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for the Blind

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The Maryland School for the Blind - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

The Maryland School for the Blind
3501 Taylor Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21236-4499
(410) 444-5000 (Local)
(410) 319-5700 (Fax)
(800) 400-4915 (Toll-Free)
(410) 319-5703 (TDD/TTY)
info@mdschblind.org
http://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org

Brief Description

MSB educates students whose needs cannot be met in their local school systems though community-based outreach and comprehensive on-campus programs on a day or residential basis. The school serves students from birth to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired, including some with multiple disabilities. Each student has a mandated Individualized Education Plan (IEP) tailored to his or her needs. MSB’s program includes general education subjects and, in addition, special instruction in the disability-specific areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum that includes braille, orientation and mobility, career education and independent living skills.

Hours of operation: Sun.-Fri. during the school year, 24 hours (residential students & staff) Business Hours: M-F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Clients served on average per year: 1000
Number of staff: 350 full-time, 30 part-time. Uses volunteers.
Staff description: Blind and VI Educators, Administrators, Specialists in the fields of Health, OT, PT, Speech, Social Work, Nutrition, Recreation, Adapted PE, Assistive Technology, Vocational training and more
Geographic area served: Maryland. Accepts out-of-state students on a tuition basis.
Publications: Annual Report, The Window Newsletter

Locations

3501 Taylor Ave
Baltimore, MD 21236

Staff

Michael Bina, President and CEO, (410) 319-5710, michaelb@mdschblind.org
Maureen Bisesi, Director of Residential and Student Services, (410) 319-5714, mbisesi@mdschblind.org
Karen Frank, Infant and Toddler Program, (410) 444-5000 1378, karenf@mdschblind.org
H. Robert Hair, Superintendent, (410) 444-5000 1743, robh@mdschblind.org
Ruth Ann Hynson, Director of Statewide Outreach Services, (410) 319-5726, ruthh@mdschblind.org
Lauren Pappas, Director, Human Resources, (410) 444-5000 1718, laurenp@mdschblind.org
Kibian Vasquez, CFO, (410) 319-5711, kibianv@mdschblind.org

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information/referral through community liaison.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Provides diagnostic evaluations, consultations, functional low vision evaluations and training for students, parents and teachers throughout Maryland on issues related to visual impairment and blindness. Specialty areas include low vision, academic and cognitive functioning as impacted by visual impairment and other disabilities, computer literacy, braille literacy and skills of daily living.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Established in 1991, The Maryland Instructional Resource Center (MIRC) is the statewide repository for braille and large print textbooks for blind and visually impaired students attending public and private schools throughout Maryland. The vision of the MIRC is that students with visual impairments in Maryland receive their instructional materials at the same time as their sighted peers.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • MSB's Outreach staff offers services to visually impaired students in local schools and to recent graduates seeking community placement. Assessments are provided to students on fee-for-service basis. Outreach provides diagnostic evaluations, consultations, functional low vision evaluations and training for students, parents and teachers throughout Maryland on issues related to visual impairment and blindness. Specialty areas include low vision, academic and cognitive functioning as impacted by visual impairment and other disabilities, computer literacy, Braille literacy and skills of daily living.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Here at The Maryland School for the Blind, we have an Assistive Technology Service. It is the mission of the Assistive Technology Specialists to provide training, support and strategies for using the most current Assistive Technologies in functional daily activities for staff, family members and students who are blind and visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities.

      This includes:

