.
More efficient use of resources.
Takes advantage of expertise in field of blindness and visual impairments.
Bridge for students into adult services.
Have summer programs already operating.
Could maximize federal dollars if more state dollar support for services.
Support staff in understanding a new model.
Concern for the quality of service provided.
We should already be doing this!
Staff of IBSSS and the Department for the Blind haven't historically
communicated or partnered well. (different philosophies)
Geographically distant, (transportation problems for families and
Perception that the Department for the Blind does not accept change well.
H. Early childhood, birth to age eight.
If you can help children get solid skills early, they can "soar" later.
More resources needed - very specialized.
More reluctance to send very young children, needs to be based at home.
I. Regional Center - center based programs with comprehensive services
Provide programs so we are not creating barriers for normalcy.
J. Resource Rooms
Better use of highly skilled personnel.
Families might not access.