      • Working with the students in classroom and residential settings by collaborating with staff.
      • Supporting the curriculum by providing staff with resources and activity ideas for integrating assistive technologies.
      • Continual improvement on keeping up with technological advances as we strive to be a model demonstration site.
  • Counseling
    • MSB's Social Work staff conducts psychosoical assessment, individual, group and family counseling and training. Educational support services consist of: Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Health Services, Social Work, Psychology, Transition, Assistive Technology and Outreach.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in personal management, handwriting, typing, and home management skills and in the use of video magnifiers.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Infant & Toddler (I&T) services are provided to children, ages birth to four years old, who have suspected or diagnosed visual impairments. The I&T services are part of a statewide early intervention program. A range of services, including family counseling and training, vision services, special instruction, playgroups, social work, therapeutic consultation, and diagnostic evaluations are provided based upon the individual family’s needs.
  • Education Services
    • MSB offers on campus day and residential programs for K-12 students. The instructional program at The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) is second to none. Highly skilled, nurturing, caring teachers and classroom aides collaborate closely with residential and educational support staff to provide students with the knowledge base and skills they need to succeed. MSB's curriculum parallels that of the public schools, but is tailored to meet the special needs of students, including those students who are deafblind. We create an individualized instructional plan for each student that is implemented during the entire school year. The curriculum focuses on teaching skills that will prepare students for their return to the community. Students participate in an academic or functional life skills program. Classes include: math, reading, art, music, science and braille. Schedules are flexible in order to promote and accommodate travel to local schools and the community. MSB is a leader in the field of educating students with autism as well as visual impairment. Using a structured teaching approach, students are able to focus on their surroundings and daily routines. MSB has been able to make remarkable strides in educating a population that typically relies heavily on visual modes of instruction. A strong emphasis is placed on the use of state-of-the-art technology in the classroom. Students use specially adapted computers, environmental control switches, braillers and a wide range of assistive technology and equipment to meet their needs.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers pre-vocational evaluation, career and skill counseling, occupational skill development, vending stand training. Assists parents and students with identifying needs related to employment, continued education and or/training, day care, financial resources, medical care, respite and in home supports, supported living and recreation.
  • Health
    • Health Services are provided 24 hours/day by nurses who are experienced in pediatrics. The Health Center is overseen by Maureen Bisesi, Residential and Student Services Director who is on call to the nursing staff 24 hours/day. Provides diagnosis and evaluation of eye health, treatment of eye conditions, prescription of spectacles or devices and audiology services. Maintains on-campus medical specialty clinics.
  • Information and Referral
    • Tours
      Potential students and families are invited to visit and tour the MSB campus to observe classrooms and dorm settings and meet with staff and current students in order to gain additional information about MSB's services and program options.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Provides low vision assessment through on campus and regional clinics, on-site consultation and follow-up. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.
  • Preschool Programs
    • The preschool and kindergarten program at The Maryland School for the Blind serve students with visual impairments ages three through five, to promote readiness for school-age programs in the most integrative setting possible. The transdisciplinary team provides an emphasis on expanded core curriculum skills using a developmental approach in a nurturing, yet challenging multi-sensory environment.
  • Recreation Services
    • Offers after-school programs--arts and crafts, hobby groups, bowling, swimming, track, wrestling, skiing, roller skating, off-campus trips, community-based recreation. Therapeutic recreation activities include: spring musical and play, Art Club, Magic Club, Builders/Key Club, Garden Club, Magical Experiences Arts Company, Chess Club, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, pet therapy, ski trips, nature outings, dances, social skills groups, arts and crafts, therapeutic horseback riding, rock-climbing, hiking, off-campus field trips, beeping Easter egg hunt and more.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • MSB's Summer Programs include: The Extended School Year (ESY) Program: provides a continuation of services during the summer months to MSB students with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. The Summer Outreach Program: provides programs for public school students who do not attend MSB during the school year, but who need addtional instruction in Expanded Core Curriculum areas. The after school programs through Outreach provide public school students with the opportunity to participate in adapted recreational and leisure activities as well as receive social/emotional support.
  • Support for Parents
    • Family Support Services Resource Center for Families and Schools is a working partnership between The Maryland School for the Blind and the Maryland State Department of Education. The purpose of this center is to provide the skills and knowledge that will enable families of children and youth with disabilities, ages birth to 21, and professionals to function as equal partners in the educational decision making process and to assist families in accessing services for their children.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Teaches students of all ages and abilities how to travel safely--on campus, in the community, in their neighborhoods, at their job sites, and any place they need to or want to go. Also provides nighttime O&M training to students at MSB and at public schools throughout Maryland.

Services for Professionals

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Provides consultation and technical assistance.
  • Professional Training
    • Offers internship/fieldwork placement in special education, social work, speech pathology, orientation and mobility, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreation, in-service training programs for staff and for other agencies. On campus and regional workshops on topics related to vision and Expanded Core Curriculum skills
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